How long a furnace will last before it needs replacement is both an easy and complex question. Most furnaces last 18 to 20 years, but the lifespan of a particular furnace depends greatly on how it is used and whether it gets regular maintenance. There are definite steps you can take to extend the life of your furnace and prolong the need to replace it as well as to minimize the need for repairs.
Typical Lifespan of Natural Gas Furnaces
Natural gas furnaces can last up to 20 years or more. Because technology is always improving performance, newer models last longer than older models. Scheduling fall maintenance with a licensed HVAC professional every year helps keep your furnace running trouble-free for as long as possible.
Moisture levels and proper ventilation also impact a furnace’s performance. Too much moisture is damaging to the heat exchanger and can cause heater components to rust and break down prematurely.
Proper installation is another important factor. An improperly installed furnace will have to work harder to heat your home, leading to more wear and tear as well as poor, inefficient performance. If your furnace is the wrong size (too big or too small for your space) it will also likely wear out too soon.
Warning Signs of a Failing Furnace
If your furnace is no longer performing adequately, you may be wondering whether you should repair it or replace it. A general rule of thumb is that if the repair costs more than 50 percent of the price of a new furnace, you should replace your old one. Other factors to consider include:
- Age of furnace.
If it is more than 15 years old, replacement may be warranted. Also consider the fact that a new furnace will be more efficient, which translates to considerable energy cost savings.
- Increased energy bills.
If your energy bills have increased significantly that is a good indication that your furnace is wearing out.
- Increased repairs.
More frequent or more costly repairs can also mean that your furnace is going to fail.
- Home is not as comfortable.
When it becomes harder to keep your home at a consistently comfortable temperature, it may be time for a replacement.
- The burner flame is yellow instead of blue.
This is an important safety issue, as a yellow natural gas flame indicates that your furnace is producing carbon monoxide.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Furnace
Keeping your furnace running reliably and efficiently is easier, and more cost-effective than you might think.
- Annual maintenance
ensures that your equipment is clean, safe and working properly. Your HVAC technician can identify and correct minor problems before they become big ones and impact the performance and lifespan of your furnace.
- Clean filters
prevent dust and dirt from clogging and compromising your system. Change your furnace filters every 30 to 90 days as needed.
- Use it less
by installing a programmable thermostat. Save wear and tear, and energy costs, by using your furnace only when you are there.
The professionals at Indoor Air Quality are ready to answer all your furnace questions. Call IAQ today. We proudly serve Highlands Ranch and the entire Denver Metro Area.