Do You Need a New Furnace? | Dalton Heating & Air

  • By Kim Morgan
  • 19 Sep, 2017
Perhaps your furnace isn't exactly new. Maybe it's not heating your home like it should. Or maybe it's making noises night and day. But does that mean you need a new one?

The decision of whether to repair or replace a furnace isn't always easy. Replacing a furnace is a major expense, one that you might not be ready to make. When your seemingly sturdy furnace suddenly fails, you may not have the home improvement budget to replace it right away. That said, in some situations replacing your furnace offers some benefits over repairing it.

How do you know when it's time to replace and not just repair your furnace? Take a look at some of the top signs that signal the need for a replacement.

High Furnace Age

If your furnace is only a few years old, chances are there's no reason to replace it. But if your furnace has been around since you were in middle school, you may want to think twice. Some furnaces can last for two to three decades without the need for replacement. Keep in mind, that doesn't mean your furnace will definitely last for at least 20 years. Furnaces over 15 years old and that repeatedly have problems are candidates for replacement.

Continual Repair Needs

Let's say it's the fifth time in the past month you've called the HVAC technician. What should you do? If your furnace has continual problems that keep coming back, or if new issues that creep up constantly, it's probably time for a replacement.

There are only so many times you can fix a furnace before doing so starts to get costly. Even though a repair may be cheaper right now than a replacement would be, in the long run several repairs in a short period of time may come with a higher price tag than a new unit would.

It's common to need a repair once in a while. But when the cost of repairs build up over time, consider a full replacement instead.

High Energy Bills

Older models of furnaces aren't as efficient as newer ones. On top of that, a furnace that isn't working properly uses even more energy. Whether your bills have been higher than you'd like for the past two years or you've suddenly seen a spike in costs, an inefficient furnace is a reason to consider a replacement.

Low-efficiency heating systems, which are usually older, typically have efficiencies that range between 56% and 70%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Newer furnaces can have efficiencies just above 98%. Higher efficiency means that an upgrade to an energy-efficient heater will not only save you money on electricity or gas bills but also help the environment.

Before you decide to replace your furnace for efficiency reasons, make sure that there isn't a local or national increase is the price of energy. The sudden rise in gas prices may have very little to do with your heater and more to do with what is happening with the nation's economy.

Uneven Heating

Perhaps your kitchen seems warm while the family room feels cold. Your home should feel fairly even when it comes to heating and comfort, so if you notice uneven heating patterns, they may be a sign that your furnace isn't working properly. Combined with other symptoms, such as higher energy bills or loud noises, a furnace that heats unevenly is one that may need a replacement.

To learn more about your furnace's condition, call Dalton Heating & Air . We can evaluate your furnace, provide options, help you to make the best decision possible and install a new furnace for you if need be.

By Kim Morgan 19 Sep, 2017
Perhaps your furnace isn't exactly new. Maybe it's not heating your home like it should. Or maybe it's making noises night and day. But does that mean you need a new one?

The decision of whether to repair or replace a furnace isn't always easy. Replacing a furnace is a major expense, one that you might not be ready to make. When your seemingly sturdy furnace suddenly fails, you may not have the home improvement budget to replace it right away. That said, in some situations replacing your furnace offers some benefits over repairing it.

How do you know when it's time to replace and not just repair your furnace? Take a look at some of the top signs that signal the need for a replacement.
By Kim Morgan 14 Aug, 2017

There are plenty of important things to consider when choosing a new air conditioner for your home. One of the most important, however, involves the size of your new unit. After all, the same unit that can easily tackle a 1,000-square-foot house might not be as effective at cooling a 5,000-square-foot mansion.

There's also a tendency for many homeowners and even some HVAC experts to deliberately choose the wrong size air conditioner, usually in the name of cost or energy-efficiency. The following explains why it's so important to choose the right size air conditioner, as well as the consequences of buying a unit that's either too big or too small for your home.

The Meaning of "Size" and How It Relates to A/C Systems

When HVAC technicians talk about the "size" of an air conditioner, they're usually referring to the unit's capacity for providing cool, conditioned air. Such performance is usually measured in either British thermal units (BTUs) or "tons," which is why you'll sometimes hear technicians refer to an air conditioning system as a one-ton or two-ton unit, for example. This jargon stems from the days when people used blocks of ice for refrigeration and air-conditioning, but there's also a scientific reason behind it.

In order to melt a single pound of ice under room temperature conditions, you'll need 143 BTUs of heat energy in order to get the job done. Now scale this up to a ton of ice-now you'll need approximately 286,000 BTUs of heat energy to melt that much ice. If you want to get that much ice melted within a 24-hour period, then you'll need to somehow generate 12,000 BTUs of heat energy per hour to make that happen.

So now it's established that it takes 12,000 BTUs of heat energy per hour to completely melt a one-ton block of ice. This explains why an air conditioner with a cooling capacity rated at 24,000 BTUs per hour is often referred to as a two-ton unit.

What Happens When You Choose the Wrong Size

No two homes are alike when it comes to their cooling demands. Differences in insulation, orientation, climate, ventilation and a host of other factors can mean the difference between choosing a one-ton unit or a two-ton unit. Nevertheless, homeowners often choose undersized or oversized air conditioning systems based on the following fallacies:

  • An oversized A/C unit offers quicker and more effective cooling
  • An undersized A/C unit offers greater energy-efficiency due to its smaller cooling capacity
  • It doesn't matter what size A/C unit you choose as they all perform the same

An oversized air conditioner may be able to cool your home's indoor spaces faster, but at the expense of poor moisture control, increased wear and tear on internal components and a shortened lifespan due to excessive wear. An undersized air conditioner won't have enough cooling capacity to meet your home's cooling demands. As a result, it'll continuously struggle to reach your desired indoor temperature, wasting energy while creating excessive wear and tear in the process.

How to Pick the Right Size

Choosing the right size air conditioner for your home means sizing up your home's cooling needs. Some HVAC technicians do just that by following the traditional rule of thumb. While this method is relatively simple to use, it also leaves out several factors that could have a tremendous effect on your home comfort, including your home's square footage.

In order to get a more accurate picture of what your home needs, you should have your HVAC technician perform a manual J-load calculation. This process goes further in-depth to reveal how much cooling capacity your air conditioner will need to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the season. Armed with the knowledge gleaned from the load calculation, you'll be able to choose the best air conditioner that offers the exact level of cooling your home requires.

Contact us  at Dalton Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more or to get an estimate.

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