While many homeowners wait until their furnace is so old and inefficient that it stops working altogether, in many cases it makes sense to replace your furnace much sooner. A new furnace can make your home much more comfortable in the winter, help reduce your energy bills, give a boost to your home's value if you are planning to sell soon, and even improve your air quality. If you're on the fence, here are three of the most important reasons to consider furnace replacement sooner than later:

Your Heating Bills Keep Going Up

If your local friends and neighbors haven't noticed their bills going up, while yours have risen dramatically, the problem is likely with your heating system rather than a pricing increase from your utility company. Even though your furnace is still technically working, over time it has likely become much less efficient. Individual components may also have worn out over time. The end result is that you need to crank the heat higher just to make your home reasonably comfortable. This leads to higher energy bills each month. 

A new furnace, on the other hand, will be much more energy-efficient and effective, leaving your home toasty warm while not having nearly the same effect on your monthly bills.

Your Furnace is More Noticeable

Ideally, a furnace is something that does its job quietly in the background that you don't have to spend much time thinking about. As furnaces break down over time, however, they become more intrusive and noticeable. An older furnace near the end of its lifespan is likely to make strange and unpleasant noises, such as clanking and screeching whenever it's on. You may also notice that your air quality is not great when the older furnace is on, especially if anyone in your home has allergies or asthma.

Your Home Is Never Warm Enough

While drafty windows and a lack of insulation can also contribute to this problem, an outdated furnace is often the main culprit when a home is never quite warm enough. Your older furnace may need to work harder and harder to crank out even a minimal amount of heat. If everyone in your family complains about being cold even when the heat's on, it's time to consider replacing your furnace. 

If you notice any or all of these signs, it's time to talk to your HVAC company about replacing your furnace. Today's heating options are more efficient and quiet than ever, with many offering advanced features like zoned heating. 

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