A picture of a furnace with the words, "Furnace Life Expectancy."

Furnaces are often out of sight and out of mind until they malfunction. To avoid an unexpected huddle under a pile of blankets, conduct routine maintenance on your furnace during its 15- to 30-year lifespan.

What Affects the Lifespan of the Furnace?

Make and Model

You can’t expect older models to keep up with all the updates to newer models; newer systems have longer lifespans due to better technology.

Frequency of Maintenance

Furnaces should be serviced at least once a year. Regular maintenance helps keep the furnace clean, allowing it to run more efficiently. Typically, the best time to service your furnace is in the fall.

Moisture Levels

Too much moisture can cause the components of your furnace to rust, leading to the premature breakdown of the unit. Moisture is especially harmful to the heat exchanger, the device which transfers the heat from one medium to another. Ensuring that your unit has proper ventilation will help reduce the moisture in the unit by allowing warm air to escape.

Proper Installation

An improperly installed unit can reduce the efficiency of your unit by as much as 30%, which can cause premature breakdowns, leaving your home feeling uncomfortable with insufficient air distribution. The end result is an uncomfortable home, high repair bills, and even a complete replacement of the unit. To avoid this, always have a licensed professional install, maintain, and repair your furnace.

What Are the Signs that the Furnace Needs to Be Replaced?

Abnormal Smells

It is common to get a whiff of fuel when the unit first turns on, but a constant smell indicates something is wrong. A constant strong smell of fuel is a sign that your furnace might need attention for a variety of problems, including but not limited to gas leaks, burnt out parts, or excessive dust on the inside of the unit.

The Unit Has Difficulty Starting

If it takes multiple times to start up the unit, then it needs to be repaired or replaced. This issue is often the result of disconnected or bad wiring, although it may also be caused by a faulty thermostat.

Pilot Light Has Changed Color

Pilot lights should be blue if all is functioning well. A yellow pilot light indicates there is an issue with the unit. The color changes when gases, such as carbon monoxide, aren’t dissipating correctly. This can lead to major health problems; contact your trusted HVAC technicians immediately.

Your Home Isn’t Getting Warm

If your furnace is producing low or no heat, leaking ductwork or a faulty thermostat might be the culprit.

Persistent Noises

All furnaces make noises but loud and persistent sounds might be a sign of a larger problem. Concerning noises include squealing, whistling, banging, and groaning. Keep an ear out for these to catch problems early and avoid further headaches down the line.

Poor Air Quality

A furnace that is dirty will have a negative impact on the air quality of your home. This can lead to respiratory problems, colds, and persistent coughing.

What Are Some Ways to Extend the Life of Your Furnace?

Equipment Quality

When investing in a new unit, always talk with your trusted HVAC technicians to find the right grade unit for your home’s needs.

Invest in Annual Maintenance

Having your furnace professional serviced once a year will allow it to stay clean and make sure all issues are solved early without becoming exacerbated over time. Regular maintenance also helps ensure all of the mechanical equipment is working, and tune-ups can be performed as needed. This is helpful to make sure any minor problems are resolved quickly before they turn into major issues.

Make Sure Filters are Clean

Clean filters help prevent a dirty furnace which can lead to a host of problems, including poor air quality. This also helps prevent overheating by keeping the unit clean and not clogged with dirt.

Your Furnace Experts

Our team of experts at Cote’s Mechanical will help you make sure your furnace stays in tip-top shape; call us today!