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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

How Long Are Furnaces Supposed to Last?


Your furnace is a hardworking piece of equipment. Any appliance or home system that sees a lot of use has a limited lifetime, and will eventually need to be replaced. It’s always best to have some idea of how long something will last so that having to purchase a new one won’t come as a complete surprise.

Of course, you want your furnace to last for as long as it possibly can. But the flip side of that is that you don’t want to continue to run a furnace that is costing you a ton of money in utility bills because it can no longer operate efficiently. You also shouldn’t keep using a furnace that poses a safety hazard. How long can a furnace last, and how can you make sure it stays safe and efficient for as long as possible? Here are some useful guidelines.

Gas Vs Electric Furnaces

One major factor in a furnace’s lifespan is whether it’s a gas or electric furnace. A gas furnace should function well for fifteen years or so, while an electric furnace will generally last longer, sometimes well over twenty years. Electric models tend to be less expensive at the outset which helps offset that initial investment.

The Furnace Itself

If you purchased a furnace with an Energy Star rating, you can rest assured that you’ve chosen a reliable piece of equipment. However, if you purchased a furnace second-hand or inherited the responsibility for a furnace when you bought your house, you may not know much about it. Some older furnaces simply weren’t built to the same standards that today’s furnaces are.

Professional Installation

A significant cause of early furnace failure stems from improper installation. When a trained, experienced professional installs your furnace, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your new, expensive piece of machinery is being properly installed. An amateur simply doesn’t have the experience of seeing the repair needs that spring up because of improperly installed furnaces, and won’t have the same ability to ensure that all factors are taken into consideration. 

Annual Maintenance

This is the big one. If your furnace sits neglected for years, its lifetime of use could be cut in half. With regular maintenance, usually just once a year, a furnace can easily last the full 15-20 years we’ve described. There is a cost to your annual maintenance, but it is very minor compared to having to replace the furnace entirely.

Prompt Repairs

If you suspect that something is wrong with your furnace because you hear a strange noise, smell something unexpected, or are having trouble keeping your home at your desired temperature, it’s best to get heating repair in Albuquerque, NM right away. Letting your furnace continue to run while it struggles can make problems much worse. 

When to Replace Your Furnace

If regular maintenance is not keeping your energy costs from increasing, or if your furnace exhibits signs of corrosion, it’s time to replace it. If your furnace is aging but still operational, you might want to look into your options simply because new furnaces are so energy-efficient that the amount you save on utility bills could make upgrading now the best choice.

Contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing with any questions about furnace maintenance, repair, or installation.

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