How Long Do Furnaces Last?
Customers often ask, “How long do furnaces last?” when purchasing a system or if they need repairs. There’s no exact answer. A gas furnace is said to have a 15-to-20-year lifespan. However, some people claim to have kept their furnace going for 30 years!
There’s no expiration date to predict exactly when your furnace will fail.
Factors That Impact Furnace Longevity
Every furnace is different. Generally, the more expensive the model and higher the quality of materials, the longer it will last. But it’s more complicated than that. These are some factors regarding furnace longevity and how to possibly increase it:
- Use: Increased strain can affect your furnace’s longevity. To reduce the amount of strain on the unit, set the temperature cooler in winter and maintain the same temperatures for about eight hours at a time. According to the S. Department of Energy, a setting of 68℉ during the day is ideal, and can save energy.
- Size: Furnaces will last a certain time no matter what size they are. Nonetheless, the unit must be sized properly for your home. If the furnace is larger than you need, it will short cycle (turn on and off too frequently); if it’s too small for the space, it will run longer. Both examples can increase wear and tear.
- Installation: Professional installation is important because your furnace won’t last as long if it’s poorly designed or sized. If the contractor doesn’t address ductwork leaks and other issues, this can impact longevity as well. Poor drainage and incorrectly installed fuel lines can also lead to problems that reduce operating life.
What Helps a Furnace Last Longer?
Regular maintenance is an important part of owning a furnace. Ideally, you should schedule professional service once a year. In between, there are things you can do, such as replacing the air filter. If the filter gets clogged, air flow is restricted, and the furnace will have to work harder. This can potentially strain it to the point of failure.
You can also reduce strain by properly sealing your home. Air leakage and cold air intrusion can make the furnace struggle to maintain the same air temperature. An HVAC company can check for these and make the appropriate recommendations and fixes. Make sure it also inspects the pilot and burner, fan, gas valve, heat exchanger, thermocouple, and gas/electrical connections. Moving parts should be lubricated and the system tested to ensure it’s running properly.
How Do I Know When My Furnace Is About to Go?
As we hinted at earlier, just because your furnace is 10 or 15 years old, that doesn’t mean it’s time to replace it. But there are a few hints that the system could be on its last legs. For example, if you hear popping, ratting, screeching, humming, clicking, or booming when the furnace is running, the need for replacement may be near. Or, at the very least, major repairs are necessary.
Other reasons to consider furnace replacement include when the temperature from room to room varies considerably. It may be struggling to evenly distribute heat. If soot is building up around the furnace register, this is a sign of excess carbon dioxide production. An increase in cycling frequency, excess dust, humidity problems, and rising energy bills are other signs it’s time to consider furnace replacement.
Call for Furnace Help Today
“How long do furnaces last?”, you may wonder. Or, do you require an expensive repair, need your furnace serviced frequently, or notice issues with temperature control or higher energy bills? Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can answer your questions and help select and install a new furnace. We can also provide residential or commercial furnace maintenance that can increase operating life. To set up an appointment in the Phoenix Valley, schedule service online or call 602-737-3279 today.
About the Author
Chris and Stacia Hays, are the founders of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact Hays today.