Understanding the signs you need to replace your furnace

By David DeRocco

Save money and avoid emergency service

It’s a fact of modern life that despite ever-evolving advances in technology we continue to build things that don’t last like they used to.

Planned obsolescence driven by mass consumerism has resulted in appliances that are cheaper to replace than repair. It’s true with washer/dryers, computer printers, and refrigerators. Even your HVAC system has a shelf-life; however, you don’t want to wait until there is a catastrophic failure of your system before you replace it.

“Even though it may appear to be working properly, there are signs that it might be time to replace your furnace,” said Tracy Burgess, Service Manager at Carleton Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning. “Recognizing those signs in advance is a great way to avoid a need for emergency service during a winter cold snap.”

Burgess said one of the first things you can do to gauge the state of your furnace is to conduct regular DIY inspections.

She suggests simply standing in your furnace room on occasion to look for any unusual sights or listen for unfamiliar sounds. You may be able to identify problems with things like your blower or humidifier. Standing over a vent to see if air is blowing at its usual strength is another simple check homeowners can do on their own prior to calling a service technician. Any banging, squeaking, or rattling could be an indicator something is wrong on the inside of your furnace.

“Older furnaces tend to use air inside your home for combustion,” said Burgess. “As a furnace ages, it becomes harder for it to keep the air moisturized and clean. During winter months, the air can get extremely dry. A new furnace uses outdoor air for combustion and allows the home to better maintain its humidity levels inside. This is very important for people suffering from dry skin or who have breathing challenges.”

A noticeable spike in your heating bill could also be a strong indicator you have a problem with your furnace.

Analyzing your heating  bills month to month is a good way to monitor the rate of your energy usage. Noticing a big increase or even a gradual increase over time could simply mean you need a tune-up.

However, just because your furnace requires service doesn’t mean its best days are over. If you find heat is not being properly distributed throughout the entire house or you’re constantly calling a service tech to check problems, it might save you money in the long run to purchase a new unit.

Regular preventative maintenance can help extend the life of even an older furnace, but there will come a time when you have to face facts and order a replacement. A furnace displaying signs of rust, inefficient heating, or weird noises or smells, is indicating that the end of it’s life span is nearing..

Don’t wait until the last minute. For more information or to book your service call, visit Carleton Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning at 150 Industrial Ave, Carleton Place, or online at www.carletonrefrigeration.com. Call them at 613-257-8282 or 1-866-557-8282. 

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