How Long Do Furnaces Last?

Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning

Gaithersburg HVAC Contractors

Hands on radiatorThe heat provided by the furnace provides a valuable necessity for our homes. How long a furnace will last depends a lot on the type of furnace and the manufacturer, but for all kinds of furnace systems, regular maintenance and proper installation will help you to extend the life of your system. The average lifespan of a furnace is about 15 to 20 years. Some industrial furnaces can last even longer.

Waiting until a cold night to realize that your furnace desperately needs replacing can leave you with regrets, so be diligent in watching out for the signs of aging or a furnace that is a furnace that is breaking down--before a major heating disaster occurs. The lifespan of a furnace depends on many factors, and this article offers an, overview of how long furnaces last and when it is time to replace them.

What factors determine how long a furnace will last?

To determine the lifespan of a furnace, many factors should be considered. The model, make, and brand of the furnace all contribute to the expected longevity of the furnace unit. Different kinds of furnaces have different lifespans, but regardless of the make and model proper maintenance can increase the longevity of your furnace. Making appointments for routine maintenance will not only extend the lifetime of the furnace, but it can also save you money over time as regular maintenance will help to keep the machine working efficiently. 

If the furnace is not installed correctly in the first place this can cause issues later on down the line, even if the furnace seems to be working correctly at first. Hiring a reputable professional heating tech to install your furnace for you can help to prevent future problems by ensuring that your furnace is installed properly. The furnace should be installed in an area that is ventilated well. If the furnace is badly ventilated it may reduce the lifespan of the furnace. Moisture from poor ventilation and temperature control is the guilty culprit of rusted furnaces in many cases. 

When should you replace your furnace?

Leather tool belt with construction tooling You can look out for a few warning signs that you can look out for that may indicate that it is time to replace your furnace. Some minor heating issues can be patched up by a skilled heating technician, but at times fixing old parts repeatedly can cost you more money than replacing the whole thing and starting over with an upgraded, efficient furnace system. Nothing lasts forever, and even the best furnaces will need replacing eventually. Here are a few warning signs that your furnace is broken or old and needs to be replaced soon. 

Have your utility bills increased?

One sign that a furnace is reaching the end of its life is that your utility bills will begin to climb. If the furnace is not functioning correctly, it can waste energy and run up your bills. If your heating bill has been a consistent price range for years and it is suddenly much more expensive, it could mean that it is time to replace your heating system. A slow, gradual change can also indicate issues with the furnace, or that it is simply too old to go on any longer. 

Are strange noises coming from the unit?

Lady cupping ear to hear This one may seem obvious, but if your furnace is making noises this can be a very annoying indicator of a faulty furnace that needs replacing. Not only is the noise obnoxious to listen to, but it can be indicative of a deeper issue that if not resolved could be potentially hazardous or leave you without heat. If you notice that your furnace is making rattling noises, or is louder than usual, you should consult a heating expert. 

Is your furnace over 15 years old?

The average lifespan for a normal gas furnace is about 15 years. If your furnace system is over 15 years old it may be time to start considering a replacement. An old furnace can waste fuel and cost more money over time. Replacing a faulty old furnace with a new one will save you money as a new furnace will run more efficiently, using less fuel and energy. Replacing an old furnace with a new one has been proven to have a good return on investment for homeowners. 

To find out how much money you can save by upgrading to a new furnace, consider the annual fuel utilization rating of your model with that of a new environmentally friendly furnace that uses 99% of all fuel. Compare that against an older model that can use 80%.  Doing this can also help you to determine how much you should be investing when purchasing new furnace to be certain you are making a smart investment.  

What kind of heating system do you have?

There are different kinds of furnace systems available and the type of heating system will affect the lifespan of that product. Which kind of furnace you have may depend on the age of your home, as some old homes have more traditional style furnaces, while a modern home may have a new furnace that is very environmentally friendly. Knowing which kind of heating system you have installed in your home is important in determining how many years you can expect to get from the system.

The Life Expectancy of Different Types of Heating Systems

  • Gas furnaces have a predicted life expectancy of 15-30 years
  • Boilers have a predicted life expectancy of 15-30 years.
  • Heat pumps have a predicted life expectancy of 15 years.
  • Active solar heating has a predicted life expectancy of 20+ years.
  • Electric heating has a predicted life expectancy of 20+ years.

Technician smiling and giving thumbs uo

How can you extend the life of your furnace?

The best way to extend the life of your furnace is to pick the right kind of a furnace for your home, and then leave the installation and maintenance up to the professionals. Faulty DIY installation can shave years of life off of your furnace, as can failing to do regular maintenance. If your heating system has air filters, you will want to change these regularly to keep the system working in top condition. Installing the furnace in a cool, dry area will also help it last longer because rust and corrosion from humidity are the top causes of damage to an old furnace. 

If you have any questions, contact us. Our experts are ready and waiting to speak with you. 

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