Summer was hot and sunny and we enjoyed every minute of it, but change is coming. There’s a hint of chill in the air, leaves are beginning their transformation to reds and golds, and the days are noticeably shorter. Fall is nigh and bitter cold winter will soon follow. Is your furnace ready?
Don’t wait until you need your furnace the most to realize something’s amiss. If there ever was a time of the year to be proactive, this is it. And the good news is you can diagnose many critical heating areas yourself to gear up for the cold. Peruse the following list to get a head start on keeping the home fires burning.
How old is your furnace?
If your furnace’s age is closing in on the two decade mark, you are likely noticing some maintenance issues. Sure, it might still be working but probably not at its full efficiency and you may have already noticed spikes in your heating bill because of it. If you already have an impending repair with a price tag of more than 15 percent the cost of a new unit; it’s time to replace it. An old, sputtering furnace will break down again; that much you can count on. Check your furnace’s lifespan in its owner’s manual and put together a strategic plan.
Every room in the house is at a different temperature
An old, inefficient furnace has trouble regulating heat through the entire house, leaving some rooms colder (or warmer) than others. If your kids are complaining about seeing their breath in their bedrooms, your furnace’s outdated ducting has lost its heat-distributing mojo and you should look into replacement models.
Repair and energy bills are higher than ever
An old furnace has to work harder to provide the same result and all that effort leads to a higher bill from the energy company and frequent repairs. That all adds up and you’ll save more money and go easier on the environment with a new furnace.
What’s all that racket?
A furnace always has a particular series of sounds when turning on and off but if the volume increases or you hear pops and bangs, whining or screeching; those are strong signals that you will be replacing parts or perhaps the entire unit very soon. In either case, a new furnace is the smart investment.