The current economy is no one’s favorite time for major investments or home improvements, but if a furnace upgrade is necessary, it may be a wise choice to take care of the issue sooner rather than later. After all, the comfort and more importantly, the health of the occupants in the home or business may depend on it.
There are several signs that may indicate that a heating system has outlived its usefulness. Generally believed by industry professionals to last approximately 25 years, an outdated or damaged heating system can cause more harm than good.
One of the indicators to look for when evaluating the functionality and efficiency of a heating system is an uneven temperature distribution throughout the home or business. If the bedroom consistently feels cooler than the bathroom, there may be a problem and a furnace upgrade may be in order. Well-functioning heating systems should distribute an even temperature throughout the home or business.
Another sign that may indicate a faulty heating system is excessive dust inside the home or business. This symptom could very well mean that the system does not generate sufficient moisture or clean air. The problem may affect individuals with allergies as well as plants. Excessive dryness can also cause a peeling of the paint on walls and damage furniture.
Are there strange noises coming from the attic? Popping, banging or strained sounds coming from the heating system are cause for concern because they may be the predecessors of an imminent system breakdown. Professional technicians can evaluate the heating system and determine whether it’s time for a furnace upgrade.
Of biggest concern is the health risk associated with a malfunctioning heating system, namely those burning gas or oil. Carbon monoxide, which can escape through cracks in the heat exchanger and penetrate doors and walls, is both tasteless and invisible. Many cases have been reported nationwide in which the victims were unaware of the danger until it was too late. Regular, annual inspections and servicing of heating systems can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Once cracks are detected, a furnace upgrade or replacement is imperative. The installation of a carbon monoxide detector is also advocated by the majority of fire departments in the country.
Finally, an inefficient or faulty heating system also tends to increase power bills. As the furnace works harder to comply with temperature settings, gas and/or electric bills rise. For some homeowners, budgetary reasons are the primary nudge toward purchasing a more energy efficient product. In some cases, a new heating system translates to annual savings in gas bills of up to 60 percent, along with a reduction of electric bills of 10 percent in a year.
One consideration home and business owners should evaluate prior to committing to a furnace upgrade is the length of time they plan to spend at the location. While ignoring the issue may lead to cost savings now, savvy buyers may demand a replacement of the heating system at the time of property sale, in which case the current homeowner missed out on months or years of savings on his monthly electric and/or gas bill.
As national and global efforts continue to emphasize environmental friendliness on an individual level, energy efficiency in the home and at work becomes an invaluable tool in creating a healthy, safe and sustainable environment for generations to come.