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How Long Does a Furnace Last?
By Tom Moor, Angie's List
When should you replace your furnace? It's a question heating, ventilation and air conditioning experts say they often hear. But before spending $2,500 to $5,500 to buy a new furnace, keep in mind a few tips.
How old is your furnace?
Other HVAC experts say the average life of a furnace is 12 to 18 years.
Do you have an energy zapper?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an energy-efficient furnace will increase the annual fuel utilization efficiency, which measures how efficiency the unit is at converting the energy in its fuel to heat over a typical year. A 95 percent AFUE means 95 percent of the energy in the fuel becomes heat, while the other 5 percent escapes. The higher the AFUE number, the more efficient the furnace.
The minimum AFUE number required by the federal government for most furnaces is 80 percent. However, for a gas furnace to meet Energy Star standards, the AFUE must be 95 percent or more in the northern United States and 90 percent or greater in the South. The Federal Trade Commission requires manufacturers to display the AFUE rating for new furnaces.
Is your furnace trying to tell you something?
Buying a new furnace
"A true cost analysis should always include the cost of keeping your old furnace for the next few years," he says "These costs include repair costs, rising equipment costs, costs associated with lower efficient furnaces and inflation."
Energy Star states it may be time to replace your furnace if it's more than 15 years old, needs frequent maintenance and repairs, if rooms heat unevenly or you have exceptionally high utility bills.
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