Furnaces are sturdy pieces of HVAC equipment that usually provide between 15 and 20 years of service if they are maintained correctly. If your home heating system didn't perform up to expectations last year, you may be trying to decide when to repair or replace an aging furnace.
Here are some factors to consider that, in combination with a furnace's advanced age, will usually mean the better option is replacement.
Decreased reliability: A significant breakdown within the last two years indicates serious problems. Furnaces tend to break down more often during the last two years of their useful lives. Consistent breakdowns are expensive to repair and suggest a final irreparable failure is coming soon.
Lost efficiency: If your heating bills have increased significantly with no obvious cause or with no corresponding increase in home comfort, your furnace is probably losing efficiency. Inefficient furnaces are more prone to failure, especially when heating demands increase.
Inconsistent heating: Your furnace should be able to provide consistent, even level of heating throughout your home. Areas that are hotter or colder than expected suggest the furnace is not properly distributing heat and may soon fail.
Unusual noises: Furnaces produce a minimal level of noise when they operate, such as sounds of the fan blowing air through the ductwork and noises when internal components switch on and off. If your furnace has started producing unusual noises or louder sounds than usual, a major breakdown could be possible.
Change in burner flame color: The color of the flame inside the furnace's burner should be blue. A yellow flame is a major warning sign of a possible carbon monoxide leak, probably caused by a cracked heat exchanger. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous and a leak of this gas should be considered an emergency. Cracked heat exchangers can be so expensive to repair that it's often cheaper to simply replace the entire furnace.
Contact Sobieski Services for expert help with deciding when to repair or replace an aging furnace, to get a FREE estimate on a new system or to schedule an installation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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