How to tell if your furnace is too old
Are your heating bills going up every other month? Is the thermostat temperature not ever comfortable? Are the repair bills stacking up? It just all may very well be your furnace!
Read our thoughts below on the age of AC & Furnaces below to see if it’s time for a replacement or service.
Your heating bill keeps increasing and you can’t figure out why:
Most of your gas bill is your furnace. When your heating bill keeps climbing year after year, it is most likely the furnace efficiency decreasing over time. The chart below shows your gas/energy savings with better AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). Read our bullet point below to learn more about efficiency of furnaces.
Your furnace was put in 15 years or more ago:
Furnaces come with a standardized gas efficiency, usually characterized with a AFUE%. Furnaces built 15-20 years ago are generally 15-35% less efficient compared to a modern one when they were BRAND NEW. Average efficiency in the 80-90’s was around 60-70%.
This sticker is from a new unit @ 95% gas efficiency:
As you can imagine, with the passing of time, components such as the heat exchange get degraded, rusted and lower the furnace’s efficiency. We estimate that efficiency is lowered by around 1% every 1.5 years on older systems. A modern 95%+ gas furnace uses 20%+ less gas when compared to an 80% furnace installed in 2002.
Furnace keeps needing repairs:
Furnaces cost the most in the last 5 years of their life cycle in gas bills and in repairs. Just like an old car, small components start failing at first, leading up to bigger components failing. When the small repairs keep stacking up, it may be time to invest in a new furnace.
Furnace keeps making strange noises:
Does your furnace make rattling, shaking, popping or banging noises? This is usually the sign of the most common failure on furnaces: The Blower Motor. The blower motor pushes hot (or cold air, if you have an AC) to your vents. Over time, the mounts and the motor start failing. When you start hearing noises, it’s usually a sign that the blower motor needs a replacement.
The burner flame is yellow/orange, not blue:
If your furnace’s flame is yellow instead of blue, it could be a sign that your furnace is producing carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a odorless, tasteless, and colorless toxic gas that can be fatal.
Other signs that your furnace is producing carbon monoxide include:
-streaks of soot around furnace
-absence of upward draft in chimney
-extra moisture found on windows, walls, or other cold surfaces
-rusting on flue pipes or other pipe connections
If your furnace shows signs of producing carbon monoxide, leave your house immediately and call your utility company to turn your gas off. You can also invest in a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t know how to open your furnace.
Experts at UniColorado check every single furnace we service/repair for any signs of danger with state of the art equipment.
Add up everything:
How many of these signs are applicable to your system? The more there are, the more you should consider a new system.
UniColorado has over 35+ years of experience in the HVAC field. All of our technicians are NATE certified, insured and knowledgeable.