Warning Signs Your Furnace May Need Replaced

You have an old furnace.
If it’s working great, then you probably need not worry, but if it’s more than 15 years old and it has issues, there is a high probability that it needs replaced. The average lifespan of a furnace is 16-20 years. Also, older furnaces may be out of date when it comes to conserving energy. Replacing your current furnace with a newer model can save you money on your heating and electric bills.

Your energy bills and furnace repairs have increased.
As your furnace ages, repairs are normal.* A slight increase in your bills is to be expected as it will have to work harder the older it gets — but if there is a substantial difference in your bills, and the repairs are constant — you may need to replace your furnace.

*A good rule of thumb when it comes to furnace repairs is that if it costs 50% or more the cost of a new furnace, you should replace it.

A loud noise consistently comes from your furnace.
Furnaces aren’t always quiet. You should know when it kicks on, but if you hear a new sound AND your furnace is pretty old, it might need replaced. Some problem sounds include squeaking, squealing, banging, rattling, hissing, clicking, popping, or other strange noises. Also, it helps to know when your furnace blower runs. If it is constantly running, that is a key indicator that something is wrong.

The temperature isn’t the same throughout the house.
Aging furnaces lose their capacity to heat your home effectively, but significant changes from room to room is more than likely a problem. A repair might be all you need, but that will more than likely only be a temporary fix.

Your furnace won’t stay on.
This could just be some faulty wiring but is something that definitely needs attention. If this is a constant problem, your furnace might need to be replaced.

Your pilot light isn’t a constant blue color.
The burner on gas heating systems should be a bright blue color. If it’s flickering or the flame is a yellowish color, this is an indication that the gas isn’t burning completely. It could also be an indicator that your furnace is producing a higher-than-normal level of carbon monoxide.

Your family keeps getting sick.
Carbon monoxide may be the reason. If you ever suspect carbon monoxide* in your home, open your windows and get outside, then call either the fire department or a local HVAC company to have your home inspected. Carbon monoxide symptoms include; headache, nausea, feeling lightheaded, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. If your furnace is the cause of carbon monoxide, it is time to replace the unit.

*We highly recommend installing CO alarms in your house in an effort to alert you from any carbon monoxide that may enter your home.


Any heating company will tell you that furnaces need to be maintained. You can’t just get a new furnace or use the one that’s already in your home and assume it doesn’t need a tune-up every now and then; which includes an annual cleaning and replacing minor things as they happen. If your furnace needs a repair here and there, that is normal and we suggest keeping a log for your furnace with dates of incidents that can be referred back to when a certified technician does come to look at it.

If you encounter any of these problems, SAM’s is here to help. We are located in Montrose, CO and offer free service calls AND we accept competitor’s coupons. SAM’s has NATE-Certified Technicians so you know you will receive the best service. For your convenience we are available 24/7. Keep our number handy: 970-249-6790.

10 Most Common HVAC Problems

This symbol indicates a possible danger — if this is located next to the issue you’re experiencing, contact a professional HVAC technician immediately!

1) Lack of Maintenance

Just like any good technician will tell you, regularly scheduled maintenance by a professional is a must to keeping your high-end purchases in tip-top shape. Many common HVAC problems can be avoided with proper maintenance by a certified service contractor. Neglecting to perform regular maintenance on your HVAC system will most likely result in costly repairs down the road and a possibly poor-functioning system.

Regular maintenance on your HVAC system also means getting your ducts cleaned. Sam’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers this service. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment. Professionally having your ducts cleaned out is also a great idea if you just renovated your home, had animals living in your system, recently encountered mold or other contaminants within your system, or if someone in your home is suffering from an unexplained allergy-related illness.

2) Dirty/Clogged Filters

With time, HVAC unit filters get dirty and clogged. Filters should be changed regularly to prevent this from happening. When a clogged filter isn’t changed, the airflow is reduced causing the system to work overtime — this can lead to an increase in your energy bill. A dirty filter can also cause more allergens to circulate through the HVAC system. Holding a filter up to the light is a good indicator of whether it needs to be replaced or not. If no light passes through, it’s time to change the filter.

3) Pilot or Ignition Problems

Ignition problems can be due to a number of causes. A dirty pilot, flame sensor, or burner can cause a pilot outage, short cycling, furnace lockout, or delayed ignition of the burners. It could also be the result of a gas supply problem or wear and tear. Whatever the reasoning, this issue needs to be addressed by a professional since this deals with dangerous elements like natural gas and high voltage.

4) Thermostat Malfunctions

It’s easy to blame something within the HVAC system when things go awry, but occasionally the problem is within the thermostat itself. The good news is that sometimes the problem isn’t a problem at all, but just a minor issue with how the thermostat is set. Your thermostat regulates the timing and amount of hot or cold air your unit should produce. Referring to your owners manual may prevent you from paying for a costly or unnecessary service call. If your thermostat runs on batteries, be sure to check those as well.

5) Unusual Furnace Noises

Noise from your furnace can be part of normal operation, however, some sounds may be a warning or indication of a mechanical problem.

  • A high-pitched screeching noise can be a motor bearing problem. Another screeching sound could be a bad belt.
  • A sound that is similar to a card stuck inside the spokes of a bicycle typically indicates something is stuck in the blades of the blower or something is stuck inside the housing of the furnace.
  • In the unfortunate event that you hear a scraping sound like metal parts rubbing together, you’ll need to call a professional right away as this can be the result of a much larger issue such as a broken wheel or the blower assembly hitting the housing.

