Furnace Replacement: Knowing When It Is Time
Furnace Replacement: How to Determine if it is Time to Replace Your Furnace
On the last cool morning, you took a glance at the HVAC system, knowing how necessary it is to the comfort and health of your family during the months of late fall and winter. Maybe you remember having it installed or maybe it was installed before your family moved in. A twinge of doubt crosses your mind, as you wonder “Will this be the year for a furnace replacement?”
What are some of the considerations when considering a furnace replacement? Below is a list of indicators that an old HVAC system will need to be replaced.
- Evaluate both the air conditioner and furnace. Most homes have one central HVAC system that both heats and cools the indoor air, according to the seasonal need. Typically, the furnace components last longer than the AC equipment. Often, it is advantageous to replace both components at the same time instead of just a furnace replacement. Evaluate both as a tool to know when to plan a replacement.
- Consider the age of your system. Air conditioning systems generally perform well for 15 to 20 years and furnaces perform well for 20 to 25 years. If you cannot remember when your system was installed, do a little investigation. Age is not THE determining factor, since well-maintained systems will often last longer. However, age is an indicator that replacement is necessary.
- Have any changes developed over the last few years? Do you hear unusual or louder-than-normal noises? If it once was just background noise, but now is noticeably different, it may indicate trouble ahead. The need for an occasional repair is not unusual, but a sharp increase in repair calls indicates stress on key components. If you wait for a catastrophic failure, your family could face a crisis situation. Replacement necessitates shopping, purchasing, a potential wait for delivery, and getting the installation scheduled. A week or two is not unusual, but a week or two without heat might be very uncomfortable.
- Compare your utility bills now with those of a few years ago. Obviously, you will notice an increase, especially considering the present inflation cycle. However, if you notice a sharp spike in the amount of energy used to heat and cool your home, it is a clear indicator that your system is losing performance capability. This might be coupled with a decisive struggle to keep up when the temperature becomes extreme—either a heat wave or a period of extreme cold.
- Is there a decline in indoor air quality? HVAC systems are designed to remove airborne particles permanently to keep them from recirculating. An air filter removes particles such as dust, dander, pollen, and mold spores. Does your home seem dustier than it has in the past? The air conditioner also removes considerable humidity during the cooling process. Did your home feel more humid? Or were the surfaces sticky to the touch? These might be early indicators of a need to make a change.
- Check the refrigerant gas your system uses. HVAC systems often use heat pump technology with a refrigerant gas moving heat to either heat or cool your home. Systems that still use R-22 as a refrigerant are approaching obsolescence. Manufacturing of this product ceased in 2020 and the supply is quickly dwindling. If your system uses R-22, replacing it now is a prudent move since it cannot be replaced.
Have Questions about Furnace Replacement?
Let us help with your next Furnace Replacement. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool and let our professional Residential AC Repair technicians assist with all of your Furnace Replacement questions.