Although most of us are dreading its arrival, winter will be here before we know it, bringing with it frigid temperatures that make us shiver. With these freezing temperatures, we rely heavily on our furnaces to provide warmth throughout our homes, making the cold weather bearable.

Because your furnace is responsible for keeping your family warm during the harsh winter months, it’s important to make sure it’s in great shape. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your furnace is working properly and learn about the warning signs of a failing furnace.

How old is your furnace?

Do you know how old your home’s furnace is? If you can’t remember, or if you know it’s at least 15 years old, it’s a good idea to get your furnace inspected or replaced by an HVAC contractor before winter approaches. An HVAC contractor will help you determine the age of your furnace and will let you know if it needs to be serviced or replaced. As a general rule of thumb, both oil and natural gas furnaces have a life expectancy of around 15 years, give or take a few.

Are your energy bills increasing?

Did you notice last winter that your energy bills were higher than usual? A furnace that isn’t properly maintained or replaced can increase energy bills due to less efficient or faulty equipment. Think about it like this: your furnace is a well-oiled machine. Failure to get your furnace inspected or replaced can result in a buildup of debris, dirty filters, blocked drainage system, etc.

Are there strange noises coming from your furnace?

Scrape, bang/pop, squeal – these are all noises you should not ignore! What do they mean?

  • • Scrape- issue with the blower wheel
  • • Bang/pop- dirt on the furnace
  • • Squealing- also indicates issue with blower wheel/belt

If you’re hearing any of the sounds above coming from your furnace, it’s most likely because your furnace needs to be replaced, assuming you’ve kept up with tune-ups and repairs the past decade or so. It’s best to contact an HVAC contractor to assess any damage.

Is your home warm enough?

Thermostat set to a desirable temperature but the house seems chilly? Your furnace may not be able to keep up with distributing warm air as it gets older, resulting in a cooler home. If you notice air is blowing from your vents but it’s not warm, it’s probably time to replace your furnace.

Is the air in your home dry?

Furnaces are designed to balance the amount of moisture in your home. If you’re noticing that the air in your home feels stale or your skin feels extra dry, it’s an indicator that your furnace is no longer able to moisturize the air in your home. Having the proper amount of moisture in your home helps alleviate common ailments like allergies, eczema, nosebleeds, etc.

Are you getting frequent repairs done to your furnace?

Repairing your furnace often can indicate a much bigger problem with the entire system as a whole. Consider the cost to repair your furnace versus the cost to replace your furnace; if you’ve spent a significant amount of money to keep up with repairs, it may be time to invest in an entirely new furnace for your home.

 

If your answers coincide with any of the furnace replacement indicators listed above, it’s probably time to replace your furnace, assuming you’ve kept up with regular maintenance. If you’re unsure if your furnace needs to be replaced or repaired, feel free to contact our friendly team of installation and support personnel. We’ll be happy to take a look and provide you with our honest opinion.

At Cates Heating and Cooling, we offer both furnace installation and furnace repair services. Both furnace installation and repairs are performed by specialists who have seen it all and installed it all. We can install and repair all major brands including Lennox, York, Rheem, Trane, Carrier, and many others. We also guarantee a 10-year parts and labor warranty on select Cates products with a furnace installation and a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee! When you choose Cates, you can relax knowing you’re in excellent hands.