As the heating season gets closer, it’s a good idea to give some thought to how well your furnace worked during the previous winter. Here are some of the warning signs of furnace failure that suggest your heating system is ready for retirement:
- Advanced age: A furnace over 15 years old may be getting close to the end of its useful life. Age should not be the only consideration in furnace replacement. If an older furnace exhibits some of the other problems listed here, however, replacement may be advisable.
- Poor overall condition: If the system has been well maintained and is still in good shape, it will likely last at least another season or more. If your old furnace is in poor condition, makes loud or unusual noises, or just doesn’t work right, it’s probably time for a new one.
- Decreased effectiveness: If your furnace doesn’t produce consistent heating throughout your home, it’s losing its effectiveness. Other signs of reduced effectiveness include higher levels of indoor humidity and increased amounts of dust or other particulates in your indoor air. Fixing ductwork leaks and increasing insulation might help, but if not, a replacement may soon be needed.
- Reduced system efficiency and reliability: If you’ve noticed your heating bills increasing with no improvement, or even a reduction, in home comfort, the system is losing efficiency. A furnace that breaks down frequently is also one that needs to be replaced. When repair costs equal half the cost of a new furnace, scrap the old one and get a replacement.
- Yellow burner flame: The flame in the furnace burner should be blue. If it’s yellow, it means a potentially dangerous carbon monoxide leak. Have the furnace checked and repaired immediately. If repair is not feasible because of a cracked heat exchanger, replace the furnace.
Comfort Systems brings a combined 120 years of experience in heating, air conditioning and plumbing to HVAC customers in Wichita and the surrounding area. Contact us today for more information on warning signs of furnace failure, for help deciding if your furnace can last another season, or for access to a full line of efficient replacement systems.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace failure and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.