How Long Does a Furnace Last and When Should You Replace It?

Although the right circumstances and proper care can lengthen the life of a furnace, you will have to replace it eventually. Ideally, the right time to replace your furnace is when its repair cost outweighs the cost of buying a brand new furnace. However, most furnaces stop working suddenly without giving homeowners significant malfunctioning hints. Stay aware of the anticipated life span of your home furnace to prevent a sudden breakdown of your furnace. This will help you to plan ahead to buy a new furnace.

Average Furnace Lifespan

In most cases, furnaces last between 15 to 20 years. However, this average may vary depending upon several factors such as the quality of the unit, maintenance schedule, and how often it is used.

Also read: How Do You Know When to Replace Your Furnace?

Average Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of your furnace also depends on the type of unit. For example, older furnaces with heavy cast iron heat exchangers may last up to 30 to 40 years, even though they are less efficient. On the other hand, the average lifespan of an electric furnace or an active solar heating system is 20-years-plus, whereas gas furnaces and boilers have an average lifespan of 15-30 years. For heat pumps, the average life expectancy is only 15 years.

Also read: What Causes Furnace to Turn On and Off Frequently?

Factors That Shorten Furnace Lifespan

1. Furnace Model and Age

As some brands are better than others, make sure to buy brands that are high quality. Also, keep in mind that old model furnaces have a shorter lifespan. Therefore, always go for the latest model in the market.

2. Poor Installation

Always call a licensed professional for the proper installation of the furnace so that you get a warranty for the unit and can avoid the problems caused by faulty installation.

3. Lack of Regular Maintenance

It is essential to get your entire HVAC system serviced at least twice a year to ensure its proper functioning and lengthen its lifespan.

4. Improper Placement and Ventilation

While installing a furnace, always make sure it has proper ventilation and clearance. This is because inadequate airflow and too much moisture can damage its heat exchanger and negatively affect its lifespan.

Also read: How to Use Your Heat Pump Right to Save Money

Signs You Are at the End of Your Furnace’s Life Expectancy

Some of the most common signs which tell you that you are nearing a furnace breakdown are frequent service calls and expensive repair bills. You may also experience performance issues such as furnace not blowing hot air, increased noise, difficulty attaining the thermostat temperature, increased energy bills, and a general lack of comfort when your furnace is reaching the end of its life expectancy.

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