You can’t be without a furnace during a Wisconsin winter, so it’s important to realize when you need furnace replacement. Knowing when it’s time to install a new furnace helps avoid breakdowns, emergency repairs, and high service costs during the colder months. A heating replacement can also prevent comfort and safety issues. 

Hopefully, your system has been well-maintained over the years; but still, every furnace has a finite lifespan. These are the telltale signs it’s time for furnace replacement:

1. The Furnace Is 15+ Years Old

A 15-year-old furnace may work fine. Some units can even last 20 years or more. However, a furnace this old is likely showing signs of its age. Wear and tear can lead to a furnace failure on a bitterly cold day, which can mean waiting for a heating contractor while you’re shivering at home. Also, the older a furnace is, the less efficient it tends to be, so a replacement should help lower your energy bills.

2. Utility Bills Are Spiking

That leads us to another sure sign that you need a furnace replacement. Your monthly energy bills can increase during times of high usage. But by now, you should be accustomed to seasonal variations. If your energy bill is much higher than it was this time last year or consistently increases, your furnace’s efficiency may be declining. It’s best to replace your old model with a more energy-efficient gas or electric furnace.

3. Repair Costs Are Adding Up

Every time your furnace needs repair, you’ll pay for parts and labor. Most repairs cost at least a few hundred dollars (some can go much higher). If you’ve had multiple furnace repairs in the past year or two, additional repairs mean you’ll probably pay more than replacing the unit. Generally, if repair bills add up to more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace, a replacement will save you money.

4. Airflow Is Restricted 

Weak airflow from vents can mean anything from a clogged filter to a failing blower motor. The motor can be a costly component to replace. It also tends to last a while, so if it breaks down, your aging furnace may likely follow. 

5. Changes In Furnace Performance

A failing furnace may exhibit notable changes in performance that require calling a heating technician. These can include:

  • A Cold House: If your furnace can’t keep your home warm (and the thermostat is set correctly), it’s time to get a new one.
  • Uneven Heating: A furnace should heat every room evenly; if some areas are too cool, the furnace may struggle to keep up.
  • Rapid Cycling: Your furnace should turn on and off about two to three times per hour. If it’s cycling too frequently or running continuously, it may be near the end of its life.

6. The Heater Is Visibly Damaged

Visible damage such as rust, soot buildup, and cracks can mean your furnace is succumbing to the effects of age. Wear and tear will add up over the years. It’s not abnormal and can often be mitigated or slowed down. However, if there are obvious signs of damage, serious issues may be present and it’s likely time for furnace replacement.

7. Your Senses Are Telling You Something Is Off

Loud noises you never heard before from your furnace should alert you to call for help. A technician can determine if the problem can be fixed or if the unit should be replaced. Concerning sounds include squealing, shrieking, screeching, rattling, banging, and popping. A loud humming or clicking can also signify a major problem. Musty or smokey odors can mean your furnace is on its way out as well. 

8. Indoor Air Quality Is Declining

Combustion appliances (like furnaces) are among the leading sources of indoor air pollution. If your furnace isn’t working efficiently, it may contribute to poor indoor air quality in the following ways:

  • Harmful Gases: A natural gas leak increases the risk of a fire or explosion. Carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, tasteless gas, is undetectable aside from symptoms of exposure like headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, poor muscle coordination, or loss of consciousness. However, your CO alarm offers great protection in detecting a problem so you can get to safety and call for help.
  • Dirt and Debris: If dirt, lint, pollen, pet dander, and other contaminants are prevalent in your home, your furnace may not be working properly. The issue can lead to increased mold spores, smoke, bacteria, and viruses. Replacing air filters regularly helps mitigate these issues. However, if doing so doesn’t address the problem, consult with a furnace replacement professional.
  • Excessive Dryness: If your furnace is working properly, it should prevent the air from getting too dry in winter. Call a heating professional if your home is consistently dry. A lack of humidity can cause your skin and throat to dry out. It can also harm houseplants, cause wood furniture to crack, and lead to a buildup of static electricity.

Call Over the Moon for Furnace Replacement

If your furnace is aging, requires frequent repairs, or is not working efficiently, it may be worthwhile to replace it. Our licensed heating technicians can evaluate your furnace and determine whether it should be repaired or replaced. They can also help find modern, high-efficiency units that can save you in the long run. To schedule a furnace replacement consultation, contact us online or call (262) 510-0956 today.