How Long Will My Furnace Last?


Many factors influence furnace life expectancy, including the type of energy used to create heat. Understanding the average lifespan of a furnace can help homeowners make informed decisions about repairing or replacing aging heating systems.

Furnace Longevity Factors

Aside from fuel type, the most important factors in how long furnaces last are:

  • Maintenance
  • Usage
  • Furnace size
  • Installation and infrastructure

Furnace Maintenance 

Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure a long, functional life for your heating system. Most manufacturers recommend annual maintenance performed by an HVAC professional. Late summer and fall service calls can prepare your furnace for the demanding winter season, improve energy efficiency, and reduce the risk of untimely and costly emergency repairs.

Furnace Usage

Living in colder climates with longer winters increases total furnace usage. Your thermostat settings also affect how often and how long your furnace runs. Setting your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit is the most energy-efficient temperature and can reduce how often your furnace cycles on. Those who live in milder climates can expect less wear and tear on their heating equipment.

Furnace Sizing 

Installing a too big or too small furnace for your home can lead to inefficient energy use and unnecessary wear. When it’s time to replace your furnace, take time to reevaluate the needed furnace size or explore other options like heat pumps.

Installation and Infrastructure

Your HVAC system’s ductwork also impacts energy efficiency and furnace usage. Improperly installed ductwork and vents can result in air leaks that cause your furnace to work harder than necessary to provide adequate heat to all areas of your home. For optimal results, make duct cleaning and repair part of your home energy improvements.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Furnace?

How long furnaces last depends on fuel type as well as maintenance. Knowing the average lifespan of your type of furnace can help you decide whether to make additional repairs or invest in a new heating system. There’s no surefire way to anticipate how long any piece of HVAC equipment will hold up but understanding industry averages is a good start.

How Long Does a Gas Furnace Last?

Roughly 48% of American households rely on gas furnaces, making it the most common type of home heating system. Most well-maintained gas furnaces will last between 10 and 15 years. After 10 years, you might consider more frequent maintenance to identify potential issues right away.

What Is the Life Expectancy of an Electric Furnace?

Electric furnaces typically last longer than gas furnaces with an average lifespan between 20 and 30 years. Electric heating is more efficient and requires less maintenance than gas.

How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?

Fewer than 1% of US households and roughly 7% of all buildings worldwide use heat pumps, but that’s expected to change. Heat pumps offer an average 10- to 15-year lifespan, with a well-maintained system often lasting much longer. Heat pumps are the most energy-efficient heating option and have become a common type of heating used in newly built houses.

Expert Insight for All Your Home Heating Decisions

Count on The Plumbing & Air Service Co. for trustworthy advice on replacing your existing heating system or keeping your unit running efficiently. We provide Greensboro and the surrounding communities with expert heating repairs and installation to help local families stay cozy all winter long. Schedule service online or call 336-502-8540 today.

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