Weber County
Brigham City
Salt Lake


Is it time for a new furnace? If you're not sure when to replace the H in your HVAC system, take a look at the signs that signal the need for a new heater.

Your Heater's Age

How old is your home's heater? While age isn't the only predictor of the need for replacement, it can give you a better idea of when you'll need to install a new furnace, boiler, or heating system.

The expected lifespan of a heater depends on several factors. These include the type of heater/system, level of maintenance, and amount of use/climate. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the most common heating system life expectancies include:

  • Boilers. A boiler heats water and pumps it through tubes or pipes into radiators to warm your home. This type of heater can function for up to 40 years.
  • Furnace. A forced-air furnace pushes warm air into ducts and through vents. InterNACHI's HVAC life expectancy chart lists this heater's age range between 15 and 25 years.
  • Heat pump. A heat pump lets you warm your home without air ducts. This zoned type of system has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.

Not only can an older heater fail to keep your home a uniform temperature, it may cost you unnecessarily. Along with uncomfortable cold spots or chilly interior spaces, you may have high natural gas, electric, or other fuel utility bills.

Your Utility Bills

Residential home heating costs more to use than any other household system, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Older systems typically aren't energy efficient. This means the heater will need to work harder to warm your home. The harder your heater works, the more you'll pay to use it. If your heating utility bills are on the rise:

  • Look for a high AFUE value. The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) number is the percentage of fuel that becomes heat in one year. If you have high utility bills, it's time to replace your current heater with a higher AFUE model.
  • Choose a system with a secondary heat exchanger. High-efficiency heaters have primary and secondary heat exchangers. While this type of model won't guarantee constantly low utility bills, you're likely to see a significant decrease in costs.
  • Select sealed combustion. High AFUE energy-efficient furnaces typically use a sealed combustion system. This decreases heat loss and can cost less to use.

A high-efficiency furnace replacement will do more than save you money on utility bills immediately after installation. The lighter workload (due to less heat loss) can decrease wear or the chances of premature breakdown. This can save you money in potentially costly repair or replacement expenses.

Your Heater's Sounds

Can you hear your furnace failing? While there's no single sound that signals the need for a heater replacement, some noises are signs you need to watch out for. Whether your heater scrapes, thumps, bumps, hums, squeals, squeaks, or bangs, a noisy system is a damaged or worn system.

While some sounds may only point to minor problems (such as a lack of lubrication or loose hardware) other noises require immediate professional attention. If you're not sure if your heater's noise qualifies, be sure to:

  • Note the noises. Along with the sounds, note when the noises start, stop, worsen, or change.
  • Turn the system off. Is the strange sound suddenly louder? The longer you leave the heater on, the more damage can happen. This can result in the unnecessary need for a replacement — instead of a repair.
  • Call a professional. An HVAC contractor can evaluate the noise and recommend a repair or replacement.

Loud or strange sounds aren't the only sensory signs to look for. Odd odors may also signal the need for an HVAC replacement. Like sounds, smells also require a professional evaluation.

Do you need an HVAC inspection or replacement? Contact Dick Kearsley Service Center for more information.


520 S State, Clearfield, UT 84015

[email protected]

Hours Of Operation:

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

Find Us On:


Davis/Morgan: 801-773-4836

Weber County: 801-393-1265

Brigham City: 435-553-4556

Salt Lake: 801-292-1636


© Dick Kearsley Service Center 2023