Not Sure How Old Your Heating and Cooling Systems Are? Follow These Tips

You’ve enjoyed an early morning in the yard but with humidity climbing as the day edges into the afternoon, it’s time to duck in from the heat. Once inside you notice again that it takes longer for the house to cool. That familiar clicking sounds that lets you know that your unit is activated is absent. In winter, similar problems crop up. Some rooms achieve the desired level of “toastiness” while others seem to cling to the cool Toronto air. Age is the primary reason that your heating and cooling systems decline in terms of performance, and if they’re over ten years old, it’s time to consider a complete replacement. But how do you determine how old they are?

Tips to Help You Determine the Age of Your Heating and Cooling Systems

  • Look For the Date of Installation – Unless your home is less than ten years old, you may need to replace your central air conditioner (or whatever type of AC unit you have) and furnace. Many homeowners still rely on the heating and cooling units that were originally installed in their property, a system that could have been installed many years before they moved in. If this is the case,  attempting to determine its age can be a frustrating task. However, it’s possible that the technician recorded the date of installation somewhere on the unit. Finding this information could be as simple as locating a date penned along the side of your furnace.
  • Find the ID Plate – This scenario is more likely than the last one. There should be a  piece of metal listing model and serial numbers attached inside the door of your heating and cooling system. Record the information and contact the manufacturer to confirm the production year.
  • Observe the Number of Repairs – With age comes the need for costlier, more frequent maintenance. Air conditioner repair is likely to be required more frequently because the unit (or at least part of it with many types of system) is located outside, meaning it deteriorates at an accelerated rate due to exposure to the elements. In general if you’re uncertain about how much life is left in your heating and cooling system, consider how many times you’ve encountered problems with it and the severity of these issues. Eventually if you’re faced with repair costs that exceed half the value of the unit, it’s often a good idea to simply invest in a replacement unit.
  • Study Your Utility Bills – A sure indicator of age will reveal itself in your energy bills. Save your utility statements and analyze them for anything unusual. You can gauge the efficiency of your system by comparing the amount of fuel used to warm and cool your home currently with the amount consumed in the past. If you find that it costs more to maintain the same level of comfort, this could be a sign that your furnace and air conditioning unit is struggling to be productive and that their best years are long gone.
  • Consider Diminished Air Quality – Are you encountering problems even though you are performing all the required maintenance? A system that’s worn will struggle to achieve one of its essential duties—keeping your home’s “interior environment” clear and balanced. One of the surest indicators of this is dust being blown into the home and collecting, even after you’ve changed the filters. Does condensation collect on the walls or a thin layer of moisture hang in the air in summer? Perhaps dryness is present in the rooms in winter? These can all be signs that age has compromised the integrity of your heating and cooling unit.

You shouldn’t put up with anything less than perfect with regards to your home’s heating and cooling. Determining the age of your heating and cooling systems can help you to decide whether it’s best to opt for furnace and air conditioner repair or a complete replacement when something goes wrong.

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