A few cool days in the autumn can get your furnace firing up for the season and give you an idea how it is working. Before winter really takes its hold it might be a good time to determine if your furnace is working in top form, if you need repairs, or if it’s come time for a new furnace to be installed. You can’t always tell on the surface if it’s repair time or replacement time, but here’s a few things to consider:
The age of your furnace is the first factor to consider. Most furnace we see last 10-15 years, with some exceptions. If your furnace is over ten years and is having consistent issues, consult an expert. Over time furnaces start to fail more often and require more attention to keep operating well.
Frequent Furnace Repairs
If you find that you are often having repairs to your furnace it could mean your furnace is getting closer to the point of no recovery. One of the risks you run with an unreliable furnace is possibly having no heat on cold days. The other is that it may end up costing you more in the long run with multiple repairs followed by a new furnace. If the repair costs are less than a third of the cost of a new heating system, repair might be your best option. If it’s more than 10 years old, you might entertain furnace replacement.
If your furnace is over-working you might hear more rattling, banging, popping sounds, especially as it ages. It may prevent moisturizing the air with possible stale or dry air in your house. These are good factors that may signal that your heating system needs to be replaced.
Energy Bills (Power Consumption)
If you notice an increase in power bills without usage increase, you might have a drop in your furnace efficiency. It could be working double to make the same heat it was before. Now would be a great time to call in a professional to evaluate your furnace! It could be as simple as a new thermostat or ductwork repair, or that your furnace has seen better days.
Burner Flame Health
You should see a blue flame with a light shade of yellow at the top. If you see the flame is yellow, it’s indicating that the fuel combustion is not complete and your furnace could be kicking out carbon monoxide. If this is the case, call an expert right away. This could be a minor repair, or an indication that your furnace has reached its end.
One of the best ways to keep ahead of bigger issues, or surprises is to have an annual furnace check. We offer this as part of our Maintenance Plan. This helps prevents surprises and can reassure you that you are prepared for the cold winter ahead.