Angie's List: Getting your furnace up to speed

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Experts tell Angie's List there are warning signs that your furnace may need replacing.

"The average life of a heating and cooling system is somewhere between 12 to 18 years, so obviously as you get older things start to break down in your body, the same thing happens with heating and cooling equipment,"  HVAC Contractor, Kris Conover said.

Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they get older, so you could see a rise in your utility bills. It may also be breaking down or not keeping up with temperature changes.

If you need to replace your furnace, now may be a good time. Tax credits for qualifying products expire at the end of the year.

There are some things you should consider before buying: how much do you want to spend? As the efficiency rating goes up, so does the cost.

Ask prospective companies what specific manufacturers or equipment brands they carry. Contractors should hold training certifications with the manufacturers of the equipment they carry.

If your air conditioner is showing its age, it may be a good idea to replace both your furnace and AC at the same time. You could see some savings because the installation crew is already on site. Some manufacturers may also offer total system rebates when you replace both your air and furnace.

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