Now that it’s October, it’s a good time to start making winter preparations with your heating system. It’s always best to have these jobs done when the weather is still warm and you don’t have to worry about going without your furnace for a few hours, or even a few days. We recommend you schedule heating maintenance in Staten Island, NY during October so you’ll have plenty of time to take care of any repairs the system might need.
Or have the furnace replaced entirely.
How Will I Know It’s Time to Replace a Furnace?
There are a couple of indicators that will help you know when a natural gas furnace (the most common kind here in New York) is ready to retire. No furnace will last forever, and there are some distinct “tells” to watch for.
- General age: The first basic indicator is how long the furnace has been in service. Most gas furnaces—provided they received annual professional maintenance—can last from 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is in that range, pay special attention to the other warning signs. A furnace over 20 years old probably should be replaced before the inevitable decline sets in, or even safety hazards start.
- Corrosion: People are sometimes surprised a furnace can start to corrode, because they associate corrosion with water. However, the interaction of combustion vapor with the metal in the furnace will eventually lead to the metal corroding. This can present a safety problem if it occurs in the heat exchanger. If you see a furnace beginning to corrode, it almost certainly needs to be replaced.
- Extremely high heating bills: You should always keep a close watch on your monthly utility bills during winter, since an unexplained increase in natural gas use often points to a repair problem with the furnace. But if the bills are high, staying high, or climbing, then it may be a failing furnace that can no longer do its job effectively, regardless of maintenance or repairs.
- Loud operation: Similar to an increase in bills, a single loud noise might mean a repair issue. More loud noises that make the furnace into an unpleasant racket of rattling and clanging tends to mean a furnace that’s on its last legs.
- Too many repairs: You shouldn’t have to repair a furnace multiple times a season in order to keep it running. The majority of repairs will occur in the last two years of a furnace’s life, so when they start to build up, it usually means the end of the line for the heating system. If you want something more quantifiable, we recommend not paying more than $500 a year in repairs to keep a furnace operating. And any single repair that would cost more than half the price to replace the furnace isn’t worth it.
If you feel at all unsure about your furnace’s future, arrange for maintenance with us through our maintenance plan. Our expert technicians will carefully inspect the furnace and give you an honest opinion about the best plan for your budget and your family’s health and comfort.