A Farewell to Furnace – How Will You Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace?

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Summers in Valley of the Sun have been described as extended heat waves with an occasional monsoon storm thrown in for wide-eyed excitement. The extreme temperatures in Phoenix from May through October mean air conditioners run full tilt for months and are absolutely indispensable.

Winters, on the other hand, are mostly moderate and delightful, which is why so many snowbirds migrate here from colder climates in the U.S. To paraphrase the Maytag repairman, a Phoenix homeowner’s furnace is often the loneliest appliance in town. Sure, there’s a cold snap or two each winter, and many mornings are made more comfortable by firing up the heat. However, for the most part, being a furnace in Arizona is a pretty easy job and when it comes to service, air conditioners receive the lions’ share of attention and repairs.

How Long Does a Furnace Last?

Furnaces are built tough to last. Under normal wear and tear, many manufacturers advise their products are serviceable for 15 to 20 years. One issue with furnaces in the Southwest is they often get less than normal use and sometimes are neglected for years at a time. Due to intense population growth and development in Phoenix, home sales are booming. Many homeowners have lived in their residence for less than three years and have no idea how old their furnace is or when it was last serviced. This makes it difficult to determine when it’s time to replace an aging furnace. Here are some telltale signs your old reliable furnace might be ready for retirement:

  • It Looks Really Old – Most homeowners were not around when their furnace was installed. If the previous owners provided you with a manual or appliance warranty, there will generally be information indicating the date it was installed. If not, grab a flashlight and check the manufacturer and model number of your furnace, then Google it. You can also look up the sales history of when your house was built. In the Phoenix area, many homes still have their original furnace. If your home was built in the 1990s or earlier, your furnace is getting past its service life.
  • Rust and Corrosion – If you do a physical inspection of your furnace, and you notice signs of rust and corrosion, you’ll want to be cautious. Certain components of your furnace, such as the gas lines, burners and the heat exchanger are crucial to the safety of your home and family. If your furnace is falling apart outwardly, then you should have a professional do a full inspection sooner rather than later.
  • Unusual Noises, Thumps or Rattles – When a furnace starts up, it always makes some noise. However, if you turn your furnace on and it takes a long time to initiate and then you hear a loud thump, it may indicate a problem with your ignitor. Rattling or other odd sounds might be loose parts or a faulty blower. In any case, you’ll want to have one of our service professionals do a full evaluation.
  • Frequent and Costly Repairs – Most furnaces are very reliable, so if you’ve noticed increased repair bills over the last couple of years, it might be time to consider replacement. The idea would be to replace your old furnace before you sink thousands of dollars into repairing a unit that will need to be replaced anyhow.

If your furnace has been laboring in the shadows for years without a service inspection, give Chandler Air a call. It’s important to note, there are safety issues with old furnaces that should be checked on a yearly basis. One of our knowledgeable and friendly service technicians will provide a full assessment and give you the peace of mind you and your family deserve.