While many furnaces continue to perform well into the double-digit years, it’s important to pay attention to the operation and “behavior” of your system as it ages. Old furnaces often send signals that indicate a reduction in efficiency that should not be ignored.
Warning Signs Given By Old Furnaces
Here are some warning signs that your system may need repair or replacement. Watch for these signs with all systems, but especially if your furnace is more than 15-20 years old.
If your furnace is more than 15 years old, consider beginning research on a replacement. Technology is moving at warp speed and you may be amazed to learn of the available options today’s equipment can offer. Also, it’s far better to plan for an expenditure like a new furnace, rather than require a panic replacement as a result of sudden failure in the midst of a bad winter storm.
Rising Gas and Electric Bills
While increases in the cost of supply and delivery of energy for our homes will always be with us, pricing is not the only reason for higher bills. Have your gas and electric bills risen steeply? If so, it could be the result of an old furnace that has lost efficiency.
Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age, especially if they have not been properly maintained. Running times may increase in order to reach a comfortable temperature, which always results in higher bills. Remember, these extra costs should be factored in when considering the price of a new furnace — you may recoup the difference in just a matter of months.
Frequent Repair Fees
In some ways, furnaces are like cars. As they age, you often find yourself replacing one part only to find that something else has broken in the meantime. Expenditures of $500 or more can easily occur when trying to keep a tired or malfunctioning system alive.
Like all machines, furnaces break down most frequently as they approach the end of their service life. Parts not only become more scarce, but also more expensive. Who wants to wait for days for a repair when you’re freezing? Keep a record of your furnace’s maintenance costs. As the numbers begin to rise, it’s time to start shopping for a replacement.
Uneven Heat Distribution
Is heat being evenly distributed throughout your home by that old furnace? Are you finding that some rooms are too cold while others are too hot? Does your thermostat require constant tinkering or attention? If so, this is a sign that your current furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute heat throughout your home.
Signs of a Carbon Monoxide Leak
When inspecting your system, check your burner flame. A yellow or flickering flame may indicate that carbon monoxide could be leaking from your furnace. Other potential signs of carbon monoxide include:
- Streaks of soot around the furnace;
- The absence of an upward draft in your chimney;
- Excess moisture found on windows, walls, or other cold surfaces;
- Unusual rusting on flue pipes, other pipe connections, or appliance jacks;
- Small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe
- Visible rust on the portion of the vent pipe visible from the outside.
If you do experience any of these issues, call a service professional immediately.
Things that go bump in the night can alert you to problems with your furnace. Tired, old furnaces can make some unexpected and unusual noises as they age. Have you heard any banging, popping, rattling, or squealing noises? Does the blower run excessively? Is it turning on and off too frequently? Does it sometimes send out cold air? These are all clear indications that your furnace may need to be replaced.
Home Occupant Health Issues
How’s your health? Aging furnaces run the risk of developing cracks within the heat exchanger. Carbon monoxide, if present, could potentially leak into the living spaces of your home, causing frequent headaches, a burning feeling in the nose or eyes, nausea, disorientation, or even flu-like symptoms.
If any of these issues are present, air out your house, open a window to the furnace room and call a service technician. Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous and potentially deadly. Don’t wait to seek help — doing so could be life-threatening.
Old Furnaces Affect the Health of Your Entire Home
The above list describes just some of the signs to watch for when considering the health of your current furnace. Remember, the high performance quality of a new furnace could make all the difference in your comfort and peace of mind.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
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