How Long Does A Furnace Last and When to Get a Replacement?

Your furnace is probably one of the most important appliances in your home – without it, your winters are sure to be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive things in your home to maintain and repair, so it’s no surprise that most people try to do everything they can to ensure they’ll have heat for as long as possible. But how do you know when to replace that old, rusty furnace?

Most homeowners assume that their furnaces will last forever. They figure that it must be fine since they use it based on the seasons. But unfortunately, that assumption is false, since most furnaces only last around 7 years before they need replacing.

So, how long does a furnace last in the long run? We’ll help you understand everything you need to know about your furnace life expectancy and make you a smarter user who knows exactly when to get a replacement rather than paying for expensive repairs.

How Long Does It Take To Replace a Furnace?

There is no straight answer to the question ‘’how long does a furnace last?’’ The average furnace lifespan varies and depends on many factors, including the type of fuel used, the quality of installation, and the amount of maintenance performed. However, we advise that you replace your furnace every 10 years at most.

So, let’s go into detail on some of these factors to understand what affects a furnace’s lifespan.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Your Furnace

  • Type of Fuel You Use

There are two main types of heating fuels: oil-fired and natural gas. Both are very efficient at producing heat, but the fuel you use greatly impacts how long your furnace performs.

If you’re wondering how long a gas furnace last compared to oil-fired furnaces, the former don’t stay in operation for nearly as long. Oil-fired furnaces tend to last longer because, unlike natural gas furnaces, they’re more reliable and don’t require regular maintenance. However, they cost more to operate and produce more pollution, so they aren’t as popular an option.

  • Quality of installation

If your furnace was installed poorly, then it may not perform properly. Poorly installed systems tend to leak air and create drafts. These drafts and leaks may cause problems with airflow, overwork your furnace system, and cause your home to feel colder than it actually is.

So, If you’re installing a gas furnace, be sure to use only licensed and insured installers. Also, ensure the installer uses quality materials and tools and thoroughly inspects the unit for leaks, cracks, and damage.

  • Model

New models of furnaces have the latest technology in them and therefore tend to last longer. The older models may work but will have a shorter lifespan. More recent furnaces are instead much easier to install and much more energy efficient.

  • Maintenance

The best way to ensure your furnace lasts as long as it should is by performing routine maintenance. This includes cleaning or changing filters regularly, inspecting the blower wheel and fan blades, checking the thermostat, and making sure there aren’t any signs of rust or corrosion.

Performing furnace maintenance through Hurliman can save you money in the long run by preventing premature breakdowns and reducing energy bills and costly repairs.

Signs That Your Furnace Needs Replacement

While your furnace heating system can break down for a number of reasons, there are several signs that tell you it might be time to replace it instead of repairing it.

The Furnace Makes a Loud Noise When Running

A seamlessly functioning furnace should make a slight humming sound or no noise at all. But, immediately, the din and clatter become too much; it is a sign that it is time to get a replacement for your furnace.

Your Furnace Is Too Old

A furnace’s life expectancy reduces from the first date of its use. So, try not to get old or fairly used furnaces because they would cost more in the long run. Also, as it ages, components such as the heat exchanger break down more often, causing higher repair costs. At this point, it’s best to replace the entire system with a newer and more efficient model.

High Energy Bill

A good furnace should keep your house warm without costing an arm and a leg. A high energy bill clearly indicates something is wrong with your furnace. It could be due to poor insulation or other issues. To avoid such situations, check everything around your house and fix what causes excess heat loss. If the problem persists, you may need to replace your furnace.

Costly Repairs

Like other home appliances, it gets to a point when repairing the furnace would begin to cost you a lot. The best thing to do is to change it. If you insist on constant repair, the overall repair cost might become even more than the purchase cost.

What To Look For When Buying a New Furnace

When shopping for a new furnace, keep an eye out for the following features:

Energy Efficiency

Furnaces come in all different sizes, shapes, and styles. Some are big and bulky, while others are compact and sleek. However, they all share one thing in common: Energy Efficiency.

Look for a model that has high ratings on ENERGY STAR®. These rating systems measure the efficiency of each model based on its size and style. A higher rating means the furnace is better at conserving energy and saving you money.


A good furnace will circulate warm air throughout your entire house. It’s important that the air flows smoothly through the vents and evenly heats up the rooms. Look for a furnace with a balanced design where the airflow is smooth and even. A well-designed furnace will distribute the heated air evenly, so no room gets cold.

Ease of Operation

Some furnaces are easy to operate, while others are complicated. When choosing a furnace, consider which one suits your lifestyle. Furnaces are usually operated manually, but some newer models of electric furnaces include automatic settings.

Make sure the furnace is easy to operate and understand. You’ll want a simple control panel that doesn’t take too much time to figure out.


Cost is another factor to consider when purchasing a new furnace. Make sure the price fits into your budget.

Don’t Forget About Warranties!

Many manufacturers of air conditioning and heating systems offer warranties on their products. However, be sure to read the fine print before signing anything.

Warranties vary from company to company, but most cover parts and labor costs. Warranties range anywhere from 1 year to 10 years.

If you need help finding the right furnace for your needs, contact us today! We’re here to answer any questions you might have.

Best Furnace Repair Service In Spokane, WA

Typically most furnaces should last at least 10 years. But when was the last time you checked the condition of your furnace?

Schedule regular maintenance checks with your local heating contractor to find out how long your furnace lasts and when to get a replacement. At Hurliman, we can tell the average life expectancy of your furnace and help you decide whether it needs repairs or replacement before it fails, so contact us today and ensure your furnace is in good working condition.

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