You want to replace your air filter every three months, or every two if you have pets. You want to get an oil change every so many miles, depending on the make and model of your car. But when it comes to your furnace, there’s really no specific timeline. You can estimate that you’re probably going to get about eighteen to twenty years of use out of a good furnace with regular maintenance, but there are a lot of factors that are going to affect that number. It’s not a set-in-stone rule. Some furnaces will remain energy-efficient for a few years beyond their use-by date, while others may have a shorter lifespan even with regular tuneups.
When Does A Furnace Need Replacing?
A furnace is more like an old car. It’s ultimately going to come down to what it’s costing you to keep it running. With proper upkeep, you might be able to keep your furnace going for decades to come, but at a certain point that’s going to wind up costing you more money than replacing it. The cost of repairs and the simple fact that newer models are made to be more energy efficient means that holding onto the same furnace that was here when you moved in might not be as thrifty a decision as it seems.
What Is Your AFUE?
The easiest way to figure out whether it’s time to retire your furnace is with the AFUE. This is Energy.gov’s method of measuring energy efficiency for gas based furnaces and boilers. Newer units will read the AFUE out to you. If you have an older furnace, you can retrofit it with new parts to make it more efficient and to give you an AFUE reading. Your AFUE is a percentage of how much fuel is being used to heat your home, and how much is being wasted. If you’re at eighty percent, then that’s twenty dollars down the drain for every hundred you spend on heating.
Time For A Checkup?
If you’re not sure, get ahold of some old utility bills and note how much you’ve been spending on heating, then get in touch with the specialists at Gilmore Heating, Air, & Solar. Whether your furnace needs to be replaced, or if all you need is a tune-up and maybe some new parts, we’ll be able to advise you on whether or not your trusty old heating system has reached retirement age just yet.