A furnace is a significant investment for any homeowner, and you want it to last as long as possible. However, like all mechanical devices, a furnace has a limited lifespan. So, how long does a furnace last? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as several factors can affect a furnace lifespan.
In this article, we’ll discuss how long a furnace typically lasts, what affects its lifespan, and how you can extend its lifespan through proper furnace maintenance. We’ll also look at signs of wear and tear that may indicate it’s time to replace your furnace.
How Long Does a Furnace Last?
The typical lifespan of a furnace is between 15 and 20 years. However, the lifespan can vary depending on the following factors:
Type of furnace
The type of furnace you choose will impact its lifespan, efficiency, and maintenance requirements. Here are some types of furnaces to consider:
Gas furnaces are the most common type of furnace in North America. They use natural gas or propane to heat the air, which is then distributed throughout the home via a duct system. Gas furnaces are affordable, energy-efficient, and provide reliable and consistent heat. The average lifespan of a gas furnace is around 15-20 years, but with proper maintenance, it can last even longer. Gas furnaces require regular cleaning, tune-ups, and filter replacements to ensure they’re running efficiently.
Oil furnaces are less common than gas furnaces and use heating oil to generate heat. They are typically more expensive to install than gas furnaces, but they’re an excellent option for homes that don’t have access to natural gas. The lifespan of an oil furnace is similar to that of a gas furnace, around 15-20 years. However, oil furnaces require more maintenance than gas furnaces, and the oil tank needs to be refilled regularly.
Electric furnaces are the most expensive to operate but are the least expensive to install. They use electric heating elements to warm the air, which is then circulated throughout the home via a duct system. Electric furnaces are the most durable of all types of furnaces and can last up to 30 years or more with proper maintenance. They require less maintenance than gas or oil furnaces, but they’re not as energy-efficient.
Propane furnaces are similar to gas furnaces, but they use propane instead of natural gas. They’re an excellent option for homes that don’t have access to natural gas lines, but they’re more expensive to operate than gas furnaces. The lifespan of a propane furnace is similar to that of a gas furnace, around 15-20 years. Propane furnaces require regular maintenance to ensure they’re running efficiently and safely.
Quality of installation
When it comes to installing a furnace, it’s essential to ensure that the installation is done correctly. Proper installation can help extend the lifespan of your furnace, while a poorly installed furnace may not last as long and can even be dangerous. A professional HVAC technician should install your furnace, and they should follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes. By doing so, you can ensure that your furnace will last as long as possible and provide you with reliable heat during cold winter months. Don’t take the installation process lightly, invest in a quality installation to protect your investment in your home’s heating system.
Frequency of use
The frequency of use is another critical factor that can impact the lifespan of your furnace. The more you use your furnace, the shorter its lifespan will be. If you live in a colder climate, your furnace will have to work harder and may wear out more quickly. Consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient furnace if your current one is nearing the end of its lifespan. By doing so, you can save money on energy bills and extend the lifespan of your furnace, providing reliable and consistent heat for your home for years to come. Don’t wait until it’s too late, take care of your furnace today to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Regular maintenance is critical for the lifespan, efficiency, safety, air quality, and overall performance of your furnace. Neglecting maintenance can lead to costly repairs, a shorter lifespan, and potential safety hazards. Don’t wait until it’s too late, schedule regular maintenance with a professional HVAC technician to keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently. By doing so, you can ensure that your furnace provides reliable and consistent heat for your home for years to come.
Signs That Your Furnace Needs to be Replaced
Even with regular maintenance, there will come a time when your furnace needs to be replaced. Here are some signs that your furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan:
- Age: If your furnace is over 15 years old, it may be time to replace it. Even if it’s still working, it may not be as efficient as newer models.
- Increasing energy bills: As a furnace ages, it becomes less efficient and uses more energy to heat your home. If you’ve noticed a steady increase in your energy bills, it may be time to replace your furnace.
- Frequent repairs: If you find yourself calling for repairs frequently, it may be more cost-effective to replace your furnace rather than continue to pay for repairs.
- Uneven heating: If your furnace is struggling to heat your home evenly, it may be a sign that it’s wearing out.
- Noisy operation: If your furnace is making strange noises, it may be a sign of wear and tear.
Related article: COMMON FURNACE PROBLEMS AND HOW TO FIX THEM
How to Prolong Your Furnace’s Lifespan
While you can’t make your furnace last forever, there are steps you can take to prolong its lifespan:
- Schedule regular maintenance – H ave your furnace serviced by a professional at least once a year to keep it running smoothly.
- Change filters regularly – Filters should be changed every 1-3 months depending on how often it’s used. If you have pets or kids, you may need to change them more frequently than that.
- Regularly check air flow – Make sure there aren’t any clogs or blockages in your ductwork. If there are, call an HVAC professional right away so they can repair them before it becomes an issue later on down the line.
- Check for leaks – Leaks are one of the major causes of premature breakdowns in furnaces because they result in reduced efficiency which means wasted energy which results in higher bills for homeowners. You can check for leaks by looking for stains on ceilings above vents or around windows where condensation builds up when temperatures rise.
- Clean your vents – Dust and debris can build up in your ductwork over time which can lead to reduced airflow and higher energy costs. You should clean them at least once a year, more often if you have pets or smoke in your home.
- Replace filters – If you have a furnace with a filter on it, make sure it’s clean before each heating season so that less dust and dirt get sucked into the system during operation.
- Keep the area around the furnace clear – Don’t store items near your furnace, as they can block airflow and cause your furnace to work harder.
- Upgrade to a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help you use your furnace more efficiently and extend its lifespan.
In conclusion, understanding the factors that affect the lifespan of your furnace is essential for keeping it running smoothly and efficiently. The type of furnace you choose, the quality of installation, the frequency of use, and regular maintenance are all critical factors that can impact the lifespan of your furnace.
At DION’S COMPLETE Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we understand the importance of a well-maintained and properly installed furnace. We offer professional furnace installation and repair services to ensure that your furnace lasts as long as possible, providing you with reliable and consistent heat during cold winter months.
Our team of experienced HVAC technicians can help you choose the right type of furnace for your home and ensure that it’s installed correctly. We also offer regular maintenance services to help extend the lifespan of your furnace and prevent costly repairs. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of your furnace. Contact DION’S COMPLETE Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to schedule a consultation or service appointment.