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The winter heating season in Colorado means heavy-duty action for your furnace. But is it up to the challenge?
As time passes and the wear and tear accumulate, even the most sturdy and reliable furnace will start to run out of fuel, both figuratively and literally. If you wait too long to replace your furnace it may give up the ghost on one of the coldest days of the year, which is the absolute worst-case scenario.
Here are six telltale signs that may indicate your furnace is ready for the scrap heap …
If your thermostat settings are the same but your gas bills are rising, it’s a clear sign your furnace is struggling to keep pace. Buildup of dust and debris in your furnace or ductwork could be a factor, but if a cleaning and maintenance check eliminates that possibility, it’s reasonable to assume your furnace is nearing its expiration date.
All furnaces need repairs from time to time, some of which may be extensive and costly. But if you’ve had repair technicians in your home two or more times in the past year, or you’ve noticed your repair bills rising incrementally as they years pass, the patch-and-plug approach to furnace maintenance may no longer be your most cost-effective response.
Soaring utility and repair bills are signs of progressive furnace deterioration, and so is unsatisfying or inconsistent performance. If you notice cold spots in certain rooms, especially those that are upstairs or on the periphery of the home, it may signal a loss of generating power in a furnace that’s on its last legs.
Furnaces should run smoothly and quietly. But if you start to hear banging, grinding, rattling, squeaking or popping noises whenever your furnace is in operation, it’s a clear indicator of trouble you can’t afford to ignore. The problem may be reparable, but if a trained technician can’t find the problem your furnace could be on the verge of a serious mechanical breakdown.
Over time cracks can form in a furnace’s heat exchanger, raising the possibility of dangerous carbon monoxide leaks. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, fatigue, lethargy, disorientation, mental confusion, headaches and nausea, and if anyone in the family is complaining of such symptoms you should shut the furnace down and arrange for a repair technician to come and check for damage.
While a well-maintained furnace can last for more than 20 years without replacement, the average lifespan for a furnace is about 15 years. So if you let your furnace go beyond a certain point you could be pressing your luck. Another factor to consider is that modern furnaces are far more energy-efficient than they used to be, and purchasing a new furnace with a superior fuel efficiency rating could save you big money over the long haul.
Buying a new furnace is a big investment, and before you take the plunge you should contact us at ABE Heating and Cooling to arrange a full inspection of your existing HVAC system. ABE Heating and Cooling offers the finest furnace installation, repair and maintenance services in the Denver Metro area, and if our technician confirms that you do in fact need a new furnace, we can help you find an energy-efficient model perfect for your home size and budget.