The nights are starting to get a little colder, and Halloween is on the way, which means that pretty soon you will need to crank up that furnace to stay warm. But what happens when you go to use it for the first time and it doesn’t work? That’s an alarming thought for most families who want to be able to stay warm this winter, so here are four signs to look for now that might indicate it’s time to get your furnaced replaced with a new one.
A furnace is designed to last for many years, but even great furnaces will eventually wear out. Check the age of your furnace to determine if you might need to consider getting a new one soon. If it’s more than 15 years old, consider replacing it. Even if it’s still technically working, the ENERGY STAR program notes that it’s likely not as efficient as it could be, which means it might be costing you a lot of money and wasting energy. If you don’t replace it right away, at least have regular inspections by a trusted HVAC provider every year so you can get a better idea of when it might run out, and budget to replace it.
If you notice that your heating bills have been creeping slowly higher each year without any explanation (especially since the cost of natural gas (the fuel for most furnaces in Utah) has actually gone down over the past five years. Furnaces in disrepair, ones that are not running efficiently, or those that are just getting worn out and need to be replaced often use more fuel and you’ll notice it on your monthly bills.
Sometimes it can seem like you are saving money by repairing your furnace instead of replacing it, and for small fixes or infrequent problems that is probably true. But if the furnace repair company is starting to feel like a member of your family because they are in the house so often, it might be a sign to replace instead of spending more money on temporary fixes.
Nobody’s furnace is completely silent, but a good furnace is one that you won’t really notice when it’s on. If you hear sounds like rattling, popping and banging, or you notice that the flame at the bottom of your furnace is yellow (instead of the traditional blue), those are both signs that you need a new furnace. A yellow flame is particularly dangerous, since it means your furnace is producing carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that is fatal if there is too much of it in the air. Other signs of CO include sooty streaks around the furnace, no updraft in the chimney, or excess moisture on the window interiors. Your home should also have a CO detector that will alert you to the presence of this gas, and if you see any of these things or get an alert from your CO detector, leave the house immediately and call the utility company to turn off your gas.
A single one of these signs might not be enough to warrant a new furnace, but it’s important to pay attention to all of these things and add up the warning signs to determine when a new furnace in Utah is necessary.
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