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How Long Should My Heating System Last?


Whether homeowners have just purchased a brand-new heating system or they notice that theirs is aging and beginning to experience some problems, so many homeowners ask us the same question: “How long is it supposed to last?”

As you may expect, the answer is not a simple one. No technician can say with certainty how long a heater will work until it fails, but we can provide some information to help you know what to expect.

We also want to help you keep your heating system for longer! Our technicians care about the health and wellbeing of your system, so we’re here to explain what you can expect from the life of your heater and to offer some tips for keeping it around for longer.

Some Average Lifespans

The average home has a natural gas furnace for heating, a safe, efficient, and convenient system that uses the ductwork to blow heated air throughout the home. The average lifespan for a well-used gas furnace is about 10-15 years.

The electric furnace may last a bit longer than a gas furnace, about 15-25 years, but there are many other factors that make it a less desirable system to own. Namely, there’s the fact that electric furnaces cost more to run, even at high efficiency ratings, due to the high rate of electricity.

Heat pumps are heating and cooling systems in one, chosen by some homeowners without access to a natural gas line. They are more efficient than many heating systems and cost less to run than electric furnaces because they move heat rather than generating heat. These may last about 15 years, but some of the components, including the backup heat strips used for cold climates, could fail sooner.

Finally, radiant heating systems could last for decades, although replacing these systems and installing them initially can be quite costly. If you’re installing a heater for the first time, you’ll have to ask your technician if this is a viable option for you. Most homes do better with a forced-air system, especially homes that already have a set of ducts.

The Catch

Even if your manufacturer lists an expected lifespan on your heating equipment, you cannot expect it to live to the right age unless you also meet these two other factors.

  1. You’ll need to make sure your heating system is the proper size. This means you should only call qualified heating technicians to install your heater for you. If a furnace is too large, it can short cycle and wear down its parts. If it is too small, you’ll have problems throughout its lifespan. Even the most efficient heater cannot run smoothly and save money unless it is properly installed and just the right fit.
  2. Next, you must have professional maintenance completed at least once a year. Furnaces and heat pumps are sturdy systems, but there are still things that go wrong throughout their lives. Routine maintenance helps homeowners to catch problems early, which is why many manufacturers’ warranties are actually void unless a system receives routine professional maintenance.

Get heating services in Grand Rapids, MI from the friendly team at GRmetro Heating and Cooling Inc!

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