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Time to Replace Your Propane or Natural Gas Furnace? Watch for These Five Warning Signs

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With proper maintenance, a propane or natural gas furnace can last a decade or two – but that number can vary quite a bit within that range based on how the equipment was chosen, installed, and treated over the years.

The problem, if you’re like most Connecticut homeowners, is that there’s a good chance you moved into your space with a furnace already in place and doing its job – and if that’s the case, you probably don’t know how well the previous owners cared for their equipment.

If you are left with that kind of guesswork, it’s important to know how to read the warning signs that your furnace is ready for an upgrade. Here are five things to keep an eye on as your heating system labors through another New England winter:

  1. Age – Look up your furnace’s model number to determine how old it is; if your furnace is more than 10 to 12 years old and you’re experiencing lots of problems, it’s probably time for a heating system upgrade. If you can’t find the age of furnace based on the model number, here’s a trick: look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s nameplate. The first letter in the serial number corresponds to its month of production; the first two numbers its year of production. For example, in the serial number E022738598, “E”, the fifth letter in the alphabet, corresponds to May, the fifth month. The number “02” represents the year. The furnace was produced in May 2002 – which means your furnace will probably need to be replaced very soon.
  2. Higher bills – Furnaces lose efficiency every year; if you’re experiencing rising energy bills – even after routine heating maintenance for your gas furnace – it’s probably time to upgrade. A new high efficiency propane furnace could save you as much as 30 percent on your bills – enough to offset the cost of a replacement in just a few years.
  3. More frequent repairs ­­– If you are on a first-name basis with your repairman because he visits year after year, it’s probably worth investing in new gas furnace rather than pay another furnace repair. Those service repair costs add up!
  4. Unusual noises – A noisy furnace usually indicates a problem with your equipment – and there’s a pretty good change that problem is significant. Be on the lookout (or “listen-out”) for rattling, humming, screeching, banging, or any other noises that seem out of the norm; a heating expert will tell you how severe the issue is, and whether or not a system replacement makes sense.
  5. Excessive dust – Notice more dust than usual in your Connecticut home? It could be a sign of heater inefficiency and/or dirty HVAC ducts. Either way your heating equipment will need some attention from a qualified professional.

Seeing (or hearing) signs that it’s time for a propane furnace upgrade? We can help. Contact the heating specialists at Hocon today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a new propane gas furnace for your Connecticut home.