It’s so easy with a gallon milk. It has an expiration date right on the jug. You know when it’s time to throw it away. It’s not so easy when it comes to a heating system replacement in your Waterford, MI home. Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing knows this well because we’re constantly asked, “How long will my furnace last.” In this case the “expiration date” depends on many factors.
At some time in your life you may have heard about a furnace lasting 40 years. It does happen but this is extremely rare. The industry average is a little bit more than 13 years. Kotz believes 15 to 20 years is very realistic if the furnace receives annual maintenance. The maintenance is critical but other factors can affect longevity as well:
- Moisture level—If the furnace is in a damp location the moisture can cause rust and premature breakdowns. This is especially true for the heat exchanger. Good ventilation and humidity control will help.
- Quality of equipment—Do research to find out which brands have the best reputation for reliability. You should always install the best equipment you can afford. Generally speaking, there’s a reason why name brands have the reputation they do.
- Installed incorrectly—According to some industry estimates, more than half of all new HVAC systems are improperly installed. In many cases the furnace has to work harder as a result and its lifespan is shortened.
- How the furnace is used—This may be stating the obvious, but a furnace in Waterford, MI must work much harder to keep a home warm than a furnace in Texas. The amount of use will affect the aging process.
When to replace a furnace
While there is no hard and fast rule about when to retire your furnace, if you have reached that 15 to 20 year mark you should start giving it serious consideration. Even with excellent care, furnaces get less efficient as they age which means your heating bills go up and up. A heating replacement will almost certainly reverse the trend. If your gas furnace is 15-20 years old, there’s a good chance it was only 60 to 70 percent efficient when brand new. Today’s furnaces have efficiency ratings of 90 to 95 percent or even higher. A new model can save a significant amount of money every month. Not to mention making your home more comfortable.
Repair or replace
This is a decision you will eventually have to make. There will come a point when it no longer makes sense to repair your old furnace. Only you can decide when that time has arrived. One very general rule of thumb is if a repair costs 50% of the purchase price for a heating replacement, it makes sense to go with the new furnace. The percentage would be lower if you’re talking about repairing a furnace that is already 20 years old or older.
We’re here to help
Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing will help you crunch the numbers. Just call us to schedule a no-obligation estimate. This is the best way to determine if a new gas furnace makes sense instead of another heating system repair. Stay updated with more great information like this by liking and following us on Facebook and Twitter.