Is It Time To Replace Your Furnace?


Learn the telltale signs of a failing furnace, and why you should switch to a heat pump system.

It’s very common for older houses to have outdated and inefficient furnaces. These furnaces can cause a variety of problems for homeowners once they come to the end of their lifecycle. Much like an aging automobile, furnaces can become quite expensive to try and maintain when various aspects begin to fail. In these cases, it’s often better to replace the furnace with something newer and more efficient.

Some homeowners might instinctively consider just replacing their old furnace with a new one. Instead, it’s better to consider a more cost-effective, energy efficient and modern option for home heating.

In this post, you’ll see why it’s better to replace your old furnace with a heat pump system, and how to tell when your current furnace is about to hit the dust.

How To Tell When Your Furnace is Failing

There are several signs that your furnace could be near the end of its life and need replacement. These signs vary from the obvious to the subtle, and some can even have ramifications on your health. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when evaluating the state of your furnace.

Is Your Power Bill Increasing?

The first sign that your furnace is failing is that it’s becoming inefficient to operate. Inefficiency can be caused by several factors; however, the best way to tell if efficiency is an issue is that it costs you more on your heating bill.

It should be reasonably easy to tell by comparing your monthly heating bills over the period of a few months. If there have not been any rate increases by your power utility and you are not heating substantially more than usual—but  your bill is steadily increasing—then that is a strong signal that your furnace is going downhill.

How Old is Your Furnace?

Having an old furnace does not necessarily mean that it’s time to replace it, but it does mean that its days are numbered, statistically speaking. Furnaces typically last between 15-20 years, so if yours is approaching that length of service, then you could start noticing issues soon.

Older furnaces are typically more costly for homeowners on average, according to Efficiency Nova Scotia. Technology tends to change at a rapid pace, so it’s no surprise that an older model would not stand up to a more newer furnace, and certainly not a modern heat pump.

Are The Rooms in Your House Evenly Heated?

A furnace operating normally should be evenly heating all of the rooms in your house with the appropriate amount of ducts. If you have rooms that are not heated adequately, or some that are overheated compared to others, then that could be a sign that your furnace is losing the ability to regulate temperature and distribute heat.

Does Your House Have a Sudden Lack of Humidity?

Sore throats, dry skin, and a dusty feel to the air in your house can be the result of dry air created by your furnace. Often, when a furnace starts to break down, it loses the ability to filter and clean the air.  

It may be more challenging to notice a sudden drop in the humidity of your house and attribute it to your furnace, but in conjunction with a few of the other signs, it could start to become more evident that it’s time for a new heating solution.

Switching to an Air Source Heat Pump is Easy

Once you’ve committed to ditching the old, failing furnace, adapting to a heat pump system can happen relatively quickly. The transition will depend on a few factors, including whether you are moving from an oil or electric-based furnace, or if you have duct system currently in place.

Because heat pumps are a more efficient and environmentally friendly solution, government rebates are available to help cover some of the cost of installation. These rebates allow you to start seeing the returns in energy savings much more quickly.

Increased Efficiency and Cost Savings

The biggest reason for transitioning over to a heat pump system is a substantial increase in energy efficiency, which translates into considerable cost savings over time. The Efficiency Nova Scotia heating comparison (as well as several studies on energy efficiency) show that both ducted and ductless heat pumps represent substantial cost savings in contrast to traditional heating methods (such as electric and oil furnaces).

Year-Round Comfort

The versatility of heat pumps provides a massive advantage over traditional furnaces in that they have both heating and cooling functions. With this flexibility, they are a complete climate control solution that can serve you all year round, by keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

How Much Can I Expect To Save By Switching?

There are a few factors that go into how much you can save by switching from a furnace to a heat pump. These factors include the type of furnace you use, the province you live in, and the amount you currently spend on heating.

Check out our savings calculator to get an estimate on how much you stand to save.