As a homeowner, you have more than enough expenses and surprises around the house, and if your furnace has seen better days, it may be time to replace it.
Furnaces Usually Last 15-20 Years
The best advice a homeowner can keep in mind is to get ahead of the problem before this happens, especially with a furnace. The average furnace lifespan is 15 to 20 years, as long as you’re conducting annual furnace maintenance. So when your furnace starts exhibiting these warning signs, please don’t put it off.
Warning Signs To Replace Your Furnace
High Energy Bills
Yes, fuel prices are going up, but your gas bill also has to deal with usage. If your habits haven’t changed, but your use is going up, it’s an indicator that your furnace is losing energy efficiency. Older furnaces don’t tend to have energy star ratings, and while regular maintenance can help extend the average life expectancy past 20 years, a furnace tune-up won’t help you save on your heating bill once the heating season is in full swing.
Sometimes you have no control over how long your furnace lasts. Usually, if you bought a home with one installed, the equipment quality, furnace models, and historical maintenance are out of your control. While some repairs and maintenance will help, if your furnace is older than 15 years old, spending too much on repairs is just eating into money spent on a new heating system.
As a furnace gets older, sometimes too much moisture can accumulate in the vents, or there may be limited airflow, which can cause the heat exchanger to develop one or more cracks. If you and your family start to experience headaches and dizziness, this can mean there’s a gas or carbon monoxide leak. This is extremely serious—call an expert immediately.
Signs of Soot or Rust
If your furnace is showing signs of soot or rust, you need to get it inspected immediately. Soot collection around the air vents could be a sign that your furnace is producing too much carbon dioxide—a huge hazard to you and your family.
When your gas furnace burns fuel, it produces large amounts of gas, which gets vented safely. If you see damage or rust, that can mean the gas from the combustion process is venting directly into your home instead. You may also see soot around your floor registers and large amounts of dust and soot collecting on your floors and furniture, this is another indicator that should not be ignored.
Lots Of Furnace Repairs
It’s easy to look at the price of a new furnace and choose the cheaper repair instead. You have bills to pay, and it’s easy to put off the larger expense, “Just one more winter”. One sign is if your furnace is leaking water, you will need professional HVAC repair. Learn about the one thing you should do first.
But, just like the 1992 Honda Civic breaking down every time you hit the highway—it doesn’t take long before it’s not worth repairing the car anymore. If you have had frequent fixes on your furnace in the last two years, add up the cost of those repairs, and if it’s 50% of a new furnace, you are at the end of your furnace’s life.
Doing all these repairs is not helping you save money. Repair costs are just added to the cost of your new furnace. Stop sinking money into repairs, buy a new furnace (preferably an energy-efficient model).
Furnace Making Loud Noises
If your furnace is making noises like popping, rattling, humming, and screeching– it’s getting to be time for a replacement. These noises are usually from a gas furnace and are typically taken care of with furnace maintenance visits.
The reasons behind each noise can, of course, be repaired, but again- weigh out the cost of the repairs vs the price of a heating system itself over time—don’t just look at the cost today. You should have your furnace inspected if it is loud and talk to your HVAC technician about your concerns.
Are some of your rooms too hot while others are too cold? Are you making multiple trips to the thermostat daily? Truthfully, it’s normal for your home to have some cooler spots- usually because of the quality of insulation and windows or ceiling height. Sometimes with heat pumps, it is just due to programming, or maybe not enough airflow.
However, if it’s becoming bothersome and you’re having trouble in rooms where there wasn’t an issue before- it could be that it is reaching the end of its average lifespan, and it’s time to replace it with a high-efficiency furnace. It’s worth the inspection, and the technician will let you know if it really is because of your old furnace.
Yellow Flames in the Furnace Burner
Take a look at the flame in your furnace. Typically, there is a viewing port to check the color of the flame. A blue flame means it’s burning clean and working properly. If the flame is yellow, that can mean your old furnace is producing too much gas. This is only an issue with gas furnaces. All Ontario residents should have a carbon monoxide detector in their homes. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas with no scent, so call a furnace technician immediately if you have this issue.
We Care About Your Furnace!
We know the thought of having to replace a furnace can be a bit overwhelming. Having to decide if the repair is worth it, which furnace to choose, and how to properly maintain your furnace can take a lot of time and energy.
The furnace repair experts at Husky are who live in Vaughan and the Greater Toronto Area rely on to make educated decisions on heating systems, support them in an emergency situation, and guide them through which furnace repair is DIY and which you need a professional for.
Remember—high-efficiency furnaces will only stay that way with regular furnace maintenance. This will help your furnace last longer, avoid heating repair, and see those furnace replacement signs before it’s too late.