Should I Replace My Furnace?

Should I Replace My Furnace? Sacramento

Should I Replace My Furnace?

Deciding to repair or replace your furnace can be a challenging decision. At Gilmore, our HVAC technicians are prepared to help you make the best decision for you & your home’s needs. Today on the blog, our Sacramento HVAC Pros discuss the most common occurrences to help you determine if you should replace your furnace with a new, energy-efficient system.

Is it Time to Replace Your Furnace?

At Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing, we provide expert advice on your queries on anything heating and plumbing. Homeowners have an issue with deciding whether it would be more economical to repair their faulty heating system or replace the furnace. The answer isn’tstraightforward as furnaces are of different types. However, if you’ve been searching Should I replace my furnace? then you’ve come to the right place.

Today on the blog, our Sacramento HVAC company will discuss the most common occurrences that may help youdetermine when you should replace your furnace with a new energy-efficient system. Our company provides furnace repair, replacement, and installation services. We would love to assist with you for your furnace replacement Sacramento needs.

Many factors need to be put into consideration in making a decision on whether to repair or replace, from sudden temperature changes to loud noises to the system’s age. Below, we discuss some of these factors.Should I Replace My Furnace? Sacramento

The duration your furnace has been in use

A standard furnace is designed to function for a time span of 15 to 30 years in a house. Nevertheless, experienced Sacramento heating and air conditioning experts advise that you start searching for a replacement furnace if your furnace has passed the 15-year mark. The usability of an aged furnace also depends on the fuel type it uses to heat your dwelling. Many people prefer installing an electric furnace. This is because they have a longer lifespan between 20 to 30 years. Gas furnaces, however, have a 15-20 year usability range. 

Despite gas furnaces having a shorter lifespan, fewer funds are used to keep them in operation. This is in comparison to the new electric furnaces. When compared with electric systems, gas furnaces are noted to circulate heat in your home at a faster rate. 

To extend your furnace’s usability, continually replace dirty filters to ensure it operates at its optimum level. Additionally, if you would like to stop heat from escaping from your home, we recommend sealing the doors and windows or invest in an adjustable thermostat to increase the efficiency of your furnace. If you’d prefer to replace your furnace, get in touch with furnace replacement Sacramento technicians.

Is your furnace producing loud noises while it’s in operation?

There are many different sounds that may show a serious issue with your old electric or gas furnace. Humming, rattling, clicking, screeching, popping or booming noises indicate that you require a new furnace. For example, rattling sounds may be caused by loose equipment or ducts. Please get in touch with an expert HVAC Sacramento contractor to find out whether you should replace your furnace or perform needed repairs. 

A booming sound may be an indication of a dangerous gas emission problem with your furnace. The noise is often caused by a short hold-up in the ignition process. A lingering gas odor smell is dangerous and a clear indicator that it might be time to employ a professional to install a new furnace in your home.

If you would prefer other options, consider changing to other heating sources like heat pumps, ductless mini-split systems, boilers, radiant heating, or zone control systems.

Is your temperature fluctuating?

Our neighbors over at Headwaters Construction, Sacramento commercial builders, explain that changes in the temperature of different rooms in your house are a clear indication that it might be time to start scouting for new furnaces. At Gilmore, we’ve seen that furnaces that are older than 15 years lose their efficiency slowly. They also lose their ability to disperse heat evenly throughout your home the longer they remain in operation. 

Is soot accumulating near your furnace register?

Dust and soot are generally followed by dry air. Dry air can damage wood flooring, shelves, and plants. This is a clear indicator that the furnace is releasing too much carbon dioxide into the air. Soot usually accumulates mostly near the grille and the furnace register. The register is an air duct cover that regulates airflow around your house. A furnace that produces excess soot and dust needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Consider the best HVAC Sacramento company, Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing for the task. 

How much is it costing you to repair your furnace and pay your energy bills?

Old furnaces do not distribute heat evenly in your home, and this leads to a rise in your energy bill every month. If the total cost of your furnace repair accounts for more than half of the cost of buying and installing a new furnace, the time has come to upgrade.

What color are your furnace flames?

An efficient furnace produces a blue flame when burning. If your furnace is producing yellow flames when burning, this shows that your furnace is producing carbon monoxide which is a toxic gas.  Yellow flames can also be an indication of an improper combustion process or a dangerous gas leak. It is vital that you contact furnace repair Sacramento experts immediately you observe yellow flames from your furnace followed by a gas odor. 

Heating, Repair, and Installation Services

Don’t let your furnace cost you an arm and a leg to repair when you could replace it with a better and far more efficient model. Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing offer HVAC repair services including furnace repair and installation. For assistance, schedule an appointment today. 

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How Often Should My Furnace be Replaced?

