The average family spends at least $2,000 a year on energy bills according to the Environmental  Protection Agency. More than half of that goes to heating and cooling your home.

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.

Homeowner Becky Schooley had to replace her ten year old unit after it went out earlier this year.

“The company that installed the existing unit had put in one that was too large for this home and so I think that might have caused the early demise of the unit or may have contributed to that,” Schooley said.

Experts tell Angie’s List there are warning signs your furnace may need replacing.

Utility bills going up, your furnace breaking down more often, resulting in costly repairs, and always adjusting the thermostat to make your home more comfortable.

“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.

If it’s time to replace your furnace, there are some things you should consider before buying.

Remember, bigger is not always better.

“Every system has an evaluation of how efficient it is,” Konover said. “A.F.U.E. is Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. So if a furnace is rated on that. So, for instance a 95 percent, or 95 percent A.F.U.E. furnace, it’s using 95 B.T.U.’s per hundred B.T.U.’s put in. To put it in another term, if you’re spending a dollar on heating, it’s providing you 95 cents of output.”

“Even if you have a brand new furnace you want to be sure you are doing your regular maintenance,” Hicks said. “A great idea is to check your furnace filter once a month. An easy way to do that is check in when you paying your utilities bills each month. A clean air filter is going to help your furnace run more efficiently and help you air quality.”

If your air conditioner is showing its age, it may be a good idea to replace both your furnace and A.C. 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.