Winter is here, which means it’s time to fire up the furnace. If you’ve had the same furnace for at least 15 years, it may be time to replace your heating unit. Below are seven ways to tell if your Carmel Valley, CA, home needs a new furnace.
1. Age of the Furnace
Today, the average life expectancy of a home furnace ranges between 16 and 20 years. If you don’t know how old your furnace is, check the first four digits on the serial number.
The first two digits indicate the week of the year the furnace was manufactured while the third and fourth numbers indicate the year. If the first four digits are 1299, the manufacturers finished the furnace on the 12th week of the year 1999.
2. Frequent Repairs
As furnaces age, they need more and more repairs. Before you know it, you’re replacing one part after another despite regular HVAC maintenance.
Furnaces see the most breakdowns within the last three years of their lifespan. It becomes harder and harder to find replacement parts for the furnace because of the unit’s age. If your furnaces started needing frequent repairs that cost more than the value of the furnace itself, especially in the last three years, it’s time to replace the furnace.
3. Increased Energy Bills
Increased energy bills are a sign that your furnace is working harder to produce the same amount of heat for your home. Reduced energy efficiency isn’t a good sign, and there’s no reason to continue wasting money on rising energy bills when it’s easier to replace an old furnace with a new one. A new furnace has newer technology and will likely be far more efficient than your current one when it was new.
As furnaces become older, they start making strange or alarming noises. These noises include banging, whistling, gurgling, or even loud humming noises. Some of these noises come from the buildup of mineral deposits, rust, dust, and dirt that restrict airflow.
A few other things to watch for are if your furnace blows cold air or frequently turns on and off. Even if the furnace isn’t noisy, if it repeatedly cycles, or doesn’t turn off at all, it’s a good indication it needs immediate replacement.
5. Pilot Light Is the Wrong Color
A pilot light for a furnace should be blue, so a yellow pilot light is a cause for concern. If the pilot light is yellow or just flickering, your furnace is producing carbon monoxide, which impacts indoor air quality and your health.
Other signs of carbon monoxide production include the absence of an upward draft, soot streaks around the furnace, or excess moisture on walls or windows. While furnaces with pilot lights exist in homes with older heating systems, newer furnaces use electronic ignitions instead.
6. Uneven Heating
A furnace that’s working properly should heat all rooms evenly. An aging furnace finds it difficult to push the heat throughout the home, which causes unevenly heated rooms or rooms that don’t receive any heat at all. With a properly working furnace, you won’t have some rooms that are always cold.
7. Visible Rust or Cracks
You may also need to replace your furnace if you find any rust or cracks in or around your heating system. If you find excessive rusting on your furnace’s flue pipes, that’s another sign that your furnace might be creating carbon monoxide. The same goes if you notice rust on the vent pipe outside of your home.
When you know what to look for when it comes to needing a new furnace, you can take steps to avoid any nasty surprises. If it’s time to replace your old furnace with a new one, contact West Coast Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar today to learn about our high-quality furnace solutions that will keep you warm all winter long.
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