You don’t want to decide whether to repair or replace your furnace when it stops working and winter’s chill has already hit San Marcos, TX. So how do you prepare before then? Here are some of the factors to take into consideration:

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide leaks are very serious, so you shouldn’t take them lightly. If you inhale this gas over long periods, it’ll result in death. It’s referred to as the silent killer because it’s a gas that’s odorless, colorless and tasteless.

The highest number of carbon monoxide deaths occur when it’s cold outside and you’re using your furnace frequently. It’s important to be aware of the signs of a carbon monoxide leak, including:

  • A burner flame that’s yellow instead of blue.
  • Soot streaked around the furnace.
  • Headache, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes or nose and other flu-like symptoms.
  • Extra moisture on walls, windows or cold surfaces.
  • No upward draft in your chimney.
  • Pipes that have rust on them.

As your furnace ages and begins to wear out, cracks often occur in the heat exchanger, which can cause a carbon monoxide leak. These cracks can often go undetected, so be sure to have carbon monoxide detectors throughout your house. You should replace any furnace that has a leak, or you suspect is leaking, as soon as possible.

Age of Your Furnace

The age of your furnace will play a big factor in whether you should replace or repair it because its efficacy will begin to dwindle as it wears out. The typical home furnace will last between 15 and 20 years, varying according to the environment in which it operates. If you have the furnace regularly serviced, it’ll help prolong its age.

If you’re approaching the higher end of the age range for your furnace, it’s probably a good time to begin looking for a replacement. Most people want time to decide on such an important purchase and not make a quick decision. If your furnace is on the younger side, look into having it repaired.

Increasing Utility Costs

Since a furnace will lose efficacy as it ages, it’ll take longer to heat your home to the preferred temperature. This is because of the wear and tear on the internal parts. Sudden spikes in your gas or electric bill can be a sign that it’s getting old.

It’s typical to see some fluctuation in utility bills from year to year due to economic inflation and weather patterns. However, sudden spikes aren’t typical. You should keep this in mind while you compare your bills.

If you do see a sudden increase and your furnace is less than 15 years old, consider repairing the furnace. If it’s 15 years old or older, look into replacing it with a newer, more efficient one.

Frequent Repairs

The last two years of a furnace’s life are when it’ll break down the most. As newer furnaces come on the market and it becomes more obsolete, replacement parts become harder to find. When parts are harder to find, they become more expensive to acquire.

As repairs become more frequent and parts more expensive, it’s wise to start shopping for a replacement furnace. Minor repairs for water leaks or low airflow are typical and expected. However, when repairs are major, including a damaged control module or heat exchanger, it’s time to replace the unit.

Strange Noises

When a furnace works properly, the system will run quietly. Noises such as humming, rattling, banging and squealing aren’t normal. Take note of the location and type of noise you hear so you can report it to us.

There are various problems that could cause your system to make strange noises. This includes an unbalanced motor, loose ductwork, worn-out parts and more. Newer furnaces that are making noises need repair, while older ones likely need replacing.

It can be difficult to know what your furnace needs. We’re here to help you decide whether to repair or replace it. Call Woods Comfort Systems to learn more about our heating services.

Image provided by iStock

 
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