How to Know When its Time to Replace Your Furnace
Your old furnace may start losing its efficiency when due to aging factors. The average lifespan of an oil furnace is stated to be between 16. The gas furnace can last for about 15 years, while the electric furnace may be somewhere in between the two. The other factors could be critical damages (internal or external), fuel inefficiency, increasing emissions, and reducing safety. Every defect will have the unique symptoms and causes. In this article, you can get a brief overview of such defects which need replacement of the furnace, since repair may not work.
Aging can cause the furnace to work at reduced efficiency. It starts emitting carbon into the surrounding environment due to improper fuel burning. The utility bills rise sharply due to higher fuel and power consumption. The heating becomes uneven. Most of the times, the temperature of the hot water is lower than the settings. The frequency of breakdown increases sharply. Defective parts need frequent replacements since the repairs don’t work any longer.
In some cases it is difficult or impossible to get the replacements for the parts, since the OEM has stopped manufacturing those parts. The incompatibility of the other brands and models with your original equipment parts may make it mandatory to replace the furnace. In this way, you can save on the utility bills, avoid the repairs and replacements, and increase the furnace efficiency.
Safety is one of the key aspects which get compromised with the aging furnace. The initial symptoms could be the strange noises from the internal parts. Initially you may not be able to recognize the origin of the noise. One reason could the accumulation of the unburned oil in the fuel chamber. The other reasons could be the defective fan, filter, ducts, motor, etc. Deep reverberating noise could be related to the defective parts like the bearings, mount, heat shield, air blower, or the draft fan. They can lead to explosions, blown out parts, and pressure bursts, causing damages to the surrounding objects and personal injuries.
Fuel inefficiency is the other critical reason for replacing your old furnace. The burner has a standard air: fuel ratio. The furnaces working on propane, oil or other natural gases will have +10% to +19% tolerances for the air ratio for enabling efficient heat transfers. It will also prevent the formation of harmful carbon and its byproducts during combustion. The flue gas will efficient enough to pre-heat the inlet water before it enters the heating chamber. This design is available in the latest models of furnaces for increasing the fuel efficiency. Conventional furnaces won’t have the option of reusing the flue gas.
In either case, the inefficient and old furnace releases excess of carbon emissions through the flue. It can increase the fuel consumption due to the blocking of the internal parts located in the motor, fuel pipe, and the burner. This problem could be solved by cleaning when the furnace is new. When it is moderately old, it is possible to replace the defective components and make it work. But the old models don’t have any such replacement options. Hence, you need to replace the entire furnace with the new one.
The heating efficiency of the furnace goes down with aging and repeated repairs of the critical engine fuel combustion chamber, fuel pipes, and other critical functional parts. It may force the furnace to age prematurely. The frequent wearing out, exposure to excess of heat, humidity, and contaminants can make the parts brittle. So, the volume of heating naturally reduces. The output could reduce to less than 50% with a phenomenal increase in the loss of thermal heat.
The most prominent symptom is the heating up of furnace’s internal parts which may force you to shut down the system frequently. Weakened combustion chamber walls can also lead to increased fuel consumption. Replacing the parts may not improve the efficiency due to the defects in the entire assembly.
Costing is one of the major criteria involved with the part replacements related to the fuel combustion, heat generation, and the transfer systems within the furnace. Since there is no use of fixing only one of them, while the others work with highly reduced efficiency, the best method is to replace the old furnace with the new one.
Fatal damages and defects in the furnace’s internal parts can cause blown out parts and unexpected bursts. The uneven pressure building in the pipes, joints, nozzles and other parts can cause the explosions. Hence, it is very important to detect these defects in the earliest stage of the damage. An expert boiler specialist can examine the furnace parts accurately for the micro level of defects. He will know when to suggest replacement after the completion of the initial diagnosis and testing of the parts. In some cases the part replacement alone may work.
The furnace starts delivering the output once again due to the repair works. But the duration of the restored part function will be highly limited. The repair and replacements can happen within the next few weeks or days, in spite of replacing the old parts with authentic new boiler repair parts. It is especially true for the parts that are critical for the safety and functionality of the furnace. In such cases you have to replace the entire furnace.
Old furnaces develop structural weakness of the parts due to regular usage, stress, and strain. The pipes and joints can develop fatigue which gets stored within every part. As the number of repairs and age increase, the component may crack open or break down. Replacement will not work since you need to replace all the related components also. It may work out to be less of an economical choice. In such cases, you can replace the entire furnace.
New Furnace Brand Selection
The new furnace brand should have the functional and part warranty for the nest 10 to 15 years. It means the probability of repairs in this period is reduced to near zero. It should also work with the maximum fuel efficiency and heating effects for the home heating and hot water supplies.