I know you probably didn’t write down, “Get a new heating system in the middle of the winter”, as one of the things on your list to do for the new year. If you have thought about getting a new heating system, you’d normally plan to have the job done in fall or another time when you wouldn’t have to rely on heat to keep you warm.
But nobody can see perfectly into the future, and even me, your well-informed HVAC blogger dog, isn’t 100% accurate when it comes to predicting the future of a heating system. What I can help you with is what to do now that you think you need a mid-winter heating system replacement. You have a system that’s old and giving you trouble so you want to know if you should replace it right now.
Nothing beats getting the pros involved, so before I go further, I recommend you call the Lenoir City, TN, HVAC pros at Russell & Abbott. Our team can give you the best professional opinion about what to do with your heating system—and then follow up with whatever work needs done!
How old is your heating system?
Age can tell you a lot about when a heating system is better off retiring. I don’t recommend pushing any heating system past the manufacturer’s estimated service life. For example, if you have a gas furnace that’s more than 15 years old, it’s definitely in the “replace” category when it breaks down or starts to lose its heating capacity.
How much does it cost you to run it?
If the answer is “much more than before,” you’re probably looking at a heating system that’s dying. When a heating system is properly maintained, it can keep most of its original efficiency rating until the last year or so of its service life. So when those heating costs start rising, it can mean that your heating system is in that last year!
Have repairs been frequent over the last few years?
I don’t advise sinking money into repair after repair for an older heating system: that money can eventually add up to costing more than the price of a replacement! If you’re having annual repair visits for your heating system (or even more frequent than that!) you’re spending too much on a system that won’t be around much longer.
Is the heating system reliable?
Can you trust your heating system will get the job done whenever it comes on? If you’re experiencing trouble keeping your home at a comfortable temperature this winter, when it wasn’t a problem previously, you may have a heating system that’s in its final decline.
Do you have any safety concerns about your heating system?
This one is very important! If you’ve had any type of safety scare with a gas-powered heating system or you feel nervous about its operation, that’s a good reason to have it replaced as soon as possible. You can consult with our technicians about the safety of the furnace—they are the experts when it comes to ensuring whether a furnace can run safely or not.