As winter approaches, warming your home and the health of your heating system become crucial. If your heater is struggling, you might want an expert to inspect it for repair or replacement. Here are some telltale signs that indicate it might be time for a new heater.
1. Increasing Utility Bills
Unless this year’s temperatures are unprecedentedly low, your heat should only kick on a few times a day to maintain the temperature. Once you notice your heat is coming on frequently, this can add up to high electricity or gas bills. Be sure to monitor gas and electricity usage as winter begins and compare to years in the past. A significant difference in cost, particularly a spike from year to year, should be a signal to you that your HVAC system needs to be inspected for issues or possible replacement.
2. Soot Around Register
Furnaces have registers which are ventilation duct covers with parts that can be opened and closed for airflow control. The presence of soot in this area indicates that fuel is not burning as efficiently and cleanly as it should. Your furnace could also be producing deadly carbon monoxide gas. This signals an immediate need for a call to an HVAC technician.
3. Unreliable Temperature
How often do you find yourself adjusting the temperature on your thermostat to try and get your home feeling just right? If it’s more than last year, it may be a sign that something is wrong with your heating system. Another sign is walking through the house and finding some rooms are colder and others are warmer. This could mean your furnace is not sufficient for the layout of your home or is aging.
4. Noisy System
Popping, screeching, humming, or banging are not sounds you should be hearing out of your furnace or boiler system. It is often a sign of other issues to come such as faulty parts that need to be replaced or an aging system close to failure. An expert HVAC contractor can determine the cause of any strange noise coming from your furnace and subsequently establish the right course of action.
5. Bad Smells
The first time you turn your furnace on for the winter season, there may be a slight odor; however, beyond this, it is unusual to smell anything foul. Paying attention to out of the ordinary smells when your heater turns on is essential. Odors are more than just an annoyance; they signal that something else could be happening inside the HVAC system.
Burning metal and melting plastic smells in particular are a red flag. These smells could indicate burned-out wires or motors. If this is the case and your system is older, it could be much more cost-effective to get an updated heating system from your local heating and cooling specialists.
6. Frequent Repairs
Repairs for any heating and cooling element of your home are necessary at some point in their lifespan. However, they should be infrequent. If you’ve noticed yourself making more regular calls to a heater repair technician, it could be time to get a new one. Repairs, over time, can be costly and a sign of an HVAC system about to fail. In the long run, speaking to an expert about the best replacement for your system might be a better choice.
7. Age of the HVAC System
Heating systems can last a very long time, especially when professionals perform proper repairs and maintenance. However, like all large appliances, they have a point when they will no longer work. Condensing boilers have a lifespan of around 15 years, while cast iron boilers can last up to 30. Furnaces typically last between 15 and 20 years. As your system approaches this milestone, it can save time and money to look into a replacement before it fails or a significant repair is needed.
HVAC Installation Experts
If you’ve been experiencing any of the above with your furnace or boiler, it’s time to get your local heating technicians to take a look. Our friendly team at Weather Masters Corp. can tell you if you only need a repair or if it will be more cost-effective to install a replacement. We’ll give you a clear quote on a new furnace or boiler and perform expert installation and complete repairs if necessary. Give us a call today at Weather Masters Corp. in Frederick, MD to schedule an appointment.