In our cold climate, we all rely on our home heating systems to keep our families safe, healthy, and comfortable when the weather outside is not-so-delightful.
Because of this essential function, home heating equipment is one of the biggest investments people make in their homes. With proper care and seasonal maintenance, forced air and radiant systems can last decades after installation.
However, after keeping us warm through multiple Midwest winters, eventually our heating systems begin to show signs of wear and tear.
Occasional repairs for older heating units are normal, but how do you know when to replace your heating system? Keep reading to learn five signs it may be time to invest in new heating equipment for your home.
1. System Age
If your heating system was installed when houses had dial-up internet or corded telephones mounted to the walls, it’s likely time for an upgrade. If you’re like most homeowners, your heating system was already in place when you moved in. Check the model number on your equipment to see how old it is, as your system’s age may explain its underperformance.
Homeowners who stay on top of annual maintenance, replace their filters every few months, and gently adjust their thermostats can expect their heating systems to last up to 20 years, depending on the type of equipment and its inspection record. If your system is several decades old, consider investing in a new HVAC system now instead of waiting until a major breakdown occurs.
2. High Energy Bills
It’s normal for your energy bills to fluctuate slightly each month. Utility costs that continue to climb over time, however, may indicate a deeper issue with your system. Annual maintenance helps improve your equipment’s efficiency, but if you’re noticing high energy bills even after regular inspections, this means your equipment requires more energy to operate at a baseline level. By investing in a new, more energy-efficient system, your family will save money over time on operational costs.
3. Frequent Breakdowns
Does your heating system need frequent repairs, even after seasonal maintenance? If so, this is another SOS signal from your heating system. Our service technicians enjoy every opportunity to inspect your equipment, but if you’re seeing our team more than your friends, it’s time for us to discuss your options, calculate a free estimate on a new heating unit, and see if you qualify for our payment plans.
4. Uneven Temperatures
If you have central heating but get cold one moment and hot the next, this is another sign that your system is underperforming. As your heating unit gets older, it becomes more difficult to distribute heat evenly throughout your home. This is especially true if your vents are closed. Central heating systems are calibrated to heat every room of your home, so if all your vents are open and you’re still experiencing uneven temperatures, your unit could be to blame.
5. Poor Indoor Air Quality
In addition to maintaining comfortable temperatures, your heating system also affects your indoor air quality – particularly if you use a forced air system to keep your home warm. As the name suggests, forced air systems distribute heat through your home via pressurized air from a furnace through a network of ducts. These systems trap dust, dander, dirt, and other airborne contaminants through air filters that need to be changed every few months to maximize efficiency.
To further enhance indoor air quality, homeowners can also seal their ductwork with Aeroseal and install humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and other equipment into their existing HVAC systems.
Even with all the bells and whistles, however, a heating system that is worn out will be less efficient and may leak airborne pollutants into your home’s air supply. Modern heating systems have advanced technology like programmable thermostats that monitor humidity levels and other factors, giving you peace of mind that your family is breathing fresh, clean air in your home.
Signs Point to Replacement. Now What?
While the signs listed in this article may indicate a deeper issue with your heating system, it’s important to seek professional advice from a heating and cooling service technician like our experts at Bears Home Solutions. We’ll perform a thorough inspection of your equipment and determine the best course of action for your comfort, health, and safety.
If our team does advise system replacement, we understand that this is a big financial decision for your family. Our Comfort Advisors will take the time to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide a free estimate on a heating unit that would best suit your needs and your budget. We will also see if you qualify for our flexible financing plans to ensure your family stays warm and worry-free for winters to come. Contact our team to get started!