FAQ about Furnaces

As a plumbing and HVAC company in the Midwest, we have no shortage of customers with questions about furnaces--especially when temperatures start to drop. That’s why we’ve compiled the inquiries we get most frequently into this furnace FAQ for homeowners.

Keep scrolling--you might find the answer to your question below!

1. How long do furnaces last?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, furnaces have a life expectancy of 15 to 30 years. However, there are a lot of variables involved with how long a furnace lasts, such as what type it is, how often you use it, and how often you maintain it. For instance, a gas furnace will run about 10 to 20 years, whereas an electric furnace is more likely to run about 20 to 30 years. Additionally, a well-maintained furnace is likely to last much longer than a furnace that is rarely maintained.

2. How often should I schedule maintenance for my furnace?

A gas furnace should be serviced and inspected at least once a year, not only to ensure that it’s in proper working order but to check for any dangerous gas or carbon monoxide issues. Even if you own a different type of furnace, most heating experts agree that annual maintenance is a good idea anyway for these reasons:

  • Getting your furnace maintained and inspected in the fall can help catch any potential problems with the equipment before winter arrives.

  • Regular maintenance helps your furnace run at peak efficiency and also extends its lifespan.

3. What does a furnace’s AFUE rating mean?

A furnace’s AFUE rating will tell you how energy-efficient that furnace is. The higher the rating, the more efficient the furnace.

The U.S. Department of Energy categorizes furnaces as follows:

  • High-efficiency: 90% to 98.5% AFUE

  • Mid-efficiency: 80% to 83% AFUE

  • Old, low-efficiency: 56% to 70% AFUE

If you own a high-efficiency furnace with an AFUE rating of 95%, that means that 95% of the energy in the fuel it uses becomes heat for your home.

4. How do I know when it’s time to replace my furnace?

When trying to determine whether or not to replace your furnace, first look at its age. If it’s more than 15 years old, it might be nearing the end of its life expectancy--especially if it’s needing frequent repairs. Next, look for other warnings signs that your furnace is near retirement:

  • Your energy bills keep increasing energy bills year over year.

  • The furnace starts making excessive noise (buzzing, rattling, humming, etc.).

  • The equipment shows signs of rust or corrosion.

  • The furnace has a hard time heating your home evenly and effectively.

You might also like:

Preparing Your Furnace for Cold Weather

What to Do If Your Furnace Is Blowing Out Cold Air

What Your Furnace’s Noises Mean

Our Belleville heater experts at Morrison Plumbing, Heating and Air have the knowledge and experience to provide your home with furnace repairs, maintenance, and installations. Call us today at (618) 352-5599 or contact us online.