A lot can happen in 25 years. This is especially true in the HVAC industry. If you have a 25-year-old furnace in your Richmond, KY home, you’re missing out on many important innovations. From improved efficiency to quieter operation, new heating systems have much to offer. Read on to find out why replacing your old heater now is probably the best choice.
Still Working and Still Working Efficiently Aren’t the Same Thing
When first installed, your current furnace may have had an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80%. This means that, when new, it converted 80% of the fuel that it burned into heat energy. However, according to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), furnaces that have already supplied two decades of service waste at least 22% of the energy they consume. These additional, age-related energy losses could put your furnace’s current AFUE rating at less than 60%.
Mounting Repair Costs
Most HVAC equipment experiences the majority of its problems within the last two to five years of service. With furnaces typically lasting between 15 and 25 years, yours is already in the danger zone. If you haven’t spent a cumulative fortune on heater repairs so far, multiple problems are likely looming in your future. Worse still, you have an increasingly high risk of experiencing serious issues or complete furnace failure at the worst possible time. Replacing a 25-year-old heater before it stops working altogether will help you avoid a heating emergency.
Your Carbon Footprint Is Constantly Growing
Rising operating costs aren’t the only issue with old, outdated furnaces. The fuel that gas-fired furnaces waste is released into the outdoor air in the form of exhaust gases. A result of incomplete fuel combustion, these emissions are harmful to both human health and the natural environment. If you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint, replacing your 25-year-old gas furnace is often a good place to start.
Pilot Lights Are a Thing of the Past
In 2010, furnace manufacturers replaced pilot lights with electronic ignition switches. These features are both safer and more efficient. While pilot lights require a constant supply of natural gas, electronic ignition switches only use electricity at startup. Having a new furnace put in will eliminate the hassle of relighting your pilot light every time someone slams a door or creates drafts in other ways.
Some of the Latest Furnace Models Have AFUE Ratings of 98.5% to 100%
25 years ago, the minimum AFUE rating for natural gas furnaces was just 78%. Now, the minimum AFUE for these appliances is 80%. While even these entry-level heaters outperform furnaces from several decades ago, you can also find high-efficiency gas furnaces with AFUE ratings as high as 98.5% along with an impressive selection of electric furnaces that perform at 100% efficiency.
Sometimes Furnace Replacement Is the Only Way to Improve IAQ
Regular filter changes and annual furnace maintenance can both go a long way toward protecting your indoor air quality (IAQ). However, with time, even these measures will eventually fall short. Aging furnaces tend to harbor large amounts of trapped debris. Paired with declining performance, this could leave residents struggling with IAQ-related symptoms like:
- Recurring headaches
- Sinus irritation
- Sniffling, sneezing, and coughing
- Itchy, water eyes
Just as furnaces become less efficient in converting fuel into heat, they also gradually lose their ability to effectively filter the indoor air and regulate humidity.
Although there are many ways to mitigate a low IAQ, all measures work best when homeowners start by addressing underlying problems. If your furnace is 25 years old or older, it is the underlying problem. Until you replace it, upgraded air filters, integrated or freestanding air purifiers, and air scrubbers won’t help.
Your Furnace Has Lasted Beyond the Lifespan of Its Warranty
Many furnace manufacturers provide surprisingly generous warranties. For instance, most heaters are covered by five to 10-year limited parts warranties along with 10 to 20-year heat exchanger warranties. Throughout the lifespan of your furnace’s warranty, you could sidestep the costs of repairing or replacing parts that were defective, assembled incorrectly, or damaged by poor workmanship. Now that 25 years have passed, these and all other repairs must be paid out of pocket. Getting a new furnace means getting a new warranty and enjoying all of its protections for many years.
We’ve been proudly serving Richmond, KY and the surrounding communities since 2012. We offer outstanding AC, heat pump, boiler, and furnace installation, maintenance, and repairs. We also offer geothermal heating, indoor air quality improvements, and preventative maintenance plans. If you’re ready to replace your 25-year-old heater, call Affordable Service Solutions Heating & Air Conditioning today!