The falling temperatures outside mean we might be turning the heat on inside. When you flip that switch for the first time there are some telltale signs that it might be time for an upgrade.
Ask yourself the following questions about your heating system…
1. Do you have high electric/utility bills?
High electric or utility bills can be a strong indicator that your furnace is no longer operating efficiently. An older or malfunctioning furnace may require more energy to produce the same amount of heat, leading to increased energy consumption and higher bills. In such cases, it’s advisable to consider furnace replacement. A modern, energy-efficient furnace not only reduces your utility expenses but also contributes to a more eco-friendly home, making it a wise long-term investment. If your bills have been steadily increasing over time even when your usage habits haven’t changed, your furnace is likely becoming less efficient. Older furnaces can waste huge amounts of energy trying to heat your home, driving up costs. Compare your bills to those of neighbors in similar sized homes to identify excessively high energy use. Also look at your furnace’s AFUE rating – anything below 80% means poor efficiency. Replacing an outdated furnace with a new 90%+ AFUE model can slash your energy bills by hundreds per year.
2. Is your flame burner no longer a blue color?
If you’ve noticed that the flame burner in your furnace is no longer a steady blue color but instead appears yellow or flickering, it could be a sign of incomplete combustion or the presence of carbon monoxide. This is a serious safety concern and requires immediate attention. A yellow or flickering flame can indicate issues with the gas supply or burner assembly in your furnace. To ensure the safety of your home and your family, it’s crucial to have a professional inspect your furnace, and in many cases, replacement may be the best course of action to ensure both safety and efficient heating. The color of the burner flame is directly linked to the furnace’s gas combustion efficiency. Blue flames signify complete combustion and proper burner operation. Yellow, orange, or erratic flames point to issues like clogged burner ports, broken igniters, or corrosion inhibiting the flame. These reduce the furnace’s heating capabilities while raising risks of carbon monoxide poisoning if exhaust gases leak into living areas. Have your furnace inspected at the first sign of an abnormal flame. Replacing the entire unit may be safer and more cost-effective than replacing individual parts.
3. Have you neglected routine furnace maintenance?
Neglecting routine furnace maintenance can lead to a decline in your heating system’s performance and longevity. Regular maintenance helps identify and address issues before they escalate, extending the life of your furnace. However, if you’ve overlooked maintenance for an extended period, it’s possible that your furnace may have sustained significant wear and tear. In such cases, it might be more cost-effective to consider furnace replacement, especially if you’re facing frequent breakdowns or inefficient heating. Routine maintenance like changing filters, inspecting combustion levels, testing ignition, and clearing debris buildup helps keep your furnace running smoothly for years. But lack of maintenance allows dirt, corrosion, and small problems to accumulate. Issues like a cracked heat exchanger or failing blower motor often result from neglected maintenance. Once these major repairs are needed, replacement may be wiser than continually sinking money into an old, high-maintenance furnace.
4. Are you constantly adjusting your thermostat to stay comfortable?
Constantly adjusting your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature can be a sign that your furnace is struggling to deliver consistent heat. Older furnaces may struggle to keep up with temperature demands, leading to discomfort and temperature fluctuations in your home. Upgrading to a newer, more efficient furnace can not only improve your comfort but also help you achieve a more consistent and even distribution of heat throughout your living spaces. If you find yourself continually bumping the thermostat up or down by several degrees trying to reach the perfect temperature, it points to an inefficient furnace. The temperature swings as the furnace fails to adequately heat or cool the home based on the thermostat setting. This results in hot and cold spots as well as draftiness. A properly working, efficient furnace can maintain an even, comfortable temperature throughout the home without the need for constant thermostat tweaks. You may also want to consider replacing your furnace and ac at the same time.
5. Do you hear unusual sounds coming from your system?
Unusual sounds emanating from your furnace, such as banging, rattling, or squeaking noises, can be indicative of mechanical issues or worn-out components. These noises should not be ignored, as they may signal impending breakdowns or inefficiencies. It’s essential to have a professional technician inspect your furnace to determine the source of the sound and assess whether repairs or replacement are necessary to maintain a reliable and quiet heating system. Strange new sounds coming from the furnace may indicate loose, misaligned, or damaged parts. For example, squealing or grinding noises can mean the blower motor is failing. Banging may signal debris stuck in the blower or a loose blower cage. Rattling could indicate a problem with the burner. Knocking or hissing could point to issues with the gas line, ignitor, or flame sensor. These noises disrupt home comfort and may precede total component failure. Addressing the underlying causes, which often necessitate full replacement, restores quiet furnace operation.
6. Are you often uncomfortable in your home during the winter?
Feeling uncomfortable in your home during the winter is a clear sign that your furnace may not be delivering the heat you need. If your furnace is old, inefficient, or frequently in need of repairs, it’s time to consider a replacement. Modern furnaces are designed to provide consistent and reliable heating, ensuring that you and your family stay warm and comfortable throughout the winter months, even in the coldest weather conditions. Upgrading to a new furnace can significantly enhance your home’s winter comfort and energy efficiency. Being cold in your own home is a red flag signaling inadequate heating from an old, inefficient furnace. If you pile on sweaters and blankets yet still feel chilly even with the thermostat turned up, your furnace isn’t providing sufficient warmth. The same applies if certain rooms are always frigid. A properly functioning furnace evenly distributes warmth. Consistent cold spots or failure to reach comfortable temperatures indicate a faulty unit in need of replacement.
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, be sure to watch our segment on Daytime Columbus to learn about what these could mean and how furnace replacement might be a good option for your home…
Call our knowledgeable team today for furnace repair, replacement or routine maintenance in Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati.