In 1978, we saw a change in furnace designs from natural draft furnaces to furnaces with the draft inducer motor. In the 1980’s and early 90’s, the efficiency levels raised from 78% and greater. Now, furnace efficiencies have increased to 80% and up to 98% efficient.
We get calls on a regular basis concerning the life expectancy of ones forced air furnace. There are many factors that come to bear with that question. First and foremost answer is planned obsolescent. Do you thing the manufactures want their furnaces to last forever? However, a well maintained furnace should get you 15 to 18 years of service. An unmaintained furnace will net you about 10 to 12 years.
The average life of a forced air furnace starts at the installation. The furnaces of today are not plug in and run. During installation, there is a startup procedures required to insure proper operations, and we would hope all furnace installers perform these procedures. After installation when the homeowners or business owners take full possession of their furnaces, this is where life expectancy really comes to bear.
There are a few factors that will contribute to the longevity of your furnaces. Are you checking or changing your furnace filters monthly? Do you have your furnace maintained yearly? If you have a humid basement, do you have a dehumidifier?
Using a programmable thermostat also aids in furnace life. When you go to work (whether it is winter or summer), use the program schedule to lower the temperature’s in the winter and raise the temperatures in the summer. This lowers your energy consumption, and your furnace will not run as much thus increasing its life expectancy.