When should you replace your furnace? It may seem like an easy answer. A search result will say every 20 to 30 years, and your gut will tell you “when it stops working.” But there are some other factors to consider and options to research for when the time comes.
If it’s not broke—fix it
The instinct to wait until things actually break to replace them is common among homeowners, but when it comes to keeping your home heated this can lead to disaster. And some homes still operate on very old gas or oil heaters that are very robust but extremely inefficient. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for smaller malfunctions and other indicators that your furnace is going out and replace it before you’re left in the cold.
Some indicators it’s time to replace a furnace are obvious:
- Uneven heating
- Dust or dirt around registers or vents
- Odd/unusual noises coming from the system
While some are less so:
- Increased humidity inside
- A steadily increasing power bill, regardless of how much the system is used
- The system is turning on and off very frequently
Worst of all is when your power bill suddenly skyrockets, or you have to call HVAC repair out to your home and hefty invoices start building up. But the reality of high utility costs and failing systems is prevalent across the country, and there are some ways to remedy the problem and save money in the future as well.
The benefits of replacing your furnace
Modern electric heaters are extremely efficient when compared to a furnace or system even a decade old. They can heat a bigger space with less electricity used. The best part of switching to an electrical system (if you don’t have one already) is the convenience of quick installation into your existing ductwork and infrastructure. High-efficiency electrical heaters offer the best combination of installation and operation costs.
For older or odd homes with no ductwork to piggyback off of, there’s a solution that can keep everyone comfortable without tearing the whole place apart. Mini-split heating and cooling can be installed just about anywhere, regardless of existing systems or lack thereof.
Finally, there’s the king of efficiency and money saving: renewables. Geothermal heat pumps, in particular, have proven to be a robust tool to keep homes comfortable year-round while driving utility bills down.
GHPs use natural power from under the earth to warm your home in the winter and only require a fraction of the power a traditional system relies on. They also heat homes more evenly with fewer malfunctions than traditional HVAC because they operate with fewer moving parts. This simplicity also means less maintenance over the lifespan—a lifespan several times longer than most HVAC systems. While GHPs boast a much higher installation cost than most systems, the cost can be easily offset with grants, subsidies, and tax credits.
No matter what system you choose to replace your furnace with when the time comes, you’ll be met with a more efficient and reliable one than was available in the past.
Ready to replace your furnace? Have questions about geothermal?
Morrison Geothermal installs residential geothermal heating and cooling systems, home energy saving systems, water wells and services, plus provides commercial Green building services. Get in touch with us.