Do You Need to Replace Your Furnace? Watch Out for These 8 Warning Signs

furnace

Every homeowner with a furnace knows that there comes a time when it needs to be replaced. Even though it can be pretty costly, purchasing a new furnace is a smart investment to make. The heating systems available today are remarkably efficient and save a lot of money on energy bills in the long term especially if the system you have now is more than 15 years old. When your furnace is on its last legs, there are some tell-tale signs that it may be time for a newer model. Please pay close attention to how your heating system performs, and when it’s time for a new one, make sure you hire a reliable HVAC company to install your new furnace.

How to Find the Best Repair Service Company

When it’s time to get a new furnace, the first step is calling a professional HVAC company you can trust to fix any HVAC system in your home, whether it’s heating, cooling, or plumbing. Find a company that has licensed and certified employees and offers on-site service and installation. For instance, Aquarius Home Service in Minnesota fits the bill perfectly when it comes to HVAC repair. They offer affordable, full-service HVAC, plumbing, and water conditioning services, and every single member of their staff works hard to provide the best customer service possible. You can find more information at aquariushomeservices.com, their web page containing a full list of all the available HVAC services.

What Type of HVAC Services do Most Companies Offer?

Most companies offer a range of HVAC repair and installation, including heating, cooling, and plumbing. Look for a company with licensed and insured employees and affordable rates. When you find the right one, have them visit your home for a comprehensive inspection of all your HVAC systems.

If you’re particularly anxious about your furnace, keep an eye and ear out to watch for these eight warning signs. If you experience any of them (or all of them!), it’s time to call an HVAC company for an on-site inspection and probably a replacement unit.

Eight Warning Signs Your Furnace Needs Replacing

1. All Manner of Strange Noises

If you hear groans, grinding, and squealing to rival any Halloween haunted house, your furnace could be experiencing a variety of issues. In fact, the problem could potentially be identified based on what kind of noise you’re hearing. You should always call a licensed HVAC tech for an official diagnosis, though. Here are some of the most commonly heard noises and what they could mean.

  • Popping: If you hear popping, it could be internal parts of your furnace making noise due to frequent fluctuations in temperature. It could also be due to a buildup of dirt on your burner, which can prevent it from igniting right away, causing the gas to pop when it builds up enough.
  • Clicking: Clicking sounds usually mean you need to replace your igniter or flame sensor. The clicking noise you hear is the mechanism repeatedly trying to ignite. Or, it could be worn-out bearings on the blower motor. If they’re dirty, gummed up, or rusty, they make a clicking noise against the shaft when the motor turns.
  • Screeching: If your furnace screeches like a banshee, you need to replace either the blower motor or possibly a belt. If it is a belt, the blower motor will not run until it is either fixed or replaced completely.
  • Humming: Humming sounds also could be the result of needing a new blower motor. Though it’s normal for the blower motor to make a humming noise when it’s running, if it’s much louder than average, there’s a problem.
  • Rattling: If you hear a lot of rattling or banging, it’s most likely due to loose fittings, equipment, or ducts. Another serious issue that could cause rattling could be a cracked heat exchanger, which is very dangerous. Having a cracked heat exchanger on your furnace could lead to a carbon monoxide leak, so it should be replaced right away.
  • Booming: If you ever hear a booming-type sound, it’s probably because the igniter isn’t working correctly. When the jets don’t turn on fast enough, the gas builds up and then ignites all at once, making a popping or booming. Though your furnace will still light, it’s a safety issue and not the proper way furnaces are supposed to run.

2. Inadequate Heat or Uneven Heat

If you find yourself raising the thermostat every few minutes at the same time you’re pulling on another sweater, then you should be taking a closer look at your furnace. In the absence of another explanation, such as a broken thermostat, an air duct leak, or an issue with one of the individual heating units, it could be time to replace your furnace altogether.

Another warning sign of poor furnace performance is some rooms being warmer than others or cold air coming out of vents. When your furnace gets older and sustains more wear from daily use, it can struggle to push heat evenly through your home. Call an HVAC company if you notice any heating issues in your home.

3. Your Heat Bill Going Up, Up, Up, and Away

Was your last energy bill the highest one yet? If you’re noticing energy costs rising through the roof, it could be due to your furnace working inefficiently. Typically, winter is when most people see their bills rising, but if your rates haven’t changed and you are suddenly paying an arm and a leg each month, then your furnace most likely needs attention. Get an inspection from a licensed HVAC technician, and if the issue is minor, you might be able to get away with a repair. However, with a major system like a furnace, repairing is sometimes only a stopgap. Get a newer, energy-efficient furnace and watch your bills get smaller and smaller each month.

4. Erratic Run Cycles

A furnace runs in cycles, turning on and off periodically. When your home’s temperature drops below what’s on the thermostat, it causes the furnace to come on and raise the temperature. Then, when the temp is high enough, the furnace cycles back off again. If you hear your furnace cycle on and off too quickly or too often, or it sounds like it’s running all the time, it could be the sign of a damaged unit. Hearing erratic cycles is a sure sign that your heating system needs repair or replacement.

5. Yellow Flame Instead of Blue

Take a look at the color of the flame on your furnace. If it’s running correctly, the flame should be blue. If you see a yellow flame, it means the furnace produces too much carbon monoxide, which can be very dangerous. If you have a furnace, you should also have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home for safety reasons.

6. Old or Outdated Unit

If your furnace is over 15 years old, then it’s time to consider replacing it entirely. According to David Kenyon, a specialist from Sears Home Services, “The typical unit lasts about 15 or 20 years…but there’s no way to know its expiration date in advance.” In fact, it’s recommended to keep a closer eye on your furnace when it enters its 10th year in your home. That way, if there are any issues, you can fix them before they permanently damage your unit. Schedule regular preventative maintenance services to extend the life of your furnace even more.

You should also consider replacing an old or outdated furnace because of how much technology has improved in the last 25 years. Older HVAC systems use Freon, while newer systems use R-410A, also known as Puron. Puron is much better at keeping systems running cooler since it can absorb and release heat much more efficiently than Freon. Also, using Freon contributes to the global warming crisis that our planet is currently undergoing. Purchasing a newer unit that is more energy efficient is a much more environmentally friendly option, and it also allows for better air quality in your home.

7. Frequent Repairs

If your furnace needs repairing so frequently that you know the HVAC repairman’s middle name and favorite food, then it’s time for a new unit. When your furnace needs frequent fixing, it’s a sign that its major systems and components are starting to fail. When this happens, it can be a safety hazard, especially if there’s a carbon monoxide leak. Get your unit checked by your friendly HVAC repairman and start looking for a new one!

8. Dirt and Dust on Every Surface

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re just continually cleaning and dusting? If so, it could be due to a malfunctioning furnace creating lots of dust around your home. Part of your furnace’s job is to remove unwanted, airborne particles from the air that it warms. If you see more dust than usual, look at the filter on your furnace and see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced. Running your unit with a dirty filter can cause irreparable damage to the critical components inside your furnace. It’s recommended to replace your filter every few months regardless, to keep it clean and running efficiently.

Call a Reliable HVAC Company if You Need Furnace Repair or Replacement

Practically every homeowner dread having to replace their heating system. It’s unavoidable when you own a home, though. At most, a furnace lasts about 15-20 years. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs listed above, then you should call a reliable and trusted HVAC service company and have your furnace replaced. However, there’s a bright side replacing your furnace with a new, energy-efficient unit means you will save money in the long run, and eventually, the new system will have paid for itself! Don’t take any chances with your home’s heating and cooling. Call an HVAC company to have your major systems inspected, repaired, or replaced to keep your home at the perfect temperature all year round!