In the middle of the winter is not a good time to learn that you need a new furnace. But as with most mechanical devices and equipment, your furnace will typically provide some warning signs that it is time to call your trusted HVAC pro for a price quote on a new unit. And there are a few other general indications that can help you plan for this event. But you need to know what to watch for to be sure you are not left with no functional furnace on a cold winter night.
Even with the best care, your furnace will begin to show its age and fail to meet your expectations at some point. Modern units have a life expectancy of between 20 and 30 years on average. But that number can vary depending on the level of maintenance, air filter replacement, and use. A furnace installed in a home in a milder climate will see far less use than a unit installed in a frigid region. And as expected, the unit in the colder weather will wear out sooner than the unit that sees minimal use in most cases. Take age into consideration, along with your HVAC professional’s comments, to have a good idea of the life left in your furnace.
Older furnaces can raid your wallet in two ways. The first is due to their decreased efficiency. They are older and just can’t perform at the peak they once did. Just like humans, they lose a step as they get older. And two, just like humans, they need more professional attention as they age. But instead of going to the doctor, your furnace requires more house calls to monitor and correct its aches and pains. When you find that both operating costs and repair costs are increasing, you know that the end is near. It is best to begin proactively shopping for a new unit so that you can take your time and not feel rushed because your home is freezing cold.
Your Comfort Level
As your furnace loses that step or two from its prime, you will begin to notice that the temperature throughout your home can vary quite a bit. Every aspect of the unit is working just a tick less efficiently, from the air’s heating to the blower that is circulating the heat. And there can be issues relating to aging impacting your ductwork, like leaks or dust build-up. If only one of these issues appeared, you might not notice a temperature change. But when they all appear at about the same time, you will notice that some rooms are warmer than others.
While not every little sound and rattle means that your furnace is taking its last breath, they do imply that its days are numbered. Rattling is caused by loose ductwork, screws, sheet metal, and even motor balance issues. Popping noises are the result of components heating and cooling. Humming is typically coming from the fan motor and is a cry for service or replacement in some cases. And a high-pitched squealing or screeching sound signals that the blower motor is severely damaged or completely worn out. Loose or deteriorating belts can also make squealing or whining noise.
If you have begun to notice any of your furnace issues, it is time to start planning for its replacement. A call to (806) 787-6501 is the best way to get the ball rolling. A Action Air & Plumbing professional will visit your home and determine how much life remains in your current furnace. And provide you with replacement options.