The average lifespan of heating equipment is between 16 and 20 years. Proper HVAC maintenance helps ensure your equipment reaches its maturity, but we don’t recommend waiting until you have a critical breakdown in January to discover you need new equipment. The answers to three telltale questions will signal when you need a heating system replacement.
Is Your Heating System Ready to Retire?
The age of your equipment is probably the most failsafe way to tell if you need to replace your heating system. Even though your aging equipment is still working thanks to good HVAC care, it probably is no longer functioning at its peak capacity. Heat pumps that have seen a decade of use and 15-year-old boilers or furnaces are on the downside in terms of efficiency. Replacing an inefficient system not only does a better job of warding off Virginia’s winter chill but it saves you money. Electric bills for Alexandria residents from November through March average $469.17.
An ENERGY STAR heat pump can save up to 20 percent, nearly $94, in utility costs. An ENERGY STAR furnace boosts your efficiency by 15 percent compared to a conventional furnace, and an ENERGY STAR boiler ups the efficiency level by 5 percent. Why pay the utility company extra when you could use the money for a weekend getaway?
If you recently relocated and are unsure how old your system is, two surefire signs indicate you will benefit from a heating replacement: a pilot light on your furnace and long waits for repair parts. The older a system is, the harder it is to find replacement parts. Pilot light furnaces were last manufactured in the early 1990s.
Has Your Comfort Level Taken a Downturn?
Rarely does your comfort level plummet overnight; rather, it declines gradually until one day you realize you are always adjusting the thermostat to maintain consistent comfort or that your family is sniffling and complaining of fatigue. Burning eyes, headaches and nausea could point toward a carbon monoxide leak due to a cracked heat exchanger. Itchy skin and chapped lips point to low humidity. When you and your family are no longer comfortable, it’s time for a heating system replacement. Here are a few signs that indicate your equipment is ineffective or inadequate and can no longer deliver the comfort you want:
- Uneven heat distribution
- Problems with dry air
- Cold air coming from the blower
- Constant cycling
Is Your HVAC Repairman on Speed Dial?
As equipment ages, minor repairs are commonplace because of normal wear and tear. You can minimize many of these repairs by following a regular schedule of HVAC maintenance. Increasingly frequent repairs, however, are a sure sign that problems are developing with your heating equipment, and it’s time to begin shopping for a new furnace.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, contact us today. We’ll get you started on the road to renewed comfort and savings.