I believe that furnaces should last at least 50% the life of the
dwelling that they're installed in.
It is my understanding that the lifespan of modern forced-air gas
furaces is 12-15 years(!)
I am in the market for the above captioned item (Most Reliable,
Durable, *Longest Lasting* Forced Air Gas Furnace). I am less concerned
with efficiency than I am with those three factors (durability,
I am getting close to retirement and don't want to purchase > 1 more
Suggestions? (Switch to coal?)
Thanks in Advance,
First suggestion is to invest in a different belief system. Since
there are inhabitated dwellings approximately 300 years old in the US
and much, much older than that elsewhere, expecting a furnace to
function half that time is simply unrealistic.
As for the direct question, I don't have any data available to say
which might be reasonably expected to be the most long-lasting, but
certainly I would expect the "name" manufacturers to be better in that
regard than the known "low-cost" makers (altho, of course, all have a
range of units) and that a realistic cost analysis would probably show
the lowest overall longterm cost is a combination of higher efficiency
_and_ longevity, not simply a single installation cost evaluation.
For longevity of service irrespective of fuel cost, you might consider
all-electric baseboard first, forced air or radiant afterwards. The
primary limiting factor in combustion forced air units that actually
requires a replacement is the erosion/corrosion of the combustion
chamber resulting in air leak which can lead to CO emissions. Avoiding
direct combustion is probably, in my just general guessing, the best
way to extend unit lifetime.
see consumer reports.... our old lennox duracurve dates mid 60s so its
old.... 40 ) years
buy a name brand with extended warranty, and if your really concerned
get a annual maintence agreement.
if your exisyting furnace still works fine then delay replacement as
long as possiblen to put the second replacement as far out as
but look at cost of replacement vehicle, 15 grand and up, just ONE car
purchase would likely get you 3 new furnaces..
Thx. hallerb. Had planned on doing much of what you suggest.
Actually, my Carrier 58SXA (installed Oct. 1990) has been a real pain,
just limping along the past 5 years w. lockout problems even the
Carrier tech can't (or won't?) diagnose.
(These furnaces have known design flaws. Known now.)
Cars? Should all be built like the old Chrysler Slant Sixes.
Oops! I should have mentioned the context in which I spake. I live in
America, where the taxpayer funds the demolition of and re-building of
30 year-old sports arenas, and where we do "tear-downs" of perfectly
habitable, modest homes built in the fifties and sixties (and later!)
to build mcmansions and now, "monster homes".
But I guess I answered my own (implied) question: Why modern,
higher-tech furnaces only last 12-15 years.
Hey, it's America. If I can afford to buy a "modest" (meaning small
and poorly designed) home from those architecturally dead eras and then
tear it down to build a modern properly designed home I'll do it. To
be on topic I believe a furnace should last 20-30 years with regualr
maintenace. My steam boiler is now 20+ years old and works fine.
Careful! In 40 or 50 years those mcmansions (w. the brick on one side,
siding the other three sides) and the umpteen eves may look as
preposterous as running shoe envy in the ghetto.
Happy New Year,
I agree many McMansions are godawful to look at. However, the kitchens
are practical and large, closet space is adequate, and there are master
bathrooms. At least in NJ most are bought by transplanted new yorkers
who have no taste or style so they are often not gorgeous homes. I
agree that brick should be on all sides but how good is it when done by
the typical illegal day laborers who build build most tract homes in
Many (mcmansions) even have "Studies".
We agree (again). If we would creatively re-use existing structures,
rather than abandonment or tear-down, we would not have urban
"doughnut-holes" of erstwhile great cities bleeding population
surrounded by the sprawl of uninspired monotonous architecture.
The problem is that no one with half a brain wants to live near urban
areas with the crime and crowding and other ills that drove people to
the suburbs in the first place. Maybe putting poor people in
rehabiliated space is wise but no one else wants to live near them
I don't know on what basis you've concluded that furnaces typically
last only 12-15 years. My Ruud, which ain't anything special, is still
going fine at 22 years. I'd say somewhere around 20 is more typical.
It's also curious that you only care about lifespan, not energy
efficiency. In the end, they both equate mostly to $$$ out of your
pocket, don't they?
I also agree that it's unrealistic to expect any furnace to last 1/2
the lifespan of a home.
> <snipped for brevity>
Several techs & an HVAC bb.
1.) Technical: The more complicated things are, the more that can go
wrong. High-Efficiency furnaces have more complicated designs, more
solid-state electronics that can go bad.
2.) Economical: Persons living at subsistence levels find it easier to
pay as they go, than ante - up front. That's why a the low-income
person will buy toilet tissue at convenience-store prices (when they
need to) rather than stock-up at Costco. Same reason a poor person pays
more for (overall) for gasoline (they drive an older car). When I
retire I realistically don't expect my income to keep up w. inflation
enough to buy a new furnace when I'm 80 (God-willing.) Just a fact of
life, my friend.
b.t.w. - I have a "high efficiency" (90+) furnace now. It's a Carrier
(piece 'o crap).
New Year's Cheer,
With thinking like that, it;s no wonder they are living at subsistence
levels. Any dummy knows you can buy a decent size pack of toilet
paper on sale at the local grocery store for $6, which is a fraction of
what it would cost at the convenience store and even less than Costco.
Same reason a poor person pays
Perhaps it has occured to *you* that for pesrons in such circumstances
it may not be possible to "set-aside" money? But (perhaps) I am
assuming that I'm corresponding with someone who has been fortunate
enough to not know hardship or the the perspective that such brings.
With OEM ONLY circuit boards and sensors the manufacturer can set the
expiration time of any product. Sorry that boards no longer available
you need a new furnace car or whatever........ Or make the part so
expensive no one will buy the part
Now Goodman furnaces reportedly use off the shelf components with
p[robably a better chance of availablity many years down the road.
Of course lots of stuff is functionally obslete long before its not
Like a really poor mileage car, at 10 MPG when new cars are getting 100
The failure mode of most gas furnaces is a cracked heat exchanger and
they probably last at least 20 years. Most other components can
probably be fixed. However, I have a friend who lives in a trailer who
had an old Coleman furnace that had a broken gas valve and a
replacement valve cost so much it made more sense to replace the entire
The best furnaces are probably:
1. American Standard
And the worst ones are:
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