How Long Should A Propane Furnace Last?

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Any home or building that requires heating would need heating units such as a propane furnace. There are different types of furnaces available, and you may want to compare which one will last longer. Propane furnaces are popular because they tend to be energy efficient, so we've researched how long one could last for your home heating needs.

A propane furnace typically lasts for 15 to 20 years. But it can last much longer due to proper use and regular maintenance.

What is a propane furnace, and what does it do? We'll take a closer look at this heating unit, associated costs, and how to maintain it for ultimate longevity. Stay with us!

A propane temperature control panel, How Long Should A Propane Furnace Last?

Propane Furnace: A Long-term Heating Solution

A propane furnace is usually installed in a secure spot inside the home. An accredited contractor should be the one to install the propane furnace to ensure safe working order. The manufacturer provides instructions to install the unit. 

Once it is in place, the homeowner can expect to have heat when needed. And the unit should be functional for more than a decade or so, assuming that it is properly used. Improper use, coupled with regular wear and tear, can usually shorten the furnace's life. 

White propane furnace control panel mounted on the wall

How to Prolong Furnace Life

Ideally, you’ll want your propane furnace to last longer so you will get your money’s worth. But some factors can affect the life of your furnace. Some of these factors are within your control, and you can do something about them. 

Proper Installation

HVAC experts say that properly installing the furnace is the first step in ensuring that the unit will last longer. This means that if ducting or sealing is not done properly, its quality will deteriorate faster.

The unit will also break down easily if the proper building codes are not used. It will help to get a reliable contractor who will make sure that the first step of the job is done properly.

Proper Sizing - Furnace & Componenets

Using the wrong size can affect the lifespan of the furnace. When the hose and other fittings are inappropriate, the unit will work harder to provide the appropriate temperature. You could find your furnace switching on and off inappropriately once it has reached its limit. 

Get the right measurement before installing such a furnace to get a good fit. This will ensure that the furnace will work properly. 

Routine Maintenance

It is important to continue to get in touch with a technician after installing the furnace. There is still a need to perform routine maintenance on the equipment. Doing so will keep the furnace free from dirt.

When the homeowner does not follow the maintenance schedule, the dirt can accumulate on the fan blade. It will then affect the heat that the furnace produces. 

Thermostat Settings

Finally, using the proper temperature will ensure that the propane furnace will last longer. It is best to follow the recommendation of the Department of Energy regarding the thermostat setting. During winter, keep the setting to 68 Fahrenheit. Using too much heat or too low will overwork the machine. 

How do you know if your furnace is dying?

All heating units have recommended shelf life which can be extended or shortened depending on the care provided. But eventually, the furnace will run its course, preferably after functioning for more than a decade. 

There are many ways to know if the furnace is about to give out. The first indicator is age. Once it has passed the 15-year mark, you should start paying attention to its performance. If the furnace starts to create unexplained sounds or dies unexpectedly during operation, this is a sign telling you that the unit is about to give out. 

Naturally, you would call for repairs to get the unit to work again. But if you notice that you have been spending more on repairs or have an increased energy bill, then it is another sign that the furnace is dying.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Propane Furnace?

A boiler control panel mounted on a dark blue wall

Assuming that your propane furnace has reached its peak performance, it’s time to consider getting a replacement. Even if you follow all the recommendations, your unit will reach the end of its life. But first, you’ll want to know how much to spend on a replacement.

The average cost of replacing the propane furnace can range from $2,000 to $6,000. The cost includes labor, equipment, and materials. It will cost more to replace a slightly complicated unit. 

You might not have to spend as much if you are upgrading your current unit. But if you are switching, say from an electric furnace to a propane model, you will incur more cost. 

Make sure to get a quotation before starting a project. You can compare costs with at least two or more contractors so you can get the best price. Getting a quote is almost always free. During your initial discussion with the contractor, you can discuss the process of replacing the unit to help you understand the procedure and the cost. 

It would also help to have a list of questions for discussion. You’ll know which contractor is knowledgeable by the way they answer your questions. You can also cover all bases about replacing your unit.

Is it cheaper to heat with electricity or propane?

Huge propane burners in the basement room

Those looking to have heating equipment have the option to choose from electricity or propane. One factor to consider would be the price for using such. 

Forbes explains why using an electric furnace is cheaper than propane or heating oil. The electric heating pump costs about $25,000 to install, while replacing a heating oil furnace costs $26,000. On the other hand, the propane furnace is $32,000. If the homeowner or building owner chooses gas, there is no guarantee that fuel prices will not increase in the coming years. 

On the other hand, some industry experts recommend using a propane furnace because it is safer and cheaper to operate in the long run.

  • First, the propane furnace will continue to run despite a power failure.
  • Second, propane produces a higher temperature compared with electricity.
  • Finally, a propane furnace has a longer life than the electric-powered model. 

A study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) shows the energy consumption comparison among the furnaces, heat pumps, propane boilers, and water heaters. The propane furnace emerged with 97% AFUE, which is the most efficient rating level. 

Some experts recommend using two kinds of heating systems for sustainability. Using either propane or gas-powered furnace together with an air-source heat pump or ground-source heat pump is cost-efficient and beneficial at the same time. 

This method of using a hybrid system can generate the required heat from the heat pump and the furnace. Depending on the temperature, the heat pump and furnace will alternate in providing warmth inside the building or home. In case either of these systems breaks down, the other one will still function. 

To Conclude

A propane temperature control panel

In the end, it will depend on what is suitable in your state. You could also consider the unit you already own to find ways to make it work for you. 

For more information on propane furnace options, check out our related posts:

How To Convert An Oil Furnace To Gas Or Propane—And Should You?

Can A Natural Gas Furnace Run On Propane?

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