There’s nothing quite like those first chilly fall days when the furnace kicks in, is there? It makes you want to simmer hot cocoa on the stove and dig out your favorite sweater. That familiar furnace hum and toasty feeling are part of what makes your home feel like home. Unfortunately, not everyone’s furnace is up to the task of keeping a whole house warm and cozy for the long winter ahead. Is yours? Here are a few quick assessments you can run to determine if your furnace is good to go or ready to call it quits.
1. How Old Is Your Furnace?
The average furnace lifespan is 16-20 years, so once your furnace hits its teens, start shopping around. Not sure how old your furnace is? Check to see if it has a pilot light. If it does, your furnace is probably more than 25 years old, which means you’re on borrowed time. Even if you’re furnace is still functioning into its teen years or beyond, be aware that its efficiency is likely to be greatly compromised.
2. Are Your Heating Bills Increasing?
Speaking of efficiency, it’s true that if your gas and electric bills are rising, it could be a sign that your furnace is working harder to heat your home. This is probably due to your furnace being too old and perhaps not receiving the proper maintenance from year to year to keep functioning at the optimal levels…which means more money out of your pocket.
3. Are You Adjusting the Thermostat a Lot?
Have you noticed that the family room feels uncomfortably warm but the kitchen is ice cold? Are you constantly experimenting with the thermostat in an attempt to find the right solution? If your furnace is failing to distribute heat evenly, it’s on its way out.
4. Have You Noticed Any Odd Noises?
Listen for banging, popping, rattling or squealing sounds. These noises are never signs of a healthy furnace. Also, if it seems like the blower is running excessively or blowing cold air, your furnace may be nearing its end.
5. Have You Seen us a Lot Lately?
Furnaces need the most repairs and replacements in the final two years of their life. If it seems like you’ve had a technician out every few months to fix something, you should probably start saving up for the big purchase. We think you’re just great, and we always love saying hi, but we don’t want you to have furnace trouble! And don’t worry, making that “big purchase,” doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Blind & Sons offers flexible financing options that make furnace shopping easy.
It’s Not Just About Cost
A new furnace is a major purchase, and it’s one you want to have time to research – not one you want to make in a panic when you’re stuck with no heat in the middle of a February blizzard. But, remember that the danger of a new furnace is far greater than the dent in your wallet. If your furnace develops cracks in the heat exchanger, it could potentially leak carbon monoxide into your home. Pay attention if you or your family members experience flu-like symptoms, frequent headaches, disorientation, or burning eyes and nose. If you think your furnace may be leaking carbon monoxide, open your windows, and call a gas technician. Old furnaces can also affect your indoor air quality, which leads to poor humidity levels and excessive dust accumulation. This can trigger allergies and lung conditions.