As a general rule, it’s best to have a furnace replaced before it has a chance to fail completely. It’s not much different than with a car—you don’t want the car’s final moments to be when you’re on the road. Getting ahead of a furnace that’s in its final year or two is more convenient, and it also means you’ll start enjoying better heating performance and energy efficiency from a new system.
The trick is determining when you need Cincinnati, OH, furnace service to put in a new furnace. We’ve listed 6 common signs that your furnace is approaching the end and it’s time to make arrangements for a replacement.
ONE: System Age
How long does the average furnace last? The standard estimate for gas furnaces is about 15 years, although some can make it to 20 years. If you have a furnace that’s already reached 15 years, pay special attention to the other warning signs below, since the furnace is in the zone where it can start to decline rapidly.
TWO: High Heating Bills
Look over your heating bills for each winter month for the past two years. Have costs risen steadily? You may have ignored this because you assumed the cost of natural gas or electricity was rising. But double-check this. If the cost is going up much more than inflation of energy rates, it may mean the furnace is dying. A furnace can quickly lose much of its energy-efficiency rating during the last two years of its service life.
THREE: Noisy Operation
The general wear on a furnace that’s been around for too long will contribute to much noisier operation. You’ll start hearing more grinding, rattling, and banging from the system. A noise-polluting furnace is a furnace that should probably go into the recycling yard.
FOUR: Too Many Repairs
If your furnace needed two or more repairs over the last year of its service life, that’s one too many. Another way to tell if you’re repairing the furnace too often is to add up the costs for the last few repairs it needed. If the costs of those repairs is more than half the price to have a new furnace put in, then continuing with repairs is throwing away money.
FIVE: Uneven Heating
This is one of the most serious indications that a furnace is dying: when it can no longer provide even heating around the house. This indicates the furnace’s heating capacity is dropping—rooms closer to the furnace along the ventilation system will receive sufficient heat, but there’s not enough heat to reach the more distant rooms.
SIX: A Cracked Heat Exchanger
This is a major repair issue with a furnace that may set off carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Although it can be fixed by replacing the heat exchanger, this is not only an expensive repair, but a sign the furnace is so old it is starting to corrode. It’s much better and safer to replace the furnace instead.
“For a Comfortable Way of Life,” call Bartels Heating & Cooling. We have a 24-hour emergency service team available.