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How Long Does a Furnace Last?

At LG Home Comfort, we make your comfort our top priority.
August 8, 2022

Canada has a long winter season. This means that many homeowners use their furnaces for at least six months of the year. And like any other appliances, they are also subject to wear and tear no matter how well you maintain them. Besides, furnaces are designed to be used for a certain period of time only.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Furnace?

On average, they can last up to 15 to 20 years. However, some factors can affect the lifespan of furnaces, including:

  • The quality of the furnace
    These types of appliances come with many brands and models on the market. Some are more durable than others, have more features, and are more expensive.
  • How often the furnace is use
    If you use your furnace regularly, it will wear out faster than if it’s only used occasionally.
  • The age of the furnace
    Furnaces last long, but they have a shelf life. As mentioned, the average lifespan of a furnace is about 15 to 20 years. However, this differs depending on your furnace type and how well it’s been maintained.
  • Environmental conditions
    Furnaces are designed to operate in specific temperature and humidity ranges. If the furnace’s environment is outside these ranges, it can shorten the unit’s lifespan.
  • Poor maintenance
    Furnaces require regular maintenance to function properly and last long. If you don’t service your furnace regularly, it may break down sooner.

How To Care for Your Furnace to Extend Its Lifespan

While it’s important to have your furnace checked by professionals, you can also take some measures to help your unit last longer.

Here are some tips:

  • Maintain regular maintenance.
    Ideally, you must have your furnace serviced at least once a year. The perfect timing would be before winter starts to ensure that your unit is ready for the cold weather.
  • Change your furnace filter regularly.
    If your furnace’s filter is clogged, it will make your furnace work harder, leading to a shorter lifespan. How often you have to change your filter depends on your filter type and the environment where your furnace is placed.
  • Inspect your ductwork and vents.
    Holes or leaks in your ductwork can cause your furnace to overwork and break down sooner. Check them regularly and have them repaired or replaced if necessary.
  • Make sure the area around the furnace is clear.
    Furnaces need adequate ventilation to function properly. If items are blocking the vents, it can cause the unit to overheat and break down. This is especially helpful if your furnace is located in a cramped space.
  • Inspect the furnace regularly.
    It’s always best to visually inspect your furnace once in a while to ensure everything looks okay. Check for any signs of corrosion or damage and have them repaired as soon as possible.
  • Keep the furnace clean.
    It’s not unusual to see dust and dirt on the furnace’s components. But this can cause the unit to run less efficiently and shorten its lifespan. To keep your furnace clean, vacuum it out regularly using the brush attachment.
  • Be mindful of the thermostat.
    Setting your thermostat too low or too high can strain the furnace and cause it to break down prematurely. It’s best to keep the thermostat set to a comfortable temperature that’s not too extreme. If you can, consider installing a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to set the temperature automatically, in case you forgot before going outside.
  • Consider adding attic insulation.
    If your attic is not insulated, consider doing so. This will help keep the temperature in your home consistent and make your furnace work less hard, extending its lifespan.
  • Run your ceiling fans counterclockwise.
    Ceiling fans can help circulate the air inside your house and make it feel warmer or cooler, depending on the season. During the colder months, set your ceiling fans to run counterclockwise to help push warm air down from the ceiling and make the room feel warmer. This can help reduce the strain on your furnace and make it last longer.

Signs You Need a New Furnace

Aside from the 15-year mark, other signs indicate it’s time to replace your furnace. These include:

  • Your energy bills have increased.
    If your energy bills are unusually increasing even though you’re not using the furnace more, it could be an indication that the unit is losing efficiency and needs to be replaced.
    It’s also worth noting that the Canadian government mandates that homeowners must use new furnaces with at least a minimum efficiency rating of 92% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), higher than those in the United States, where most areas have a milder climate than in the country.
  • Your furnace is making strange noises.
    Furnaces usually operate quietly. If you start hearing strange noises from the unit, it could be a sign of trouble. The type of sound can also give you a clue as to what the problem might be.
  • Visible signs of wear and tear.
    If you notice any cracks, rust or other damage on the furnace, it’s probably time to replace it. The same goes for if there’s water pooling around the base of the unit.
  • There are uneven temperatures in your home.
    If you observe that some rooms in your house are warmer or cooler, it could indicate that the furnace is not evenly distributing heat. This is often caused by a clogged filter or a problem with the blower motor.
  • Your furnace is constantly cycling on and off.
    If the furnace turns on and off more frequently than usual, it could indicate that it’s overworked and needs to be replaced.

Final Thoughts

A furnace is a significant investment, so you must take care of it to ensure it reaches its optimum lifespan. However, you don’t have to wait for your furnace to break down to start thinking about a replacement. If it is over ten years old, it’s a good idea to start looking into your options. Also, new furnaces are much more efficient than older models, so you can save money on your energy bills by upgrading. Plus, you can get rebates, which can be up to more than $5,000 (for Canada Greener Homes Grant Program) if you upgrade to a hybrid heating system.


If you think your furnace needs to be replaced, contact us for an inspection. We can help you determine if it’s time for a new unit and guide you through the process of selecting the right one for your home. We can also repair or replace any broken parts on your existing furnace.


LG Comfort Home has a team of highly-trained and experienced professionals that can help you with all your furnace needs. We are equipped with advanced technology and techniques to ensure proper installation, replacement, and repair. 

FAQs

1. How often should I change my furnace filter?
In general, it is recommended to change furnace 1 to 2-inch filters every 1 to 3 months. Similarly, consider replacing 3 to 4-inch filters every 6 to 9 months, while you should replace 5 to 6-inch filters every 9 to 12 months. However, if you have pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to change them more frequently.


2. How much does a furnace installation cost?
This varies depending on location, venting upgrades, newer safety codes, conversions, and other factors. But in general, you may expect to pay around $1,000 to $1,200. This can go higher, so it’s best to call a licensed installer for a more accurate estimate.


3. How many hours does it take to install a furnace?
It usually takes 4 to 8 hours to install a furnace, depending on the job’s complexity.


4. How long does a furnace last in Canada?
In Canada, furnaces have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, similar to other countries like the US.