What’s That Knocking I Hear?

by Jane VanOsdol on August 22, 2011

Has your heating and cooling system been acting up lately? Perhaps you’ve heard some strange sounds when it kicks on, or you’ve had a few too many repairs in the last year. You may be wondering how to know if you need to replace your system or if you can just continue repairing it. Great question! Let’s explore a few questions that will help you make this big decision.

  1. How old is your system? Most heating and cooling systems have a lifetime expectancy of about 12 year or less. You’ll start to notice changes as the system ages. Its efficiency may decrease and you may observe that it gets noisier and needs to be repaired more often. If your heating and cooling system is old, replacing it with a newer, more efficient model could cut your energy costs by up to 40%, depending upon how your old system is running. That leads us to question # 2 ….
  2. How efficient is your indoor system? Does your system seem to be running all the time? Have your utility bills recently spiked and you know it’s not related to rate increases or weather circumstances? Do you know someone you can compare utility bills with who has about the same size house as you and keeps the indoor temperature at the same setting as you do? If your efficiency has dropped dramatically, hire a heating repair service to do a maintenance service call to see if this makes a difference. Otherwise, it may be time to think about replacing the system.
  3. Is your system the right size for your home? A heating and cooling system that is undersized will function poorly and will wear out much faster than one that is the right size for a house. Don’t overlook this important piece of information, especially if you’ve bought an older home.
  4. How often is your system operating? If you live in a geographic region that has temperature extremes, your heating and cooling system will probably not last as long as one that is located in a more temperate climate. Frigid, snowy areas and hot, humid climates will place a high demand on your system.
  5. Are you moving soon? While you may not relish the thought of investing the money into a new heating and cooling system when you’re not planning on staying in your home much longer, a new system could be a big home improvement selling point for a potential buyer.

Ultimately, sometimes you need to call in a professional heating contractor when deciding whether that banging you hear in the furnace means a new system is in your near future. A reputable contractor will tell you if it’s time to ante up for a new system, or if you can fix the problem with a repair.

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