Factors that Affect the Service Life of a Furnace

Close-up of furnace in basement.

When an appliance nears the end of its service life, you must gear up for the hassle and expense of replacing it. One of the most critical appliances in your home is the furnace. If you learned of a way to extend furnace service life, would you do it? Of course you would! Furnaces are expensive, and you want the one in your home to last. Here’s how to get the longest service life from your furnace.

Schedule Furnace Preventative Maintenance

Just like taking your car in for occasional tune-ups, maintaining your Heating system regularly helps it last longer. Plan to schedule furnace preventative maintenance once a year, preferably in the fall to get the equipment all tuned-up and ready for winter. During an inspection, your technician will perform several steps to help prolong the life of your furnace, including:

  • Replace the air filter: Restricted airflow causes your Heating system to work harder, which could lead to a premature breakdown. A technician will replace the filter to ensure proper airflow. You should also perform this task between professional maintenance visits. Aim to check the filter once a month and change it after no more than three months in use.
  • Clean and oil the blower motor fan: Dirty fan blades can throw the blower off balance. Cleaning them ensures smooth operation and proper airflow. A lubricated blower motor also helps reduce friction to prevent overHeating.
  • Keep tension on the fan belt: Furnace preventative maintenance gives your technician a chance to spot problems early, such as a loose fan belt, and perform a quick fix before a breakdown occurs.

In addition to helping your furnace last longer, preventative maintenance also offers safety and energy efficiency benefits. For instance, the technician will tighten electrical connections to prevent sparks, check for gas leaks, measure carbon monoxide levels, and run system safety checks to ensure proper operation. Maintenance also includes testing for ductwork leaks, verifying thermostat settings, and cleaning furnace components to promote the most efficient performance possible.

Schedule Air Duct Cleaning

During a scheduled furnace maintenance visit, your technician might recommend air duct cleaning. While the primary purpose of this service is to improve indoor air quality, it can also extend furnace service life. After all, a furnace operating with obstructed return and supply vents must work harder than usual to circulate air throughout your home. Not only does this waste energy and money, but it also causes furnace components to wear out faster, shortening the equipment’s service life.

In addition, debris from dirty air ducts can make its way into sensitive parts of your furnace, potentially causing clogs, premature wear, and frequent breakdowns. Cleaning your ducts when they become dirty can prevent these problems to keep your Heating equipment going strong for many more years.

Deciding when to schedule ductwork cleaning is an inexact science. After all, you can slow the accumulation of dirt and debris in the air ducts by frequently dusting and vacuuming, ensuring the ducts are properly sealed, replacing the air filter regularly, and keeping up with other recommended furnace preventative maintenance. Ultimately, it’s best to trust the advice of a reputable, qualified technician who recommends air duct cleaning.

In the end, the two biggest factors that affect the service life of a furnace are preventative maintenance and duct cleaning. Aire Serv® offers both services to help prevent breakdowns, save you money, ensure safe system operation, and keep your furnace running smoothly for years to come.

Contact the Heating and cooling professionals at Aire Serv to schedule preventative maintenance or air duct cleaning today!