How Efficient Is A 10-15 Year-Old Furnace?

A furnace replacement isn't an affordable expense. If you consider replacing your furnace, you may wonder how efficient a 10-15-year-old furnace is and if it's worth the investment to replace it. We have researched for you to help answer this question.

As furnaces age, they lose their efficiency and waste energy. For example, a 10 to 15-year-old furnace can be only 70%-80% efficient or worse.  So if you want to save money on your heating bills, getting a new furnace is a good idea.

A furnace plays an essential role in keeping your home warm. However, as they age, they don't do their job as well as they once did.

This article will discuss why a furnace loses its efficiency as it gets over ten years old. In addition, we will take a look at the warning signs that your furnace needs to be replaced, so read on!

A huge boiler room and heating system of a huge house, How Efficient Is A 10-15 Year-Old Furnace?

How Efficient Is A 10-15-Year-Old Furnace?

A furnace is designed to be efficient and effective as the air inside the furnace is heated up. This high-temperature air is then distributed throughout the home as needed. The idea is for this process to happen as quickly as possible so that your heating needs are met.

However, if the furnace is over ten years old, you may find that it takes longer to heat air for your home, which wastes energy. And just as an older car's gas mileage decreases over time, so does the efficiency of a furnace.

The efficiency of a furnace is determined by how much heat it produces compared to the amount of fuel it consumes. The older the furnace, the less efficient it becomes. Furnaces lose their efficiency for several reasons:

A worker checking the temperature of the furnace using digital thermometer

Parts Wear Out

Parts wear out over time, such as the blower motor, igniter, and heat exchanger wear out. Furnaces are no different from vehicles because as they age, more parts will need to be replaced to keep them running correctly. However, it seems like once you fix one part, another goes out shortly after.

Parts Clog

It gets old and clogged with dust and dirt built up inside the furnace over time, making it less efficient and harder to operate. Unfortunately, this also makes it more likely for you to need repairs.

Poor Regular Maintenance

The system is poorly maintained and hasn't been serviced in a few years; it may have insufficient air filters or require repairs. The older your furnace gets, the more maintenance it will need to be efficient.

A furnace over ten years old will lose 18% to 22% of the heat energy it produces. When you consider that furnaces are responsible for heating your home, this means you may be losing hundreds of dollars, or more, on your heating bill each year.

How do I know if my furnace needs to be replaced?

One of the main signs your furnace needs to be replaced is the age of the unit. As discussed, furnaces efficiency starts to drop dramatically after ten years. So, for example, if your furnace is below 83% efficiency, it could be time to replace it.

However, if you are unsure if your older furnace needs to be replaced, there are some other warnings signs to watch for:

High Energy Bills

One of the most obvious signs is a sudden spike in your energy bills, especially during winter. This could be a sign that your furnace is working overtime to try and heat your home, which can lead to costly repairs down the road.

Unusual Noises

If you start hearing strange noises coming from your furnace, it could signify that something is wrong. Noises such as banging, squeaking, ticking, or rattling are all signs that there may be a problem with your furnace.

Strange Smells

If you notice a strange smell coming from your furnace when it's turned on, check for leaks in the air ducts and the filter. If the smell continues after checking these, it could signify that the furnace is burning too much fuel, which can be dangerous.

Poor Heating Performance

If your furnace is not heating your home to the temperature you set or is not keeping up with the current weather conditions, it's time to call in a professional. This is another sign that your furnace needs to be replaced.

Increased Humidity

If you notice your humidity levels are higher indoors than usual, the furnace may not be able to circulate enough air or keep up with demand.

When there is excessive moisture on your windows or doors in the winter, that is a sign there is too much humidity in your home, and the furnace is dying.

Excessive Dust

If your home is starting to feel excessively dusty, it could be because the furnace cannot properly filter the air.

Constant Repairs

If you constantly need to repair your furnace, it may be time for a replacement. This is especially true if the repairs are becoming more and more expensive.

Rust and Cracking

When a furnace is getting old, it starts to develop rust spots and cracks where the air intake, heat exchangers, and exhaust ducts are located.

Yellow Pilot Light

If you notice your pilot light is turning yellow instead of the regular blue color, it may be a sign that carbon monoxide is seeping into your home. This is an extremely dangerous problem and could cause death if not addressed immediately.

Cold Air from Vents

If you're feeling cold air coming from your vents, it could signify that the furnace is not working correctly.

Once you have determined you need a new furnace, several options are available to fit your needs. You can choose from an Energy Star Rated furnace or one that is 95% efficient. In addition,  you also have the choice of an electric or gas furnace.

No matter what type of furnace you decide to go with, always make sure you get it installed by a qualified technician. Improper installation can lead to decreased efficiency and early failure of your new furnace.

A worker doing some repairs on the furnace

How long do furnaces usually last?

Typically, a furnace will last 15-20 years. However, it will depend on how often they are used and maintained over the years. Also, remember that just because your furnace is running doesn't mean it is efficient.

It's better to address replacing an old furnace while it's still working. If you wait until it dies, then you may put yourself in a bad situation during frigid temperatures.

Should I replace my 15-year-old furnace?

If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned in this article, it is good to replace your 15-year-old furnace.

Getting a high-efficiency furnace is an expensive investment, but it will save you money in the long run. This is because they do not require a lot of repairs and use less fuel.

Is it cheaper to replace the furnace and AC together?

It is a good idea to replace your furnace and AC together for efficiency purposes. In addition, you can make a big difference in costs. Homeowners can expect to save between $1000-$3000 by having both units changed together.

It only makes sense to wait to change your furnace and AC together is if one of the units is less than ten years old.

A heating system in the basement of a modern house

What is the average cost to install a furnace?

The average cost to install a furnace can vary drastically. The price will depend on the size of the furnace and what type of unit you are having installed. However, on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $4,500 to $10,000 for the installation.

The first thing you'll want to consider when looking for a furnace is the size. Next, you should pick a furnace that's appropriate for your house. For instance, if you have a huge house, you may want to get a unit that has more BTU units so the furnace can keep up with demand.

A green colored furnace photographed in the basement

The next thing you'll want to consider is the type of furnace. There are two types of furnaces: gas and electric. Gas furnaces are more popular because they are less expensive to operate. However, electric furnaces are becoming more popular because they have a higher efficiency rating.

You should also decide if you want an Energy Star Rated furnace. These furnaces meet a certain standard of efficiency that can help you save money on your energy bills.

Finally, you'll need to find a qualified technician to install the furnace for you. Again, make sure you get multiple quotes to find the best price.

Final Thoughts

A huge boiler room and heating system of a huge house

Replacing an old furnace is a significant investment, but it will pay off in the long run. If you are experiencing any of the problems mentioned in this article, then it's time to replace your old furnace with a new high-efficiency model. But, don't wait until it's too late - during frigid temperatures, you may not have a choice.

For more articles on heating, check these out:

Furnace Blower Motor Overheating – What To Do?

Does A Furnace Draw Air From Outside?

When And How To Use The Emergency Heat Setting On Heat Pump

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