If you notice that your heater is running more often as spring approaches, you should call in a technician to take a look and see if it is something that can be fixed, or if it is time to replace your heating system. A heater should not have to run constantly to keep your home at a comfortable temperature unless you are experiencing extreme cold weather. Usually, a heater will kick on and off throughout the day to maintain a set temperature.
Determining Whether to Replace or Repair
After having a serviceman go over your system, you will have a better idea of what is wrong and if your unit needs replaced or not. Some people like to keep an existing, poorly performing unit for an extra year or so to save up the money to buy a new one. The problem with this is that a poorly performing system will cost you a lot more in heating bills. The money you think you will be able to save will be spent to keep your house warm and you will not save anything. It is best to replace a system when it first needs replacing than to wait for a better financial situation.
Even if you have used the same company for many years for repair and maintenance of your heater, you should always get at least three different quotes on the cost and installation of a new unit. You want to be sure you are getting a heater that is big enough to heat your home, but not too big. There is no advantage to a unit that is scaled for a larger home. The truth is, your heating bill will be higher with a larger unit and you will still be maintaining the same temperature. Be on the look-out if a company keeps trying to push a certain brand of heater. Often, they are receiving some type of incentive to sell that brand. It might be the best one for you, but could also be more or less than what you need.
Consider Price vs. Life
It might be hard to think of paying a high price for a unit when you can get one for much cheaper. The idea is to compare apples to apples. A less expensive unit might sound better until you consider the fact that it is only supposed to last half the time of the more expensive one. Figure out how much the unit will cost you per year of its life expectancy and then decide which is really the better deal.
If at all possible, it is always best to have a heater replaced during the off-season. Try and make the switch in that time frame where you do not need either heating or air conditioning so you are not paying high utility bills while trying to buy a new unit. Most companies offer some type of financing and will work with you even if you have poor credit. Keep your family warm, and have your heater replaced before you need it to be working.
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