Like too many things in life, there is no definitive answer to these questions as there are numerous variables that will need to be taken into account. However, there are general ‘rules of thumb’ that can be used to give you an indication of how long a furnace or HVAC unit should last.
Some furnaces will still be going strong after forty years, but this is rare. These furnaces tend to have been very well maintained from the day they were installed and will have doubtless had a number of parts replaced over time. The rule here is that the better the servicing of your furnace or HVAC unit, the longer it will last.
If you a e one for budgeting for the future, it is relatively safe to say that with basic maintenance, a furnace of HVAC unit should last 15 years. However, again, much will depend on various external factors, such as where you live. The colder your winter the more you will use your furnace, while the warmer the summer, the more you will use the air conditioning system of your HVAC unit.
It is also important that the furnace or HVAC unit is appropriately sized for your home. If it is constantly working ‘overtime’ because it is underpowered, chances are it will break down frequently and wear out sooner rather than later. Buying a small unit to save money can be costly in the long run.
If you install a new furnace or HVAC unit and have it regularly serviced, you should expect it to last between 20 and 25 years. The burning question though, excuse the pun, is how do you know when it is time to replace your furnace or HVAC unit?
There are several warning signs to look out for that will let you know it may be time to replace your unit. The first question that needs answering is: “how old is the furnace or HVAC unit?” If it is under 15 years and has been well maintained, any of the following problems may be easily rectifiable without replacing the unit. If the unit is more than 15 years old, chances are it may be telling you it is about to pack up for good.
First, is your energy bill higher than usual? This is usually a sign that your furnace or HVAC unit is no longer operating efficiently.
Second, do you find your furnace or HVAC unit isn’t doing as good a job as it used to? Once again this should give you a warning that the unit is nearing the end of its life.
If your HVAC unit or furnace is now making strange noises, it may be that parts are now beginning to wear out and it is time to explore other options.
If your furnace or HVAC unit has been frequently breaking down, it could be that you have reached each a point that is described as ‘throwing good money after bad’. By this, we mean that no matter how much you spend on keeping your furnace or HVAC unit going, it is going to keep breaking down and, in the long run, it will work out cheaper to replace the whole unit and eliminate the costly repair bills. The new unit should also help save you money as the chances are it will be far more efficient than the old one, and your fuel bills will drop accordingly.
Of course, the best way to find out if you need to replace your furnace or HVAC unit is to give us a call here at A&E Air Conditioning and Heating. We’ll be glad to come out, inspect your unit, and advise you of the options available to you. We do this free of charge as we are glad to share our many years of experience and knowledge learned with you.