The old adage that nothing lasts forever is true with so many things in our home, and a furnace is no exception. Furnaces have a finite lifespan of around 10 to 15 years on average, depending on multiple variables. Sometimes it might be advantageous to replace an old furnace even if it’s still working. Newer products/equipment are often much more efficient, which is especially important considering that the heating & air system is the #1 contributor to utility costs in your home. With that in mind, we recommend some steps to try to lengthen the lifespan of a furnace and make it last as long as possible.
Fixing Existing Issues
One of the things we see frequently is poor installation of the unit. It could have the wrong sizing of ductwork or the wrong size of unit put into the house. These factors lead to increased pressure and can cause the system to starve for air, which is very problematic. A furnace will experience premature failure very quickly if the unit has to work hard to get air out of the ductwork and into the living space. By resolving issues around incorrect installations, you can really extend the life of the furnace.
You aren’t stuck with the consequences of a poor installation for the lifetime of the system—there are some things you can do. For instance, you can make sure any air leaks in the ductwork are addressed. Sealing the ductwork and making it more airtight will help increase the efficiency of the system. Some pieces of the ductwork could also be replaced with more directional fittings. These are a couple of potential factors outside of the furnace itself that influence the system’s overall lifespan.
If the furnace is correctly installed, the easiest way to maximize its lifespan (which is probably overlooked more than anything else) is to simply change the air filters. Every heating and air conditioning system has a filter. Some systems have the filter located right behind the return grill, some have the filter at the unit itself, and some bigger whole-house filtration systems have the filter located somewhere near but not right at the unit. It’s easy to forget about the filter, so we recommend signing up for one of the many online programs that send filters to your house at a regular interval. It’s money well spent because once a filter gets clogged up, airflow going into the unit becomes obstructed.
Another thing you can do is get your system checked by a professional on a semiannual basis. Dirty air can run into the unit if the filter isn’t clean or if/when the filter is taken out. That dust, debris, and lint actually gets stopped up inside the unit’s coil. While maintaining the equipment, we clean the cabinet and the coil, allowing airflow to move much more effectively. (This is a maintenance item that must be done by a qualified professional.)
Remember, it really starts with homeowners making sure to keep up with changing the filters. From there, it’s about making sure the system is checked on a semiannual basis. If you have any questions, reach out to the team at Wisler Plumbing & Air today., , or give us a call at 540-483-9382.