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In general, you should invest in a new heating or cooling system if your system is more than 15 years old or if it’s no longer keeping your home comfortable. Consider having a professional HVAC contractor look at your system if you’re unsure whether it needs to be upgraded or replaced. Prior to installing a new system, you should address your home’s air leaks, insulation deficiencies and improve the ducting system (if necessary).

The time to replace your heating system also depends on your type of heating system and other upgrade indicators that may appear throughout your home. For example:

  • Heat pumps or air conditioners that are more than 15 years old should be checked and if necessary, replaced with higher efficiency units.
  • Furnace or boilers that are more than 15 years old most often times need to be replaced with higher efficiency units. Gas furnaces or boilers should be serviced at least once every two years. Oil furnaces or boilers should be cleaned and serviced every spring. It’s recommended to have a quality service technician or heating contractor conduct these tune-ups.
  • Increased energy bills and frequent repairs of equipment – this may indicate that your heating equipment is not operating optimally.
  • Some rooms in your home are too hot or too cold – this may indicate that your equipment is not operating effectively, you have ducting problems, inadequate insulation, or problems with air leakage.
  • Your heating system is noisy –this may indicate that your home has an oversized heating system, old blower motor or a lack of maintenance.

For more information, visit the ENERGY STAR® website.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.