How to know when to replace your furnace

Published by Parisa Ostovari

Bell Brothers technician working on furnace

Check out these four warning signs it might be time to replace your furnace:

1.Your furnace is over 20 years old
The average lifespan of a gas furnace is 15-20 years. If you properly care for your furnace by regularly changing the filter and performing yearly maintenance, you can extend the life of your system past 20 years. If your furnace is over 20 years old and requires frequent repairs, it might be nearing the end of its useful life.

Instead of continuing to rely on an undependable system, you may want to think about upgrading to a new furnace. We recommend homeowners compare the expense of the repair against the potential savings and rebates they will receive from the purchase of a new furnace. Work with a trusted HVAC technician to learn your options and determine which one will provide the best return on investment.

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2.Your furnace makes funny noises
Rattling and popping are noises you don’t want to hear coming from your furnace. Here are some common noises to listen for and what could be the cause.

  • Rattling noises can be caused by unsecured ductwork, loose screws or sheet metal. A rattling noise could also mean the blower motor is not properly balanced.
  • Popping sounds happen when parts within your furnace warm and cool in response to temperature changes within your system.
  • Humming is a sound that is common for your fan motor to produce. But if the fan becomes loud or disruptive, your inducer motor or blower fan motor could be starting to fail.
  • Screeching or squealing noises signal a problem with your blower motor or inducer motor. Possible issues could be a loose bearing, deteriorating belt or an issue with the pulley that holds the belt.

3.Your energy bill is rising
If your energy bills are increasing while your heating usage stays the same, your furnace may not be operating efficiently. If you change your furnace filter regularly and have preventive maintenance performed once a year, it might be a sign that it’s time to consider replacing your furnace. The best thing to do is have a trusted HVAC technician come to your home and evaluate the condition of your furnace.

4.Rooms in your house range from hot to cold
Do you find yourself adjusting the thermostat to try and combat temperature issues in different parts of your home? If you answered yes, you might just need a new thermostat. It could also mean your furnace isn’t distributing heat properly throughout your home. If this is a problem you are experiencing, we recommend having an HVAC technician visit your home and determine if the problem is with your thermostat or your furnace.