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Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Vital Heating & Air Blog

How Long Can I Expect My Furnace to Last?


If we lived in a perfect world, the furnaces in our homes would last forever and we’d never need to replace them. (Of course, if we lived in a perfect world, we’d never need furnaces at all because the weather would always be 72°F.) But our world is imperfect and furnaces wear down over time.

Regular maintenance will help a furnace last for as long as possible, and having any repairs done in a timely manner will also extend a furnace’s life. Eventually, time takes its toll and you’ll need to schedule furnace replacement services in Indianapolis, IN with our professionals.

This leads to the big question: How long can you expect your current furnace to last? 

There isn’t a single answer, as other factors are involved. We’ll get into more details below about the life expectancy of your current furnace.

Basic Service Life Estimates for Different Furnaces

There are several types of furnaces that use different fuel sources. The two most common are natural gas and all-electric.

Natural gas furnaces have an estimated service life of 15 years, although some can make it to 20. (We do not recommend attempting to push a gas furnace past 15 years for reasons of energy efficiency, reliability, and safety.) Electric furnaces can last longer because they don’t have the effects of combustion to wear them down, and most will last for 20 years and sometimes longer. 

The Effects of Regular Maintenance

The next key factor affecting how long you can expect your furnace to last is how often it receives regular maintenance. We place heavy emphasis on annual maintenance for any heating system. Maintenance slows down a furnace’s aging and keeps components clean.

If a furnace has annual maintenance, it should make it to its estimated service life without problems. If a furnace misses maintenance, it’s more likely to need replacement several years early. Without any maintenance, a furnace may only last around 5 to 10 years—and it will need far more repairs during that shorter lifespan. 

The Benefits of Speedy Repairs

The third factor in the lifespan of a furnace is how quickly it has repairs done as they’re needed. We advise our customers to never delay scheduling a furnace repair when they notice anything is wrong with the system. This includes “small” issues such as odd noises or unusual cycling times.

Just because a furnace is still producing heat doesn’t mean these odd behaviors aren’t problems. Any malfunction creates more stress on the furnace’s components and causes it to age faster, and this may lead to shorter service life.

The Experts Can Help Tell If You Need a New Furnace

If you aren’t sure about your current furnace and think it’s coming to the end of its lifespan, the best step is to call our technicians to examine the system. We can tell how many more years of useful life the furnace has left and if it’s best to have it replaced soon. If your furnace is already at its estimated replacement age, we recommend calling us soon, before the winter cold arrives, so you can get a new system in time. 

Call Vital Heating & Air because “Your Comfort Is Vital!”

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