Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace

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The time to determine if you need a new furnace for your home is now, when the cool weather of fall has not yet given way to the cold weather of winter.

Most homes in the Denver area have been running their heating systems off and on at this point, but we’re still a few weeks away from the really cold temperatures that make heating a necessity instead of just a comfort. 

But how can you tell when you need a furnace replacement in Denver?

Furnaces can last quite a while with proper care and maintenance, but they don’t last forever. No matter how well you take care of your furnace, there will come a point where you have to replace it. It’s important that you be able to recognize the signs that your furnace is nearing the end of its life so that you can replace it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might be taken by surprise when your furnace permanently breaks down on you. Read on for some of the common signs that you need to install a new furnace.

If you’re not sure if you need a new furnace or just furnace repair in Denver, here are the red flags and warning signs to look for. Or simply give the Centennial and Denver HVAC experts at Bell Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical a call!

Signs There is Something Wrong with Your Furnace

To determine whether you need to repair or replace your HVAC system, evaluate the issues you’re experiencing.

1) Utility Bills Are On the Rise

Have you noticed a continual increase in your monthly utility bills? An energy leak, a punctured unit, broken vents, etc., are all evidenced by a steady climb in heating costs. A tune-up can shed light on the issue and help you evaluate whether or not you need to repair or replace the furnace. Old age in a furnace can also cause a decline in energy efficiency. A good rule of thumb is to compare your utility bills from this year to those from previous years. If the cost is rising despite comparable use of your furnace, then we really have to recommend you have a new furnace put in.

2) Your Furnace is Old and Outdated

The average natural gas-powered furnace will typically last about 10–15 years (electric models can usually go longer, but keep in mind that they cost more to run from month to month). If your furnace is as old as this or older, then we really recommend having a professional inspection done to ensure it is not suffering from irreversible effects of aging (such as cracked heat exchangers).Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, but it will still eventually wear out. It isn’t usually worth making repairs to an outdated system because the return just won’t justify the expense.

3) Your Home Always Feels Cold

Uneven heating can indicate a broken system or an improperly sized furnace. If your furnace can’t keep up during cold weather, you’ll want to figure out why. If your furnace runs ALL the time, that is also an issue, but it could be with the thermostat and not the furnace. The best way to determine if you’re facing a fix rather than a replacement is to call a technician. Your technician will let you know if the needed repairs are enough to warrant a replacement quote.

4) You Notice Odd Sounds or Smells

Do you smell something burning? Odd sounds or smells could indicate that the furnace is broken. If you ever smell gas, turn off the furnace, ventilate your home, and call your gas company immediately.

As a homeowner, you likely know the average sounds that your furnace system makes when it is in operation. If it starts making significant noise and/or you hear unfamiliar sounds coming from it, it can indicate loose components or a broken system. Anything that resembles a rattle, clang, or hum that you’ve never heard before is worth a call to our pros, and it may be best to upgrade your heater.

5) Small Repairs Are Adding Up

Consider the repair frequency of your furnace. Typically speaking, a well-maintained furnace shouldn’t need more than one repair every year or so. If you find yourself calling for multiple repair visits throughout a single year, or if the next repair is going to cost at least half of what the furnace is worth, then it can certainly be time to consider a replacement system. HVAC systems have a lifespan, and minor issues with an older furnace indicate that the system is wearing out. By the time you pay for several repairs, you might as well pay for a new, energy-efficient furnace.

6) Your Furnace Doesn’t Work the Way it Used To

Wear and tear is the ultimate enemy for furnaces, and really any system. Over time, repeated usage will cause the parts that make up the system to wear down and become less efficient. As the efficiency of the furnace declines, it will have to stay on for a longer and longer period of time in order to achieve the same results. This will lead to a spike in your monthly heating bills. If your heating bills are going up for no apparent reason, you should look into replacing your furnace.

Other Furnace Replacement Considerations

In our companion post this week, we talked about the dangers of a cracked heat exchanger and how older furnace systems are more at risk of this problem. This can be an indication enough that it’s time for a furnace upgrade, and when you’re looking for a company to do the job, we are the team to call for exceptional Denver heating services.

In the meantime, however, we do want to give you a little more information so you can make an educated decision on whether you only need some repair work done on your furnace, or if a replacement really is your best option.

1) How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Furnace

Of course, the best maintenance is always preventative maintenance. Avoid costly repairs and replacements by scheduling routine furnace maintenance in Denver or beyond at least once a year and replacing filters regularly.

With the purchase of a new heating or cooling unit from Bell, we’ll include a full year of safety inspections on your heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems.

2) Check Your Furnace’s Warranty

Every heating system comes with a warranty that covers the cost of the original components if they break down. As long as the warranty is in effect, repairs are usually a better option for your furnace than replacement, since you will only need to pay for the cost of labor and perhaps a few small components such as nuts and bolts. Even after the warranty expires, the cost of repairs may be reasonably easy to bear and be a better option than full-bore replacement. This is one of the reasons why we always recommend regular maintenance sessions throughout the heating system’s life: it cuts down on repair costs later in the system’s life.

Only when the warranty has expired and costs have risen too high should you seriously think about a replacement.

3) Consider the Costs

The decision to replace a furnace ultimately comes down to cost, and the price of continuing with the old furnace is measured against the price of installing a new one.

Excessive heating and air conditioning costs—the kind that induce a homeowner to replace the whole system instead of sending good money after bad—tend to fall into one of two basic categories:

  • Repair costs: In most cases, this can mean a single expensive repair that costs more than you feel the furnace is worth. It can also mean that the frequency of repairs is getting too high. Generally speaking, if you’ve had to call for a furnace repair job more than twice in a single 12-month period, that’s usually a sign for an older system to be replaced.
  • Monthly costs: As heaters grow older, they suffer from wear and tear, which forces them to use more energy to do their jobs. That will drive your monthly bills up until you replace them, which is a better option than enduring another winter of sky-high heating bills. (Again, maintenance on a yearly basis can help mitigate this and extend your heater’s life, though sooner or later every system is going to need replacing.)

Making the Final Call on Furnace Replacement

When can you simply repair a problem and when is that money better spent investing in a new furnace? Only you, the homeowner, can make that final call. Every furnace is unique and so are your circumstances. You need to exercise your best judgment when it comes to an investment like this. We hope, however, that some of our guidelines can help you out.

The good news is that you don’t have to make this decision on your own. Our Denver heating service technicians are happy to help you make an informed decision and can absolutely let you know when your furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Rebates for HVAC Replacements

Upgrade your HVAC system and reap the rewards! With Xcel Energy’s generous rebates, now is the perfect time to invest in a more efficient home comfort system.

Imagine receiving up to $500 back when you purchase a new high-efficiency air conditioner before December 31st, 2023 – a deal that you won’t want to miss.

But that’s not all; the benefits extend to furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, and even smart thermostats. Get up to $300 in rebates for a new furnace, up to $2,200 for a qualifying heat pump, up to $350 for a high-efficiency boiler, and up to $100 in Xcel bill enrollment credit for a smart thermostat.

Plus, if you opt for a heat pump, there’s the added advantage of potential Federal Tax Credits, up to $2,000, or even $8,000 if you meet specific IRS income requirements.

Don’t let these opportunities pass you by – upgrade your HVAC system and enjoy improved comfort while saving big with Xcel Energy’s rebates!

Denver Furnace Help from the Pros

For more information about furnace replacement in Denver, call Bell Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. We are happy to help you make the right decision for your home. We offer ongoing maintenance, repairs, or new furnace installations in Denver. Our focus is providing effective, efficient, and reliable heating performance for your furnace. Call us today!

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