To Repair or Replace Your Furnace? 3 Reasons to Call Your Des Moines HVAC Expert

December 11, 2014

Your furnace has really bad timing. It always seems to stop working on Iowa’s coldest day of the year. And there’s nothing worse than dipping into summer vacation savings to fix your furnace. If your furnace isn’t properly maintained, these breakdowns can happen more frequently and be even more costly. But even well-maintained furnaces wear out over time, with the average lifespan lasting 16 to 20 years. So how do you know if your furnace should be repaired or replaced? Here are a few things to watch for when inspecting your HVAC unit, and be sure to call the experts at Lenz Heating and Cooling if you have any questions or concerns.

Strange Noises

If it sounds like creatures from the underworld are trying to escape from your heater, that could mean one of three things: 1. Your furnace requires maintenance or a tune-up. 2. Your furnace needs repaired. 3. Your furnace needs replaced. These are common sounds that indicate you should make a service call to your favorite HVAC technician (Lenz, of course!):

Rattling or Vibrating Sounds

Any rattling or vibrating noises coming from your furnace range from loose cover panels to cracked heat exchangers. Cover panels can be fixed with a simple tune-up, but a cracked heat exchanger can be very dangerous, as it allows harmful toxins into your home’s air. In this situation, it’s best to call an HVAC professional to determine the exact cause of the noise to keep your home and your family safe.

Low, Rumbling Noises

This sound is another indication of a potentially dangerous problem if your house is heated with an oil-burning furnace. A low rumble could be a sign that oil has leaked into the combustion chamber, which can then force noxious fumes into your home.

Scraping Sounds

If you hear your furnace making scraping sounds, turn off your furnace immediately. This noise is a sign that the ball bearings are worn out, so turning the furnace off prevents any further damage. If you hear scraping sounds coming from your furnace, call the heating and cooling experts at Lenz right away. We’re open 24/7 to provide immediate service and assistance.

High-Pitched Squeals

High-pitched noises occur when ball bearings need lubrication or when the blower belt is slipping or frayed. Either way, this sound indicates maintenance or repair, so be sure to consult the Lenz Heating and Cooling technicians.

Yellow Pilot Light

A flickering or yellow pilot light for gas furnaces is an indication of too much carbon dioxide. Try adjusting the burner light screw, and if the light doesn’t return to blue, it’s time for maintenance or a replacement.

Low Efficiency

If you notice that temperatures are not equally warm throughout the house or if you’re having trouble with your thermostat, it may mean that your furnace is not running as efficiently as it should. In most cases, a simple tune-up is all that’s required to get your home feeling cozy and comfortable again.
Still unsure whether to repair or replace your furnace? A good rule of thumb to follow is the 50% rule—that is, you should replace your furnace or boiler when repair costs would surpass 50% of the HVAC system’s value. While replacing your heating unit may seem like a daunting task, there are several benefits of upgrading your system. You’ll have the advantage of current standards, a reliable warranty, improved air quality, and lower heating and cooling bills due to increased efficiency. Tax credits are also good incentives for investing in a safe, dependable HVAC system that will keep your family comfortable in the unpredictable weather conditions Iowa has to offer.
Whether you live in Des Moines, Ankeny, Johnston, Norwalk, or Winterset, Lenz Heating and Cooling is here to provide superior service for your furnace, air conditioning, and air quality needs. Call us today for furnace tune-ups, repairs, or replacements. We offer 24/7 emergency service to serve you better.