Sooner or later, it’ll be time to replace your furnace and stop paying for costly repairs. But deciding on furnace replacement isn’t always simple. There are often repair options, but while many issues can be fixed, an older furnace runs less efficiently and will likely need more repairs in the future.
A furnace can last 15 to 30 years (a gas furnace’s lifespan maxes out at about 20 years). Even if you’ve followed all maintenance recommendations and taken steps that help prolong its lifespan, here are six signs your old furnace should be replaced:
Loud noises mean your furnace needs to be repaired or replaced. Consider purchasing a new unit if the noises return soon after a repair, don’t go away, or signal the end of the furnace’s life. While popping sounds are caused by temperature fluctuations (and should be checked if they get louder and more frequent), the following noises are of concern:
If each room in your home has its own microclimate (hotter or cooler than the other), your furnace may be unable to distribute heat properly. Start researching new furnaces if your heating system is aging. A 15-year-old or older furnace often becomes less efficient. Significant temperature differences between upper and lower floors indicate this is the case.
Check the thermostat to ensure it’s in “Heat” mode and set at the desired temperature. Unless the thermostat is set incorrectly, cold air from vents means your heating system is malfunctioning. A simple issue like a dirty air filter is easily fixed. But if installing a new filter doesn’t help, or a technician finds multiple issues with your old furnace, it should be replaced.
If your furnace is struggling to heat your home, it may work harder to compensate. Or, mechanical or electrical issues are wasting energy. These issues can cause your energy bill to increase suddenly.
Frequent repairs are another reason to replace your furnace. If you’re paying for emergency service calls, parts, and labor every few months, furnace replacement may be more cost-effective over time. One way to determine if it’s not worth fixing is to multiply the repair cost by the unit’s age; if you get a number over 5,000, repairs may be too expensive.
Dust and soot on or near the register, or collecting in parts of your home, is a sign your furnace is on its last leg. Soot buildup is a sign of increased carbon dioxide production. It can block airflow through the register and also damage furniture, shelves, and wood flooring, especially if it’s accompanied by dry air. Dead plants are a sign of low moisture levels. Consult a professional regarding furnace replacement if soot or dirt is a problem.
Your furnace should have a clean blue flame. If the flame turns yellow, there may be a gas leak or issue with the combustion process. It can also indicate the furnace is releasing carbon monoxide, which can cause headaches, dizziness, and breathing problems; the colorless, odorless gas is deadly in high concentrations. Call for help if the flame changes color and/or you smell gas in your home.
Throughout Southern California, our fully licensed and insured technicians provide high-quality furnace repair and replacement. We’re available 24/7 for emergencies. If furnace replacement is the best option, then we’ll perform a free evaluation of your home and a free estimate. High-efficiency equipment (including heat pumps), financing options, and extended warranties are available. NexGen also offers a comprehensive monthly maintenance plan that delivers a wide range of benefits. To learn more or schedule furnace/heat pump installation or replacement in Los Angeles, Orange County, or the Inland Empire, call (805) 301-6788.