The weather is turning. The leaves are changing. Before you know it, pumpkins and ghosts and goblins will appear. Are you ready? Is your electric or gas furnace ready?

If you are smart, you have already had your furnace tuned up. But should you consider purchasing a new one? Here are some warning signs you might need a new furnace.

  1. It’s reached “that age.” As furnaces age, they don’t grow gray hair or go bald. But they do age. And while there may not be any of the signs below, a 15-year-old furnace is running on borrowed time. So, you might want to consider a new furnace before you have a “furnace fail” on a bitter cold day.
  2. Your house is not warm. The number one job of a furnace is to keep your house warm. If everything else (thermostat settings, etc.) is the same and your house just is not as warm, you should have your furnace checked as it may be time for furnace replacement. Also, if you need to set your thermostat higher to keep the house warm, that’s a sign you may need furnace replacement.
  3. Rising energy bills. If your house is as warm as usual but your heating bills are going up, that could mean your furnace is not as energy efficient as it was in the past. New gas furnaces and electric furnaces are more energy efficient than old furnace models. Installing newer furnaces results in reduced heating costs so you can save money on gas and electric bills.
  4. Weak air flow. If warm air is coming out of your vents during a furnace cycle but air flow is weak, that could be a sign of a dirty furnace filter or a failing blower motor. If the blower motor is bad, it may be time to replace your furnace anyhow as this issue reduces energy efficiency and increases utility bills.
  5. Uneven heating. A healthy furnace should heat all areas of your home equally. If your furnace leaves some areas with cold air, the furnace simply may no longer be able to do its job correctly. If this is the case, it’s probably time to replace your furnace.
  6. Improper cycling. The furnace is supposed to cycle on when it needs to warm the home and cycle off once the preferred temperature is reached. If your furnace is cycling on and off frequently, constantly adjusting, or is running continuously, it is a clear sign the furnace is not working as it should.
  7. More repairs. If you are noticing you are making more and/or more frequent repairs to your furnace, it might make sense to invest in a new unit as opposed to having your old furnace become a cash drain. With an old furnace, most repairs tend to pop up in the last two years of the furnace’s lifespan. If the repair bills in the last two years equal more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace, get a new furnace.
  8. Poor air quality. If you notice an abnormal amount of dust, dander, soot, or dirt, that could be a signal that your furnace is not doing a good job removing airborne particles (but if you don’t clean your filter, that could also be the cause). Plus, older furnaces are at a higher risk for producing carbon monoxide leaks, especially if they don’t receive regular maintenance.
  9. Dry air. A well-functioning furnace should keep the air in your home moist. In the winter, some dryness is unavoidable. But extensive dryness can damage wood floors and furnishings. If you notice the air in your home is particularly dry, that might mean your furnace needs to be replaced.
  10. Your furnace is coming to your senses. You can use three of your five senses to “sense” if you have a furnace problem
    1. You see cracks, rust or corrosion.
    2. You hear a symphony of sounds that could include squealing, screeching, shrieking, whining, rumbling, grinding, popping, rattling, buzzing, humming, clicking, or banging.
    3. You smell a musty odor for a while (not just when the furnace starts up).

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Heating Services

Ravinia Plumbing’s HVAC pros can help you determine whether you need a new furnace. We maintain and repair all major furnace brands and are a licensed distributor of Carrier heating products. We’ve been in business since 1928 (that’s 95 years!), and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.