Calgary winters are long and cold, and your gas furnace works hard 24/7 to keep you warm. The typical lifespan of a gas furnace ranges from 10 to 20 years, but how long yours will last depends on several factors, including whether it was sized and installed properly and how well-maintained it is.
Over time, belts and gas and electrical connections become loose, dust builds up on essential components and fuel efficiency decreases. Annual preventive maintenance addresses this typical wear and tear to increase furnace efficiency and prevent problems later on, and it’s a major factor in the longevity of your furnace. A properly maintained furnace should last at least 20 years, possibly as many as 30. A neglected system, on the other hand, can fail before the 10-year mark–especially in Canada, where your system is operating almost constantly for months on end.
There are several indicators that your furnace may need to be replaced sooner than later:
- Age. If your furnace is older than 10 years, it has probably lost some of its efficiency. Systems older than 10 years typically have an annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, of no more than 65 percent, which means that at least 35 percent of the fuel your system burns is sent outside as exhaust. Newer furnaces, on the other hand, have an AFUE of about 80 to 98.5 percent. Even if your furnace isn’t on its last legs, you may be able to save considerably on your utility bills by installing a new system.
- Comfort. If your furnace isn’t heating your rooms evenly, or if you’re constantly cranking up the thermostat, you may want to consider a new system.
- Repairs. If the repair costs of your furnace are adding up, it’s probably time for a new one. If you’ve had more than one repair on your system in the last two years, it could be a sign that it’s nearing the end of its life.
For help in determining how much longer the gas furnace in your Calgary home might last, please feel free to contact us at Arpi’s Industries, Ltd.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about gas furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Image courtesy of Shutterstock