Time for a New Furnace?

Time for a New Furnace?

Us hearty Chicagoans have just battled through one of the coldest spells we’ve had in decades. But we’re not done yet. Frigid weather will be back. The question is: will your furnace survive? Of course, if it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace it. But here are some warning signs that might prompt you to consider replacing it before it dies.

Old Age

Most furnaces should last between 15 and 20 years if properly maintained. But as furnaces age, not only is it more likely they will break down, but it also becomes harder to find replacement parts. So if your furnace is getting up there in years, consider early retirement. If you do not know how old your furnace is, you might be able to find it by checking the manufacture date in the serial number.

Rising Energy Bills

Higher utility bills may mean that your furnace is not running as efficiently as it used to. Investing in an energy-efficient furnace should pay off through lower heating bills for years down the road.

Strange Noises

Is your furnace clanging, banging, crackling, squealing or making popping noises? If your furnace does not sound right to you, it may not be right.

Blower Issues

If your blower is turning on and off frequently, constantly running, or blowing cold air, those are other signs you might need to replace your furnace. Note that the blower will constantly run if the fan selector switch on the thermostat is set to “ON” versus “AUTO”. A short cycling furnace is also an indication that the furnace is oversized for the house.

Recent Repairs

Furnaces are like cars. As they age, you may have to spend more and more money on repairs. If you are spending money on repairs, you might consider investing in a new furnace, rather than continue to spend money on repairs. And as mentioned above, the older the furnace gets, the harder it is to find replacement parts.

Comfort

Do you keep adjusting the thermostat to keep you warm? That could be another sign that your furnace can no longer distribute air properly.

Yellow Flame

A yellow or flickering flame could be a sign that your furnace is creating lethal carbon monoxide.

Feeling Lousy?

If you or anyone else in your family is experiencing frequent headaches, a burning feeling in the nose or eyes, nausea, disorientation or persistent flu-like symptoms, that could be a sign that the heat exchanger is cracked and causing potentially lethal carbon monoxide to enter your home.

Of course, none of these necessarily mean you need a new furnace. And one thing you can do to make the furnace last longer is changing the air filter. Dirty air filters are the number one reason for loss of efficiency, equipment failure and premature equipment death.

If you have any doubt, have a professional come in and check the furnace. After all, the best time to replace it is before it fails.

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*Based on research conducted January - August 2016