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They say that all good things must come to an end, and that’s certainly how it is with your furnace. When it reaches the end of its lifespan, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and headaches if you replace it quickly.
But how can you know for sure if your furnace is ready to be replaced? There are several indicators that can let you know when it’s time, and if you see more than one you should contact your HVAC contractor to arrange for an inspection. With input from an expert, you’ll be able to make the right decision.
Here are eight telltale signs of a furnace that is on the verge of giving up the ghost:
The lifespan of the average furnace is approximately 15-20 years. Even with regular preventive maintenance and timely repairs, a furnace that has reached this age is likely to decline in efficiency and therefore cost you more money than a furnace should.
One advantage of replacing an older furnace with a newer one is that improvements in technology have made modern furnaces far more energy-efficient than older ones.
If you’ve kept your furnace well-maintained, by arranging for annual inspections and tune-ups, for example, your heating bills shouldn’t be rising. If they are, your furnace may be wearing out and could soon reach the point of no return.
Screeching, squealing, banging, rattling, popping, humming and other sounds that emerge from your furnace could mean that parts are wearing down or that the system as a whole is on the verge of failure. Occasional noises in your HVAC system are usually not cause for concern, but it they accompany every heating cycle you should have your furnace checked right away by a trained technician.
If you notice rooms farther from thermostats are feeling colder than usual, it could mean that your furnace is losing power. It could also indicate that your furnace is shutting on and off more frequently (short cycling), which could be yet another indication of irreversible mechanical decline.
A yellow flame could mean that your furnace is producing and possibly leaking carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that could be fatal if buildup continues. Other signs of carbon monoxide leaks include moisture accumulation on surrounding walls or windows, rusting of the flue pipe and sooty streaks forming around the furnace. When carbon monoxide becomes a problem, you should get rid of your furnace as soon as possible, before something tragic happens.
Your furnace and its parts can get extremely dirty if you aren’t changing your air filters regularly. Neglecting to have your ducts cleaned semi-annually could also lead to the buildup of dust, dirt, debris and soot in your heating system as a whole. But if you see signs of excessive dust or soot despite your proactive approach to furnace cleaning and maintenance, it could signal a progressive loss of operating efficiency that will eventually be terminal.
Long-term usage of a furnace will be accompanied by clear signs of aging and wear. The formation of rust means that frequent exposure to moisture may be affecting the structural integrity of the appliance, while the proliferation of cracks indicates metal fatigue that will ultimately lead to a breakdown.
Even newer furnaces will malfunction occasionally, or need to have new parts installed because of excessive wear and tear. But if you find yourself on the phone with your HVAC contractor every 3-6 months, arranging for yet another visit from a repair technician, you should take that as a sign that your furnace is reaching the end of its usefulness. At some point, repair bills will become so extensive and expensive that it is no longer worth it to keep patching up a failing furnace.
When you purchase a new furnace quality equipment and superior installation services are both paramount. ABE can offer each, thanks to our status as an official dealer of Ruud high-efficiency furnaces and our meticulous hiring and training practices. Ruud is one of the most respected names in the HVAC industry, while our certified heating and cooling technicians are highly skilled and experienced and can handle all installation assignments professionally and without delay. We are located in Brighton, Colorado and serve the entire Denver Metro Area, and if you are in the market for a new furnace—or need to have your old one inspected—please contact us right away to find out more about ABE’s impressive products and services.