There can be many factors to determine whether or not it’s time to replace a furnace. Obviously, if your furnace isn’t working properly, that’s a good sign it’s time for a replacement!
One of the first things to do is consider the age of the furnace. Was it there when you bought the house? When did you have it installed? As a general rule, the life expectancy of a furnace is 15-20 years. Also, if your furnace has a standing pilot light instead of an electric ignition, it’s probably time to think about a more energy-efficient model.
Another factor to consider is the overall performance of your unit. Have your gas and electric bills gone up? It’s common for furnaces to lose efficiency as they age. Of course, this will happen more noticeably if the unit is not maintained properly.
Speaking of maintaining your furnace, how many repairs have you needed over the last few years? Are they getting more frequent? If you find yourself continuously replacing parts, it’s probably time to look into a new furnace. You might also be hearing strange noises such as pops, rattles or bangs. That could be a good indication your unit is nearing the end of its life.
If your home isn’t cooling or heating like it normally does, that’s cause for concern. There are plenty of signs to keep an eye out for that will help you stay on top of your heating and air conditioning maintenance.
Listen for strange noises like squeaking or clanking coming from your unit as it could mean maintenance is needed. Next, make sure to pay close attention to your utility bills. If they’ve been higher than normal, that too could be a sign your unit needs repaired. Another sign could be a lack of air flow coming from your air conditioner or heater.
There are some simple things you can do like replace a dirty furnace filter, check to make sure the system has power and ensure the thermostat is set properly. If you’ve gone through these steps and your HVAC is still not functioning, it may be time to call a professional. Whatever the issue, we here at Always Plumbing & Heating don’t recommend you try to fix it yourself. If you are experiencing any problems, give us a call!
Regular filter replacement will keep your heating and cooling system at peak performance and will improve your air quality by keeping your home free from things like dust, allergens and germs.
For starters, it’s a good idea to know where your filter is located and keep in mind, every unit is different. In most cases, there is a removable filter access door located in the return air duct near the furnace or indoor unit. This can be found in a basement, utility closet, garage, attic, or crawl-space. If you have an older unit, the filter might be located inside the furnace near the blower motor.
Now that you’ve found the filter, it’s a good idea to learn what filter you have. The type of filter usually determines how often it should be replaced. Many air filters should be replaced every month. There are also high-efficiency filters that can go up to three months before needing to be replaced. Also, some units use washable filters that should be cleaned about once a month.
The term variable speed equipment is referring to the indoor blower motor on a furnace or air handler. Variable speed blowers will change speeds automatically to meet the different airflow needs of the heating and cooling system. The other two options are single-stage and two-stage.
As you might have guessed, single-stage compressors operate on one speed, which is full blast. It’s also the most common and means the AC is either on or off. Two-stage means there are typically two speeds: low and high. When compared to the other types, variable speed motors are extremely efficient, using just a fraction of the energy of other equipment. They also allow for easy customization of the temperature throughout your home and can help clean the air and control the humidity.
While the upfront cost of two-stage and variable-speed air conditioners can turn some people away, over time, you’ll actually save money because of reduced energy bills!
In a nutshell, boilers provide what’s called hydronic radiant heat. That means a boiler system heats up water that is then circulated through pipes in the form of steam to a heating implement like a radiator to disperse heat. In many ways, boilers provide heat that is more comfortable than furnaces because the heat is evenly distributed.
Another advantage to having a boiler system is they are silent. They are also cleaner than typical furnace systems for one main reason: they don’t blow air. That means dust, allergens, toxins and germs aren’t being blown around the house and you’ll never have to pay someone to clean your ducts!
So you might be thinking, “What are the drawbacks?” For one, boilers cost much more than your typical furnace. And they don’t have the ability to cool your home. To cool a home with a boiler system, you will need a completely separate forced air system.
By not cleaning your air ducts or furnace system, you may be robbing yourself of good, clean air. Dust, allergens, germs and sometimes even toxic substances can get trapped in your home. Exposure to poor air quality can affect people with allergies and even trigger asthma attacks. If you’re exposed to it for too long, it can even have other serious health consequences on your respiratory or cardiovascular systems.
When it comes to your HVAC system, dust and debris can have a negative impact on the unit’s overall performance and will likely reduce efficiency. An annual inspection and cleaning of your furnace’s vital components will go a long way to keeping your system running properly for years to come.
If you can’t remember the last time your ducts or furnace were cleaned, it’s likely time to call in a professional. It may be even more important under the following circumstances:
When you hire Always Plumbing for duct and furnace cleaning, you can rest assured that the job will be done in a safe, thorough and professional manner.