Furnaces typically have a lifespan of about 15 years. However, a furnace’s lifespan will greatly depend on how often the unit is serviced and if it is properly maintained.
When you move into a home, you have no way of knowing if the previous owners regularly changed the filter and had the furnace serviced. Whether it’s five or ten years old, here are some guidelines to help you figure out how much longer your furnace will last.
Watch out for these warning signs
You can tell when it’s getting time to replace your furnace if you notice one or more of these warning signs.
High gas and electricity bills
As a furnace gets older, it becomes less efficient, especially if the unit hasn’t been well cared for. If your energy bills are much higher than in your previous home, the furnace could be the culprit.
Weigh the cost of a new furnace against a lower energy bill. Over a few years, the savings could make the new furnace a worthwhile investment.
Unusual sounds and smells
A furnace in the final stages of life may start to make popping, squealing, banging or rattling sounds. Any weird noises deserve a service call to an HVAC specialist.
You may also notice that your furnace is constantly turning on and off. When the furnace is unable to keep the home at the set temperature, it will need to turn back on often. Not only is this a sign that the furnace is not efficient, it also causes even more wear and tear on the parts.
You might also notice a stuffy or dusty smell in your home. If a new filter doesn’t fix the smell, it may be time to think about replacing your furnace.
You need to keep adjusting the thermostat
Are some rooms in your room too chilly while others are uncomfortably hot? Or do you need to adjust your thermostat often to try to get the right temperature in your home?
Thermostat issues can be due to various reasons, one of which is your furnace’s inability to circulate air well through your vents. This is a common sign of an aging furnace.
During the last two years of a furnace’s life, the repairs tend to start adding up. Sometimes, you may repair or replace one part only to have another part go shortly after. At some point, it’s better to invest in a new unit rather than keep paying for repairs.
A good gauge is to replace the furnace if repairs would add up to 50% of the cost of a new furnace.
Home Protection Solutions can help
If you’re moving into a new home, you’ll often be faced with many expenses. The last thing you need is to pay for a major home repair in your first year.
A Home Protection Plan from FCT offers home buyers peace of mind with an 18-month warranty and up to $20,000 in warranty coverage for certain major household features.
If the furnace in your new home broke down today, would you be covered?
Note: This is intended for general information only. Please speak to an HVAC specialist for specific questions about your furnace.
Graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors BA English Specialization and has completed several publishing courses at Ryerson University. She is a proofreader, editor, and content writer based in London, Ontario.