You know your furnace will one day need a replacement, and you want to start planning for it. In order to budget properly, you need to know how long that furnace will last. Like many other mechanical devices, there are a number of variables that will determine the service life.
General Rule of Thumb
Most manufacturers will tell you your furnace should have an average service life of 15 to 20 years. In the best-case scenario, it may last as long as 30 years. However, that is not something you should expect. Rather, if you plan to replace your furnace every 15 years, you will be ready rather than caught unprepared.
Type of Furnace
The type of furnace you have is one consideration of how long it will last. Gas and propane furnaces are known to last 15 to 20 years. However, if you have a kerosene furnace you have an extended life, with an average of about 25 years.
With furnaces, it is true you get what you pay for, so cutting costs may reduce your life expectancy. Planning in advance for your furnace replacement ensures you can buy a quality furnace for your home, which means it will last longer.
Age of Furnace
The age of your furnace will also determine how long your furnace will last. More properly stated, when your furnace was manufactured will play the role.
Furnace technology continues advancing, so both efficiency and workmanship continue to improve. A furnace built 15 years ago may only last 15 to 20 years. However, a quality furnace built this year may be more likely to last 20 or more.
Air quality plays a very important role in how your furnace works. The worse your air quality, the more impact it has on your system. Air quality simply refers to the volume of contaminants floating around in the air.
Your furnace works on the premise of circulating air. It draws it in, conditions it, and then pushes it back out. If there is a restriction airflow is interrupted and your furnace experiences additional strain.
Poor air quality can create restrictions in several areas of your furnace. These include your filter, the heat exchanger, and the circulating fan. Improving your air quality helps prevent these restrictions and extend your furnace’s life.
Installation and Maintenance Protocol
How your furnace is installed and maintained is extremely important. Energy Star estimates that over half of all furnaces are installed incorrectly. When this happens, it not only reduces efficiency but also increases strain, causing more repairs. Working with an authorized installer helps ensure your furnace is installed properly.
In addition to proper installation, a furnace needs regular maintenance to realize its full potential service life. In fact, it is so important that most manufacturers require professional maintenance to maintain the warranty.
During a regular maintenance visit, a technician will clean the areas that tend to clog, including the circulating fan and heat exchanger. A technician will also check to ensure the electrical connections are tight and there are no signs of components malfunctioning.
The bearings in your fan motor need to be lubricated regularly, and your technician will apply it during their visit. Additionally, they will make sure the mounting bolts and screws are tight. This prevents damage due to vibration from the motors running.
Signs You May Need a New Furnace
If your furnace is nearing the 15-year mark, it is important to know the signs you might need a new unit. These signs include:
- Longer run cycles
- Short cycling
- Creeping heating costs
- Excessive dust or soot particles
- Frequent repairs
If your system is more than 15 years old, look at the cost of the repair bills. Generally, if you are looking at repairs nearing or exceeding 50% of the cost of a replacement, it is more cost-effective to replace it.
Likewise, if your furnace is nearly 20 years old, you should consider proactively replacing your unit. You will save on continued repairs as well as see an improvement in efficiency, so you will experience lower heating bills.
OyBoy Heating and Cooling has provided trusted furnace installation, maintenance, and repair to residents around the Lehi, UT, area for over 40 years. Our NATE certified technicians also provide air conditioner installation, maintenance, and service, making ours the only number you need. Give our team a call today to schedule your furnace replacement consultation.