deciding when to replace my furnace

When to Replace Furnace (How to Decide)

As homeowners think about when to replace furnace equipment, December is rarely the month they pick for the job. With the holidays, traveling, guests in the home, and end of the year expenses, investing in new heating equipment just isn’t on your to do list at this time.

Unfortunately, you don’t always get to pick when to replace furnace equipment – if it breaks down during the cold months, you need to replace it fast. It’s best to get out ahead of this problem and plan when to replace furnace equipment in advance. Ray & Son is here to help you decide when it’s time for a new heating system in your home.

Furnace and Heating System Lifespans

Looking at the expected lifespan for a particular type of heating system is one factor that helps homeowners determine when to replace furnace equipment and other heating systems. While this equipment has no definitive expiration date, they do typically last for a certain amount of years:

  • Gas Furnaces: 15 to 20 years
  • Electric Furnaces: 20 to 30 years
  • Heat Pumps: About 15 years

The expected service life of a furnace gives you a good baseline to start off as you determine when to replace furnace equipment. Many other factors need to be taken into consideration, as they ultimately impact this number.

When to Replace Furnace Equipment Depends on These Factors

The average furnace lifespan is for one that receives regular care and experiences typical usage. How long your equipment actually lasts is largely affected by these factors:

  • Maintenance: Furnaces need a maintenance tune up each year to correct flaws and help them perform optimally. They also require regular filter changes to prevent airflow issues that stress components. If you stay on top of these maintenance requirements, it’s likely your system will last into the upper range of its estimated service life or beyond. If you don’t, anticipate replacement before or right at the lower estimated service life.
  • System Use: If your furnace is under or oversized for your home, it’s going to wear out quicker than one that is the right size. This is because undersizing and oversizing causes the furnace to run more frequent or longer heating cycles. Also, if you turn your furnace on at the first hint of a chill in the air and maintain high temperatures in the home all winter, your furnace experiences more wear and tear compared to one in a home that keeps it off as long as possible and only uses it to keep temperatures at lower, more efficient setpoints.

Warning Signs It’s Time to Replace Now!

All the factors above are great to help you determine a general estimate of when to replace furnace equipment – but what if you start experiencing problems? You need to be able to recognize the signs of impending system failure before it happens to avoid an emergency furnace replacement situation. Here are signs that you need to watch for:

  • Frequent Repairs: Furnaces suffer more breakdowns and malfunctions in their final two years of service. If you have experienced the need for repair service more often in the last two years, you need to replace your furnace right away.
  • Poor Comfort Control: If your furnace has a hard time keeping temperatures even across the home, achieving your desired warm temperatures, or produces hot and cold spots throughout the home, this is a major sign your furnace is no longer able to keep up with your demands.
  • High Heating Bills: Higher than normal heating bills with no obvious explanation often point to serious furnace problems. Your furnace may be using excessive amounts of energy to get its job done.
  • Expensive Repairs: Older furnaces often produce expensive repair needs. If your furnace issues are repairable but the price of repairs is half the price of a new unit, it makes more financial sense for most households to choose replacement.

When to Replace Furnace Equipment? Ask Ray & Son

Ray & Son is here to help you make the right decisions regarding furnace replacement that benefit your bank account as well as your home comfort. Let our heating pros match you to the right new heating solution, and protect your investment with Comfort Club membership – contact us today to learn more!