How long does a furnace last?

19 May, 2020

How Long Does A Furnace Last? 

Well, there’s no fixed answer. It’s difficult to give an exact amount of time because there are so many factors involved. While we can’t tell you exactly how long a furnace should last, we can certainly provide you with some info on average furnace lifespan, factors that affect furnace life expectancy, furnace replacement signs, and some ways you can delay the inevitable.

Read on to find out how long a furnace lasts and when the right time to replace it is.

Average Furnace Lifespan

Wondering what the average life expectancy of a gas furnace is? There are mixed opinions about furnace life expectancy. Although some furnaces can last more than 40 years (extremely rare), the average life of a furnace is around 15 to 30 years. As long as you have scheduled annual furnace maintenance, it should easily last over 15 years.

Just like your car, your older furnace may need some basic repairs. However, if the furnace is out of warranty, some people prefer buying a new model even before a minor repair is needed. Others are willing to make a number of repairs before letting go of the old furnace.

Factors That Affect Furnace Life Expectancy

There are a number of factors that affect gas furnace lifespan:

  • Improper furnace sizing: An inaccurately sized furnace installed within a heating and air conditioning system can affect the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Plus, it potentially reduces the furnace lifespan.
  • Shoddy installation: How long does a furnace usually last? It depends on how it is installed. Poorly designed, sized and sealed ductwork can restrict airflow, causing problems with furnace performance and reliability. Inaccurately installed venting and fuel lines can also affect performance and reduce furnace lifespan.
  • Lack of regular maintenance: Regular maintenance can help extend performance and improve how long furnaces last. It’s recommended to hire a certified home heating technician for regular cleaning and checkup. They can fix minor repairs to improve performance and avoid bigger issues down the road.
  • Extreme thermostat settings: Setting your thermostat too high or low can possibly damage components that may either shorten the life of the furnace or lead to an inconvenient or expensive service call. It is recommended to set the thermostat between 60⁰ and 80⁰ Fahrenheit.

Signs Your Furnace’s End is Near

Although you may want your furnace to last forever, every unit will ultimately need to be replaced. Often, you’ll see signs that an aging furnace is ready to give up. Some of these signs include:

  • Frequent service calls
  • Expensive repair bills
  • Performance issues like furnace blowing cold air
  • Poor air quality
  • Uneven temperatures around the house
  • New/increased noise
  • A huge increase in your monthly energy bills

Finding out that your furnace needs replacing after it has completely shut down is not desirable. So, keep a watchful eye on these warning signs to keep your costs low and prevent a frigid night without heat.

How to Extend Furnace Lifespan

The best way to extend gas furnace lifespan is regular cleaning, maintenance, and service. Here’s what you can do to ensure the best performance and efficiency of your furnace while preventing premature failure:

  • Keep filters, motors, and the heat exchanger free from dirt, dust, and other debris.
  • Check and clean your furnace air filter.
  • When replacing your furnace, consider including a heat pump with your new furnace instead of an air conditioner. This will create a dual-fuel system, lessening the workload of the furnace.

It’s best to hire a qualified HVAC expert to regularly check and clean your furnace.

Need to Replace Your Furnace?

Got your furnace inspected, repaired, inspected again, and still no improvement? It’s time to buy a new one.

If the previous furnace proved itself to be resilient over time, consider buying a newer version of the same model. Though the upfront investment may seem high, buying a newer version has a lot of advantages compared to their older counterparts.

New furnace models are constructed with an annualized fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating that characterizes the efficiency of each model. It signifies the amount of heat the furnace can create vs. how much is lost in the combustion process.

A typical gas furnace has an AFUE rating of 80% or higher, with some best units having a rating of up to 98%. Remember, the higher the efficiency, the lower your heating expenditures.

Furnace Experts in Fargo

Not sure if your furnace needs to be replaced or simply needs a repair? Contact the Fargo furnace repair specialists at Valley Service. We’ll help you understand the current efficiency of your furnace and can provide you with an affordable model should it need replacement. Call today at 701-293-5701 or fill out our online contact form. Our Fargo HVAC team looks forward to helping you with all your heating needs!