A: Normally in the ten to twelve-year mark is when people see major failures happening on components such as the blower motor or control board. These parts are sensitive to things such as power surges, electrical storms, and things of that sort. So, when you’re faced with one of those major repairs, I would recommend replacing the furnace. Get something a bit more efficient if possible, and that will give you quieter operation as well.
Basically, the longer you let a furnace go past it’s expected life cycle the more it’s costing you to keep it. Houston HVAC components including the furnace need to be replaced at the end of their life cycle. Getting a new furnace will help you not only maintain efficiency—it will also be safer.
The issue that remains is knowing when it’s time to replace your Houston furnace. Every system is different but there are ways to know. First, however, you need to understand a bit about furnace lifespans and how to get the most service out of yours.
How Long Should A Furnace Last?
We’re the best in Houston HVAC installation and service, so we only sell and install the absolute best furnaces in Houston. Our reasoning behind that is that if you start with a high-quality, energy-saving system you are better off in the long run. These furnaces are built so well that they can last anywhere from 14 to 20 years—with one exception:
It doesn’t matter if a customer buys our top of the line, most expensive furnace in Houston available. If they don’t maintain it properly the lifespan suffers greatly.
Think about it—a furnace gets extremely hot, it has combustible gas coursing through it daily during the winter. Over time there can be a buildup of residue and parts can get gunked up. When you factor in that most manufacturer warranties only last about 12 years—maintenance becomes crucial. Regular maintenance can keep your system running efficiently and safely well beyond the warranty period.
Houston Furnace Maintenance
Airteam Houston HVAC experts have been servicing furnaces in Houston for decades and they all agree on this advice:
The most important part of getting the most service out of your Houston HVAC system is routine maintenance.
This includes maintaining all components of the HVAC system such as bearings, hoses, capacitors, and more. It only takes the wearing down of one small component to cause a much larger problem down the road if not serviced. Your manufacturer’s warranty is not voided by having us maintain or make small repairs on your system either.
In fact, manufacturers encourage customers to have their preferred HVAC installer service units regularly. It allows their systems to perform to the best of their abilities and when it runs as designed, customers are happy. It’s good for business, good for you, the customer, and good for Airteam—because we love satisfied customers. We don’t want to ever hear that our customers weren’t advised to properly maintain their system.
That is why we do offer our Member Value Plus (MVP) preventative maintenance program. For a small charge every month, we keep your system running smoothly and catch minor wear before it causes major problems. It is extremely easy for a $3.00 part to end up causing a $1200.00 breakdown when not addressed early.
By joining our MVP preventative maintenance program, you never have to wonder about the condition of your furnace. Our technicians will conduct annual tune-ups and inspections and notify you of any potential issues arising.
Houston Furnace Replacement
Thankfully, we never see the mercury drop like it does in places like Minnesota. However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t had phenomenal cold snaps—anyone remember the snow in Galveston? That doesn’t make a furnace failure any less inconvenient though. It can be a huge financial drain on Houston homeowners, especially during the holidays. By keeping up with your furnace maintenance with our MVP program you can anticipate when you’ll need to replace it. This gives you time to plan, put money away, and budget accordingly.
However, sometimes the circumstances are not that easy. You may have bought a house and don’t have any maintenance records for the HVAC system. What if you have no history whatsoever about the HVAC installation or even how old it is? How do you know if it’s time to replace your Houston furnace or not?
Signs That Show Replacement Is Needed
Like any home appliance, as furnaces age, they will show signs of wear that indicate replacement or repairs are needed. Some signs or indicators include the age of the system, major component failure, uneven or yellow flames, and energy usage spikes.
Any furnace in use for 10 years or more can develop severe problems, especially if it’s not been maintained well. If it has been serviced regularly, you can likely get 15 plus years out of a high-quality furnace. However, as mentioned, most warranties expire in the 12th year so you should prepare for the cost of replacement. Any system will degrade in efficiency over time with each repair—it’s just the nature of machines.
When any mechanical system such as your HVAC consistently needs repairs, you have to lean towards replacing it. Over time, those repair costs add up, and for what—to make it one more winter? You are only throwing money away on a dying system. Also, an obsolete system will be harder to find parts for.
Most Houston homeowners use natural gas furnaces—they’re just more economical and efficient. A properly functioning gas furnace will have definitive, strong blue flames. A crisp flame lets you know the burners are clean with no leaks or safety hazards. You can check the flame color through the cover vents. If you see a yellow flame, the heat exchanger or burner could be dirty. If you don’t get it cleaned it can lead to failure or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning.
Energy Usage Spikes
Just like Houston air conditioning units, furnaces that are old and no longer efficient will make your energy costs increase. As the years pass that inefficiency will get so bad that when you run the numbers—replacing it is the better value! If you notice that your energy bills are only increasing from the norm during the winter, you likely need a replacement.
Essentially, all furnaces should be replaced before they break down because it gives you time. People rarely make their best decisions hastily. If you keep your furnace maintained and know where it’s at in the life cycle you have time to:
- Choose a contractor you trust or have been referred to, such as Airteam
- Research the different models and options that are best for your household
- Shop around to get the best price on furnaces, labor, and accompanying service plans.
Trust The Houston Furnace Experts
When you go into a major purchase, like a furnace, well-prepared you end up making a better decision. You will likely also get the most economical deal for your budget and needs rather than being under the gun. In fact, many homeowners don’t even wait until their warranty is up before replacing their older furnace for a newer one. Often, the model they are buying is an upgrade and offers more efficient heating and costs less to operate. After all, just because your furnace still runs after 20 years doesn’t mean it’s not costing you dearly to run it.
At Airteam, our estimates and consultations for furnace replacement are never at any charge to you. We have over three decades of top-tier service and tailor systems to your home’s needs. We take into consideration the square footage of your home, the amount of insulation you have, and of course your budget. Financing is available and we try our best to accommodate everyone.
Contact us today for your free consultation and start saving on heat before winter gets here.