It’s something every household goes through – the necessity to upgrade the home’s central heating system. But how can you tell when it’s time to replace an old heat pump, furnace or other type of central HVAC system?
The age of your heating equipment could be the first tip-off. Most heat pumps are built to last between 12 and 15 years, while furnaces can go 20 years or longer, depending on the amount of usage and preventative maintenance. (In South Texas, furnaces sit dormant for much of the year, so they can be expected to last longer before requiring replacement. However, if your A/C uses the furnace blower in lieu of an air handler, the blower motor could need replacement earlier.) If your heating system has reached the upward limit of these suggested service life ranges, start watching for other red flags, including…
An increase in the frequency of needed repairs is a sign that an older heating system may need replacement. At a certain point, it no longer makes sense to invest in repairing equipment that’s at the end of its useful service life.
If you notice higher energy bills or declining performance, and there’s no other reasonable explanation, an aging furnace or heat pump could be the culprit. A trusted HVAC technician can look at your system and recommend whether repair or replacement makes more sense.
Visible signs of deterioration can also raise a red flag. Especially with a combustion furnace, if you notice rusting or corrosion on the heat exchanger, don’t delay in making an upgrade. At this point, your safety could be at risk.
Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade your heating system, it’s important to work with a contractor you trust in choosing a replacement system. The contractor should insist in performing a heating load calculation on your home before recommending a certain size system. If you’re opting for a heat pump, the technician should mainly stress the system’s cooling and dehumidification capabilities.
For help deciding whether your Coastal Bend home’s heating system needs an upgrade, please contact us at CCAC, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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