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How Long Does a Furnace Last in Ontario?

Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibilities, your furnace being one of them. Living in Ontario means that you are subject to the province’s often significant temperature drops and cold snaps in the winter months, which for the unsuspecting resident who has failed to winterize their home can cause some issues. One major question you need to ask yourself if your furnace is starting to get up in years and the winter season is soon to be upon you is: how long does a furnace last in Ontario?

If you’re unsure whether it’s time to replace the furnace in your home, we encourage homeowners to schedule a consultation appointment with a home comfort advisor who will be able to provide you with a list of customized solutions for your home based on your unique needs. You’ll also receive a complimentary new system purchase quote during this in-home consultation appointment, so you can get a better idea about what to expect! Further, if costs are something you’re worried about, know that we offer a selection of discounts and financing options that can help alleviate some of the upfront costs!

The Typical Lifespan of a Furnace

Barring any external factors, the traditional furnace will last an average home anywhere between 15-30 years. This is assuming that the furnace is maintained, on average, once per year by a professional furnace technician, that the furnace filters are regularly replaced per the manufacturer’s instructions, and nothing catastrophic has occurred which would cause issues with your home’s furnace.

Should I replace my 15-year old furnace?

Your average furnace will typically work reliably for 15 years and beyond, so long as you ensure it receives its annual tune-ups or scheduled maintenance appointments, air filters are regularly replaced, and worn-out parts are changed out as often as they need to be.

However, despite your attention to your furnace’s care and maintenance, furnaces will reach the end of their lifespan no matter what. If your furnace is projected to last for only 15 years, then around the 15-year mark you should be hiring a technician to do an inspection and gauge whether or not it’s time to do a total replacement.

Can a gas furnace last 30 years?

Hypothetically, sure. A gas furnace that is well-maintained, regularly serviced, and looked after may realistically be able to live 30 years. Some sources estimate that the typical lifespan for a modern furnace can extend up to 30 years, but if your furnace is around the 30-year mark, you should know that this is at or close to the maximum lifespan you should expect.

Your unit’s lifespan always depends on the cadence of routine maintenance, plus usage and fuel source. In the case of vacation homes, the potential for a gas furnace to last over 30 years is more likely since the furnace isn’t getting used as often and therefore not experiencing as much wear and tear.

Symptoms Indicating a Furnace May Need Replacement

Despite the projected lifespan for your furnace, it’s important to pay attention to any signs or symptoms that your furnace needs a replacement or at least just some careful maintenance. Taking note of these signs can help to ensure that your furnace is looked after properly and that it may reach to the end of its lifespan, plus even beyond.

Visible Corrosion or Rust

A good sign that your furnace is getting up in years is the presence of significant corrosion or rust. This can indicate that your furnace has begun to deteriorate and its safety and performance may be severely impacted. Call a technician if you notice any rust or discolouring forming on your furnace.

Flickering Flame or Yellow Flame

The flame in your furnace should be blue, so if the flame has turned yellow that means your furnace is not working as well as it should. A flickering flame may also indicate an issue with your furnace’s internal combustion, which could necessitate a total replacement.

Cracks in Heat Exchanger

This particularly dangerous issue can cause dangerous gasses, like carbon monoxide, to leak into your home. If a cracked heat exchanger has been identified, either the part needs to be replaced or the entire furnace does, as this poses a safety concern to your entire household.

Inconsistent Heating

If your furnace is struggling and consistently failing to maintain a comfortable temperature inside of your home, it may be a sign that your furnace is not functioning properly. This could necessitate a call to a technician, who will diagnose whether your furnace has an issue that can be remedied or if the whole unit needs to be replaced.

Increased Energy Bills

Noticing an uptick in your energy bills despite no changes in the usage of your furnace? This could be because your furnace isn’t working as efficiently and using more energy to heat your home than it should. This is often a prime indicator of an aging furnace.

Frequent Repairs

Oftentimes if your furnace requires more frequent repairs and maintenance than it used to, i.e., if you’re having more than 2 visits a year, this might mean that it’s more cost-effective to replace the whole unit than to continue repairing the old one.

How do I know if my furnace needs replacing?

If you are noticing one or multiple of the symptoms listed above, then you may consider calling a technician to come check out the issue and assess whether or not the matter simply requires a tune-up or maintenance job, or if the entire unit is due for a replacement.

Usually, a good indicator is your furnace’s age. If you are noticing issues with your furnace and it’s getting up there in years, you probably won’t get much ROI out of continuing to repair it and should consider a replacement. Ask your tech if they feel the same way.

If your furnace is costing you more to repair than it would cost to simply invest in a new unit, then that’s also a good decision-maker for whether or not to replace your furnace. If you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to ask a furnace technician expert! Additionally, if you’re in the market for a new furnace and are interested in saving money on your new equipment, make sure to ask us about our incredible discounts and financing options! You’ll also get a free, no obligation new system purchase quote!

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