A heating system, whether it’s a furnace or another type of unit, is a large investment. Once you’ve paid money for your furnace, you would probably like to get as many years out of it as you possibly can. First, you’ll want to find out what a normal lifespan for a heating system is. Then, you will want to study tips and tricks that can extend your system’s life.

How Long Does a Furnace Last?

Most homeowners heat their homes using furnaces. Fortunately for those property owners, furnaces are some of the longest-lasting heating and cooling appliances.

In general, a furnace usually lasts for at least 15 years. It’s rare for a unit to give out sooner than that. Many are good for two full decades. Even better, some furnaces can run for 30 years. It’s pretty uncommon, though, for people to get 40 years out of the same furnace.

While furnaces can last for 20 or 30 years, that doesn’t always mean that you should keep using the same furnace for that long. Heating technology is continually improving. You may want to upgrade before your furnace entirely gives out simply so that you can take advantage of new developments in heating. In particular, you might benefit from the increased energy efficiency provided by newer models.

How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?

Often, heat pumps have shorter lifespans than traditional furnaces. Many homeowners run their heat pumps throughout the year. They depend on the unit for cooling in the summer and use it for heating in the winter. Since a heat pump gets twice as much use as a furnace, it’s likely to wear out more quickly.

It’s pretty common for heat pumps to be good for about 15 years, on average. It may depend largely on when your model was manufactured. Some older units tend to give out around 10 years rather than making it to 15. The newer heat pumps on the market commonly stay in good shape for more than 15 years.

Geothermal heat pumps sometimes last longer than others. It’s common for geothermal units to keep running strong for 20 years or more.

How Long Does a Boiler Last?

While not as popular as standard furnaces, some homes use boilers for heat. How long yours lasts may depend on what type it is. Cast-iron boilers often keep going for two or three decades. Some homeowners use theirs for even longer, but that’s not the norm. If yours has been around for several decades, you’re probably not achieving optimal efficiency. High-efficiency boilers usually have shorter lifespans than cast-iron models. These units typically operate for about 15 years.

Factors in Heating System Longevity

Not every heating system’s lifespan matches these estimates. Some units end up running for many years longer than you might have expected. Others, unfortunately, give out long before their time. There are multiple factors that can influence heating system longevity, and some of them are within your control.


People in warm areas don’t need to run their heaters all that often. Those who live in cold climates may find themselves using their furnaces for the majority of the year. Of course, use leads to wear. For this reason, heating systems in warm climates may last longer than those in cold parts of the country.


Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to keep your furnace or heater in great shape for many years. Maintenance visits should be performed annually. During a tune-up, a heating technician will ensure your system is in proper working order. The tasks may include cleaning the unit, adjusting the levels, adding lubrication, and looking for signs of wear. These jobs can improve efficiency and reduce strain on the system. The individual components will then be more likely to last longer, and the system as a whole may stay in better condition, too.


You can protect your heating system’s longevity from the very beginning by choosing professional installation services. A furnace technician has received training on how to do the job right. You can trust that the unit will be properly sized for your home and the connections will be made correctly. Improper installation can be taxing on a furnace, which means that it may give out sooner than it should. You won’t have to worry about that when you choose a pro for the job.


Every heating system occasionally needs some repair work as parts wear out. Many repair jobs are quick and easy. They may simply involve retightening a connection or replacing one component. If you have the job done right away, the damage won’t have much time to spread. However, if you ignore the need for repairs, one broken part can lead to another. Soon, you may have a system with major problems, and you might find yourself needing to start fresh with a new furnace.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Heating Replacement

No matter the age of your heating system, there are some signs that indicate you should start thinking about an upgrade.

Repair Needs

Most homeowners don’t want to throw too much money into a heating system that’s nearing the end of its life. If you have been calling quite often for professional repairs, you may appreciate the reliability that a new system can provide. Expensive repair issues might also motivate you to buy a new furnace. If the price of an installation is less than twice the cost of the repair, choosing the upgrade might be your best course of action.


Heating systems have the potential to release dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. With a properly functioning system, that won’t happen. However, serious wear or damage could lead to a carbon monoxide leak. In that case, a replacement is often required, especially if the problem is a crack in the heat exchanger. A repair may not be adequate for ensuring that your family will stay safe.

Heating Costs

Older furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers aren’t as energy efficient as the models that are on the market today. The less efficient a system is, the more it will cost to run it. If you’re tired of high power bills, you might benefit from an upgraded heater. Your new unit should achieve peak performance, which is likely to save you money on your future utility bills.

For nearly two decades Midwest Mechanical has been helping Wichita-area homeowners with their heating and cooling needs. When you’re ready to install a new furnace or air conditioner, call us. Plus, we’ll expertly handle your repairs and maintenance for all makes and models. In addition to HVAC services, we also do plumbing jobs. Our areas of expertise include repiping projects and water heater replacements. As a Ruud Pro Partner and a Trane Comfort Specialist, we’re ready to care for your family’s home comfort.

Today is the day to call Midwest Mechanical to schedule your Wichita heating and cooling appointment!


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