You depend on your Cincinnati, OH, home’s furnace to provide warmth during the wintertime. If you’ve noticed that some rooms of your home are too cold, your utility bills are going up for no obvious reason or your furnace needs frequent repairs, it’s probably time to replace the heating system. Here’s what you need to know about the lifespans of furnaces, how to make sure yours reaches its life expectancy and when it’s a good time to replace an aging furnace.
Typical Lifespan of a Gas Furnace
A furnace powered by oil or natural gas has a typical lifespan of 20 years. The combustion process can create a lot of buildup, and regular maintenance is essential to achieving this lifespan. In gas furnaces, the parts that most commonly fail are the heat exchanger and blower motor. These parts are costly. If your gas furnace is 15 years old or more and has a costly component fail, it’s a good idea to consider replacing the furnace.
Average Lifespan of an Electric Furnace
The average lifespan of an electric furnace is 25 years. These heating systems have a slightly longer lifespan than a gas- or oil-powered furnace because they don’t burn any fuel. These furnaces stay cleaner, and there’s no heat exchanger to crack. However, they do require regular maintenance. The parts of an electric furnace that most frequently fail include the high limit switch, ignition and heating element. These furnaces also use blowers to force the heated air into your home’s ducts. The blower motors can also go bad. If your electric furnace has reached the age of 20 and one of those costly parts goes bad, strongly consider replacing the furnace.
What You Can Do to Make Your Furnace Reach Its Typical Life Expectancy
There are many actions you can take in order to ensure that your electric or gas furnace reaches its average lifespan. The most important action is scheduling an annual tune-up for the furnace. Ideally, this tune-up should occur in the autumn. However, it’s never too late for a furnace tune-up. Even if you have it done in the wintertime, it will still help with the safety, efficiency and longevity of your furnace. On your own, you should check the furnace’s air filter once per month. To make sure you remember, set a reminder or an appointment on your phone. Do it on the same day each month, such as the third Saturday. If the filter is dirty, replace it. Never go more than three months between furnace filter changes. Keep the flue and vents clean, clear and free of debris. They need at least three feet of clearance in all directions.
Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Old Furnace
A furnace that’s on its way out will provide you with several strong signs that it’s time to start planning a replacement. One of these signs is increasing wintertime heating costs. If your utility provider hasn’t increased the electrical rates, and you haven’t tinkered with the thermostat settings, your furnace could be losing efficiency. Another strong sign is unusual noises. If your furnace makes a loud humming, buzzing, grinding, squealing or screeching sound during heating cycles, it has a problem that requires repairs and possibly replacement. If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, your furnace could have a cracked heat exchanger, damaged flue or another issue. For an older furnace, this is a good reason for a replacement. When your furnace needs frequent repairs and it’s close to its life expectancy, consider replacing it.
What to Expect When You Replace an Old Furnace
Newer furnaces offer up to 98% annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). Replacing an old, inefficient furnace could save you hundreds of dollars each year on heating costs. New furnaces also offer more comfort and convenience features, such as compatibility with smart thermostats.
At Wingate Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we’re the trusted installers for new furnaces in Cincinnati. You can also count on us for air conditioning installations and heating and cooling maintenance and repairs. Our plumbing, indoor air quality and duct cleaning services are designed with your health and well-being in mind. If you’re a business owner in or near Cincinnati, our commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning services will maintain a comfortable environment in your building. For more information, get in touch with us at Wingate Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today.