Clang. Bang. Fizzle.
No, that's not Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang. It's your furnace.
You've been hearing some funky noises in your basement and fetching lemonade for the heating repairman a little more often. Yet how do you know when it is time to replace your furnace? Here are some excellent signs.
1. Your Furnace is More Than 15 Years Old
Most furnaces are designed to last somewhere between twenty and thirty years. They do not have to be replaced before fifteen years if regular maintenance is scheduled.
However, if you begin to find that the cost of repairing your furnace is more than 15% of the cost it would be to replace it, it may be time to get a new burner.
The Federal Trade Commission requires new furnaces or boilers to display their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or their AFUE. This is a ratio of the furnace's heat output in the building compared to the actual fuel consumed by a furnace or boiler.
So, an AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the energy becomes heat for the home, and the other 10% leaves through the chimney and elsewhere.
Older, less efficient systems have an AFUE of 56%-70%.
Mid-efficiency systems have an AFUE of 80%-85%.
The newest, highest-efficiency systems have an AFUE of 90%-98.5%.
If you buy a higher-efficiency system, you will end up saving yourself quite a bit of money in lost heating and repair costs.
2. Frequent Visits by the Repairman
An occasional problem with a thermostat setting or pilot control is understandable. However, if you know the names of your furnace repairman's kids, it may be time to invest in a new furnace.
You should probably not be scheduling more than two repair services a year for your furnace. You may also notice that your heating bills are much higher than usual. If all of your ducts have been sealed properly, it may be time to save yourself long-term funds by investing in a new furnace.
3. A Musical Furnace
If your furnace is beginning to sound like a percussion section, don't pick up your trumpet and play along.
A rattling sound could mean that you have a cracked heat exchanger, which is a common cause of carbon monoxide leaks. A scraping noise could signal a fault in the blower wheel. Loud, booming noises indicate dirty burners.
In any case, if you begin to hear strange sounds, it may be time to replace your furnace.
4. Fluctuating Temperatures
Are you wearing a tank top in one room and a parka in the next? There is a good reason to believe it is your furnace, especially if you are noticing other signs.
Your furnace may not have enough power to heat all rooms in your home evenly, and it may be time for an upgrade.
5. A Yellow Furnace Flame
The healthy color for a furnace flame is blue.
If you notice yellow, fuel is not burning efficiently. In the worst case, your furnace could be leaking gas or carbon monoxide. Replacing your furnace could save your life.
Is it Time to Replace Your Furnace?
An older furnace that is getting repaired a lot, or one that is causing unusual noises, uneven heating, or a yellow flame, are all signs that it may be time to replace your furnace.
For more information, read our blog today.