We’ve performed furnace services in Grand Rapids, MI since 2004. Since that time, we get a handful of questions, including this one:
How long should my furnace last me?
If there was a straightforward answer to this question, we wouldn’t be writing a blog post on it. So, to answer your question, we’ll ask you a few questions:
How Old Is It Now?
The first question you want to ask is how old your furnace is right now. If it’s just about to hit 15 years, we can’t guarantee it will last much longer. Sure, you may have heard many people say that their furnace has lasted them upwards of 20 years, but we wonder how much those people are actually paying to keep their furnace running.
There’s no use running a furnace that costs more than normal to run and requires frequent repairs and maintenance. On the other hand, if your furnace is under 12 years old and seems to be showing signs of an issue, repairs and maintenance are the best things you can do for it. If a newer furnace seems to frequently need repairs—even as many as once per consecutive year—then we’d advise you to get a second opinion.
Who Installed It?
If your furnace was installed by a certified and licensed HVAC company, you’re going to be much better off than if it were installed by a handyman you recruited from the internet.
Often, the biggest reason for furnace problems comes from an improper installation. A furnace that’s too big or too small for the home is going to create some problems that can shorten its lifespan. Likewise, anything from the electrical wiring to how they handled the furnace during installation can be a factor.
While it’s true that even licensed HVAC technicians can fail to install a system properly, the best thing you can do is work with a technician who offers guarantees on their workmanship. Even if they do manage to mess it up, they should be able to come right back to fix it with no cost to you.
How Often Did You Get Maintenance?
If you’ve ever shopped for a used car, you know that you need to inspect the condition of the vehicle in comparison to its total mileage. Some cars with a high mileage might run just fine if they’ve been well-maintained throughout their lifespan. Other cars of the same make and model may have a low mileage, yet, had all of their maintenance checks neglected and show serious signs of wear.
While we aren’t going to be selling your furnace back to anyone, the same principle applies: a machine that is well-maintained and cared for throughout its life is going to last longer than one that isn’t. When someone gives you a figure claiming that a furnace can last from “13 to 20 years,” you have to wonder why there’s such a large gap in the number of years. That, of course, is due to a stark contrast between the furnaces that did and did not receive regular maintenance.
For more information on the specifics of furnaces and their lifespans, contact Westshore Mechanical today.