When to Replace a Furnace: Average Lifespan and Maintenance Plan

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When to Replace a Furnace: Average Lifespan and Maintenance Plan

Are you looking to save money on your heating bills and keep your home feeling nice and comfortable through the coldest months of the year?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you may need to look into replacing your furnace. Doing this can make your home more energy-efficient and save you a lot of money later on.

Read on to learn more about when you need to replace a furnace, as well as how you can keep your furnace working well for as long as possible.

How Long Does a Furnace Last?

One of the first things you need to consider when it comes to deciding whether you want to replace or repair your furnace is how long you've had it.

Most manufacturer warranties for furnaces will last about 12 years. When a furnace is well-maintained, though, it can last anywhere from 15-20 years before you need to replace it.

Where does your furnace fall on this scale?

If you've had it for less than 12 years and the warranty is still in place, it may be in your best interest to spring for a repair instead of a replacement. If it's older than this, though, and you know you haven't been as diligent about its maintenance as you should have been, a replacement could end up being more cost-effective.

Signs You Should Replace a Furnace

Are you still on the fence about whether or not a replacement is a good idea? Here are some signs that it's better to replace your furnace instead of repairing it:

Energy Bills Are Rising

Have your energy bills been rising steadily for the last few months? If you're paying way more than you once did to heat your home, chances are a poorly functioning furnace is to blame. It might be time to invest in a newer and more energy-efficient model.

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There's More Dust

Consider how much dust is building up in your home, too. Are you noticing more dust particles floating in the air or collecting on surfaces, no matter how diligent you are with your cleaning routine? If this is the case, your furnace might not be running in an efficient way, and you may need to replace it.

The Air's Drier

Does the air in your home feel drier? It's normal for there to be more dryness during the winter, but have things started to feel downright desert-like inside your house? If so, your furnace might be the source of the problem.

Heat Is Uneven

In a perfect world, your furnace would heat all areas of your home in a consistent way. This isn't always the case, though.

If some parts of your home are sweltering while others are freezing, your furnace probably isn't working as effectively or as efficiently as you'd like. Upgrading to a new system might solve this problem and keep temperatures more even.

The Furnace is Noisy

If your furnace makes a ton of noise every time it kicks on, or if it rattles, hums, or buzzes while it's running, this could be a sign that it's on its last leg. This is especially true if this issue is combined with a lot of the other problems we've covered so far.

It Has Visible Damage

Does your furnace have visible signs of damage? Is it cracked or dented? Has it rusted in places?

If you spot signs like this, you may need to pay for a replacement. Depending on the severity of the damage, a replacement might be more cost-effective than a repair.

It Always Needs Repairs

Speaking of repairs, do you feel as though you're always calling a repair expert out to your house to look at your heater?

Even if your heater isn't very old, if it's always in need of repairs, that's a sign that a replacement might be a better option. Replacing your heater could end up costing less than continuous repairs, too.

Tips for Maintaining Your Furnace

If you're going to go ahead and replace your furnace, you're going to want to do whatever you can to keep it in good condition for as long as possible. Here are some essential maintenance tips you ought to keep in mind:

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Schedule Regular Services

Have a professional come out on a regular basis (at least once per year) to make sure your furnace is functioning in the proper way. Doing this will help you stay on top of potential issues and get them fixed before they escalate into major (and expensive) problems.

Change the Filter

Change your furnace filter every couple of months, too. This will help with dust buildup and allow your furnace to function in the most efficient way.

Don't Block Outdoor Exhaust Pipes

Make sure your outdoor exhaust pipes don't get blocked by accident. If they do, your furnace won't operate as efficiently as it should.

Don't Block Access to the Furnace

It's also a good idea to avoid blocking the furnace. Don't place furniture or other items in front of it. That way, you or a repair expert can access it with ease, and you'll be more inclined to have it serviced on a regular basis.

Keep it Fueled

Make sure you keep your furnace fueled, too. If you use a propane heater, for example, you should always have propane on hand ready to heat your home.

The folks who run Quarles residential heating fuels recommend using a subscription service for this. That way, you can save money and ensure you always have fuel available when you need it.

Start Taking Care of Your Furnace Today

Is it time for you to replace a furnace in your home, or does it still have a few good years left in it? Either way, be sure to keep the information outlined above in mind. It'll help you maintain your furnace and save money on future repairs.

Do you need more advice on taking care of your furnace or other aspects of your home? If so, visit the Home Improvement section of our site today for other helpful tips and tricks.

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