When to Replace Your Furnace

Know When to Replace Your FurnaceIt’s officially fall, which means it’s nearly time to turn your furnace on.  The best thing to do is schedule a maintenance to make sure your furnace is ready for the challenge.  Early maintenance will give you a full measure of just how effective your furnace is.  But what should you be looking for to determine if a replacement is needed?

Warning Signs

How old is your furnace?

The average lifespan of a furnace is between 16 and 20 years.  If your furnace is at or above 16 years, it’s worth considering a replacement.  It’s always easier to plan for and replace a furnace on your own time, while it’s still working, than to try and get a rushed replacement in the middle of winter.

Have your gas and electric bills increased?

One sure sign of a strained system is an increase in the cost of operation.  If you’re seeing higher fuel or electricity costs each month, it’s likely that your furnace performance has decreased.  Usually a standard maintenance will improve furnace efficiency, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may be exceeding its operational life.  At this point, your furnace will have to run for longer to provide the same level of heating, and that can grow costly quickly.

Has your furnace been repaired recently?

How often are you calling for furnace service and repair?  If you’ve had to repair a major breakdown in the past year, or find that your furnace stops working on a regular basis, these are clear signs of aging or a major problem that could call for a replacement rather than the cost of constant repairs.  Talk with your service technician to see if a repair is worth it.

Does your thermostat keep you comfortable?

Can you set your thermostat and stay comfortable throughout your home?  Or are you constantly fighting hot and cold spots throughout the house?  A furnace that requires constant thermostat adjustment either signals a damaged thermostat, poor insulation in parts of the home, or an inefficient or damaged furnace.

Is your burner flame yellow instead of blue?

Check the flame of your furnace while it’s operating.  A standard furnace flam will be mostly or completely blue depending on whether you’re using propane or natural gas to light the fire.  If your flame is yellow, then it’s not burning cleanly and could be releasing carbon monoxide as well.  If the furnace has already been cleaned, it’s likely that it needs to be replaced.

Does your furnace make strange noises or smells?

Whether it’s smoke, a musty odor, or simply banging and grinding noises, when your furnace doesn’t sound or smell right that’s a clear sign that something is wrong.  Your best recourse here is to call a furnace technician and have it inspected.  A certified technician will be able to show you whether your furnace needs to be replace or simply repaired.

Is your house dry or dusty?

Older furnaces have a tendency to dry out the air.  Those systems weren’t designed for humidity control, leaving you with dry and dusty air that can lead to cracked skin, sore throats and noses, and colder rooms (the drier the air is, the colder it feels in the room).  Other signs include lots of dust or frequent static shocks.  You can purchase a humidifier to mitigate this but if your furnace is old enough for this to still be a problem, it’s likely worth it to replace it for a new system.


Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is the service company you want!  Call us today at (423) 616-1025!

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