If your furnace looks anything like the accompanying picture, then, yes, yes it is time for you to replace your furnace. This system doesn’t just look outdated, it is outdated. Continuing to use a system that is decades past its useful lifespan is not going to operate efficiently, or safely.
Useful is the keyword here–you’ll often hear an HVAC professional say that furnaces last about 10-15 years. Of course, if yours is older than this and is still running, that can be hard to believe. Is that professional just out to make money?
No, not at all! What we mean when we talk about lifespan is how long a furnace can last, operating efficiently, powerfully, and safely!
So read on as we uncover some signs that it’s time to go ahead and upgrade that heater of yours.
What’s the Average Useful Lifespan of a Furnace?
When well-maintained, the average useful lifespan of a gas-powered furnace is about 10-15 years. An electric furnace may be able to reach 20. “Well-maintained” means that your heater gets a professional tune-up each and every year!
Tune-ups allow our technicians to closely inspect, clean, and adjust components that need it. All of this reduces repair needs, and helps the heater work more efficiently overall.
In fact, every year maintenance is skipped, a furnace loses about 5% of its efficiency rating. But regular maintenance helps the system retain 95% of its overall efficiency throughout its lifespan.
Signs It Is Time for a Heater Upgrade
Old age, as we’ve alluded to, is the primary indication that it’s time for you to replace your heater, or at least start exploring your options. Here are some other signs to watch out for as well:
Frequent Repair Needs
When properly maintained by trained professionals, your heater should only need a common wear-and-tear repair once every couple of years or so. If you find yourself calling for repairs more often than this, it’s a sign that your heater is starting to degrade, and it’s probably time for a replacement.
In most cases, continuing to repair an aging furnace is going to cost more than replacing the old system with a new, higher-efficiency furnace or heat pump.
Take a look at your energy bills. Are they dramatically higher than they were this same time last year? If so, it’s a sign that something in your home is working inefficiently, and it could very well be your heater to blame.
After all, HVAC systems account for half of all the energy that’s used in a home, even when they’re operating as they should!
Unfamiliar heater noises should never be ignored, especially in an aging furnace. If this is a gas furnace we’re talking about, the noises could indicate loose components or a cracked heat exchanger, which can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) exposure and poisoning in your home.
Aside from the danger, though, noises also indicate that something is going wrong in your system, and if not addressed you could find yourself with a completely broken down system when you need it the most.