What Is the Average Life Expectancy of a Furnace?

Is it finally time to replace your old furnace? Too few homeowners actually know when to install a new one. They assume their furnace will keep working for the foreseeable future, and they push the replacement appointment off by another year.

As a homeowner, you should know the life expectancy of your home’s furnace. You should also recognize the telltale warning signs that indicate your furnace is about to die.

Average Lifespan of a Furnace

The average lifespan of a furnace varies depending on a few factors. On average, a residential furnace will last between 15 and 20 years. This time frame is dependent on installation quality, maintenance needs, proper repairs, and regular cleanings. When not cared for adequately, your furnace will not last as long.

Some factors that play a role in the average lifespan include:

  • The make and model of the furnaceA new system will likely have a longer lifespan overall.
  • The frequency and quality of professional maintenance appointments. To remain within the manufacturer’s warranty, you must provide your furnace with adequate maintenance and cleaning, which can subsequently improve efficiency and increase its lifespan.
  • Moisture levels and ventilation. Too much moisture can cause heating components to rust and break down quickly.
  • Professional installation. Efficiency levels drop significantly when you install a furnace yourself or hire an amateur to complete the job. Professional installation ensures your new heating system operates at peak performance year-round, with fewer issues overall.

Signs You Need Furnace Replacement

Now that you understand the average lifespan of a furnace and the factors that affect its life expectancy, you need to know the signs of a failing furnace. If you watch for these signs, you can schedule prompt replacement and decrease your discomfort significantly.

  • Age – The age of your furnace will be the biggest sign that you need a replacement. An old system nearing 20 years will likely fail sooner than a recently installed unit.
  • Inadequate Heating – If you notice cold spots throughout your home, chances are your thermostat is not set properly or your furnace is failing to keep up with the demand.
  • Noises – Your furnace is probably not completely silent. However, it shouldn’t produce any rumbling, banging, or squealing sounds. If your furnace does make odd noises, chances are something has gone wrong and it’s time for a replacement.
  • Carbon Monoxide – Carbon monoxide is incredibly dangerous and can be deadly. If you notice that the burner flame of your furnace is yellow instead of blue, the furnace is likely producing large quantities of carbon monoxide. Have it checked out by a professional immediately.

For furnace installation, repairs, and maintenance, contact Northern's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® at (763) 284-8639.