When is it time to replace a boiler in DE, PA or MD?
Hopefully, you are not reading this while seeing your own breath because your boiler’s broken down. We get asked, “Is it time for us to replace our boiler?” And, we say, “It all depends.” If you have a newer boiler that came with your home purchase and replacing it is unlikely. This is especially true if you are on the Hillside Heating Maintenance Plan. A well-serviced newer boiler normally provides exceptional heating for a quite some time. On the flipside, if your boiler is older and/or is performing poorly or breaking down a lot, it may be time to replace your heating unit. We have assembled a list of a few warning signs that you may need replacement:
Your DE, PA, or MD boiler is over 15 years old.
First, let’s define which type of boiler you may own because they’re a few different types of residential boilers with each having a different lifespan. According to Energy.gov, you should start considering replacing your boiler if it’s more than 15 years old.
Cast iron boilers are reliable with a 20-30 year lifetime and can last even longer with proper care and maintenance. If your boiler is over this age limit and not functioning properly or needing repairs constantly, it may be time to upgrade your equipment. There have been cases where cast iron boilers lasted 50 years or longer with repairs and annual maintenance. The downside is they’re not as efficient as today’s cast iron boilers.
Condensing boilers are relatively new to the market, therefore, it is hard to predict their longevity. With proper boiler maintenance, we think you should get at least 15 years out of your condensing boiler heating system.
Warning Signs: Don’t want to wait until your boiler fails before you consider replacing it. Here are signs you’ll want to review before your system breaks down:
- Equipment Damage: Your boilers has damaged seals, high pressure, cracks in the body (usually from corrosion or stress fractures in the metal) or other damaged components.
- Inadequate Heating: Your boilers should have no issue getting and staying warm.
- Energy Expenditures: You notice an unusual spike in your energy bills. As your residential boiler ages, it becomes less efficient and has to work harder to produce the same heat output. This is a sign it may have reached the end of its life.
- Increased frequency of failures: If your boiler is constantly breaking down and is getting repaired frequently, this is an indicator your unit is ready for replacement. I may not be worth pouring money and time into a dying heating system.
- Discoloration: If you notice yellow flames (instead of blue) on your gas burners or black soot on oil boilers, this means that the fuel is improperly burning and creating carbon monoxide and should be replaced ASAP. Even at lower levels, carbon monoxide can cause headaches, dizziness, upset stomach and chest pain. Always be sure to have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, particularly close to your furnace room. Call Hillside to replace your boiler heating unit and avoid health issues.
- Leaks: A boiler that leaks water or requires additional make-up water could be nearing the end of its lifecycle. Small leaks develop into bigger leaks and can cause costly water damage. Replace your boiler heating unit to avoid costly floods and property damage.
If repairing and operating your boiler is getting too expensive, call Hillside Oil Heating & Cooling and we’ll send a professional heating technician out to assess your current system and provide a fair quote.
When is it time to replace my heat pump in DE, PA, or MD?
If your heat pump is older than 10 years and is frequently being repaired, purchasing a new HVAC system is more than likely your best investment option. According to energystar.gov, if your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing your unit with an HVAC unit with an ENERGY STAR label. Installed correctly by an HVAC company in DE, PA or MD, these high-efficiency units can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs – as heat pump ages, it can lose its efficiency or stop operating.
“Warning signs” of a failing heat pump: Don’t want to wait until your HVAC heat pump fails before you consider replacing it. Here are signs you’ll want to review before your system breaks down:
Have you maintained the system? A well-maintained pump can perform as much as 25 percent better than a neglected system. Faithfully scheduling annual service for the heat pump means that it’s still energy efficient, so investing in a repair may pay off.
- The HVAC unit is blowing inconsistent with your temperature settings: A common problem with older heat pump units is uneven heating (or cooling) your home, even after a few repairs. For cooling, it may mean low refrigerant levels. If your air is cool when its set to heat (and vice versa) this indicates a serious problem. Inconsistent temperatures signal trouble too. If you our heat pump is not providing consistent air temperatures at the setting you’ve chosen, be prepared.
- Energy Expenditures: If your utility bills spike in the winter or summer under normal conditions, perhaps your heat pump system is overworking. Inefficient units will raise energy costs because it struggles to maintain the desired temperature effectively. You can try cleaning your air vents, replacing the filters and also check for any lumps or knots in the condensing coil. If your unit has reached the end of its working life, your bills will still be high even after an energy audit
- It’s emitting strange noises or strange smells: Mechanical systems are designed to run quietly with little friction and internal resistance. If you know your unit, you should be familiar with its sounds as it goes through a cycle. If you hear abnormal noises from the HVAC unit, it may be a sign that its components and moving parts are wearing down. Minor noise changes may indicate minor repairs needed. Screeching, grinding, grating, rattling, buzzing or other strange noises may indicate a more serious problem. Unusual odors can be more than just a nuisance and may indicate a problem. Your heat pump’s insulation can be damaged or you have moldy ductwork. Any dirt, mold or mildew inside your unit can recycle contaminated air through your home and cause health issues for your family. Don’t ignore any unusual or bad odors. You may only need to clean your filter, schedule an HVAC tune-up, or it may be time to replace it.
- Your unit is leaking or producing excess moisture: If you notice a small amount of condensation or water dripping outside of your unit, that is perfectly normal. Your HVAC unit should be dry regardless if it is operating. Any moisture inside the house or sudden increase in water outside may indicate a serious issue. Hillside has heat pump technicians in DE, MD, and PA that can inspect your unit. As an HVAC heat pump specialist, we uncover the problem and help you with the most cost-effective course of action.
Replace My Heat Pump in DE, PA, and MD.
You may love your old reliable heat pump and may be able to nurse that old champ along with costly repairs for a couple of years or more. Eventually, he’ll retire himself. You may be a financial whiz and want the highest return on your heat pump investment by stretching our its lifespan. Beware of diminishing returns. Although a well-maintained heat pump can be operational after 20 years, most do not last that long. Repairing an old heat pump may not be a wise investment. Let her go because she has done her job.
Purchase a new heat pump with a professional HVAC company with a 5-star ratings and recommendations for service and installation expertise. Our experts will work together with you in your home to select the best you can afford. We’ll evaluate both your heating season performance factor (HSPF) and the (cooling) seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). At Hillside, we’re small enough to know you and big enough to serve you.