How Do You Know That It’s Time to Replace Your Heating and Cooling Equipment?

Not enough heat?

Your heating and cooling system is vital component of your home that needs to be taken care of in order for it to work the way it is supposed to and to provide it the long life it deserves. Learning how to monitor your oil or gas furnace or your heat pump separates you from many other homeowners because with it, you’ll be able to save not just annual expenses but also your equipment in general.

However, there will always come a time when you no longer can give it simple fixes and repairs. The heating and cooling equipment will eventually cease to function efficiently and even reach a point where it no longer is safe to use.

In this post, I will share to you a great set of information I collected online about how to determine if your system already needs replacement.

There’s no better way to start than get something valuable from the number one authority site for any information about energy use, Energy Star. In the article called “When Is It Time to Replace?“, there are several telltale signs provided for you, the homeowner, to figure out that your system is already due for replacement.

Your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
Consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency units can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.

Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old.
Consider replacing with an ENERGY STAR qualified furnace, which is 15% more efficient than a conventional furnace. If you have a boiler, consider replacing with an ENERGY STAR qualified boiler that is 5% more efficient than a new, standard model.

Your equipment needs frequent repairs and your energy bills are going up.
Your cooling or heating equipment my have become less efficient.

Some rooms in your home are too hot or too cold.
Improper equipment operation, duct problems or inadequate insulation could be the cause.

No one is home for long periods of the day and you do not have a programmable thermostat.
Install a programmable thermostat or have a good contractor install one and instruct you on its use — to start saving energy and money while they’re away or sleeping.

Your home has humidity problems.
Poor equipment operation, inadequate equipment, and leaky ductwork can cause the air to be too dry in the winter or too humid in the summer.

Your home has excessive dust.
Leaky ducts can pull particles and air from attics, crawl spaces and basements and distribute them throughout your house. Sealing your ducts may be a solution.

Your heating or cooling system is noisy.
You could have an undersized duct system or a problem with the indoor coil of your cooling equipment.

Your score on the Home Energy Yardstick is below five.
That means your energy use at home is above average and you’re probably paying more than you need to on energy bills.

Read the rest of the post here.

You can get your energy score from the Home Energy Yardstick by clicking the link.

Every homeowner, including you, must recognize that a boiler or furnace that’s already more than 15 years old must be replaced. It is not something that you can use forever, especially considering the fact that there have been so many modern technologies and improvements integrated in heating and cooling systems for the past ten years.

Furthermore, I found another good article from Sila Heating and Air Conditioning, this time it talks about the factors you should be considering when figuring out if your system already needs replacement.

Age
Furnaces generally have a lifespan of 16 to 20 years. If your system is less than 12 years old, and you have maintained it properly, you can rest easy. If your system is over 16 years old, or if it has not been regularly inspected and maintained, it may be time to start shopping.

Repair Frequency
Just like a car, heating systems will need repairs more often as they get older. If you have had a repair in the past couple of years, did you need to wait for parts? The older a system gets, the more difficult it is to get the parts to fix it. Waiting for that part during a cold snap could feel like a very long time.

Unusual Noises
If your system is making unusual noises, banging sounds, rattling or squealing, it can signal that the end is near. If you hear the blower running excessively or it is sometimes blowing cold air, this is another sign that the furnace could be nearing a breakdown.

Higher Utility Bills
If your gas or electric bills are showing higher usage, or have suddenly spiked, it could be that your older furnace is working overtime to maintain the temperature in your home. Working harder often means that the system will run longer, costing more for energy bills.

Source: http://www.sila.com/blog/signs-time-replace-heating-system/

Aside from those mentioned above, the same post also talked about the level of comfort inside the home. It means that if some rooms have become so cool while the others are warmer than usual, then there should be a problem. Try to figure out how often you adjust the thermostat just to get that ideal temperature. When you’re doing it more frequently, it also means that your system is no longer running efficiently.

In the end, once you see several of these signs, it’s time to call an HVAC technician to do a comprehensive examination and inspection of your system. Remember, you cannot afford to wait it out because sooner or later a broken system can lead to endangering your whole family.