There are many factors that contribute to the lifespan of gas furnaces, including the quality of the furnace, installation quality, how hard it works, and regular maintenance as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. On average, a furnace will last somewhere between 15 and 20 years. Unfortunately, many furnaces simply give out at the end of their lifespan without a great deal of warning. Therefore, if your gas furnace has passed the 15-year mark, it is a good idea to begin researching replacement options.
The following signs can help you determine whether your Fresno area home is headed toward a furnace replacement.
The furnace is more than 15 years old. If your furnace is 15 years old or more, you know that the end is in sight. Now’s the time to do some research, or speak with a licensed HVAC contractor about your options. Make sure the replacement furnace is sized for your home based on an accurate heating load calculation. The contractor should use Manual J, which will calculate the heating load, and thereby the necessary size of your furnace, based on a variety of factors, including square footage, layout and number of levels, occupancy, energy efficiency, windows, and construction specifications. An under- or over-sized furnace will cost more to operate and under-perform when it comes to providing comfortable and even heating.
Utility bills are increasing. If your winter utility bills are increasing even though furnace usage remains the same, a new furnace could save you money. First, have an HVAC technician inspect your system, including the ductwork, to make sure there aren’t any underlying issues such as airflow obstructions. If not, an inefficient furnace could be the cause. Modern gas furnaces have AFUE (heating efficiency) ratings as high as 97 percent. A 25-year old furnace may have an AFUE in the 70s or lower. The money you save in terms of energy efficiency will pay for a replacement furnace in a matter of years.
Repair costs are mounting. How much have you spent on repairs for your furnace in the past year or two? In the HVAC industry, we recommend homeowners replace their gas furnaces when recent or estimated repairs begin to approach 50 percent of the total cost of a replacement.
Interested in learning more about gas furnace options for your Fresno area home? Please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about gas furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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