How Long Does an HVAC Furnace Last?

hvac furnace

HVAC is a short name for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. It is a complex system that comes with three units ideally to serve the purpose that goes with its name. The HVAC system is responsible for cooling and heating your home. It includes products like heat pumps, air conditioners, furnaces, etc.

These home controls function to attain a required temperature in the room. As far as an HVAC furnace is considered, it is an appliance that heats the space via circulating hot air. So, if you are you confused about home heating and don’t know where to begin, you can consider this article as a guide to learn everything about HVAC furnace.

How Long Does A HVAC Furnace Last?

Proper care and the right circumstances can surely lengthen the life of an HVAC furnace before you replace or repair it. The average lifespan of a furnace relies on the type of unit. For instance, older HVAC furnaces that used to come with heavy cast iron heat exchangers (although they are less efficient) may last up to nearly 30 to 40 years. On the other side, the average lifespan of an electric HVAC furnace is 20 years plus.

Thus, in most cases, well-maintained furnaces typically last between 15 to 20 years. However, their lifespan may differ depending on factors like quality of the unit, maintenance routine, usage, etc. It is important here to highlight that HVAC furnace systems that are poorly taken care of or come with questionable quality may last as little as ten years or so.

What are the different types of HVAC heating systems?

The options for heating your home or office are vast. It includes furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, split systems, and ductless or duct-free systems. Let’s discuss them one by one briefly:


The majority of households go with a central furnace in order to provide heat. It works by blowing warm air through the ducts that offer warm air to the rooms throughout the home using grills or air registers. It is also known as a ducted warm-air distribution system. HVAC furnaces can be powered by natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, or natural gas. The important heating control system in an HVAC furnace is a thermostat which turns the heating system on and off to keep you comfortable according to the room temperature.


Boilers are nothing but special water heaters. A furnace uses warm air to heat, while a boiler system distributes the heat through hot water. The boiler gives up the heat when it passes via the radiators or other devices in the room throughout the home. The cooler water return backs to the boiler in order to reheat. When it comes to residential boilers, they generally use heating oil or natural gas for fuel. Boiler heating controls include aqua stats, thermostats, and valves in order to regulate circulation and water temperature.

HVAC boiler

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work as a two-way air conditioner. The air conditioner functions by moving heat from the cool indoor areas to the relatively warm outside area during the summer season. However, the heat pump reverses its work in the winters by bringing heat from the cold outdoors with an electrical system, leaving the heat inside the home. Ideally, there are two common kinds of heat pumps. It includes air-source heat pumps which use the outside air as the source of heat in the winter seasons and a heat sink that works during summers.

Split Systems

It is perhaps the best and classic HVAC system. In a split system, the components are placed inside and outside of a home or a building. These systems provide lower operating costs and higher energy efficiency. In a split system HVAC unit, a heat pump comes as an outdoor component. On the other side, an evaporator, fan, or coil installs as an indoor component that converts and helps in circulating the air.

Ductless or Duct-Free Systems

It is popularly used in places or areas where traditional systems of ducts cannot be taken into use. A duct-free system comes with a list of advantages for specific needs as it is a great alternative to the commonly used ducted types of HVAC systems. Ductless units are installed directly into the specific areas of a home where cooling and heating are required. This system comprises an indoor wall-mounted component connected to an outside compressor.

Does A Certain Kind Of Furnace Last Longer Than Others?

Now that you are well aware of various kinds of HVAC heating systems, it is important for you to know the lifespan of different kinds of a furnace. HVAC furnace is still a popular option that many house owners go with. Below is the list of different kinds of furnaces with their average lifespan. Based on your suitability and requirements, you can go with anyone:

Oil Furnace: Ideally, the lifespan of an oil furnace lasts up to 25 years. However, depending on the amount of regular maintenance done on the equipment, its life expectancy can reduce

Electric Furnace: An electric furnace will last you between 20 to 30 years. It usually lasts longer because of its simple design. Since electric heating technology is straightforward, there lies no scope for combustion. However, they are not cheaper to install, which eliminates the savings ultimately.

Gas Furnace: On average, a gas furnace can last up to 15 to 20 years. As long as you have properly scheduled annual maintenance, it should easily last over 15 years.
Signs of a Furnace Starting To Wear Out

Just like a car, your HVAC furnace needs repair and replacement. Thus, it is always beneficial to be prepared for it. You should pay attention to the furnace before you run into an emergency. You can watch for the following signs in order to know when it is starting to wear out:

Uneven heating

If you have any rooms in your home that always have a perfect temperature, but other rooms never seem to heat up properly, then it is a sign of uneven heating. Due to uneven airflow, subsequently, a furnace will end up heating rooms unevenly. A dirty evaporator coil, blocked or closed air vents, etc., can lead to uneven heating temperatures.

High electric bills

There can be various issues that can lead to higher electricity bills. But, exceptionally low temperatures can make the furnace work much harder than usual. When a furnace struggles to get the job done at moderate temperature, it can show up on your bills.

high electric bills

Water Leaks

If there’s some water around the furnace, it is a sign of wear out. If you find water leakage from the furnace itself and during the heating cycle, it can lead to a serious problem. So, the next time you see any water leakage, make sure that you don’t ignore it, considering water as a byproduct of gas.

How To Inspect Your Furnace For Major Signs That It Needs Replacement?

If you reside in a place where weather is unpredictable or if cold, rainy, and snowstorms days are common in your city, it is vital to have a safe and warm environment at home. If your current furnace is not able to provide you comfort, it may be time to replace it. Here is a check-list to determine if your furnace needs replacement:

  • Locate the manual or model number and check its average lifespan. If it has crossed the line, replace it immediately
  • If you observe more soot, dirt, dust, and dander or rust building up within your home or office while the furnace is running, it’s a sign to get a new one
  • If you are facing home humidity problems, you can blame it on your furnace
  • If you notice the furnace running with an unusual noise, it’s time to get it replaced

How To Make A Furnace Last Longer

A new furnace installation indeed calls for a big investment. Preventive and regular maintenance is the only key to make a furnace last longer. Ensure to get it maintained by professionals who can inspect the damaged parts and clean the system with high standards. It will ultimately enhance and extend the life of the furnace.

Coastal Home Services HVAC

That’s all about HVAC furnaces. Before buying a new furnace or replacing it totally, you can consider all the points mentioned above. If you think that your HVAC furnace is coming to the end of its life, contact Coastal home Services for an inspection. We want to make sure that you are saving money on your electricity in the long run and keep your systems maintained and up to date. For more information about furnace repair and installation, fill out the contact form below with any questions that you may have.

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