With Summer slowly creeping to an end and the promises of Fall foliage, crisp morning air, and delicious apple and pumpkin spice everything, it’s also the perfect time to do annual maintenance on your HVAC system. It’s always best practice to do routine service on a unit when you don’t need it to make sure it up to handling the upcoming Winter season. And if you’ve been ignoring some of the warning signs that it’s time for a new system, late Summer, early Fall is also the best time to replace your HVAC unit as well.
Most people don’t want to put the money into a new heating/cooling system, and we don’t blame you, but there are some situations that do warrant a replacement vs. a repair:
- Your fuel bills and repair bills keep going up and up and up! Older equipment tends to have to work harder over time to provide the levels of heating or cooling that it did when it was new. All that extra work results in more breakdowns, more fuel consumption, and more money out of your wallet. A slight increase over a few years is usually nothing to be concerned about, but once you notice a significant increase in repairs and fuel delivery calls, it’s probably time to invest in a new system. It seems like a lot of money up front, but the amount of money you’ll save in the long run on efficiency and fewer service calls will pay off in the end.
- Your HVAC is extra loud. It’s normal to hear your HVAC kick on and off during its normal heating/cooling cycles. But if you start to notice popping, banging, humming, or screeching, it could be a sign that it needs to be replaced or some serious TLC. If you notice a rattle, it could be loose ductwork, screws, or sheet metal or even that the lower motor is not properly balanced. A popping sound can occur when parts within your furnace warm and cool in response to temperature changes within your system. Your fan motor may produce electrical humming sounds that are routine noises, but if it gets loud or disruptive, that’s a sign to call for service. It could mean that your inducer motor or blower fan motor is starting to fail. The worst sound noise, screeching or squealing could mean there is an overall issue with your blower motor or inducer motor.
- The rooms in your home are different temperatures. If you have several rooms or a whole floor that’s on the same thermostat and you notice that some rooms are significantly warmer or cooler than others, you probably have an inefficient and older furnace that needs to be replaced. Many older systems lose their ability to heat evenly due to an outdated duct system losing its ability to distribute heat evenly throughout the house.
- The air quality is poor. With a forced air system, you might find that your furniture is really starting to get dusty or you may even have some soot near vents. Poor air quality is a big sign that your system is not functioning properly.
- You’re remodeling. Thinking of doing a major renovation in your home? It’s the perfect time to upgrade that older HVAC system when walls and flooring is going to be opened up and replaced. If you don’t have a central AC system, this is a great time to look into putting one in!
Your HVAC has a big job – it’s responsible for keeping you, your family, and its home or office comfortable, no matter the weather outside, so it’s just as important for you to take care of your system. The first step is annual maintenance, but like any equipment, eventually, it will reach its expiration date. It’s important to pay attention to the signs your system gives you, so you can upgrade your system before it becomes a major issue and you and your family are left financially unprepared or stuck in a freezing cold house.