How Long Will My Furnace Last?

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If you're unsure whether to repair or replace your furnace, it's helpful to know the average furnace life expectancy based on the type of heating system you own. Metro Atlanta homeowners experiencing recurring furnace problems with an older unit can benefit from a long-term approach to maintaining or replacing their existing unit. Here's what you need to know.

Fix It or Upgrade It?

The lifespan of a furnace varies based on several factors. You'll always get more years out of your gas, electric, or heat pump heating system with regular HVAC maintenance.

Some other variables include:

  • Furnace Size – Installing a furnace that’s too large can result in efficiencies that cause unnecessary wear and tear. This often results in short cycling, which causes the unit to turn on and off quickly. Furnaces that are too small for the space pose an inverse problem: they will run too long, which causes wear and may also increase your energy bill.
  • Temperature Settings – Like any machinery, the more you use your furnace, the more often it will require maintenance. Setting your thermostat too high in the winter can force your system to work harder and more often, resulting in a shorter life expectancy.
  • Poor HVAC System Design or Installation – Leaks in your ductwork, or ductwork that is the wrong size, can impact your furnace's performance and reduce its functional lifespan.

Furnace Life Expectancy by Energy Type

The energy source that fuels your furnace is perhaps the second most significant factor in a heating system’s lifespan behind maintenance. How long your furnace will last can vary, but these are useful average life expectancies for gas, electric, and heat pump systems.

How Long Does a Gas Furnace Last?

Take care of your gas furnace and you can expect it to last 15-20 years. Gas-fired furnaces have the shortest average lifespan and may require more frequent maintenance and repairs after ten years. As your gas furnace nears 15 years of use, you may consider bi-annual maintenance from a local HVAC professional.

How Long Do Electric Furnaces Last?

On average, electric furnaces last 20-30 years with regular maintenance. While electric heat can be more expensive than gas, you may save money in the long run by avoiding premature replacement. Electric furnaces are less likely to require repairs than gas furnaces, saving money and reducing the risk of emergency repairs on those stormy winter nights.

How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?

Most heat pumps last roughly 15 years. Like other heating systems, regular maintenance can significantly increase the lifespan of both ground-sourced and air-sourced heat pump systems. Additional moisture, like that found in humid coastal areas, can reduce the life expectancy of heat pumps.

Consider your heater's energy efficiency and monthly energy bills when deciding whether to replace your aging furnace.

Make the Right Call with Assured Comfort

Assured Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing helps homeowners make smart financial decisions when it comes to their home heating and cooling needs. Let one of our friendly and experienced technicians help with all of your Atlanta HVAC needs, including maintaining your aging furnace or upgrading to a new heat system. Request service or call 770-464-5745 today.

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