A new furnace is a large investment in your home. Here's everything you need to know about when yours needs to be replaced and why.
How long does a gas furnace last?
How long your gas furnace lasts depends entirely on you and how well you take care of it. According to the San Francisco Gate, without proper maintenance, a gas furnace might only last ten years, while a well-maintained one could last up to 25 years or more. An annual inspection by a licensed HVAC repair person, as well as replacing the filter regularly, helps extend your furnace's life expectancy.
How do you know if your furnace is broken and needs to be repaired?
Your technician will be able to update you on the condition of your furnace during your annual inspection. Throughout the season, however, it will need attention if it emits a slightly burnt odor, an excessive amount of dust is coming from your vents, or the house does not seem to be heating up fully.
How do you know that your furnace needs to be replaced?
If any of the above items cannot be repaired or if the furnace starts making loud noises, it is likely time to replace the unit. Another sign that your furnace needs to be replaced is if you receive an unusually large heating bill. This would indicate that your furnace is running too often and not efficiently heating your home.
Does ductwork need to be replaced with the furnace?
Your ductwork does not typically need to be replaced when you need a new furnace. If your existing ductwork is in good condition, without any cracks or holes, and is well-insulated, it should work well with the new furnace as well.
Does ductwork need to be cleaned?
While the ductwork in your home does not need to be replaced, it may need to be cleaned. There are specialized cleaning companies that can come to your home and insert machinery into your ductwork to vacuum the entire length out, removing dust, debris, mold, and other allergens.
Ductwork cleaning should be part of your regular home maintenance schedule because it is good for the overall health of your furnace. It should also be done after any home remodeling projects. Both drywall dust and sawdust can settle into your vents and recirculate throughout the house when your furnace turns on.
How do you know if a furnace is leaking carbon monoxide?
If you have an older furnace that is still working properly, get a carbon monoxide detector for each floor of your home. Older furnaces can crack and leak the colorless, odorless gas into your home, which is deadly.
The key to being aware of the health of your home's furnace is an annual inspection, The professionals will be able to tell you when it will last another season and when you need a furnace replacement.