This time of year, a warm and comfortable home is essential. It’s easy to forget about the furnace that makes that a reality for your home…until it stops working.

Take a minute to think about your home’s fiery friend. How’s it doing? Is your house warm throughout and your energy bills in line with what you think they should be for this time of year? Or are you having to make more frequent and expensive repairs and paying sky-high energy bills while shivering in an extra layer of clothing?

If you’re nodding yes to the last question, it may be time to replace your furnace and install anew high-efficiency unit. Here are warning signs indicating it may be time to replace your furnace:

1. Your Furnace is Approaching its Lifespan

Regularly maintained furnaces can last 15-20 years or more but each furnace has a life span. If your furnace is approaching that age range, it may be time to start shopping for a replacement. Waiting until it breaks forces you to shop in emergency mode, possibly limiting your shopping options and preventing you from finding the best furnace for your family’s needs.

2. Your Energy Bills Have Increased

Many older furnaces have to work harder to provide the level of heating they did when they were new. If you find your energy bills are increasing significantly, it may be time to look at a new high-efficiency furnace.

3. Your Furnace Has Been Repaired Many Times over the Last Two Years

An increase in the frequency that you call a repairman for something other than regular maintenance may indicate it’s time to replace your furnace. Here’s a good rule of thumb when considering whether to repair or replace a furnace: if the cost to repair a furnace is 50 percent of the cost of a new furnace, you should replace it. However, keep in mind the furnace’s age even when a repair is less expensive. If your furnace is 20+ years old, you may want to replace it because it is more likely to break down again soon.

4. You Hear Strange Noises When the Furnace is Running

While it’s funny to hear the agitated dad in the movie A Christmas Story fussing and cussing at the clunky furnace in the cellar, popping, banging, humming, or screeching noises coming
from your furnace is no laughing matter. Furnaces do make some noise when they turn on and off but if the noise gets progressively louder or you hear a noise you’ve never heard before, it may be time to replace the furnace.

5. You’re Never Comfortable, No Matter What the Setting is on the Thermostat

If some rooms are colder or warmer than others, it may be that the furnace and duct system are losing their ability to distribute heat evenly throughout your home. Additional warning signs include the furnace turning on and off frequently and/or blowing cold air.

6. Your Burner Flame is Not Blue

When burning fuel efficiently, a furnace’s flame should be blue. Any flame color other than blue may indicate incomplete combustion and could be a potentially dangerous situation such as leaking gas and/or carbon monoxide. Note: If family members suddenly start complaining of headaches, restlessness, or drowsiness, leave your house immediately, call the utility company to turn off your gas, and have a repairman check the furnace.

7. There is Soot Around the Floor Registers

Older furnaces may spew out dust, dirt, or rust particles. While aggravating to a neat freak, the more important issue is that this can be dangerous to everyone’s health. Excessive soot around floor registers poses a fire hazard and increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. As with item 6 above, if you suspect your furnace is producing carbon monoxide, leave your house immediately, call the utility company to turn off your gas, and have a repairman check the furnace.

How many of these warning signs apply to your furnace? The more that apply, the more you should consider replacing it. Contact the furnace experts at Day and Night Mechanical Solutions to help you find the best money-saving, high-efficiency heating system for your heating needs.