From chilly, rainy autumn days, to snowstorms in the winter, weather can be unpredictable in the D.C. metropolitan area during the colder months. Making sure that your natural gas furnace can get you through the winter will keep your home warm and toasty and provide you with peace of mind.

Having a furnace go out is one of the most stressful situations a homeowner can face, which is why it’s important to keep track of how efficiently and effectively your furnace is running. Furnaces give certain telltale signs that they are failing. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can be prepared for a furnace repair or replacement and avoid being taken by surprise. You’ll have allowed yourself time to research new high-efficiency natural gas furnaces before the needing to replace your unit. When the time comes, consider a high-efficiency natural gas furnace which operates at up to 98% efficiency—a big improvement compared to older furnaces.

How do you know when a furnace is nearing the end of its life cycle? These five signs indicate it may be time to upgrade:

  1. The furnace is more than 15 years old

    A furnace’s age impacts its effectiveness, and the average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 20 years. You may want to consider a replacement if your furnace is more than 15 years old, even if you think it’s in good working order.

  2. Energy bills are higher despite usage staying the same

    Furnaces that have become inefficient have to work harder to provide proper heating, resulting in more expensive heating bills. Consider spending the money to replace your furnace and enjoy the benefits of a reduced bill during the life of your new appliance.

  3. Rooms in your house are heating unevenly

    Changing your thermostat constantly to feel more comfortable could be a sign your furnace is not distributing heat evenly throughout the house. This may mean you have an old or faulty furnace that needs replacing.

  4. The furnace is excessively noisy or develops rattles, buzzes or hums

    It’s highly likely that if your appliance is making these noises it has some major mechanical issues and that replacement may be necessary.

  5. The furnace has needed frequent repairs over the past two years.

    Are you calling for heating service months after your last repair? Your furnace could be reaching the end of its lifespan. Keep in mind that repair costs will eventually outweigh the costs of getting a new unit.

    Don’t Wait. Get A Furnace Rebate.

    If any of the above signs describe your home’s heating situation, rebates make it an ideal time to replace your older furnace with a new high-efficiency model.

    Through the Washington Gas Energy Savings Program, residential customers in Maryland and Virginia can take advantage of natural gas equipment rebates. To qualify, eligible furnaces must be purchased and installed by a licensed contractor. Learn more about the Maryland Washington Gas residential rebate program here. Virginia Washington Gas program can be found here.