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Is My Gas Furnace Getting Too Old?

Getting Too Old

Most gas furnaces last for about 20 years, but many models can heat your Hoover, Alabama, home for more than 30 years with the right maintenance. Unfortunately, even the most durable heater will have to be replaced eventually because some parts wear out over time. Your furnace could be getting too old if you notice increasing utility bills, expensive breakdowns, an uncomfortable home, or a yellow flame for your pilot light.

Rising Utility Bills

Gas furnaces become less efficient as they get older, just like most air conditioners, heat pumps, and other HVAC systems. If your utility bills keep rising and your home has good insulation, replacing your furnace could help you save money over time. A new furnace is a substantial investment, but it’s often less than paying for extra gas for years. Since many modern gas furnaces use new technology, your utility bill might be less than the cost when your furnace was new.

If your natural gas furnace is less than a decade old, make sure you have it checked by a professional before you replace it. Your system could be less efficient because of a relatively minor problem. For example, a clogged air filter or dirty or leaky ductwork often reduces airflow, forcing heaters or air conditioners to work harder. To increase your system’s efficiency, you can buy a new air filter at a hardware store and then change it yourself in just a few minutes. An expert can also clean and seal your ductwork.

Expensive Breakdowns

Even minor repairs can place a sizable dent in your budget if you keep having to take care of them. If you find out something is wrong with your gas furnace almost every time you have it checked by a professional, getting a new model will help you save money on repairs. You can relax with a more reliable heat source, and you won’t have to worry about having your day ruined by problems with your furnace. Replacing your furnace at a time that’s convenient for you is much easier than finding the model that’s best for your home at the last minute.

An Uncomfortable Home

If your furnace is running constantly and your home still feels chilly in winter, you might need to replace it. If you have an old, inefficient furnace, it may be struggling to heat your entire home. You could also have a heater without the capacity needed to keep all of your family members comfortable. Make sure that there are no problems with your home’s insulation and double check the settings on your thermostat. You might have forgotten to adjust your settings or switch from air conditioning to heat.

A Yellow Flame for Your Pilot Light

If you have a natural gas furnace, your pilot light’s flame should be blue with a yellow tip. If the flame is almost entirely yellow or orange, then your furnace isn’t as efficient as it should be, and it could be producing carbon monoxide. You could also notice lots of soot around your furnace, condensation on windows, walls, and other cold surfaces, rust on your furnace and in other parts of your home, or no updraft in your furnace’s chimney.

Have your furnace looked at by an expert if you see any of these signs. Also, always use carbon monoxide detectors to warn you if this colorless, odorless gas reaches dangerous levels and impacts your indoor air quality. Carbon monoxide could cause health problems like dizziness and fatigue. Fortunately, most modern gas furnaces have a more efficient electronic starter instead of a pilot light. Even if it’s working well, you should think about replacing any furnace with a pilot light before an inconvenient breakdown.

Total Comfort Heating and Air has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and many years of HVAC experience. We can help you maintain, install, and repair a variety of heating and air conditioning equipment, including natural gas furnaces. Call us anytime at (205) 386-2056for courteous service, excellent work, and more advice on when to replace your furnace.

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