If you’ve noticed your energy bills rising, especially during the cooler months, you may have something wrong with your furnace. Although you might just need repairs, replacing an old system could be the most cost-effective choice in the long run. The cost of a new furnace may seem high, but newer systems are much more energy-efficient—some models can achieve as high as 98% efficiency!
Not only can a new furnace help save money on energy bills, but you also won’t need to worry about it breaking down repeatedly like you would with an older system. If you’ve been scheduling repairs more than once a year for the last few years, it’s a sure sign your furnace is nearing the end.
What to Consider Before Having a New Furnace Installed
Before you commit to a new furnace, there could be other issues going on that would make replacing your current heating system unnecessary. Here are a few things to check before making a decision:
- Room air balance
When your home’s doors and windows are closed, the air pressure should be identical in every room. If warm air is forced into a room and can’t escape when newly heated air is produced, it can cause inefficiency issues. It’s recommended to have your room air balance inspected before you decide to install a new furnace.
- A dirty heat exchanger
The heat exchanger can be difficult to access and clean on your own, so it should be serviced by a professional. When the heat exchanger gets too dirty, it can make it work harder than it should, especially if you’ve had your furnace for 10 years or more. If you’re not sure when you purchased your current furnace, it’s best to schedule a service call.
- A dirty furnace filter
A clogged or dirty furnace filter affects the airflow throughout your home and HVAC system; it can also cause the heat exchanger to become too warm and switch off. Although some furnaces have filters you can change out yourself, others have filters that can only be accessed by a professional. The filter should be changed regularly so your furnace can function as efficiently as possible.
- Air leakage
Air leakage is a common issue with older heating systems that can cause hot or cold spots in a room and higher energy bills. The duct system should be checked and sealed if any leaks are found. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your system’s energy efficiency.
3 Common Signs That It’s Time for a New Furnace
From the age of your system to uneven temperatures, there are several common signs that it’s time to replace your furnace. If you’ve noticed any of these signs, contact PECO to discuss the latest energy-efficient furnaces on the market.
Your older furnace isn’t heating your home well anymore
The average furnace is designed to operate for 15-30 years, but their heating output becomes more limited as they age. When this happens, the system isn’t able to distribute hot air evenly throughout your home, which can cause areas of hot and cold spots.
If you have an older furnace, it may be time for a new one—but it’s possible that all you need is an air duct cleaning. If the air ducts are dirty or partially clogged, it can affect how efficiently your system can distribute heat. Dirty ducts also impact your air quality and cause respiratory issues. Call PECO, and we’d be happy to take a look at your furnace and duct system.
Rising energy bills
If you’ve noticed a large spike in your energy bills, especially during the fall and winter months, your aging furnace may not be able to generate heat as efficiently as it used to. The first step to try is to have us perform a tune-up on your furnace to ensure it’s working optimally.
However, you may want to consider replacing your older furnace because it could end up costing you more over time. Think about it this way: if you’re spending $100 extra per month during the cooler months, you could spend an extra $1000 if you wait two years to have your furnace replaced. You can see how these extra costs can quickly add up! Especially if you factor in frequent repairs on an older system.
Your furnace needs repairs more often
If you’ve needed to have your furnace repaired one to two times per season, it’s time to start thinking about a new furnace. Frequent repairs can quickly add up and may meet or exceed the cost of a new furnace—not to mention, you’re also not getting the benefits of a new furnace, like increased energy efficiency or a manufacturer’s warranty. If you’re not sure whether it’s time for a new furnace, our knowledgeable technicians can help you determine how much life is left in it and whether it needs to be replaced.
Gas or Electric? Which is the Best Furnace for Your Home?
If you’ve already decided it’s time for a new furnace, you might be wondering which type of furnace would be the best choice for your home. We’re happy to give your recommendations based on your heating needs, but here’s an overview of the differences between natural gas and electric furnaces.
- Generate heat for your home by igniting natural gas in a combustion chamber and then transferring the heat to the air through the heat exchanger
- Relatively energy-efficient with a minimum efficiency of 78%, but some models offer near 93%-99% efficiency
- Many models need little electricity to operate, which means they can be run on a generator during power outages
Electric furnaces – most expensive – heat pump system is more efficient solution
- Work similar to a toaster; an electric current is run through the heating elements; cold air is then forced through the elements to heat the air before it’s pushed through the air ducts
- Less efficient than gas, and costlier to run.
- There’s no need for a flue pipe to expel combustion gases, so all you need is the furnace and ductwork—which also means it can be installed in more places in your home
- Since there’s no gas combustion, there’s no risk of a gas or carbon monoxide leak (keep in mind that these are relatively rare in gas furnaces)
Propane (LP) gas furnace
In addition to electric, there are also propane furnaces. These tend to be more expensive than natural gas to run because propane is higher in cost. However, they are less expensive than a straight electric furnace and don’t require additional power to work.
All gas furnaces can easily be converted from propane to natural gas with an inexpensive kit. So, if your neighborhood is getting natural gas installed, and you just splurged on a new furnace for propane…no worries. Call PECO, and we can install the new gas line if necessary and convert your new furnace to the new fuel.
Call PECO Heating & Cooling for All Your Furnace Needs
No one wants to have their furnace fail in the middle of a snowstorm, so if your furnace is on its last legs, it’s best to have it replaced before winter arrives. If it’s between 15 and 20 years old, you run the risk of it failing altogether. Of course, reliable heating isn’t just about comfort; it’s also about costs. Frequent repairs and rising energy bills can add up, so this is something to keep in mind when you’re considering a replacement. A new furnace will be more efficient, and with regular maintenance, it won’t need repairs for many years. You may also be able to qualify for energy rebates!
If you’re wondering what the best option is for your home, call PECO Heating & Cooling! We offer comprehensive services for all your home heating needs, including planned maintenance, repairs, and installations. With our planned maintenance agreement, you can look forward to having your furnace serviced twice a year, plus an extra 10% discount on any repairs, no after-hours charges, and priority service! We use flat rate book pricing, so you’ll always know exactly what the costs will be—no surprises. From recommendations to repairs, you can count on our experienced team to keep you comfortable year-round. Call PECO today at 864-639-2424 or schedule an appointment online.