People want to get the most out of any investment they make, so they’ll often run devices for as long as possible until they wear down to the point of failure.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the best philosophy all of the time. For example, you don’t want to keep wearing the same pair of shoes until they fall apart because your feet will start to suffer before the shoe is ruined.
What’s true for the shoe is also true for your home’s heating system: there are consequences to continuing to push an older heater until it fails. You need to know when your heater is declining and replace it at the right time.
What Can Go Wrong With an Aging Heater
As a heating system wears down with age, it needs more repairs. Although targeted repairs from professionals can often keep a heater working effectively for a few more years, a point will come when any repair is a minor (yet expensive) band-aid that doesn’t do much to stop other problems.
Here’s what you can expect from a heater pushed past the point where it should’ve been replaced:
- Excessive, expensive repairs. A heater shouldn’t need repairs every year to keep it going, but one that’s moving toward failure will quickly begin to rack up pricey, short-term repairs.
- Safety worries. This is the most important concern with a heater past its prime. Gas furnaces are especially concerning, since the chance for the system to develop hazardous problems like a cracked heat exchanger becomes much higher.
- Wasteful operation. Although regular annual maintenance will help a heating system retain its original energy efficiency for most of its service life, eventually the strain will cause the heater to waste energy as it runs. You might end up paying 25% more or higher to run your heater than you once did.
- Dropping heat capacity. As a heater comes closer to a full breakdown, it will start to lose its heating capacity and struggle to provide the same comfort level as it once did. You’ll pay more money to get less heat.
When to Replace Your Heater
When deciding about scheduling an HVAC replacement in St. Bernard, LA, there are several factors to consider.
First is the heating system’s age. The average service life expectancy for a heater depends on its type. Gas furnaces can last around 15 years, electric furnaces for 20, and heat pumps for 10–15. We don’t recommend trying to push a heater much over these upper limits, especially if it’s showing other signs of decline.
Keep a close watch on your regular heating bills with an older heating system. When heating costs rise and you can’t account for the change, it’s likely the heating system’s age that’s at fault.
When looking into getting repairs for an older heater, consider how often you’ve recently needed to repair the system and how much the new repairs will cost. If repairs are becoming an annual affair, it’s probably best to ditch the heating system, and any repair that would cost more than half the price of a new heating system isn’t worth it.
Finally, the best way to determine if a heater is ready for a replacement is to consult with professionals like the ones on our team.