The chilly temperatures of winter are finally here. Whether you celebrate the cold or are stuck missing summer, one thing is certain: the last thing you want in the middle of winter is a malfunctioning or broken furnace. If your system is on the fritz, or you’ve noticed higher-than-usual utility bills, those may be signs that your furnace needs to be replaced. If you aren’t sure whether or not it’s the right time to look into a new furnace, take a look at our most common warning signs of a heating system breakdown below.

1. Your Energy Bills Have Increased

While the cost of your home’s utilities will increase gradually over time, a sudden increase of your utility costs may be a key indicator that your heating system is either not working properly or is on its way out, especially if you’re confident that your air ducts are properly sealed.

If you’ve noticed an unusual increase in your heating costs, it is likely that your furnace is to blame. Over the years, your heating system becomes less efficient, requiring more energy to keep your home comfortable, meaning it costs more to keep you warm. To determine the cause of your rising energy costs, contact an HVAC technician who can perform an inspection to determine the problem.

2. Your Furnace is 15 Years Old or Older

Just like any other appliance in your home, your furnace will not last forever. Eventually it’ll need to be replaced. The current average life expectancy of a furnace is 18 years. So, if yours is 15 years or older, it may be time to consider researching a new system.

Replacing your furnace before it breaks down ensures you won’t be left out in the cold due to a broken system. Newer furnaces are also much more energy efficient, meaning your investment will save you a considerable amount of money in the long-run.

3. Weird Noises Are Coming From Your Unit

If your furnace is banging, popping, squealing or rattling, it may be a sign that something’s up. In the case that you’re hearing unusual noises coming from your unit, contact a certified HVAC professional to help diagnose the issue. It’s most likely a motor issue or loose parts, but it’s always best to have a technician help you.

4. Your Pilot Light is Yellow or Flickering

A gas unit should always have a pilot light with a bright blue flame. A yellow or flickering pilot light is a sure sign that something is going wrong, whether it’s a ventilation issue, or your gas isn’t being completely burned off. Either way, pilot light problems can be very hazardous, so contact a local HVAC expert for help immediately if it’s malfunctioning.

5. Your Thermostat Isn’t Helping

If you or your family find yourselves constantly adjusting the thermostat to be warmer and warmer with no change in the temperature of your home, that’s a big red flag that your furnace may be broken. The main function of your heating system is to heat your home evenly and comfortably. If it can no longer do that, it’s time to consider a replacement.

Determining the Right Replacement

One of the most overwhelming parts of having to replace your heating system is determining which one to get. Fortunately, at Elite Comfort Home and Commercial Services, our experienced technicians and service staff can help you figure out which new unit will work best for your family and your home. With our wide selection of Trane gas furnaces, like the most-efficient XC95m Gas Furnace, or the quietest S9V2-VS Gas Furnace, we’ll work with you to find you your next system.

Contact Our East Texas HVAC Team Today

For furnace service and repair, or to learn more about our selection of furnaces by Trane, contact us today at or call (832) 309-3771.