A furnace is a big purchase for any homeowner.

Unless you live in the tropics, you rely on your furnace to heat your home through the colder seasons. You expect it to be reliable winter after winter, and if you keep up with routine maintenance, it will be.

But a furnace does not last forever. While many things can affect the lifespan of your average furnace, a furnace that is older than 30 years is rare.

You may be wondering how long should a furnace last, how to extend its use, and how to prepare to buy a new one. Keep reading to learn the answers.

How Long Should a Furnace Last

The average gas furnace should last between 15-20 years. Electric furnaces tend to last longer than gas, but cost more to run, and don’t heat your home as quickly.

Some furnaces can live longer, especially if they are well-maintained. Here are some factors that determine furnace life: 

Newer Make/Model

Newer models today are made of better materials and will last longer than an older model. 

Proper Maintenance

Your furnace should be given a tune-up by your licensed HVAC company every autumn. They will perform routine cleaning and check for any potential problems.  

Low Moisture Levels/Good Ventilation

Moisture in and around the furnace can cause parts to rust and break. Proper ventilation is needed to keep moisture from shortening the life of your furnace.

Proper Installation

Be aware that furnace installation is not a DIY project. Improper installation has caused many furnaces to fail earlier than they should. If your furnace was installed by a professional, you have no worries.

Proper Sizing

If your furnace is too small, it will need to work too hard to heat your home, causing a premature failure. If the furnace is too large, it runs in shorter cycles, which can also cause early damage to parts.

When It’s Time to Replace

Eventually, your furnace will give you signals that it’s near the end of its usefulness. Things to look for include:

  • An unusual rise in heating bills
  • Your house won’t get warm
  • Furnace blows only cold air
  • Frequent and expensive repairs
  • Loud noises coming from the furnace

If any or many of these problems occur, it is time to consider a new furnace. There is some research to be done before you make a final purchase.

Things to Consider Before Buying

When looking for a new furnace, first check to see if insulating your home or replacing the ductwork could help save you money in energy costs.

Upgrading to a new furnace with a high-efficiency rating will help you save money in operating costs. New furnaces have an annual fuel utilization efficiency near 95%, as compared to older models. If you’re staying in your house for a few more years, paying more upfront for a high-efficiency model will be worth it in savings down the line.

Call a Pro to Learn More

Knowing how long should a furnace last helps you decide whether to repair or replace your existing unit. 

Should a new furnace is in your future, get in touch with your heating and cooling pro to find the right-sized furnace for your home, at the right price.

If you live in or near the York, PA area, contact us today to get more information on heating and cooling your home.