When Should You Expect to Replace Your Furnace?

Furnace replacement is a considerable expense, and there is no doubt that most homeowners want to avoid that project as long as possible. We frequently receive questions about the average lifespan of a furnace and how frequently you should replace a furnace in Alexandria, VA. The answers vary based on the make and model, maintenance frequency, home ventilation and the skills and knowledge of the HVAC contractor who installs it, but here is some general guidance. Replace your furnace if you notice any of these signs:

  • Aging: Typically, the average lifespan of most furnaces is 15 to 20 years. When you get close to these milestones, you will notice signs of imminent failure and likely find your home is less cozy than in previous winters. If you buy a new home with an older furnace or do not remember the last time you replaced your furnace, chances are it is an old unit. Start budgeting for a replacement and be prepared for the day you have to replace it.
  • Low energy efficiency: One reason you want to upgrade furnaces is that energy efficiency improves with technological development. Older furnaces are less efficient, and that diminishes further over time. Watch heating bills to see if they spike—increased heating expenses indicate a furnace works harder than usual when heating your home. If these spikes continue, chances are your furnace has lived past its useful life.
  • Uneven heating: If one room is noticeably warmer than another, or you find cold spots throughout your home, it’s likely because of your furnace. Central heating should provide uniform comfort. If it’s missing spots, it’s no longer performing to standards. Your choices at this point are to tolerate the discomfort until the furnace fails or replace it and enjoy a more comfortable home.
  • Yellow flame: Natural gas furnaces should produce a clear blue flame. That color shows the system works well and is not producing toxic fumes. You can check the flame by peeking at the cover vents. If the flame turns yellow, it may be as simple as a dirty heat exchanger or burner, but it can also indicate toxic fumes, including carbon monoxide. If you see a yellow flame, call an HVAC technician. It may be a simple repair issue or a sign it’s time for a newer and safer furnace.
  • Noise: Your furnace should not be disruptive. The most noise it should make is a low hum that merely reminds you that it’s activated. Once it starts screeching, groaning and rattling, you have a big problem. Call a technician to address the noise and expect to invest in a new furnace soon. Loud noise is never good news.

A Action Home Services can expand the average lifespan of a furnace in Alexandria, VA with regular maintenance and quality repairs. If you stay current on these aspects, you may never have to ask how frequently you should replace a furnace. Call us today to schedule maintenance or see if it’s time for a newer model.

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