This is the type of question that might nudge into your brain as we move deeper into fall and closer to the time when we’ll all need our furnaces in Levittown, PA hard at work. You might have a furnace that’s already done a decade or so of warming your house, and now you feel concerned about when it’ll need to be replaced.
Don’t wait to find out how much your furnace can take!
First, it’s never a good idea to wait for a furnace to finally fail before you decide to replace it. This will not only trap you with a busted furnace for an extended period of time, but it also allows the furnace to decline so far in energy efficiency and performance that it’s wasting money each time it comes on. Worst of all, a decrepit furnace can turn into a safety hazard.
So as you think about how long your furnace will last, we recommend you also start thinking about having it replaced. It may be the situation where it’s best to have a new furnace put in during fall, before the cold temperatures arrive.
Basic furnace life expectancies
A few generalities about furnace service life. The average natural gas furnace will last around 15 years and sometimes longer. An electric furnace can last for around 20 years. You might have read that furnaces can last 30 or even 40 years, but this is extremely rare and we don’t recommend trying to push a furnace that far past its service life expectancy. It will become far too expensive to keep around and possibly dangerous.
There are external factors that affect furnace service life, and the most important is maintenance. If a furnace doesn’t receive annual professional maintenance, it can lose years off its estimated life expectancy. A furnace that might easily last for 15 years will end up needing a replacement after only 8. That’s a significant loss in the original investment. This is one of the many reasons we always recommend furnace maintenance—and right now is a great time to schedule it.
Warning signs of a furnace that’s already too old
If you have an older furnace but it hasn’t yet shown any signs of deterioration, then schedule maintenance as usual and ask your technicians about how much longer they expect the furnace to last and recommendations for the future. But if your furnace has started to the warning signs below, then it’s best to get an opinion on a replacement as soon as possible:
- Uneven heating around the house leaving cold spots
- The furnace has started to make a racket when it runs
- It takes regular tweaking of the thermostat to get the right indoor temperature
- The furnace turns on and off rapidly (short-cycling)
- You see corrosion anywhere on the furnace
- You need to repair the furnace yearly or every other year
- You’ve noticed a continual rise in heating costs each winter that you can’t explain
- The furnace sets off the CO detectors in your house or causes some other safety concern
Our experts can help you make the best decision about heating your home this coming winter, either with your current furnace or a replacement one.