As you prepare for the chilly weather to settle in around central Ohio, you may have your furnace on your mind. You know how critical this appliance is for keeping your family safe and comfortable throughout the winter. As you consider your heating options, consider these six reasons why you may want to upgrade your furnace this fall.
1. Furnaces Have a Finite Service Life
First, consider how long your furnace has already served your home. Most forced-air gas furnaces have an expected service life of 15 to 20 years if they receive proper maintenance. This includes both changing the air filter regularly and getting annual maintenance for your unit. An electric furnace can last between 20 to 30 years when it receives regular maintenance.
The older a furnace gets, the more likely it is to suffer a failure that will leave you in the cold. This happens because the internal components wear over time, and they eventually fail. The colder the weather becomes, the more it strains these aging systems and the more likely they are likely to break down.
If your furnace is more than 15 years old, it’s a gamble every winter whether it will continue to serve you adequately. By replacing your furnace this fall, you hit the reset on that service life, reducing the risk of being left in the cold to nearly zero if it’s properly installed.
2. Your Heating Bills Are Climbing
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your utility bills. Even more important for gauging the efficiency of your furnace is how much energy you’re consuming rather than what you’re paying for it.
There are two ways to consider your usage. The first is month over month, in which you’ll see a natural up and down as the temperature fluctuates. Look for significant spikes that are more pronounced than the change in temperature.
The second more useful comparison is how much energy or gas you’re using compared to the same month last year. While there are still going to be fluctuations based on changes to your home and differences in temperature, your usage should be consistent. Again, if you see a significant spike in your energy consumption, it may indicate you need to replace your furnace.
Industry professionals have observed that furnace efficiency declines over time, especially in the last few years of its service life. When you upgrade your furnace in the fall, you replace it with one with even better efficiency than when the older one was first installed.
3. Save On Repair Bills
As your system ages, you can expect to have some repairs before it’s time for a replacement. However, those repair bills will give you an indication of when it’s time to replace your system.
You’ll know it’s time for a replacement when one of two repair cost factors are true. First, if any individual repair is more than 50% of the cost of a new unit, it’s time to consider a replacement. Next, multiply the total repair costs over the last two years by the age of the system. If this equals more than the cost of a new unit, it’s time for a replacement.
Upgrading your furnace in the fall helps avoid substantial problems caused by the strain of the winter. It also gives you time to get it replaced when you’re not in a rush because of frigid temperatures.
4. Your Home Isn’t as Comfortable as You Want It
As your system forces warm air out into your home, it should circulate to distribute evenly. It does this by creating positive air pressure at the supply vents and negative air pressure at the return vent. The difference in pressure makes the positive pressure warm air move toward the lower pressure cooler areas, distributing it around your home.
You may notice that your home isn’t as comfortable as it once was, with some areas remaining cool. Blocked air ducts and a clogged air filter can cause this, but so can a system that’s nearing the end of its service life. The circulating fan may start wearing and not spin as fast, reducing the amount of air that it circulates during a heating cycle.
Further, your furnace may struggle to produce the requisite heat to bring your home to the desired temperature, especially on days when temperatures are at their coldest. This can happen when the internal sensors, valves and burners wear before the unit finally suffers a catastrophic failure.
5. You’ll Have Better Air Quality
You may not think a lot about your air quality, but you notice it when there’s extra dust around your home. This is a result of more particles floating around in the air, and this can negatively impact indoor air quality.
Your furnace’s filter is one of the primary tools to help manage the air quality in your home. As your furnace moves air through it, that air also passes through the filter, removing many of the contaminants it contains.
Aging systems may not circulate as much air for several reasons. Beyond making your home an uncomfortable place to be, it also means less air is moving through the filter. With the air that moves through a new system, you’ll also have more air moving through the filter. The unintended result is that the filter will remove more airborne contaminants.
Additionally, older systems tend to have a buildup of contaminants inside the system. As the air circulates over it, it may pick up some of those contaminants and circulate them back out into your home. Replacing your system gives you a circulating fan that spins properly, and the new system starts without any of that buildup.
6. You Can Take Advantage of Rebates and Tax Incentives
You always end up paying more for a furnace when you wait for it to suffer a catastrophic failure. This is usually during the coldest parts of the winter when many other homeowners are suffering similar situations. The result is a lack of availability, often leaving you with whatever happens to be in stock. Further, because of the strong demand, this is also when manufacturers charge the most for their systems.
When you plan your furnace upgrade in the fall, you can take advantage of seasonal manufacturer rebates. There are also many other incentives available when you upgrade your unit to a higher-efficiency model. These incentives come in the form of tax incentives and rebates provisioned in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. For instance, you can get up to a $600 tax credit for upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace or up to a $2,000 tax credit for upgrading to a heat pump. There are additional rebates available for low to moderate-income households.
When people around Newark want a trusted service provider for their home, they turn to Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros. Our expert team provides heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance and repair together with indoor air quality solutions and a wide range of plumbing services like gas leak repairs, water heaters, and sewer service. Call to schedule a consultation with one of our award-winning furnace installation technicians today.