As winter approaches, you’ll start to focus more and more on your home’s heating system. If your house is like the majority in our area, you have a furnace to handle your winter comfort needs. You may have had your current furnace for many years, and this prompts a good question to ask yourself before the cold arrives: How long can you expect this furnace to last?
Below we’ll look into the question of furnace longevity, what can affect it, and when to know it’s time to replace your home’s furnace.
Gas Furnaces and Electric Furnaces
The two most common types of furnaces have different service life expectancies. Natural gas furnaces are the most popular furnace choice, and most homes that have access to a natural gas line will use this type of heating system. Modern gas furnaces can last around 15 years and sometimes more. Older cast iron furnaces could last for longer, so if you hear someone tell you to expect 30 years from your gas furnace, it’s probably based on these ancient furnaces, which offset their long lives with extremely poor energy efficiency and less safety.
Electric furnaces are a good choice for all-electric homes, and they can also last longer than gas models because they don’t have the strain from gas combustion and chemical reactions that cause gas furnaces to age faster. Electric furnaces can last around 20 years.
The Importance of Maintenance on Furnace Lifespan
The above estimates take into account a furnace that receives annual maintenance from professionals. These tune-ups, which we recommend in the fall, slow down the accumulation of strain on a furnace. This not only prevents numerous repairs and retains the furnace’s original energy efficiency, it also stops the furnace from failing years too early. If a furnace receives little maintenance, its service life will drop—sometimes by half. When you consider that lack of maintenance can also void the equipment warranty, a furnace that fails years too early because of neglect can turn into an expensive problem to fix!
How Far Can a Furnace Be Pushed Until It Fails?
The answer to this question is, “Please don’t try it.” We don’t recommend ever allowing an HVAC device to limp on until a final breakdown. Not only does this risk trapping you for an extended time without a vital home comfort system, it can cause a gas furnace to develop safety risks and cost far more to run than it should as it wears down.
How Long Can Repairs Keep an Older Furnace Going?
This is a good question, because sometimes the right targeted repair can keep a furnace working usefully for several more years. Other times, a repair is only a brief patch that will help an already wobbly and power-draining furnace last several more months—and that’s not worth it. The best way to determine when a repair is worthwhile for an aging furnace is to call our technicians for furnace repair in Little Rock, AR. We’ll give you an honest estimate and assessment of your furnace so we can help you make the best choice regarding either repairing it or replacing it.
Dewees HVAC proudly serves the Conway area. Contact us today for the furnace help you need.