Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that their furnaces suddenly break down without warning. If you look carefully, however, you'll be able to see numerous warning signs well before your furnace undergoes its last heating cycle. The following talks about four of these warning signs in-depth.
1. Your Furnace Needs Frequent Repairs
Does it seem like your furnace needs a major repair every season? Problems caused by defects, unusual wear and tear and old age can require constant repairs just to keep your furnace going. Repair costs can add up over time and the total annual costs of those repairs could add up to the cost of a brand-new furnace.
If you find yourself making numerous service calls to address repair issues throughout the season, then it may be time to retire your furnace for good. In most cases, you're better off investing the money normally used for repairs on a brand-new heating system.
2. Your Furnace Constantly Makes a Racket
You can expect your furnace to make a little noise as it operates. It's only when those barely-noticeable noises become progressively louder that you should take notice. If your furnace is currently making loud popping, humming, rattling, screeching or squealing noises, then it's time to consider your furnace's current state and whether a replacement is in order.
3. Excess Soot and Yellow Flames Are a Mainstay
Seeing a bright blue flame is a sure-fire sign that your furnace's burners are operating correctly and efficiently. Aging burner equipment and a lack of sufficient oxygen due to poor ventilation can change that robust blue flame into a poorly-burning yellow flame. Poor combustion also leads to excess soot deposits and a sharp increase in carbon monoxide (CO2) levels.
These problems not only rob your furnace of its energy efficiency, but it could also expose your family to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. You should consider replacing your furnace if you're constantly dealing with these issues.
4. Your Furnace is Starting to Feel Its Age
The vast majority of modern furnaces are designed around a 15-year lifespan. Beyond that, the likelihood of a sudden breakdown increases exponentially. The older your furnace gets, the more likely it is to suffer from issues that could easily put it out of service for good. Also, older furnaces tend to waste more energy and offer poorer energy efficiency than their newer counterparts.
The thought of holding onto your furnace for life is tempting but ultimately uneconomical and potentially dangerous. If your current furnace is close to its life expectancy or well beyond it, then you should start thinking about a furnace replacement.