Knowing how long your home's furnace should last can help you make decisions concerning it. Understand the life expectancy of a furnace isn't absolute. You can increase the useful life of your furnace or lower it. Here is what you need to know about your furnace's life expectancy.
Furnace Life Expectancy in General
The National Association of Home Builders gives a 15- to 20-year average. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors lists a 15- to 25-year average. You may come across some expectancies that go as high as 30 to 40 years, but that isn't the norm.
Manufacturers also give life expectancy to their products that may differ from the averages. You can look up the make and model of your furnace online to find more information on how long your furnace should last.
If you have issues with a furnace that isn't beyond its life expectancy, you can likely continue to use it after diagnosis and repair. Don't assume you need a furnace replacement when you have a furnace that might have many years of life left.
Furnace Life Expectancy Decreases or Increases
No matter the stated life expectancy of your furnace, several things can decrease its useful life or increase it.
Quality of manufacture – Not all manufacturers build high-quality appliances. Quality matters when it comes to longevity. If you have an appliance prone to malfunctions and issues, you may have a low-quality product that won't last too long or might only last into the lower range of its life expectancy.
Age of your furnace – Once your furnace enters its old age, it will start to perform less reliably and far less efficiently. Continued use of a dying furnace will accelerate the end of its useful life.
Maintenance or lack thereof – Routine preventive maintenance of your furnace and entire HVAC system can add years of life to all the related appliances. A lack of maintenance can severely decrease the life expectancy of all those components. Some yearly maintenance can go a long way.
Staying on top of repairs – Repairing your furnace or its components at the first sign of an issue can help to increase life expectancy. The longer you let problems linger, the shorter your furnace's life becomes.
Your furnace can still serve your home's needs very well. Even a furnace beyond its life expectancy can continue to perform adequately if you spent the time to take care of it over the years. If in doubt, seek the advice of professional furnace repair services before making any drastic decisions concerning your home's furnace.