For most San Diego homeowners, getting a new heating system for their house is a significant investment and can turn into a major hassle. As a result, many of us are tempted to continue using our old, inefficient heating equipment, rather than pay for a new furnace installation.
Unfortunately, relying on an outdated heater comes with a number of potential risks, especially if it hasn’t been receiving its annual HVAC maintenance service. Knowing how to identify these risks and address them in a timely manner can have a big impact not only on your finances, but also on your and your family’s safety.
In this article, we’ll list 3 dangers of using an aging furnace and give you some pointers on how to determine whether it’s time to invest in a new heating system installation. Read on to learn more.
What can go wrong with an old furnace?
Today’s HVAC furnaces are an incredible technological achievement. They’re long-lasting, easy to use, and significantly safer and less energy-hungry than their older counterparts. However, like any other mechanical device, furnaces can malfunction and become less efficient or even dangerous as they near the end of their service life.
Here are 3 ways an old furnace can pose a safety hazard:
Gas furnaces need a steady supply of natural gas in order to function. With time, their gas lines can corrode and start to leak, which can lead to potentially fatal poisoning and even devastating furnace explosions. Older oil furnaces are prone to leaks too, and these leaks can cause a fire and damage your other belongings.
2. Fire hazards
Most furnaces and other heating devices are equipped with multiple failsafes to prevent fire risks. However, many older heaters lack the advanced safety features that can be found on their modern counterparts, which greatly increases the risk of a fire as the unit ages.
Of course, even the most cutting-edge failsafes can fail or corrode over time, which is one of the primary reasons why homeowners are advised to replace aging units even if these devices appear to be in good working order.
3. Carbon monoxide poisoning
Arguably the greatest danger of using an old gas furnace is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause dizziness and nausea even in relatively small amounts. In large amounts, it can be life-threatening.
To worsen matters, your furnace doesn’t have to suffer a serious breakdown to cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Old heating equipment naturally loses efficiency over time, which can cause low amounts of carbon monoxide to be produced due to incomplete combustion.
While most furnaces in use today are equipped with carbon monoxide sensors, these sensors can fail over the years. In some cases, the carbon monoxide emissions may be too low for the sensors to pick them up, but still high enough to be harmful to your and your loved ones’ health.
When should I replace my heater?
There’s only so much a heater repair service or furnace tune up can do. Sooner or later, your furnace will reach the point where keeping it will no longer make financial sense, and risk endangering the members of your household.
Here are 7 red-flag signs for considering a new furnace installation:
- Age. The average lifespan of a heater is 15-20 years. If your heating system is about this age or older, it’s highly recommended that you replace it with a newer model. Doing so will not only ensure your and your family’s safety, but also provide long-term savings by increasing the energy efficiency of your home.
- Unusual noises. Rattling, humming, screeching, clicking, booming, or popping noises during normal operation all indicate that something is wrong with your furnace. A trained HVAC technician will be able to determine the cause of the problem and advise you on the optimal course of action.
- It keeps breaking down. If you find yourself frequently calling for heater repair services, it’s a clear sign your furnace has reached the end of its lifespan. At this point, the best way to save money on services and spare unnecessary hassle is to replace it with a brand new unit.
- Exorbitant heating bills. Although it’s normal to pay more for heating during the colder months of the year, your bills shouldn’t be significantly higher than they were during the same months last year, and they definitely shouldn’t suddenly skyrocket for no apparent reason. Such fluctuations are frequently caused by a worn-down or faulty heating system.
- Soot near the furnace register. Does the air in your home feel unusually dry? Are you finding excess soot and dust throughout your house, especially near the furnace grille and register? These are all telltale signs of a failing furnace.
- Yellow furnace flames. The burners on a new, properly-functioning furnace will always produce a clean blue flame. If these flames have turned yellow, you may be dealing with an improper combustion process or a dangerous gas leak. Turn off your furnace and call in your trusted HVAC experts ASAP.
- It’s not working as well as it used to. If your heating system is blowing cold or lukewarm air, or if it’s heating some rooms but not the others, your furnace may be too old and worn out to do its job properly. If regular maintenance doesn’t fix things, it may be time to replace the unit.
Who provides dependable heater repair and installation services in San Diego & the nearby cities?
For 46 years and counting, Action Air Conditioning & Heating Installation has been providing high-quality HVAC and solar repair, installation, and maintenance services for residential and commercial clients across San Diego, Menifee, Escondido, La Jolla, Carlsbad, and other communities in South Riverside and San Diego Counties.
We offer free quotes for all new heater installations as well as financing options for all incomes. Contact us today via our user-friendly online form or reach out to us directly at (760) 727-4152 to learn more about who we are and why we’re the leading HVAC company in the area.