How long will my furnace last is a question asked of many HVAC professionals? This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many factors in play. Everything has an expiration date. What you can do to upkeep your furnace’s functionality and longevity? We can provide you with some information on average furnace lifespans, furnace replacement signs, some ways you can delay the inevitable.
Average Furnace Lifespan
The first time your gas furnace stops putting out heat on a winter night is not the time to consider whether it’s nearing the end of its useful life. Warranties typically cover individual parts for varying periods and more efficiency, but your furnace might outlive them all. Your furnace might be in great health at age 35, but it’s lived at least 10 years beyond the average. A few facts that affect how long your furnace will last are, frequency and quality of furnace maintenance: schedule fall furnace maintenance every year from a licensed HVAC company. Newer systems have longer lifespans than older units. Moisture is very harmful to your heat exchanger, too much moisture can cause rust and premature breakdowns. Proper installation , the most important day of your furnace’s life is the day it is installed. As you can see, many factors play a role in how long your furnace will last. No one thing will be able to tell you how long your furnace will last (age, tune-ups, humidity levels, installation).
When Should I Replace My Furnace?
Homeowners with furnaces over 15 years old may experience greater savings in the long run by replacing their systems rather than continuing to spend money on repairs. Newer furnaces tend to be extremely efficient and can save you hundreds of dollars on operating cost. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can expect a good return on investment by replacing a furnace with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating lower than 80% with a new 95% efficient condensing furnace. Speak with a professional to help determine whether you should replace your furnace or not. One common rule that people follow when it comes to repairing or replacing something is the 50% Rule — if the repair is over 50% of the cost for a full replacement, go with the replacement.
Life Expectancy of Common Heating Systems
- Furnaces: 15-30 years
- Boilers: 15-30 years
- Heat Pumps: 15 years
- Active Solar Heating: 20+ years
- Electric Heating: 20+ years
Factors To Consider if You Want to Extend the Lifespan of Your Furnace
A number of factors figure into the lifespan of a furnace, from how well it’s maintained to the quality of the model and parts to how well the installation was performed to how much stress the equipment receives during its lifetime. Homeowners want to extend the life of their furnace as long as possible, and good maintenance practices are the best way to do so. Ideally, you should call a service professional prior to the heating season to…
- Clean and inspect the blower assembly and other important parts.
- Test your HVAC system controls to make sure everything is cycling as it should.
- Check burner combustion, as well as gas pressure.
- Inspect the ventilation system.
- Inspect ductwork, checking for dirt and other obstructions.
- Check the thermostat.
Clean filters lead to happy heaters. During the winter months when the furnace is running more than usual, filters should be changed monthly. When a filter is dirty, it restricts air flow. This restriction can lead to overheating and even damage to the heat exchanger and other components in the unit.
How often do you use your heating system? In a colder climate, or depending on preference, you may depend heavily on your heating system. A unit that is used often is more likely to wear down. Systems that are used often should be maintained often as well in order to slow the effects of use. Due to our Greater Cincinnati area location, we definitely feel the effects of humidity in the air. A furnace is subjected to rust in high humidity. Control the humidity levels in your home in order to decrease moisture and protect the furnace from rust.
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