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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

The Big Fall Question: Is It Time to Replace Your Old Home Heater?


You know what Minnesota winters are like. They can be beautiful, but without reliable sources of indoor warmth, they can also be miserable and dangerous. You certainly never want to head into a Minnesota winter with a central heating system for your home that you can’t trust to get the job done or not fail when you need it the most.

That’s why fall is the time to ask yourself the big question about your old heating system: Is it time to get rid of it and schedule a new heating installation in Eden Prairie, MN?

The easiest way to get an answer to this question is to work with the helpful team at Residential Heating and Air Conditioning. We know our way around heating systems and we certainly know what Minnesota winters can do. Before you call us, we’ll give you some helpful information that will shed light on your current heating system’s fate.

Just how old is an “old heater”?

This depends on the type of heating system you have.

  • Natural gas furnaces, the most common heater type in our area, can last for around 15 years if they receive regular maintenance.
  • Electric furnaces have longer service life estimates, averaging around 20 years.
  • Boilers can often last for 20 years or even longer. Heat pumps have life expectancies similar to air conditioners: 10-15 years.

If your heater has already gone past its service life estimate, then it’s a good thing you’re thinking about a replacement. We don’t recommend trying to squeeze extra life from a heating system. It puts you at risk of a sudden heater breakdown and can cost you extra repairs and wasted energy.

Those energy bills may be the fault of your older heater.

If you’ve noticed that you’re paying more and more over the last several years on your winter energy bills, the problem may not be rising energy costs or increased usage. If your heater is old enough, it will start to quickly lose its energy efficiency, and as efficiency drops, you’ll see a rise in your energy costs. This is one of the biggest warning signs of a heater that’s ready to retire.

Cold spots in your house? We’re not surprised!

When a heating system gets closer to the end of its service life, it will start to lose its heating capacity. One of the earliest warnings that this is occurring is cold spots appearing in parts of the house. The heater may still warm up the center of the house, but it’s not putting out enough heat to reach all the extremities. You might also find that you’re turning the thermostat up higher and higher to get the results you want. This is always a bad sign, and with an older heater, it likely means it’s time for a new one. 

Don’t repair too often or pay too much for it.

Repairs should never be an annual affair for a heating system. If you’ve racked up a steady set of repair bills, it’s better to stop sinking money into that heater and start over fresh. You also shouldn’t pay for a single heating repair that’s more than half the cost of installing a new system.

Call Residential Heating and Air Conditioning “Feel the Difference”! We’ve been serving the Twin Cities since 1991.

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