The Unfiltered Blog

October 20, 2014

How to know when you should replace your furnace

By Chuck Gassmann, CEO

Out of sight, out of mind. You rely on your furnace to do its job, but you don’t physically see the unit every day. So as long as it keeps you warm and cozy, it’s easy to forget about it. Unfortunately, that means many people wait until it breaks to call us. And that means you could be without heat in the dead of winter or get caught at an inopportune time to finance a new one. By understanding when a furnace is at the end of its life, you can avoid a very bad situation. Here are four signs it’s time to replace your furnace:

  1. Age
    If your furnace is 15 years old or older, you should be looking to update it. If you don’t know the age of your system, check the pipes. If it has plastic pipes, it’s a high efficiency furnace. If it has one metal pipe, it’s an older, inefficient system that is probably getting close to needing to be replaced.
     
  2. Making noises
    If your furnace is making noises, that’s a sign it’s at the end of its life. Rattling and popping noises or a bang when it starts are things you don’t want to hear. We go to people’s homes who say the furnace has been making those noises for a while — that’s not good.
     
  3. Gradual increase on energy bills
    If your energy bills are increasing while your heating usage is staying the same, your furnace may no longer be able to operate efficiently. Running an inefficient system can be costly — meaning it might be time to consider replacing your furnace.
     
  4. Frequent repairs
    If your furnace has been requiring frequent repairs, it might be nearing the end of its useful life. Instead of continuing to rely on an undependable system, you may want to think about upgrading to a new furnace.

Replacing your furnace is not a fun expense, but planning ahead makes for an easier process than waiting until an emergency situation. It allows you time to research types of furnaces, set aside money, schedule an appointment that’s convenient for you and take advantage of deals and rebates. Mid-American is offering rebates through the SAVE program, and Carrier — which manufactures furnaces — also offers rebates. Between those, you can save a couple thousand dollars. Plus, there are a lot of opportunities for financing. For example, Bell Brothers offers financing options.

The main problem we see with furnaces is a lack of maintenance. Changing the filter regularly and having regular maintenance performed are the biggest things a homeowner can do to ensure their system operates safely, efficiently and for years to come.