• When is your gas furnace too old

    When is your Gas Furnace too old ?

    Gas furnaces have an average life span of 17-20 years.  It is always a debatable point when several inspectors get together and discuss furnace longevity and that goes same for Real Estate agents.  In some manufacturer’s information it may be more like 15-18 years.  Let’s just agree it is 17- 20 years.

    In the core of the furnace is a part called the Heat Exchanger.   This part allows the flue gas from the furnace heat source ( flame / air mixture ) to pass through it’s inner body.  Air passes over the external body of the heat exchanger from the air blower and heats the air, which in turn is distributed through the air ducts in the home. 

    The heat exchanger can crack leading to combustion byproducts like carbon monoxide entering the home’s duct system and therefore being distributed to all areas of the home.. This gas can kill you at worst or give you headaches at best with the feeling of being lethargic health wise. 

    The age of the furnace is determined by the usefulness of the Heat Exchanger.  When the exchanger becomes cracked, the furnace needs to be replaced.  Annual maintenance and service of your furnace is important when it gets older.  Servicing your unit starting around 8-10 years old will keep it in good operating condition and ensure that you are not having ill health through carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Ok, why not just replace the heat exchanger?  The exchanger is deep in the heart of the furnace and the cost for replacement is similar to a new furnace and you still have ALL the old components in the furnace.  So, it’s not cost effective. It would be if you are a qualified HVAC tech, but most of us are not !

    So, if you new home has a furnace that looks an older vintage, expect to replace in the near future.  Your Professional Home Inspector can assess the age and offer recommendations.  Always use a Registered Home Inspector ( RHI ) to inspect your new purchase.  We are ALL trained the same way and have the years of experience to ensure we provide you with a comprehensive inspection report.