Is this heating season the right time to replace your home's HVAC system? You made it through the summer without a cooling problem. But you might not have as much confidence in your furnace. If you're not sure whether to invest in a new heater and heating system installation or wait until the winter is over, take a look at the questions to ask right now.
When Was Your Last Pre-Season HVAC Inspection?
Your furnace needs a pre-season inspection every year. This check-up can help you to identify potential problems before the coldest days of the winter freeze. If you can't remember the last time you scheduled a pre-season inspection or you're sure this is a service your HVAC unit has never had, now is the time to contact an HVAC contractor. The technician can assess the health of your furnace and determine whether a replacement is necessary.
What Do the Last Few Years Of Your Heating Bills Look Like?
As you get further into the winter months you'll get a better picture of your system's efficiency. When the mercury dips and your system kicks on more often, your heating bills will rise. It's a given that you'll pay for more natural gas, electricity, or another fuel source during the winter (compared to the other seasons). But this doesn't mean you should see a sudden spike in your winter-time heating bills.
If you notice a winter spike, one of two things is happening—either the price of fuel has skyrocketed or your system has lost some (or all) of its efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating system use could account for up to 29 percent of the average residential household's utility costs.
Given the possibility of heating costs that make up more than one-quarter of your utility bill, you may not need to replace a system that has a stable natural gas, electricity, or other fuel source price tag. This is why you need to review past energy bills. Look at the price per unit of fuel, supply costs, taxes, and usage. If the bills have significantly increased, your household usage has increased, and the price hasn't gone up (or has only increased marginally), it's time to consider a new system.
Can You Wait To Install A New Furnace?
You could wait to install a new furnace. But will this decision make financial sense? If the pre-season inspection reveals damage or serious wear and tear issues, you may end up paying more to repair the heater than you would to replace it. Even though a one-time fix may not cost as much as a replacement, constant mid-season breakdowns and the repairs they require will add up.
Not only could you end up paying more in repair-related costs, but you may also waste money on excessive energy bills. To immediately reduce the overall costs necessary to heat your home, talk to the HVAC contractor about high AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) number furnaces.
Click here for more info about if you need a new heating system installation.