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How to Tell Your Heater Is Dead and You Need a New One

old-furnaceNo heating system will last forever. When you consider how intense the winters in Pennsylvania can get, it’s amazing many heating systems can last for as long as they do. However, proper annual maintenance does marvels at getting heaters to run for more than a decade without significant loss in heating power or heating efficiency. 

But has the day finally come when your heater fails and it’s better to have a new heating installation in Levittown, PA rather than attempt to have it patched up? It’s a good question to ask, because trying to struggle on with a heater that’s effectively the “walking dead” wastes energy, money, and is potentially hazardous. There are several ways to tell you’ve got a heater ready for the recycling yard…


The easiest measurement of whether a heating system is ready to retire is age. If you use a natural gas furnace (and you probably do), you shouldn’t attempt to push it past 15 years. Furnaces start to lose their heating capacity at that point and go on a steep downward slide. For gas boilers, 20 years is the upper life expectancy. Heat pumps may need replacement between 10 to 15 years. 

Breakdowns are common

If your heater has failed, is this the first time? Or did this happen last year as well, or the year before? That’s too often: a heating system ought to be reliable. A single breakdown due to a repairable malfunction when the heater is younger is one thing. Multiple breakdowns for an older system due to wear and tear are signs of the system dying. 

Thermostat adjustments never find a comfortable temperature

Fiddling continually with the thermostat because you can’t get the right temperature in your house could be a problem with the thermostat. But if you have an older heating system, it might be the fault of the heater: it can’t deliver the level of comfort you expect from it. Thermostat settings are supposed to be steady, and if this isn’t the case, you need to look into the heater.

Uneven heating

Parts of your house are getting warm as you expect, but other parts have cold spots and there are family members complaining. Uneven heating is a major warning that a heater is losing its capacity and is on a permanent downward slide. 

Excess noise 

A heater that’s coming to the end of its service life will often become much noisier than it once was because of the wear on all its parts. If you’re noticing sounds from the heater when this never was a problem before, it’s time to give serious consideration to replacing it. 

Energy bills have skyrocketed

A dying heating system will drain money each time it runs, and you’ll see a significant jump in your monthly heating costs. Don’t ignore this, especially in conjunction with any of the other signs above. Compare your bills to previous years to see the change and to make sure it isn’t due to increased use.

If you need a professional opinion about the fate of your heater, call our technicians. We’ll give you honest answers about what’s necessary for your home comfort. 

Make the Wise Choice, choose the home of the lifetime repair guarantee: Gibson Heating & Cooling.

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