After a long hot summer, the onset of cooler weather can feel like a relief. But before you know it, you’re adding more layers of clothing and blankets and it’s time to turn on your furnace.
But if you’re having issues with heating your home properly, you might wonder when you should replace your furnace.
The answer will vary depending on the quality of the furnace and the conditions of use, but all furnaces have an expiration date.
In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about when it’s time to change your furnace.
No one replaces their furnace at the first sign of trouble. It’s a major investment, after all, and it’s meant to serve you for a long time.
So, it can be difficult to decide when the moment is right. That said, there are tell-tale signs that it’s time to start looking for a new furnace.
The average life expectancy of a home furnace is around 15 to 20 years. Some models with good maintenance can even last over 25 years, while others will cave after only a decade. In most cases, people plan for furnace replacement around the same time they’re doing other home improvements.
But if you know that your furnace is coming up to 15 years of age, it’s a good idea to start looking now. The last thing you want is to have to do such a significant replacement in the middle of winter if the furnace breaks down.
As they age, furnaces will need periodic repairs. And that’s perfectly reasonable and within expectations. But it’s important to pay attention to the last 2 years and ask yourself how many repairs did your furnace have.
On average, furnaces will break down more in the last couple of years of their service. Also, if you need to wait for an expensive part that needs replacing, that’s a sure sign it’s better to replace rather than repair.
The Flame Color
If your gas furnace is healthy, it will always have a clear blue flame. It means that the system is clean and working properly and that there are no gas leaks. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check the color of the flame from time to time.
If you notice that it went from blue to yellow, that means that the furnace needs cleaning and that there are potentially serious problems on the horizon. It’s best to call a professional to have this problem fixed, and most likely that will result in replacing the furnace.
Another significant question to ask regarding when should you replace your furnace is whether the rooms around your house are heated evenly. If the answer that some of your rooms are too hot and others too cold, then you have a big problem on your hands.
You might be spending too much time adjusting the thermostat, hoping you’ll be able to find the magic number to heat everything correctly, but unfortunately, sometimes you just need a new furnace.
Sometimes your furnace will let you know that its time is up. You might start hearing strange noises at all hours of the day, banging, popping, squealing, or even rattling noises.
Also, did you notice the furnace blower overextending itself, and blowing cold air from time to time? Irritating noises that might also signal the demise of your furnace.
Too Much Dust
If you have an old furnace in your home, you might not even notice for a while that it doesn’t offer any air moisturizing abilities.
Your home can feel rather dry and the air too stale, and it can be challenging to understand why. If a family member is suffering from allergies, the dust, mold, and dander will start to bother them more often.
Plus, if you start seeing piles of dust on your furniture when you know that you’ve just cleaned it, it could be a sign that your furnace is just not providing enough comfort for your family needs.
Energy Bill Is High
Sure, gas and electric costs seem to have been on a continuous rise over the years. But the increased prices aren’t the only reason why your energy bill might be too high every month.
Over time, a furnace will inevitably lose efficiency. And even though there might not be any other obvious signs that it’s time to replace it, the fact that it’s not working as it once did can mean it’s time to make a change.
Instead of paying more each month to the electric and gas company, you could steer that investment towards a new furnace.
A dust allergy is just one of the ways a furnace can jeopardize your health. But if you haven’t checked for the yellow flame yet, you should be mindful about other symptoms related to a potential gas leak.
If you and your family are frequently experiencing nausea, burning eye sensations, or any type of disorientation, it’s imperative to first open all the windows where the furnace is located and then call an expert for help.
Furnace Maintenance Tips
If your furnace is still relatively new and you want to ensure that it serves you well for years, there are a few things you can do about it.
Clean the Filter System
The filter system is one of the most important parts of the furnace because that’s where all the dirt accumulates. Depending on how often you use your furnace, you’ll need to clear the filters from time to time.
Clean the Furnace Ducts
If you’re wondering when should you replace your furnace if the ducts seem damaged, the answer is probably no. If you clean them from time to time, they won’t even need any repair in most cases.
But even if they are damaged, you can repair them and then make sure they’re covered to prevent the air from leaking.
There’s no need to be overly worried about when should you replace your furnace. In most cases, age is the surest indicator that it’s time.
It also means that your furnace worked as long as it was supposed to, and that you don’t have to replace it prematurely.
But keeping an eye on all the warning signs can lead to timely repairs. Some light maintenance over the years will surely go a long way. Just be mindful of potential gas leaks and call a licensed expert to repair or replace your furnace.