How Long Does A Furnace Last? When Should You Replace It?

How Often Does a Furnace Need Replacing?So many factors are involved in the lifespan of a furnace that there’s no fixed answer to the question of when it might need to be replaced instead of merely repaired.

However, there are some rules of thumb regarding the average lifespan of a furnace, ways to prolong the life expectancy of your furnace, and signs that replacement may be near. Read on to learn more.

Average Furnace Lifespan

Some gas furnaces can and do last as long as 40 years or more, though this is very rare. The average lifespan is 15-30 years, depending on such factors as manufacturing quality, installation quality, and regular maintenance.

If you’ve kept up with the recommended scheduled annual maintenance services, then you should expect your furnace to last at least 15 years.

During that time period, your unit may require some minor repairs in addition to regular maintenance. Once your HVAC system starts needing substantial repairs on a regular basis, it’s time to think about investing in a new system with the latest technology advancements.

Factors That Affect Furnace Life Expectancy

The lifespan of a gas furnace can be affected by several factors, including:

  • Improper Size: 
    A gas furnace that’s too small or large for the HVAC system of which it’s a part can negatively affect your home’s comfort and energy usage. This can also reduce the furnace’s lifespan.
  • Poor Installation:
    Poorly designed, sized, or sealed ductwork, which is part of the initial installation process, can restrict airflow and cause problems with furnace performance. Inaccurate venting and fuel lines not only affect performance but can also reduce the furnace’s lifespan.
  • Lack of Regular Maintenance: 
    Regular maintenance tends the performance and lifespan of your gas furnace. Always use certified home heating technicians, like the service teams at Northern Climate Control, for regular maintenance checkups.
  • Extreme Thermostat Settings: 
    Constantly setting your thermostat too high or too low can damage components, lead to an expensive breakdown, and even shorten the unit’s lifespan. We recommend keeping your thermostat at any point between 60-80 degrees F that feels comfortable to you.

Signs That Replacement May Be Needed

All furnaces eventually need replacing, and often your furnace begins to let you know in advance that it’s time is near. Signs that your furnace is approaching the end of its lifespan include:

  • A huge increase in your monthly energy bills
  • Expensive repair bills
  • Frequent service calls
  • New or louder noises
  • Performance issues like the furnace blowing cold air
  • Poor air quality
  • Uneven temperatures around your home

Keep a watchful eye out for these warning signs and call us immediately if you notice something. It’s better to diagnose the need for a replacement while your system is still running so that we have time to repair or install new equipment without you having to go without heat.

All new furnaces are issued an annualized fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating that reveals how well they produce heat and avoid energy loss.. A typical gas furnace has an AFUE rating of 80% or higher, with the very best units having ratings as high as 98%. The higher the efficiency, the lower your heating costs.

Ways to Extend Lifespan

The best way to extend the life of your furnace is by having regular cleaning and maintenance. Here are some additional steps to prevent premature system failure:

  • Check and clean your furnace air filter if it looks dirty between maintenance calls.
  • Keep the motor and heat exchanger free from dust, dirt, and other debris.
  • Consider including a heat pump with your new furnace, instead of an air conditioner, the next time you replace your system. This will create a dual-fuel system, which lessens the workload on the furnace.

If you’ve had your furnace inspected, repaired, and inspected again but there’s still no improvement, then it’s time to replace your system. If you were pleased with your last system, consider buying an updated version of the same model.

Rely on Northern Climate Control

If you want your HVAC system to last as long as possible, proper cleaning and maintenance is a must. Our skilled technicians provide fast, affordable maintenance and repair services throughout the Denver Metro Area. Northern Climate Control offers top-quality Rheem gas furnaces, convenient financing, and the area’s best service crews. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help!