17 Dec

How Long Should a Furnace Last?

Your home’s furnace can last quite a long time with maintenance and professional installation.

By Charles Knowles at Shutterstock

For many homeowners, the furnace is often installed in the basement. It is out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, this means most residential furnaces tend to receive less attention. They require maintenance, occasional repairs, cleaning, and replacement over time. As a homeowner, you should know when your furnace needs to be replaced. There are signs to watch for, which indicate when your home’s furnace is at the end of its lifespan. A brand new furnace can increase efficiency and lead to monetary savings each month.

Average Furnace Lifespan

On average, a gas furnace will last between 15 and 30 years. While rare, some residential furnaces have endured for 40 years or more. With routine, annual maintenance and the occasional cleaning, your furnace can easily last for 15 years or more. Of course, there are factors to consider, too. For instance:

  • Make and Model – A new system will have a longer lifespan than an old model.
  • Maintenance – The frequency and quality of scheduled maintenance makes a significant difference. To maintain your warranty and keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible, schedule maintenance during the fall. Be sure your appointment includes a full cleaning, too.
  • Ventilation – Excess moisture in your home can cause the heater system to rust and prematurely break down. Moisture is especially harmful to the heat exchanger within the system.
  • Professional Installation – Always opt for professional installation. Unfortunately, nearly half of all furnaces are improperly installed. As such, efficiency levels are lowered by nearly 30% or more, leading to breakdowns, insufficient air, and other issues. Always schedule service with a professional.

Replacing a Furnace

There are numerous factors, as you have seen firsthand above, that affect when to replace a furnace. You always want to speak with a professional when it comes to replacing your furnace. For homeowners with an aging furnace that is perhaps more than 15 years old, you may find increased savings by replacing the furnace now rather than waiting. Furthermore, you’ll likely save money on repairs in the long run by replacing an aging furnace soon.

An old furnace is going to provide a slew of issues. You’ll endure reduced efficiency, spending hundreds on fuel and operating costs. You’ll spend more on repairs and maintenance. During the winter, you’ll likely find that your furnace cannot keep up with the demand. Your home will feel cold, or you’ll experience cold patches throughout the house.

Today’s high-efficiency furnaces have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating between 90% and 99%. Nearly all fuel is converted to successfully heat your home. An old model tends to have an AFUE rating under 80%. While still high in most regards, 80% also means that 20% is being wasted. You’re still spending money for that 20%. It only makes sense to enjoy as much efficiency as possible.

Your home’s furnace may require occasional repairs, professional installation, and routine maintenance to run at peak performance. For expert furnace repair, installation, and replacement services, call Robert B. Payne at (540) 373-5876 today!