Proper furnace maintenance can increase the lifespan of your heating system. The equipment can last 15 to 20 years, but various factors can shorten a furnace’s life. From the appliance you select to how you manage heating settings, you have more power than you think in helping your furnace last longer. Diligence with HVAC maintenance and repairs also helps; we’ll look at a few variables that impact how long a furnace can last.
Size of the Furnace
A furnace must be sized properly for your home. Otherwise, wear and tear will shorten its lifespan. For example, if you choose too large a system, it’ll turn on and off too frequently, damaging crucial components. A unit that’s too small for your home may run longer and struggle to keep it warm. A higher-capacity furnace won’t heat your home more quickly and a lower-capacity system won’t save you money in the long run.
For a furnace to last, it must accommodate the square footage of your home. Window size and placement, vegetation around your property, and climate are also factors.
Make and Model
As with most products, furnaces are available in many models from many brands. Some are simply built better with higher-quality materials and parts. A higher-end, more expensive model typically lasts longer than a lower-end system. Certain brands are known for their devotion to quality, while some manufacturers produce equipment over various quality levels and price ranges.
Hiring a qualified professional to install your furnace can increase its lifespan. A unit that’s set up correctly is less likely to have performance issues, wear out, and break down. The installation process must focus on proper placement and set up of drainage and fuel lines. Ductwork design, sizing, and sealing also matter and impact not only comfort but also system efficiency.
A properly installed furnace should last longer. Therefore, do your research before hiring an installer, from reading online reviews to obtaining referrals from friends and family.
A furnace in a crawlspace is exposed to outdoor temperatures, pests, and other elements. Therefore, it won’t last as long as a unit installed in a garage. Placing a furnace in an attic can also expose it to temperature extremes, shortening its lifespan. Improving attic insulation and ventilation and encapsulating your crawlspace can help your furnace last longer and have various other benefits.
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests setting the thermostat to around 68℉ to 70℉ in winter and lower while you’re asleep or away.¹ The thermostat setting can affect how often you need to repair or replace a furnace. For example, if it’s always at 78℉ or higher in winter, the unit will be strained and use more energy.
Regular Furnace Maintenance
A well-maintained furnace typically lasts longer than one that’s neglected. Routine maintenance is often regarded as the most significant factor in equipment longevity. Changing the filters and keeping all vents open help it run more smoothly and can avoid costly damage. By caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows, you can avoid drafts and make life easier for your furnace.
Also, remember to schedule annual maintenance by an HVAC professional. A furnace tune-up comes at a small price compared to what you may spend on major repairs. To boost performance/efficiency and reduce the risk of serious issues, a technician will:
- Clean the fan, fan compartment, burners, and coils
- Lubricate motor bearings and other moving parts
- Check system voltage and current
- Tighten electrical and gas connections
- Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks and damage
- Evaluate the combustion process
- Test and calibrate the thermostat
- Check and clean the drain line if needed
Is It Time to Replace Your Furnace
The end of a furnace’s life isn’t always dramatic. Not every unit suddenly stops working or ends its life in a series of loud and dramatic noises. An old furnace may gradually become less efficient, causing rooms to not heat evenly and airflow to diminish. You may need to adjust the thermostat more frequently to maintain a comfortable temperature. Also, track your energy bills; if you’re paying more and the cost of fuel hasn’t changed, your furnace may be burning more fuel to provide the same level of heating.
Investing in a new, higher-efficiency furnace can reduce your long-term energy costs.
Schedule Furnace Maintenance with Air Stars
Our HVAC professionals can help your furnace last longer with annual maintenance. They’re fully trained to provide thorough check-ups and system tune-ups. Adjustments and small repairs are made as necessary to optimize system performance. As a member of our Star Treatment Maintenance Plan, you’ll receive priority attention when it’s time for AC or furnace maintenance. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call (503) 304-1320.