3 Questions Homeowners Should Ask Before Replacing Your Heating System
As colder weather and even winter storms move into parts of the country, furnaces stay on and home heating bills go up. Households heating with natural gas, which include almost half of U.S. homes, are expected to spend an average of $635 this winter -- 22 percent more than last winter, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Trent Davis, an energy efficiency expert with Lennox, suggests three questions homeowners should ask to help determine if it’s time to replace an existing heating system, which can help them avoid the nightmare of a failing system in the middle of winter:
Is it costing more to keep your existing heating system?
If you’re putting more cash into your existing heating system through regular repairs and rising energy bills, it’s likely time to upgrade your system. An older, less efficient heating system is often the culprit of high energy bills. By replacing an older furnace that is 60 percent efficient with one that is 98 percent efficient, homeowners can save approximately 40 percent on energy bills and up to $11,469 over the life of the system. The Lennox Energy Savings Calculator can help consumers compare the savings of different high-efficiency systems and determine whether it would be better to repair or if it’s a smart time to replace an older unit, based on anticipated cost and energy savings.
Isyour system and home requiring excessive upkeep?
An old system can affect more than just a family’s comfort level. Simple issues around the home can indicate it’s time to replace, such as hot and cold spots within the house, dust particles collecting below air ducts, and unusual noises coming from the system. Checking the equipment itself for visible signs of rust and corrosion can also show that it is time for an upgrade if they exist.
Is your furnace or boiler showing signs that it’s on its last leg?
If a furnace is more than 15 years old, replacing the aging system with a new, energy-efficient model will save money and provide additional comfort. ENERGY STAR-qualified furnaces, like the Lennox SLP98V furnace, are an average of 15 percent more efficient than conventional furnaces. If you have a boiler, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR-qualified boiler, as they have annual AFUE ratings of 87 percent for oil boilers and 90 percent or greater for gas boilers. In addition, just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort, significantly increase the heating system’s performance, and extend the life of the unit.
Read more about energy-saving heating and cooling systems.
Companies: Lennox Industries