5 Signs That You Need a New Heater

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Keeping your home heated is vital for both your health and comfort during the winter months. A heating system’s failure can leave your family exposed to extreme temperatures in the dead of winter. But that doesn’t have to happen. If you know to observe the signs that you need a new heater, you can predict that a breakdown is just around the corner. This way you’ll have enough time to prepare for the costs of installing a new heater.

1. Be Wary of Frequent Cycling

Under normal circumstances, your heater will kick on for a few minutes to heat the home to the desired temperature before kicking off for a while. However, if this cycle seems shorter as the heater is kicking on more frequently than usual, it could indicate a problem.

There are many reasons that frequent cycling could be happening in your home, including heat loss through poor insulation around your doors and windows. It could also mean your heat sensor is faulty or the blower fan is dying.

The best course of action is to have an HVAC contractor inspect the system to determine if your heater really causes the problem.

2. Odd Burner Flame Color

The burner flame on your heater should be blue. If you see an orange or yellowish color, this indicates the burner is dirty or damaged. As a result, your heater is failing to heat your home correctly.

In addition to causing a waste of energy, odd burner flame colors also suggest the carbon monoxide released in the burning process isn’t being vented as efficiently as it should. Since this may pose a considerable health risk, you should consider replacing your heater as soon as possible.

  1. Increased Energy Use

While professional maintenance services can help you improve the efficiency of a heater, you should still be concerned about higher utility bills. When you’re paying noticeably more to heat your home than you did in previous years, this typically indicates a dying heater.

If an HVAC technician can’t find a specific reason you’re using more energy, the answer may be that the system is simply too old. A new unit will be more energy-efficient. Plus, if your heater is more than 15 years old, it probably has outlived its intended lifetime.  

  1. You’re Frequently Repairing the Heater

Another sign that your heating system needs to be replaced is that you frequently have to call a contractor to repair various components. If you had the system repaired more than a few times over a year, you have probably paid more in repairs than a new system would cost.

Continuing to fix a dying heater will cost you more in upfront costs and lead to higher energy bills. Rather than performing more repairs on an existing system, talk to a contractor about more efficient models that can meet your family’s heating needs.

  1. Unusual Activity

If you notice unusual activity as your heating system kicks on, you should immediately suspect a problem. An unusual activity may include a cloud of dust blown from the registers, an unpleasant odor, or loud noises coming from the unit. If you notice one of these things or a combination of odd smells and sounds, contact an HVAC technician as soon as possible.

While there may be a simple issue that can be easily fixed, this type of activity can also represent a more severe problem. Find out what is wrong with your heater before it fails altogether.

You can avoid surprise mechanical failures by having your heating system inspected at the start of the season. If you missed that crucial annual checkup, you could still ask a heating maintenance services provider to give your system an inspection.

This simple move can help keep your existing system in better shape while also helping your family prepare for the need to replace the unit in advance.


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About Kristin

Master reviewer of all types of products. Love XL Fountain Sodas!! Cheer Mom extraordinaire. Socialite to all things small town and founder of ItsFreeAtlast.com. Come socialize and connect with me.


  1. Jodi Hunter says

    Thanks for this super helpful post.

  2. megan allen says

    Thank you for sharing! It’s so important to take care of your heater and keep things safe in your home!

  3. Dana Rodriguez says

    We had to have a new central heat and air unti installed a couple of years ago.Made a world of difference.


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