IS IT TIME FOR A HEATER UPGRADE?
So much of our lives focus on having the most current operating systems to keep up with the world. Every week it seems like your laptop is trying to update itself to a newer version, your smartphone is constantly telling you to update your apps, and your smart-home devices are always trying to download the latest versions of their programming. Efficient living starts with the latest download, but while some things are more easily updatable than others, some operating system upgrades are actually more important.
If you are sitting at home under a blanket shivering in the cold while your heater is clanking and banging in the background, you actually might be living in the Middle Ages. Feeling a little self-confident about the kind of production you’re getting out of your home heating system? In Southern California, the winters are mild compared to the colder parts of the country, but we all still deserve good-quality home-heating as much as the next guy. Don’t ignore the red flags when it’s time for a heater upgrade. Quality heating helps you stay healthy during the winter, makes your home extremely comfortable, and ensures the value of livability within your humble abode. Ignoring the signs for a heater upgrade could jeopardize your family’s health, devalue your home if you ever want to sell or rent it, and eventually cost you more money in the long run.
Have you seen the signs?
If your heating system is 10 years or older, you are probably not getting more than 70% efficiency, which would be like texting one sentence every 5 minutes because your phone is that slow. Your heating system is probably working harder than it should but still isn’t giving you the adequate heat you need. There could also be numerous variables at work here or specifically speaking, variables that aren’t working at all. Outdated ductwork will give you uneven temperatures throughout your home. One room will seem warm and comfy and another room will be cold and less desirable. It’s especially bad when it’s your bedroom that stays chilly.
If your ductwork has leaks, dust can penetrate your home’s air and cause multiple sensitivities to irritate your health (like allergies). If your thermostat is outdated and looks more like a vintage cooking timer, it’s time to get a system upgrade. Chances are your heater is already working beyond its capability to supply your home what it needs.
When the performance of your heater drops, you will notice your furnace runs longer and longer during the colder winter months. If it seems like it’s working harder and taking longer to heat your home, your heater may be wearing down to the final stages of its career. The longer your heater has to run, the more energy it will eat up. If your heater is running longer than years past, the main worry will be how the components are holding up. Potential breakdowns are more likely which would mean more repairs are on the horizon.
If you are noticing the air in your home seems too dry during the winter this could be partially your heating system and the work of dusty and debris-filled ductwork. Good heating systems will help preserve the proper amount of humidity in your home’s air making sure flooring, furniture and woodwork don’t deteriorate. If your heating system is malfunctioning or going downhill and your ductworks are filled with cobwebs or another unwanted dust build-up, your air quality could be the bigger problem while not having proper heat is just an additive to your troubles.
If it sounds like a haunted house or a bottle factory, it’s probably time for a tune-up. Banging and clanking or different kinds of squeaking and rumbling would suggest there are multiple mechanical problems taking place. Worn out parts or even simple issues such as pilot light problems or ignition deficiencies could cause the rest of the unit to go haywire. If you hear a noise you need to call a professional to take a look to see what’s happening. The best-case scenario is that you don’t need a replacement and can get by with some mild repairs, but if the noises have been going on for a long time, it could be the end of the road for your furnace.
If you have already been having multiple service calls in the last few years to fix ongoing issues that don’t seem to go away, you may be holding on too long. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that once your furnace reaches the 20-year mark, it is best to lay your system to rest. While installing a new efficient heating system will cost you money upfront, you have to think of this as an important investment in your home for the future. All of those component repairs, house calls, and continued assessments are just penny-pincher crutches but they add up. When you combine labor and material costs to keep your old system running, it doesn’t make sense or cents to keep living like this.
If your LA County or Orange County home suffers from uneven temperatures or you have been noticing higher energy bills during the winter, one or more of these red flags have already been hoisted upon you. You need to open your eyes and do what’s right for your home. Remember, leaving your heater putter away into oblivion will eventually devalue your home and could cause other problems. The worst cases of neglect can result in disasters such as a house fire or a CO2 leak. If you have an old heating system call the professionals at Accurate for an assessment. Accurate will never push you into a decision you don’t want to make but we will definitely help you understand all the options on your table and lead you to make the right choice for the benefit of your home’s future.