6) Blown Fuses or Tripped Breakers

A common reason the furnace trips a circuit breaker is that the blower is overworking. If something is blocking airflow to your system, your blower has to overcompensate. That being said, one of the main reasons is a dirty air filter. Check your filter and replace it if needed before resetting your circuit breaker.

7) Dirty Condenser or Evaporator Coils

Chances are regular maintenance isn’t being conducted if your HVAC unit has this issue. You can hose off the outdoor coil after shutting off the power to the condenser. The indoor evaporator coil will need to be cleaned by a professional if it is extremely dirty. If regular maintenance is performed on your HVAC unit, coils should remain relatively clean and could possibly only need a professional cleaning roughly every three years.

8) Drips and Leaks

While both air conditioners and high-efficiency furnaces can produce condensation, drips and leaks are traditionally signs of a bigger problem. The common causes of leaks are:

  • Gas Line Leaks – usually imply a broken or cracked furnace heat exchanger
  • Refrigerant Leaks – Mainly caused by weak joints or faulty connections in an AC or heat pump
  • Water around the air conditioner – typically caused by a clogged drain hose or dirty coil

9) Blower Runs Continuously

There are several reasons a furnace blower may run continuously. First, check to see if the fan switch on the thermostat is on – this will cause the motor to run continuously. If that didn’t do the trick, then you most likely have one of these three problems:

  1. Your furnace fan limit switch is set to “manual override”
  2. The fan limit switch is faulty and needs to be replaced
  3. There’s a problem in your thermostat wiring

Unfortunately, you’ll need a professional to fix those last two problems.

10) Outdated HVAC Design

Most heating and cooling equipment have a service life of around 20 years. However, unmaintained units face reduced efficiency and lifespans. Older units may need to be completely replaced, especially if home or office renovations have taken place since the original installation.

Another good reason to consult an HVAC expert: you may find that simple ductwork changes can make a huge difference in your HVAC airflow and comfort.

If your furnace is more than 10 years old, a new high-efficiency model may provide better comfort and cost far less to operate.


If you are experiencing problems with your HVAC unit(s), give Sam’s Heating and Air Conditioning a call at (970) 249-6790. Addressing a problem today could mean a more comfortable tomorrow!

Signs Your HVAC System is on Its Last Leg

Do you hear weird noises when your heat/air conditioning kicks on? Have your energy bills been robbing your wallet? Don’t ignore these signs. Eventually your heating and air conditioning system will reach the end of its lifetime and will need to be replaced.  Many homeowners continue to make little fixes to their system a long the way, but it might be more beneficial to just upgrade your system. We are here to let you know some signs it’s time to upgrade your heating and air conditioning system.

1.Your System is Over a Decade Old

Typically the average span of an HVAC system is 10-15 years. If your system has reached this age or is coming close it might be a good idea to upgrade to a new system, rather than putting money into equipment that is going to need updated soon anyways. A benefit to upgrading is you you won’t have to worry about your system quitting during the cold winter months and being left without heat, or being left without AC during the hot summer months.

2.Noisy Equipment

Does your system make a lot of noise when running? This could be due to having the wrong size system installed. People may have thoughts of “a bigger system will cool/heat my home faster” or “the smaller system will save money” and these typically end up costing you more in the long run. If it’s over sized or undersized for the space it’s trying to cool/heat, your equipment will be working overtime, costing you more money than it should. We recommend getting a quote from a HVAC professional to make sure you’ve got the right size system in order for it to work the most efficiently. Having the right size system could lower your monthly costs dramatically.

3. Comfortable Temperature isn’t Maintain

Do you often find yourself too hot or very cold? An HVAC system that is getting old will often struggle to keep your home at a consistent temperature. This could be from various things such as; worn out motor, clogged filters, damaged thermostat, or cracked air ducts. Temperature inconsistencies usually mean your system is not powerful enough to supply air throughout your home for whatever reason. Maybe your duct work isn’t installed properly or like mentioned in sign 2 your system could be the wrong size. Temperature inconsistencies will result in higher energy bills, so make sure to look for those inconsistencies and get your system checked out if you notice them.

4. Frequent Repairs

Of course maintenance on your system is important and repairs will be needed from time to time, especially if your system is older, but if you have your HVAC company on speed dial you might consider upgrading your system. Instead of investing money for tons of repairs, and having an HVAC technician at your home all the time, you could invest that money into a new system. Your HVAC tech will still be there for any repairs needed to your new system over time, but wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about that for a while?

5. Poor Air Quality

Over time your HVAC system can lose its ability to filter out pollen, dust, mildew, and various other allergens. Pay close attention to the dust in your home as well as allergy symptoms in your family. This could be being caused by your air filters and duct work becoming faulty, which does happen as they age. Your system isn’t only responsible for heating and cooling your home, it also controls the quality of the air you and your family are breathing. If you notice more dust than usual in your home it may be due to your HVAC system needed upgraded.

Feel free to leave a comment or send an email with any questions. We would love to hear about any other signs you’ve experienced before having to replace your HVAC system, or about your experience after you’ve had your system replaced. Thanks for reading!

SAM’S Heating  & Air Conditioning specializes in all HVAC-related services. Experience The Difference!

2726 Tender Drive, Montrose, CO
(970) 249-6790

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Areas We Service

Our NATE Certified Technicians are happy to serve Montrose, CO and our neighbors in Grand Junction, Clifton, Mesa, Whitewater,  Delta, Olathe, Crawford, Austin, Cedaredge, Fruita, Palisade, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Orchard City, Ridgway, Colona, Ouray, Cory, Eckert, and Lazear.