You want to replace your air filter every three months, or every two if you have pets. You want to get an oil change every so many miles, depending on the make and model of your car. But when it comes to your furnace, there’s really no specific timeline. You can estimate that you’re probably going to get about eighteen to twenty years of use out of a good furnace with regular maintenance, but there are a lot of factors that are going to affect that number. It’s not a set-in-stone rule. Some furnaces will remain energy-efficient for a few years beyond their use-by date, while others may have a shorter lifespan even with regular tuneups.

When Does A Furnace Need Replacing?

A furnace is more like an old car. It’s ultimately going to come down to what it’s costing you to keep it running. With proper upkeep, you might be able to keep your furnace going for decades to come, but at a certain point that’s going to wind up costing you more money than replacing it. The cost of repairs and the simple fact that newer models are made to be more energy efficient means that holding onto the same furnace that was here when you moved in might not be as thrifty a decision as it seems.

What Is Your AFUE?

The easiest way to figure out whether it’s time to retire your furnace is with the AFUE. This is Energy.gov’s method of measuring energy efficiency for gas based furnaces and boilers. Newer units will read the AFUE out to you. If you have an older furnace, you can retrofit it with new parts to make it more efficient and to give you an AFUE reading. Your AFUE is a percentage of how much fuel is being used to heat your home, and how much is being wasted. If you’re at eighty percent, then that’s twenty dollars down the drain for every hundred you spend on heating.

Time For A Checkup?

If you’re not sure, get ahold of some old utility bills and note how much you’ve been spending on heating, then get in touch with the specialists at Gilmore Heating, Air, & Plumbing. Whether your furnace needs to be replaced, or if all you need is a tune-up and maybe some new parts, we’ll be able to advise you on whether or not your trusty old heating system has reached retirement age just yet.

Important News for Homeowners with Furnaces Manufactured Before 2001

 

More than 49 brands of furnaces produced prior to 2001 may possess potentially defective parts. Thousands of these furnaces may still be in homes today. Should these furnaces components fail, they present some possible risk to homeowners.

Potentially defective furnace parts were distributed to the public.

Consolidated Industries, one of the largest manufactures of HVAC equipment, built these furnace components. They supplied these components to leading HVAC companies in the industry who used them to manufacture residential furnaces.

Multiple reports of problems have surfaced.

In California, the furnaces contain NOx rods that could cause the burners to overheat and ignite a fire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received 50 reports of fires associated with 140,000 furnaces.

Later, these furnaces were found to have potentially defective burners, heat exchangers, and/or expansion joints. Should one of these critical parts fail, they pose a serious risk of fire and/or carbon monoxide.

Legal action has been taken against Consolidated Industries.

In 2002, due to the defective NOx rods, Consolidated Industries settled a class action lawsuit with California homeowners: Salah v. Consolidated Industries, Inc., Santa Clara County Superior Court, for the State of California, Case No. CV738376.

In 2009, due to the defective burners, heat exchangers, and/or expansion joints, Consolidated Industries bankruptcy estate settled a nationwide private class action lawsuite: Stefanyshyn v. Consolidated Industries, Inc., Tippecanoe County Superior Court, for the State of Indiana, Case No. 79D 01-9712-CT-59.

Get your furnace evaluated now to prevent potential hazards.

We want you to stay safe in your home. So make sure you contact a Gilmore professional to get your furnace inspected as soon as possible. We can easily identify Consolidated Industries furnaces and parts, and recommend a solution that will work more safely and efficiently for you.

Furnace Care

As summer turns to fall, inevitably the day comes where it’s time to switch your thermostat from ‘cool’ to ‘heat,’ and bring your furnace to life. But how well your furnace performs depends on how well it’s maintained, because even a new furnace loses efficiency after just one year.

The combustion chamber is a common source of lost efficiency.

Lost efficiency begins in the combustion chamber. Soot buildup can corrode chamber walls; cleaning it out boosts performance. Before replacing the cover, it’s important to inspect for holes and corrosion.

Damage to the heat exchanger can affect performance and safety.

The heat exchanger should be carefully inspected by a professional, because a cracked exchanger can potentially increase carbon monoxide levels, which can pose a danger to a home’s occupants. That’s why testing combustion ensures not just performance, but safety as well. Gases are measured in the exhaust flue, checking for proper fuel and air balance.

Burners and ignitors should be checked carefully.

The burner may need adjustment. The burner flame’s color and shape at the ignitor are the best indication of complete and stable combustion.

In gas furnaces, ignitor tubes are typically vacuumed clean as part of an annual checkup. Your system’s exhaust flue pipe also needs careful inspection for holes that could allow carbon monoxide leaks. While smaller holes can be patched, a corroded flue pipe should be replaced.

Finally, there are some steps homeowners can take to help their systems breathe easier.

Check and replace air filters regularly. Be sure to use the right size. Pleated ones work best. You should also annually remove and clean registers, and vacuum floor ducts. Lost efficiency means increased energy bills. That’s why annual maintenance helps keep your home warm and your system efficient.