You rely on your furnace to keep your home warm and cozy during the colder months, and your furnace relies on you for maintenance, upkeep, and repairs. Still, the day will come when you need to replace it. That means knowing when it’s time, investigating what’s available, and choosing your specific replacement.
Knowing When To Replace Your Furnace
Not sure when your furnace needs replacement? Here are a few things to look out for.
- Different Noises: Strange furnace noises, including clicking, humming, rattling, and popping, might indicate a furnace that isn’t working right anymore.
- Frequent Repairs: If your furnace is 15 years or older and needs a lot of repairs, then it’s probably time to start thinking of a replacement.
- Higher Utility Bills: When a furnace gets closer to the end of its life, it gets less efficient. Your energy bill will rise because more energy is being used to keep your home warm.
- Inferior Air Quality: Are you noticing more dust and particles around your home? That can be an indication of a furnace’s lifespan drawing to a close.
- Uneven Heating: If you have certain spots in your home colder compared to others, then your furnace might be hanging on for dear life.
Checking Out Your Options
The modern furnace marketplace has plenty of options you can choose from. If you haven’t shopped for a furnace lately, or if you’ve never done it, then the amount of information can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are furnace reviews online that can help you decide on the manufacturer, make, and model that would be right for your home.
You can read lots of reviews from other furnace owners, but you should also check out reviews done by industry professionals and third-party independent testers. They get into serious details and hard numbers you can actually plan a budget around. You’ll easily know just which furnace is right for you, and there are even online furnace quizzes that can help you narrow down the right one.
Making the Decision
Using reviews alone might not make your best furnace option evident. Narrow down the selections by factoring in these eight considerations:
- Blower Type: Single-speed burners are either totally off or totally on, whereas multi-speed blowers can be low, medium, or high for more efficiency. Variable-speed blowers are the most efficient of all.
- Choose Efficiency: Get the most efficient furnace unit that you can realistically afford. The energy savings over time will be worth it.
- Get a Programmable Thermostat: If you can program your thermostat for lower temperatures when people are sleeping or not at home, you can cut your heating bill by several percentage points.
- Incentives/Rebates: High-efficiency furnaces might qualify for savings and benefits from local power companies that increase affordability.
- Know Your Burner Types: Single-stage burners are either on or off, two- or dual-stage burners use less energy on milder days, and modulating burners offer the most energy efficiency.
- Pick the Right Size: Bigger isn’t always better, and smaller doesn’t always save money. Get one with the right BTUs for your home.
- Warranty: Long-term warranties are the best options, but make sure your warranty covers parts and labor and not just the hardware.
- Zoning: Multiple thermostats let you control different temperatures throughout your home, which is useful for spots that get warmer or colder than others or just don’t use them.
When you do buy a furnace, you might be tempted to install it yourself. Some homeowners have the skill to pull that off, but having a professional installation done is usually faster and safer. Find the right contractor, and make sure they offer a warranty on their professional service.
The longer you can keep your current furnace running, the longer you can put off the costs of replacing it. However, that doesn’t actually make it the cheapest way to go. A new furnace is likely to save you a ton of money on increased efficiency alone, and it won’t need the level of repairs an aging model already does.