With Winter fast approaching, now is the time to make sure your home is ready for the inevitable onslaught of snow, ice, and cold weather. This means battening down the hatches of your windows to help improve energy efficiency as well as ensuring that your roof is in adequate condition to handle snow loads. Most of all however, you want to make sure that your furnace is prepped and ready for another possibly long heating season.
Autumn is the time to determine if you need a new heater or not. Obviously, it’s better than the alternative of when the mercury drops to single digits and you find yourself in an emergency situation. A question that homeowners must ask themselves this time of year is whether it’s time for a heater replacement. Here is how you determine that answer:
Remember that a Heater Replacement is Inevitable
Nobody wants to take on the added overhead of a furnace replacement right as most work is heading into a slow season and with the holidays on the horizon. That being said, your heater has a definitive lifespan usually of 12-15 years. You can put a ‘band-aid’ on the unit with repairs, but that’s only prolonging the inevitable. On the plus side, replacing your furnace with a new energy-efficient model will lower your utility bills and make your home comfortable – paying for itself in more ways than one.
Were Your Heating Bills Higher Last Year / Was Your Home Less Comfortable
One thing you’ll inevitably notice as your HVAC system starts to age is that it’s going to start having to work harder to maintain performance – we all do as we get older. The burners don’t fire as easy, the fan and blower motor don’t send air with the force they once did, and old duct systems start to leak air. When this happens the rooms in your house are going to start to feel drafty and you’ll also have higher Winter heating bills. Can you get by without a full replacement right away? Sure, but it’s time to start budgeting for a new heater down the line.
Most of the Time a Heater Crash Doesn’t Happen Out of the Blue
Whether or not you need a new heater in your house shouldn’t be guesswork. Mainly because you should be having your furnace inspected and maintained before every heating season. This is not only smart homeowner practice, it’s often a requirement to stay in good standing with your manufacturer warranty. By having your heater inspected/cleaned annually, the service techs will identify problems early and thus hopefully avoid catastrophic damages in the middle of Winter. Plus, good cleansing and lubrication of the heater components will allow them to work easier and thus last longer.
The best way to know if it’s time for a heater replacement is to have it professionally inspected and maintained. There are ways you can combat a failing heater such as installing plastic and sealing up gaps around windows and/or doors. You can also use supplemental warmth such as a space heater to help ease the load on your main furnace. If your heater is starting to near the end of it’s life, however (10-15 years), it may be better to replace it now and have sound peace of mind rather than having to worry about if you’re going to make it through the brutal winter.