Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Signs You Need a New Furnace

Young girl shivering under a blanket with a hat and gloves

Your furnace is a modern comfort essential that you probably don’t give much thought to — until it’s malfunctioning. While our residential HVAC contractors are always available for emergency heating system services, it’s best to keep an eye on heating and cooling issues so you can notice potential issues before they turn into a big problem. No matter how old your furnace is, always be sure to schedule regular furnace tune-ups so that your system performs at maximum efficiency while staying clean and up-to-date. Read on to learn some common signs you need a new furnace.

Historic Housing

Old homes have great curb appeal and can be a fantastic way to express personality. However, they are also susceptible to problems with their heating systems. Furnaces work hard, but they don’t last forever, and most furnaces’ service lifespans fall anywhere from 10 to 15 years. If your home is older than 20 years, this is one of the main signs it’s time to replace your furnace.

Repeated Repairs

You’ve probably heard the term “money sink” used to describe cars that cost more to repair than their actual worth. An old beater car might not be the only way you’re losing your hard-earned cash— your furnace might also be a money sink. If you find yourself scheduling frequent repairs, it’s time to replace your furnace rather than continue sinking money into furnace repair costs. 

Strange Sounds or Sudden Silence

Furnaces aren’t silent, but they also shouldn’t be making constant banging and clanging sounds. Strange noises that have started suddenly or have increased over time are a red flag. By the same token, your normally hissing or lightly humming furnace suddenly going quiet can mean you’ve got a malfunction on your hands. In either case, strange sounds — or lack thereof — are some of the signs you need a new furnace, or at the very least need to call for repair as soon as possible. 

Thermostat Twiddling

Do you need to constantly adjust the thermostat dial to keep your home comfortable? While the weather changes every day, your furnace failing to keep you comfortable most or all of the time could indicate it is on its way out. Furnace replacement might be the solution to your constant thermostat adjustment.

Half-Hearted Heat

Similarly to constant thermostat adjustment, cold spots or strange heat distribution around your home are both signs you need a new furnace. Your furnace is designed to properly maintain heat around all areas of your home, so a sudden lack of heat in normally toasty areas is a big warning sign your furnace is about to fail or is already functioning poorly.

Abysmal Air Quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) might be something you don’t even notice when it’s bad — but your immune system sure does. If you’re susceptible to allergies or colds, are immunocompromised, or find yourself getting sick more often than usual, you’re especially vulnerable to the many health problems that poor IAQ can exacerbate. Poor IAQ is one of the signs you need a new furnace.

Big Bills

Are your energy bills skyrocketing despite your heating and air conditioning usage remaining the same? If it’s summertime, malfunctioning air conditioners might be causing your big bills — and naturally, it follows that if this is happening in winter, increased utility bills might be one of the signs you need a new furnace. A malfunctioning furnace works harder than it has to, especially as it ages, meaning you end up paying the price.

Ominous Odors

Do you smell something funny? While it’s normal to smell some weird smells when you first turn your furnace on at the beginning of the fall or winter, the scent should quickly go away. If it remains, or your furnace suddenly smells like something is burning, the blower motor might be failing, there might be something caught in your air ducts, or the furnace’s filter may be clogged. If this keeps happening after regular maintenance and cleaning, this can be one of the signs it’s time to replace your furnace.

Note: The following applies specifically if you have a gas furnace.

Gassy odors around or near a gas furnace mean that you need to evacuate your home and contact furnace professionals immediately.  While your nose can help you identify some signs of trouble, it’s also vital to keep an eye on your pilot light and carbon monoxide detector. A failing gas furnace can cause a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is so lethal because it is a colorless, odorless gas, so you might not even notice when it becomes a deadly risk to you and everyone else in your home.

Going Green

While it isn’t one of the signs you need a new furnace immediately, increased energy efficiency is an important reason to consider furnace replacement. Whether you’re interested in going green and helping the planet or just saving money on your utility bills, there are much better heating options on the market today than there were even 5 or 10 years ago. You can even change to another form of heating system such as a heat pump or boiler system. You’d be surprised to see how much you can save over time with energy-efficient heating systems, not to mention there are many state and federal rebates available. In many cases, the system pays for itself almost immediately!

Trust the Pros

Whether you’re deciding to replace your furnace entirely with a new heating system or you just need a quick tune-up, you can trust The OverCool Group for all of your commercial and residential HVAC needs. Make sure you and your loved ones spend this winter and the many winters to come in total comfort. Contact us today!