A furnace, particularly during winter months, is one of your most valuable appliances. You will feel safe, comfortable, and warm from your furnace. How long can a furnace be used? How can you know if there is a need for a furnace repair or replacement?
These questions will be answered, and many more in this article. This article will discuss the various factors that impact furnace longevity, warning signs of failing furnaces, and the benefits of replacing your furnace. You will be given some useful tips to prolong the furnace’s life and reduce your energy costs.
Furnace lifespan: The average and the range
The average furnace lifespan is between 15 and 20 years. This is not an exact number. It can last between 10 and 30 years depending on how durable, efficient, large, installed, maintained, and cared for.
Your furnace’s fuel type can impact its lifespan. Oil-fueled furnaces are more durable than those that use gas, while electric furnaces last a little longer. Below are approximate life expectancies for various furnace types:
- Gas furnaces: Between 15 and 30 Years
- Electric furnaces: 20-30 years
- Propane furnaces: From 16 to 20 Years
- Petroleum furnaces: From 15 to 20 Years
Your furnace’s quality is also important. Certain brands or models have higher durability and reliability than others. They may also offer better warranties and customer support. Before buying a furnace, you might want to research the options and make comparisons. We recommend Lenox for furnaces, as this is one of the biggest brands in the HVAC industry worldwide.
Another factor that can affect the life expectancy of your furnace is its size. The heating requirements of your house should be met by a furnace that is properly sized. This will depend on the area, climate, insulation, windows, and other factors. The furnace will work harder to heat your house than a smaller one and will be less efficient. An excessive furnace will cause the furnace to cycle off and on too often, which can also lead to stress and wasted energy.
Your furnace’s installation is crucial to its longevity and performance. An improperly installed furnace can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and gas leaks, which can be extremely dangerous to your safety. A professional HVAC contractor is recommended for installing your furnace safely and correctly.
Your furnace’s maintenance is the key to its longevity. Well-maintained furnaces will last longer and work more efficiently than one that is neglected. Maintaining your furnace’s efficiency and safety requires regular maintenance. This includes cleaning out the filter and blower components once a month, changing them every other month, as well as checking for cracks or leaks each year. You can also schedule a professional tune-up every few years.
How to repair or replace a furnace that is failing
Your furnace will need replacing eventually, even if you maintain it well. How can you know if your furnace needs to be replaced or is in dire need of repair? These are the most common indicators that your furnace is in trouble.
- If your furnace is older than 15, it’s considered to be an old furnace. This is when furnaces begin to fail more often and start losing efficiency.
- You are seeing an increase in your energy costs. Your furnace may be using more electricity or fuel to heat your house, which is a sign of a decrease in efficiency.
- You are not happy in your home. Your furnace may not be heating your home adequately or evenly, which could indicate a decrease in capacity.
- If your furnace emits unusual or loud noises, the problem is likely mechanical. Your furnace is making loud or unusual noises, which could indicate that it has mechanical issues such as broken or loose parts. This can be a sign of a need to repair or replace the furnace.
- Bad smells and smoke can indicate that your furnace is having problems. If your furnace emits bad odors or smoke, it could be a sign that there are serious problems such as electrical or gas leaks. This can indicate an imminent fire danger or other health risks.
Frequent repairs are necessary for your furnace. Your furnace may be wearing faster than usual, which can indicate a decrease in reliability. You should immediately call an HVAC professional to diagnose and inspect the furnace if you see any of these symptoms. You may need to replace or repair your furnace depending on how severe the problem is.
While it might be less expensive to repair your furnace in the short term, it could be more costly in the long term if you have an unsafe furnace. Although it might be more costly upfront, replacing your furnace could save you time and money in the end. These are the benefits of switching to a furnace.
- The new furnace is more efficient and will reduce your carbon footprint.
- The furnace you choose will have a higher power rating, which will increase your indoor comfort as well as the quality of your air.
- The reliability of a new furnace is better, so you can reduce repairs as well as increase your security.
- Modern furnaces will have more options and features, such as smart thermostats and variable-speed blowers.
- The warranty on a new furnace is longer and will include coverage for defects and malfunctions up to a specific time.
A professional HVAC contractor like Orzech Heating can help you select the right size and type of furnace to fit your needs and your budget. Also, you should look into rebates or incentives offered by your utility company and government to help offset the cost of buying a furnace.
Tips to keep your furnace working longer
- You can extend the life of your furnace regardless of its age. These are some helpful tips to get the best out of your furnace.
- Regularly change the filter. A clogged or dirty air filter can cause your furnace to work less effectively and reduce airflow. Depending on the condition of your filter, you should inspect it once a month.
- Regularly clean the vents and ducts. The ducts can become clogged with dust and other debris, which will reduce your furnace’s efficiency and quality. Vacuum the vents once a month and get the ducts cleaned by a professional every other year.
- You should seal any air leaks in your house. Leakage can lead to heat loss, which will make it harder for your furnace to keep a comfortable temperature. Weatherstripping or caulk should be used to seal cracks and gaps around doors, windows, outlets, pipes, and attic.
- You can adjust the thermostat to suit your individual needs. The thermostat setting can be too high or low, which will cause your furnace to waste heat and stress. When you’re at home, you should adjust the thermostat so that it is comfortable and then lower it when away. A smart or programmable thermostat can adjust the temperature to your preferences and schedule.
Regular maintenance should be scheduled by an HVAC technician. To ensure your furnace’s safety and performance, an HVAC professional can check, clean, lubricate, and tune it up every year. A professional HVAC technician can detect any potential problems and correct them before they escalate into major issues.
Conclusion: How long does a furnace last?
A furnace is an essential appliance that keeps you warm during winter. How long can a furnace keep its heat? It all depends on the quality of your furnace, its size, and how it is installed.
A furnace’s average life expectancy is between 15 and 20 years. However, it may last as long as 10 to 30 or longer depending on how you care for it. You should contact a qualified HVAC technician if you see any warning signs such as low energy consumption, high comfort levels, noisy noises, or unpleasant odors. They will assess your situation and recommend whether you repair or replace the furnace.
Although replacing your furnace can be costly, it will bring many benefits, including lower utility bills and better comfort.