When is it time (really time) to bite the bullet and replace your furnace?
Our job as trained professionals is first and foremost to provide an accurate, reliable assessment of your system. If possible, we always recommend cost-efficient, effective repairs that will ensure the comfort and ongoing safety of your family. But alas—nothing lasts forever, and some degradation can’t be fixed. Here are four signs that it is time to replace your unit.
1. If your furnace is older than 18 years. After approximately 18 years, the system has reached its lifespan and becomes more expensive to fix than to replace.
2. If you have a furnace that has a metal vent pipe connecting the unit to the chimney. Furnace units—even newer models—with a metal vent pipe lose anywhere from 12 to 42% of their heat output up your chimney. That’s almost half of your home’s heat! Take a gander at your unit. If you see a metal exhaust vent pip (or a “flue”), it’s time to make the leap to a new machine.
3. If your furnace has a standing pilot. A standing pilot is a type of pilot that constantly runs. Even when brand new, these furnace models were only 60% effective, which means that 40% of your heat was going out the chimney (literally). A high-efficiency, intermittent pilot turns on only when heat is needed.
4. If there are any cracks or holes in the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is the thin metal layer that keeps the fire and carbon monoxide in the furnace and out of your house (and lungs!). Any blemish in this section will allow deadly gas to leak into your family’s house. Unfortunately, the untrained eye often misses these cracks, which is why we recommend that you get a maintenance check-up twice yearly from trained technicians.
If you see any of these signs in your furnace, we’ll be happy to help you diagnose the situation to see if yes, indeed, it’s time for you to explore a safer and more efficient unit for your home. Email us or give us a quick call at 919-480-6650.
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