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How Long Should a Furnace Last?

Posted on January 27, 2014
by Appleby Systems

The furnace heating process is a model of simplicity and efficiency. When the thermostat threshold setting is triggered, a relay closes and activates an inducer fan. The volume of air flow increases until it is suitable for combustion. A valve automatically opens, and a measured amount of gas or heating oil is ignited by the ignition system.

furnace heatingAs the fuel burns, it begins to heat an aluminized steel heat exchanger. At a specific temperature, the blower engages and draws indoor air across the heated surface. This process warms the air, which is subsequently forced through the air distribution network into the living area.

Useful Furnace Life

The useful service life of a typical mid-level furnace is dependent on several factors including accumulated runtime hours, unit build quality and adherence to a strict maintenance schedule. Maintenance can help you avoid any surprise costs with furnace repair, Oakville. In general, the lifecycle of a gas furnace is usually 12-15 years.

Furnace components are relatively inexpensive, and NATE certified technicians are trained to restore malfunctioning units to full working order. When a furnace completely fails, it is usually the result of stress cracks in the heat exchanger caused by the repeated expansion and contraction of the metal during the burn process. Furnaces with a faulty heat exchanger must be replaced immediately since poisonous carbon monoxide can enter the living area.


Extending the Life of Your Furnace

A central heating appliance represents a significant investment in warm, indoor comfort. There are a number of important practices that will help extend the service life of your equipment while also lowering annual heating fuel costs.

Preventative maintenance

    • Regular Maintenance: Preventative maintenance is designed to identify minor problems before they affect the performance of your furnace. On a seasonal basis, service technicians perform a variety of critical tests, inspections and calibrations, which will optimize performance and reduce the stress and wear on the unit. Every major furnace manufacturer includes routine maintenance as a provision of their warranty coverage.
    • Load Calculations: Prior to selecting a new furnace, the installing contractor should run a complete set of ACCA Manual J load calculations to ensure the capacity of the equipment is precisely matched to the load requirements of the building. Undersized units may not be able to satisfy the thermostat call during extreme weather. An oversized furnace will short cycle, which can degrade indoor comfort and raise monthly heating costs.
    • Change the Filters: A dirty filter restricts airflow and raises static pressure in the system. This means your furnace must work longer and harder to meet the indoor heating load. Disposable filters should be changed on a monthly basis, and cabinet media filters should be changed quarterly.
    • Clean the Evaporator Coil: Most central HVAC systems include air conditioning as part of a total heating and cooling solution. The evaporator coil sits on top of the furnace and creates condensate as a byproduct of the refrigeration cycle. Coils that are not cleaned regularly can cause clogs in the condensate pipe, which will result in corrosive water draining down into the furnace.

Years of Quiet Comfort

Today’s furnaces are built to provide reliable service through many heating seasons. With proper maintenance, your furnace system will continue to keep the indoor environment, comfortable, healthy and energy efficient.

If it’s time to investigate buying a new furnace, contact us for a consultation and quote.

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