A proper understanding of the moment when your furnace reaches the end of its lifespan can be complicated. On the other hand, the last thing you need is to discover this surprise in the middle of the winter, right when you need to keep your house warm. Once a furnace reaches ten years, or more, you should monitor it often to evaluate if your furnace is about to break and you need a new one.
Here are some signs to indicate you could be needing to update your heating system.
An Unexpected Increase In Your Monthly Heating Bill
If your heating bill rises out of the blue, that is a warning sign about your furnace needing maintenance and attention. First, analyze your previous heating bills and check if there are discrepancies with the current month. Make sure to pay attention to the amount of energy used by your furnace, and not the dollar amount variance. If you are using energy in the same way, but your bill is still rising, that is a strong sign that the energy efficiency of your furnace is not the same as before.
A Dustier Or Dryer Home
As your heating system approaches the end of its lifespan, keeping the air moisturized and clean becomes a harder task. During the winter, the air is colder and dryer. If you or a family member suffer from sinuses or a dry skin condition, perhaps there are air leaks in your house that allow warm and humid air to escape outdoors, or perhaps your humidifier is set too low.
In general, older furnaces used air from your home for combustion. This is the process that dries the air in your home. It creates a vacuum indoors that sucks dry and cold air from outdoors inside, through crevices and cracks around windows, under doors, or even within the home’s structure. Modern furnaces use outdoor air for combustion. They allow your house to maintain better levels of indoor humidity.
Also, if you notice an increase in the quantity of dust settled on your home’s furniture, or even clinging to your walls, that is a sign your air purifier is no longer working as it should, or that it is time for upgrading your old heating system.
Uneven Inner Temperatures In Different Rooms Of The House
When heat is not distributed correctly in your home, that is also a sign that something is funky with your ventilation and heating systems. The temperature throughout different rooms should be one and the same. When they are not, it is a sign your old furnace struggles to keep temperatures balanced, your ventilation ducts are dirty and need cleaning, your windows and doors need re-sealing, or all three.
Strange New Noises Coming From Downstairs
Older furnaces are noisier. That is a simple fact. However, new and unfamiliar noises should be treated seriously. Squeaking, banging, rattling, and so on, are all signs that your furnace has arrived at the end of its lifespan. Another warning sign is when your furnace’s blower operates sporadically, turning itself frequently on and off, or even blowing cold or cool air. If that is happening, you should call a pro to perform a furnace and blower motor inspection.
Visible Rust Signs
Rust is a terrible sign. If you see rust anywhere in your furnace or rust dust on the floor around it, that could mean there is even more corrosion inside your furnace. That is another sign your furnace needs to work much harder to perform its natural job of keeping your home warm.
Yellow Furnace Flame (Danger!)
Checking the color of your flame is something that can and should be done while you or your technician verify the furnace for corrosion and rust. A blue flame is normal. A yellow flame means carbon monoxide production, which could bring deadly consequences for you and your family. If this is your case, leave your house immediately and call your trusted professional right away.
Your Furnace Has Already Been Repaired In Multiple Occasions
If your furnace requires more than simple, normal maintenance more often than it should, you should start doing the math and consider purchasing a new one. That is even more important if you are paying over and over for the same repair. On the surface, it looks like a large investment, but it saves you great money in the longer run.
Even though all of the above advice can be sure signs you need to substitute your old furnace, it is also possible that your system needs a tune-up. No matter what, it is wise to have professional technicians inspecting your ventilation (HVAC), cooling, and heating systems annually. Remember: your home’s HVAC system condition directly impacts your family’s health and the value of your home and property.