Furnace-related posts

Do I need a new heater? How to Tell When It’s Time to Replace Your Heating System

Do I need a new heater? This is a question that we often hear from customers who are finding it increasingly more difficult to stay comfortable in their homes during winter. If your current heating system is leaving you feeling a little chilly, it may be time to replace it.

You may be wondering, how do I know when it’s time to replace my heater? While you want to get the most out of the equipment you have, you also recognize that performance starts to decline with age and an aging or malfunctioning heating system will start to impact your home comfort over time. Though most homeowners don’t want to think about the costs involved with replacing their heater or furnace, there will inevitably come a time when repairs and tune-ups aren’t enough to keep your system functioning smoothly.

Though there is no one definitive answer to the question – do I need a new heater, there are some common signs that may indicate it’s time for a replacement:

1. Your heating system is over 15-years-old.

If your furnace is 15 years or older and you’re having major maintenance issues, there’s a good chance that it’s time to replace the equipment. Even if it seems to be working, it is most likely not operating at maximum efficiency. Not only does this impact your energy bills, but it can also affect your ability to get your home to a comfortable temperature when the cold weather starts to set in.

Though high-quality HVAC equipment can serve your family for years, there is no equipment on the market that is built to last forever. As new technology comes out, HVAC manufacturers find better ways to make furnaces more efficient and convenient. Though you can get many years out of your furnace with proper maintenance and repairs, when the cost of repairs starts to creep up to 50% of the cost of a new furnace, it’s time to replace.

On the other hand, if you find that your older heating system is operating with little to no maintenance issues, you may have other, more affordable options for improving efficiency. Updating your thermostat to a programmable thermostat or cleaning your duct system can both help improve efficiency no matter how old your furnace is.

2. Your energy bills are increasing.

We mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating again. If you start to notice that your energy bills are increasing exponentially during times when your heat is on, it may be time to replace your heater. Older heating systems or those that are inefficient have to work harder to keep your home comfortable year-round. This means that they use more energy over time, which can really start to impact your energy budget throughout the year.

Like we mentioned above, there are some affordable ways that you may be able to address these energy inefficiencies. However, if the heating system is on its last leg, then it doesn’t matter what solutions you put into place, the equipment will still need to be replaced if you want to see improvement on your energy bills.

The only way to know for sure if you need a complete heating system replacement or if other solutions will help improve efficiency is to work with a qualified HVAC technician. The techs at Sheldon’s can come inspect your current system to diagnose if a replacement is needed or if other solutions may be put into place to help boost efficiency over time.

3. Your repair bills are through the roof!

Do you find yourself constantly calling us for repairs? Does it seem like after you fix one thing, another thing breaks? This is quite common with older systems. Just like a vehicle, your HVAC system starts to deteriorate with age and need more and more maintenance and repairs to keep it running smoothly.

To determine if a replacement is in your best interest, you need to look at the average cost of repairs vs. the cost of replacing the system. When determining this, keep in mind that you may also save more in energy costs by replacing the furnace with a newer, more energy efficient model. If you find that the cost of repairs is getting to be around 50% of the costs of replacement, then it may be more affordable for you to replace the system instead of continuing to repair it.

4. You can’t evenly heat your home.

Another common issue we see when it comes to furnace replacement is that homeowners are not able to heat their home evenly. This means that there is a noticeable difference between the warmth in different areas of the house. Uneven heating is often a symptom of older or more inefficient furnaces. Older furnaces and those with outdated duct systems can’t evenly distribute heat throughout the house.

If you start to notice that some rooms are colder than others when the heat is on, it may be time for a replacement. This can also be a sign of other issues, so your best bet is to call the HVAC experts at Sheldon’s for diagnosis. It may be an issue with your ducts rather than your heating system, which requires a different solution. Our HVAC technicians can diagnose the problem and help you find the best solution for your home.

5. Your furnace is making loud noises.

The average furnace will make a little bit of noise when they turn on and off. However, if you start to notice that these sounds are getting louder, then it may be time to replace your heater. Not only should you pay attention to how loud the sound is, but also what types of sounds you are hearing. While some noise is normal, other sounds may be a telltale sign that something is very wrong with your furnace.

For instance, if you hear any popping, banging, humming, or screeching sounds, these indicate that your heating system is in need of repair. It’s best to call your HVAC technician at the first sign of these sounds. Then, they will be able to diagnose the issue and help you determine if it’s in your best interest to repair the system, or, in the case of an older system, replace it entirely.

Do I Need a New Heater? Find out today.

If you’re asking yourself – do I need a new heater? – it’s time to call in the experts. The experienced HVAC technicians at Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your system and help you determine whether a simple repair is needed or your equipment is having more serious issues. If you need a replacement, we’ll help you find the right system for your home comfort needs and budget while providing expert installation.

Stop suffering in the cold. Call us today to find out if a new heating system is right for you: (877) 411-9888.

Furnace Oil Vs. Gas Furnaces | Which is Better?

Furnace Oil Vs. Gas Furnaces

Fuel and choices of fuel have long been debated in humanity’s struggle to keep warm and comfortable. Long ago, humanity found that by burning coal instead of wood, the fuel would burn hotter, lessening the need for massive stockpiles of wood being harvested. The coal became a more efficient fuel for heating and homes all across the world switched to coal-burning ovens and stoves.

Just like this past fuel change, there is another change in the fuel that millions of homes are using for heat and warmth, that fuel is gas – or propane. With another choice in heating fuel, many are asking the question, “should I purchase an oil-burning furnace, or a gas-burning furnace?” While this choice hinges much on supply in your area, most homes DO have a choice in whether they want a gas or oil furnace. So which is better?

Is A Gas Furnace Better Than an Oil Furnace?

If only it were as simple as, “which type is better…” but it is not that simple. Both oil and gas furnaces have their benefits and their drawbacks. Both are actually quite affordable, though gas is slightly cheaper, which has led to the myth that heating oil is outrageously expensive. What is outrageously expensive is converting an oil furnace to a gas furnace – this can easily run $9000.00+! In newer homes that are setup with gas lines running into the home may be a bit cheaper of a conversion, but there is still a fairly high cost.

Are Oil Burning Furnaces Dirty or Bad for the Environment?

Not anymore. In the past, the oil was much dirtier and certainly led to pollution and bad air quality, but just as the technology behind furnaces has evolved over the years, so has the technology behind the heating oil itself. Today’s heating oil produces almost zero emissions, and modern oil-burning furnaces have “reburners” that burn “waste” from the initial burn stage to cut down on inefficiency and emissions even further. In actuality, while gas furnaces are great products and sometimes are the perfect fit for some homes, gas systems are not necessarily 100% clean burning and can contribute to global warming.

Drawbacks of Oil and Gas Furnaces

Again, both types of systems are great and offer many benefits between them, though both systems do have their own sets of drawbacks that a homeowner should be made aware of before purchasing either or. The fuel itself is a drawback for oil furnaces, as it has to be delivered in-advance and stored on the property with the furnace. This could be an issue for some, as the delivery of the fuel comes with its own schedule and expenses. The drawback of gas-furnaces is that they have a tendency to not live as long as the oil-burning furnaces which can have a lifespan of over thirty years; compare this to the 11-14 year life span of gas furnaces and it is easy to see the costs go up for replacement and repairs.

If you are looking into replacing or installing a furnace and you want to know more about your choices between heating fuels, Call Sheldon’s Services today and we can go further into the benefits and drawbacks of each type of furnace, and help you to make a solid decision based on the facts, the benefits, and the drawbacks of each.