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Furnace Replacement: The Telltale Signs It’s Time for an Upgrade

With winter fast approaching, now is the time to evaluate the condition of your heating system and decide if it’s time to upgrade. A failure in the middle of a cold snap is the last thing you want. You could be forced to move your family to a relative’s home while you wait for the new system, and you could even run the risk of having ruptured water lines. Besides, you never want to make a major investment like a new furnace when you’re in an emergency situation. So if you’ve noticed any of the following telltale signs, call your heating contractor, and start doing your furnace-replacement homework if he agrees that a new system is in order.

  • Increased heating costs: If your energy bills have been on the rise, but your usage has stayed the same, higher fuel prices might not be the culprit. Furnace efficiency can dramatically decline as the unit ages.
  • Yellow burner flame: Your flame should be blue. If it’s yellow, that means it might be dirty or you need a new one.
  • Your furnace is past its prime: The average lifespan of a furnace is 20 to 30 years; if your unit is 15 years or older, it’s time to start considering a furnace replacement.
  • Uneven heating: If some rooms are too cold, while others are too hot, your furnace may be improperly sized, although the issue might also lie with your ductwork or insulation. Be aware that an improperly sized furnace can have a life span that’s much shorter than that of a unit that has been correctly sized.
  • Frequent cyclingA unit that turns on and off continuously may be too large for your home or in need of repair.
  • Recent repairs: Frequent, costly repairs are a sign of more to come.  If you’re facing a repair bill of $500 or more, and the unit is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a new unit.
  • Strange noises: No furnace is completely silent, but odd noises like banging, grinding or squealing may be a sign of costly repairs ahead.
  • Visual cues: Examine the unit and the surrounding area, taking note of any signs of rust, cracks or corrosion, all of which require attention and may signal a need for replacement.
  • Air-quality issues: Dry, stale air and excessive amounts of dust, soot or rust particles are all signs that your furnace has lost its ability to effectively clean and humidify the air in your home.

If you’re considering a furnace replacement, call the experts at HVAC Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve homeowners throughout the Fairfax area.

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