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Author: Ariela Ruiz

How To Know When To Replace Your Heating System

Picture this: It’s a fine winter night in Virginia Beach and you’re getting cozy by the fireplace while sipping on some hot chocolate and watching a scary movie. Suddenly, the heater goes off and you can’t get it to turn back on. You can already feel yourself waking up with a stuffy nose and having to blow thousands of dollars on a costly repair. That sure sounds haunting, doesn’t it? Your friends at Galactic Air are here to make sure you stay warm and free of problems with your heating system throughout the winter. This blog will go over some of the signs that might indicate it’s time for you to replace your heating system before it breaks down unexpectedly.

Signs Your System Needs Replacing

We know it might be tricky to know when exactly to replace your heating system. However, there are some very obvious signs every homeowner should be aware of when it comes to heating systems. Here are five of the most common telltale signs that indicate your system needs to be replaced as soon as possible:

  • Your Heating System Is Making Strange Noises
  • Your Energy Bill Has Been Increasing
  • Short Cycling
  • You’ve Had A Cold For A While
  • You Live In An Old Home

1. Your Heating System Is Making Strange Noises

Have you been hearing loud rattling noises coming from your heating system? If so, this could be a sign there is something wrong with it such as motor failure from old age. While a low humming sound is normal while your system is operating, any unusual sound emanating from the furnace or heat pump might indicate an underlying issue. We recommend you contact a trusted technician to take a look at your system to determine if it needs to be replaced. Other noises you should watch out for include:

  • Banging
  • Squealing
  • Whistling

2. Your Energy Bill Has Been Increasing

Is your monthly energy bill at an all-time high? Although you might think this is due to you cranking up the heater in order to stay warm, an old heating system that is about to go out might be to blame for. This is because older heating systems have to work harder in order to maintain your home warm and cozy.

3. Short Cycling

The temperature in your home is regulated by a thermostat. Short cycling occurs when your heating system cycles on and off for brief periods of time. This can be triggered by the heat exchanger overheating and shutting down the system. Short cycling reduces the effectiveness of your heating system and may indicate that something is significantly wrong with it.

4. You’ve Had A Cold For A While

Do you vividly remember being sick throughout last winter? If so, this might indicate there is a problem with your heating system. Dry air inside your home is frequently worsened by your heating system, causing you to become sick more frequently. The inability to adequately disperse heat throughout your home might contribute to you catching a cold. Another thing to consider would be to replace your air filters which might be the cause for your flu-like symptoms due to poor indoor air quality. In fact, your furnace and your AC system use the exact same filter which is why receiving a fall tune-up is so important.

5. You Live In An Old Home

We know this one is obvious but we’re still here to remind you! If you live in an older home and have no knowledge of the heating system being replaced, this might mean it’s time to contact a technician for an inspection. Your technician will be able to quickly assess your heating system and estimate its age. HVAC technology typically lasts 15-20 years. While some heating systems can survive longer than others, depending on the quality of the system and your maintenance program, it’s a good idea to be aware of when your heater is nearing the end of its life so you can plan for a more effective replacement.

How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health

Have you been struggling with health problems the last couple of months and don’t know why? Maybe your allergy symptoms are worse than ever, or maybe something has triggered an onset of migraines and you can’t pinpoint what it is. The air you are constantly breathing in may be the reason why. Your home’s air quality is more important than you think and you should do everything you can to maintain it. Below are two ways your home’s air quality may affect your health and how to minimize indoor air pollution.

Poor Air Quality Contributes To Asthma

There are many health effects associated with air pollutants that many people tend to overlook. If you or a family member have been exposed to harmful air pollutants, this may lead to upper respiratory-related issues like asthma in some people. This is because harmful air pollutants can irritate the airways, causing them to enlarge and constrict, resulting in breathing difficulties. Pollutants can also make some people more susceptible to upper respiratory infections (such as colds), which can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Unfortunately, asthma isn’t the only health related issue that may be caused by poor air quality. Other symptoms that may be caused by poor air quality include:

  • Headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath
  • Sinus congestion, cough, and sneezing
  • Eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation
  • Dizziness and nausea

Poor Air Quality May Cause Long-Term Illnesses

According to the World Health Organization, household air pollution was responsible for an estimated 3.2 million deaths per year in 2020, including over 237,000 deaths of children under the age of 5. Long and short-term exposure to these air pollutants may go beyond causing you to have simple allergies, and actually lead to long-term illnesses like:

  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Lower respiratory infections
  • Lung cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Who Is At Risk?

You may be wondering if you’re at risk of any health issues caused by poor indoor air quality. The answer is, you can’t rule anyone out! Although research has shown that most people who develop these health issues are those with pre-existing health conditions, a perfectly healthy person can also be affected by poor air quality levels.

How To Maintain A Good Indoor Air Quality

We understand that all the health-related issues that poor indoor air quality may cause are scary. That’s why we’re here to help maintain your home’s air quality and prevent any complications.There are many simple things you can do to maintain the air quality levels in your home. One of the main things you can do to reduce indoor air pollution is to clean your system’s air filters. Cleaning your air filters will help trap harmful pollutants such as dust and pet dandruff. Additionally, doing this will benefit your AC system as it will prevent it from overworking itself when the filters become clogged. Other simple things you can do to reduce indoor air pollution include:

  • Using cooking vents when cooking a meal
  • Keeping your rugs and carpets clean
  • Control the humidity levels in your home
  • Check your air ducts

Why Fall Maintenance Is Important

The temperature in Virginia Beach is starting to drop which means it’s time to prepare your HVAC system for the upcoming winter months. HVAC technicians recommend getting your HVAC system serviced twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Fall maintenance is essential because it helps prevent costly breakdowns and unwanted surprises taking over your wallet. Additionally, it will help you save money on your energy bill in the long-run. Below are four reasons why you should give your HVAC system maintenance during the fall.

1. Secures System’s Efficiency All Year-Round

Inadequate care and maintenance compromises your system’s effectiveness as well as performance. Your system is susceptible to an unexpected failure, which might be costly and inconvenient. It’s advisable to get in touch with your HVAC professional and set up a maintenance appointment right away to prevent encountering any unexpected issues with your system during these chilly months.

2. Extends System Life

Maintaining your unit is one of the most important things you can do to ensure it lives a long and healthy life. On average, most residential units last 10 to 15 years but may last less if proper care is neglected. Due to the coils, filters, and fins in your unit operating year-round, it is important to clean and replace them once in a while. If you fail to maintain your unit, this will create a snowball effect on your electricity bill that will blow a hole through your wallet in the long-run.

3. Increases Air Quality

According to the EPA, indoor levels of airborne contaminants may be up to 5 times greater than outside levels, and in some rare cases more than 100 times higher. This is especially important if you or any family members have respiratory conditions like asthma or recurrent allergies. Air quality is important for your overall health and should not be overlooked. If your HVAC system isn’t operating correctly or isn’t frequently maintained, it will carry indoor pollutants from the outside in, where they may remain and contribute to respiratory issues.

4. Minimizes Danger of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Although carbon monoxide sounds like some strange chemical that only scientists are exposed to in a lab, it is actually way more common than you imagine! In fact, you can get exposed to carbon monoxide in your own home. According to the CDC, Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases once temperatures start to drop, as this type of poisoning correlates with your home’s heating system. Turning on your heating system might be harmful due to issues like short circuits or heat exchanger fractures which is why it’s important to ensure that your system or furnace is working properly by maintaining it regularly.