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Homeowner Resources

What is the Average Life Expectancy of a Gas Furnace?

what-is-the-average-life-expectancy-of-a-gas-furnace

New England winters can be brutal, so the last thing you want on a cold January night is to wake up freezing because the furnace died. For people who just installed a new gas furnace, this scenario probably isn’t something to lose sleep over.

But what if your gas furnace is five years old? How about if it’s 15 years old? What is the average life expectancy of a gas furnace? It’s a valid question, and it requires a proper answer.

What is the Average Life Expectancy of a Gas Furnace in New England?

Simply put, there is no specific life span on a gas furnace, regardless of where you live. Some gas furnaces can stay strong for 40 years, while others only make it about ten years.

Generally speaking, though, a gas furnace should be reliable for 15 to 30 years. However, various factors can affect your gas furnace’s life expectancy, such as:

  • Installation - If your gas furnace was not installed properly or the ductwork and air vents connecting to it are not sealed or placed accurately, it could cause your furnace to work overtime, shortening its lifespan.
  • Sizing - If your furnace is not the right size for your home’s square footage - particularly if it is too small - it will have to work much harder to get the job done, making it wear out sooner.
  • Thermostat Settings - Continually leaving your thermostat too high (above 80 degrees) or too low (below 60 degrees) can cause damage to specific components and require more frequent maintenance.

Some brands are known to last longer than others, but problems can arise with any furnace. In that sense, gas furnaces are a lot like cars -- some just survive longer than others.

Extending the Life of Your Furnace

While it may feel like there is nothing you can do to increase your gas furnace’s life expectancy, there is something straightforward you can do to help: Annual cleaning and maintenance. Some of this maintenance is quick and simple, like checking and changing the air filter every few months.

Other forms of maintenance are best left to the professionals. By scheduling an annual maintenance appointment for your gas furnace, an HVAC expert can ensure that it is clean, running smoothly, and doesn’t need any timely repairs. If the technician does find something wrong, they can fix it quickly and prevent further issues.

When to Consider Replacing Your Gas Furnace

Even with proper maintenance and care, eventually, you will need to replace your gas furnace. Here are some signs to look out for that your furnace needs to be repaired or is ready for replacement:

  • Stale or dusty air quality
  • Blowing cold air
  • Unfamiliar noises from the unit
  • Higher energy bills
  • Uneven temperatures throughout the house
  • Burner flame becoming yellow, instead of staying blue
  • Frequent or costly repairs required

In some cases, it makes more sense financially to replace a gas furnace with a newer model instead of trying to repair an old one. An HVAC technician can assess your furnace’s situation and help you to decide which way to go, while keeping your furnace’s age in mind.


Have questions about your furnace? In addition to home fuel delivery, Atlantic Fuels offers residential and light commercial oil, propane, and natural gas heating system and equipment repair & maintenance services throughout New Hampshire's Seacoast Region - 24/7/365. Give us a call at (603) 964-6967 or send us an email today!