The weather has swung back and forth in Southern California this year. We’ll have temperatures in the low 50s one week, and the next week the thermometer will edge up toward 90°F. Your heating system has likely gone through an uneven time, working hard for a stretch, then hardly working for another stretch.
Winter ends early in Southern California, so late February is a good time to look over the season and assess how well your heater has managed it. Some simple analysis can help you understand if you need heating repair in Mission Viejo, CA or if it’s time to have a new heating system installed.
Keep an eye on how much you pay each month on heating costs, and compare it to the price of electricity/natural gas. If you’re paying more than you used to and it isn’t because of a rise in energy prices or because you’ve used the heater more, this is a warning that the heating system either needs repairs or is deteriorating from age.
The heater’s age
Speaking of which: heating systems have finite lifespans. Standard gas furnaces will usually last for 15 years, while electric furnaces can last for more than 20. Heat pumps last between 10 to 15 years. When your furnace is over its estimated service life, we recommend considering a replacement, especially if you’re seeing other warning signs the heater is declining.
The center of your house stays warm when the heater comes on—but what about the rest of the house? Uneven heating sometimes sneaks past people’s notice because they think it comes from outside sources, like poor insulation. (And this is sometimes the case.) But it’s a problem we advise you pay attention to, since it can indicate a heater in need of repairs or possibly a replacement.
This is a common heating problem, particularly with heat pumps, that can also escape homeowners’ attention. It’s when a heater turns on and off rapidly rather than completing a full heating cycle. There are many potential sources for this problem, but you want it stopped no matter what because it wastes energy and puts immense strain on the heating system, leading to repairs and an early replacement.
Did you need to repair your heater this winter? By itself this isn’t a major problem—many heating systems will need at least one repair during their service lives. But did you also need to repair the heater last winter as well? Two winters in a row is too frequent for a heater to malfunction. It’s a good idea to have heating professionals give the system a good inspection to see if there’s a more serious problem, or if it’s time to get a new heater.
How easy was it to get the temperatures you wanted in your house this season? You shouldn’t need to do much more than set the thermostat to a single temperature for the day and one for the night. If you had to battle the thermostat trying to find the right comfort setting, then you’re probably battling the heater itself—and it’s time to call repair technicians.
Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air has served Orange County since 1981. Schedule service with us to help enjoy the best home heating.