No furnace will last forever. Even with regular cleanings and proper maintenance there will come a day when it is more cost effective to simply replace your furnace than to keep using your archaic model. Worse than that is the possibility of a nasty breakdown in the heart of winter. Luckily however, furnaces are like cars. They tend to give warning signs before the breakdown occurs. By recognizing these warning signs, you can preemptively repair or replace your furnace before the frigid disaster.
Top 3 Warning Signs
- Very Old Furnace: Furnaces have an expected lifetime. A properly maintained furnace with regular cleaning and maintenance should live between 20-25 years. Maintenance is the central idea here. Without regular maintenance, a furnace may only live as little as 10 years, less than half of its potential. So, if your furnace is over two decades old or hasn’t been regularly cleaned and is a decade old, then it may be about that time to replace your furnace. Schedule a maintenance check with your local HVAC company and see what a certified professional recommends.
- Strange Noises: With most machinery, a strange or unfamiliar noise is never a good thing. The same goes for the furnace. Pops, rattles, wheezes, and squeals can all be emitted from your furnace before a breakdown. It is important to call your local HVAC company as soon as you hear this noise. It could be something minor like bad motor bearings, or it could be leaking carbon monoxide into the home.
- Yellow Dancing Flames: Look inside the furnace at your burner. What color are the flames? Are they flickering yellow or red? If so then you have a serious furnace issue. The flames on the burner should be a steady solid blue. A crack in the heat exchanger introduces impurities into the flame giving you the yellow flickering flames. Immediately shut off your furnace, turn off your gas, and call for an HVAC repair. A cracked heat exchanger can also leak carbon monoxide— the silent killer– into your home.
When Your Furnace Bites the Dust
It is going to happen eventually. It may not be this year, it may not be next year, but somewhere down the line you will have to purchase a new furnace. Cheer up, it’s not all gloom and doom. The HVAC industry is always making new more-efficient models every year. By the time you are ready to replace your furnace, the newer models will be leaps and bounds more efficient and effective than your current system. The money you save every month on your heating bills can help pay off the brand new furnace. When one chapter ends, another begins and time moves on.
oh, and one more thing…