One of the more common questions among consumers today is how long they can expect their furnace to last before they have to worry about replacing it. Even though this is an important question, there isn’t really a set standard for how long you can expect to go before having to worry about the replacement of your unit. Certain standards can help provide you with a general idea though.
Most of the components in the furnace, whether electrical or not, can be replaced. In general, when people are discussing the life of their furnace, they are referring to how long the heat exchanger is going to last. This is the most vital component of the system. When it cracks or fails, it creates a situation that could be quite dangerous and has to be replaced.
On average, you can expect a forced air furnace exchanger to last anywhere from 13 to 20 years before having to be replaced, with an average of around 15 years. This can vary based upon the furnace model and the quality build as well. Some of the older furnaces that have a heavy metal exchanger, such as that of cast iron, can last for as long as 30-40 years. In rare instances, these exchangers have lasted as long as 60-70 years before having to be replaced.
Even though these furnaces might last for an extended period of time, they tend to be quite inefficient. Manufacturers today tend to use a steel heat exchanger in their equipment. Regardless of whether it is aluminized or stainless, you can expect to get around 15-25 years of use from the exchanger.
One of the best things you can do for your furnace to help extend its lifespan is to make sure it has proper maintenance. Routine maintenance and inspections will help to detect any issues before they spiral out of control and cause more problems than what you needed in the first place. By doing your part to protect your unit, you can help to prevent any unnecessary repairs or replacements before they need to be done.