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What is the Maximum Longevity of a Furnace in Canada?

A furnace is an essential appliance in Canada because of the extreme cold during winter. It will keep you and your loved ones warm during the cold season, but you have to consider how long it will last before you have to buy a new one or invest in furnace repair in Toronto. If your furnace has already served you for some time, wondering how much longer it can go is normal. It helps you determine the best time to replace it.

How long is a furnace supposed to last in Canada?

The average lifespan of furnaces in Canada ranges between 15 to 30 years. You can continue using your furnace after the 15-year mark if it doesn’t cost too much to repair. Some furnaces even reach the 30-year mark if they are properly maintained and cleaned. Since you will have your furnaces working for at least six months in Canada, such cases are rare. The longer operational hours result in the appliances being worn out easily and sooner.

Other factors likely to affect the lifespan of your furnace are:

The type: Furnaces can be classified according to the fuel they use. Therefore, the lifespan will depend on whether it is propane, oil, natural gas, or electric furnace.

Model: Some furnace models are better than others. In most cases, the latest models are better than the earlier makes. They tend to be more efficient and can last longer.

Maintenance routine: The frequency with which you conduct maintenance procedures will determine how long your furnace lasts in good shape. Regular maintenance equals a longer lifespan.

Quality: All the components of the furnace should have the highest standards. If one part is weak, the other parts will not function optimally. Make sure no part of the furnace is defective when you’re buying.

Sizing: The size of the furnace you buy should depend on the size of your home. If you purchase a small furnace, it will overwork trying to heat the house. A larger furnace size will consume too much heat than you need, leading to wastage. Have an expert help you select the right size.

Installation: Always have a professional install the furnace for you. Having a novice person try the installation can result in damages that hinder long-term performance. In most cases, installation services are part of the purchase. If you buy from a reputable dealer, they will send a professional technician to install it for you.

What type of furnace lasts the longest?

Most people living in towns are converting to gas furnaces, making them the most popular. They have a lifespan ranging between 15 years to 30 years, which is better than some other types. However, electric furnaces tend to have the best longevity of 20-30 years.

Propane furnaces follow with a lifespan of 16 years to 30 years, while oil furnaces last the shortest, between 15 to 20 years.

Is it better to repair or replace?

Generally, it’s better to replace the furnace if the repairs cost half as much as a new one. The purchase cost may be higher, but eventually, the amount you save will make it worthwhile. You can also consider replacing it if you’ve had the furnace for ten years or more, if it has become less efficient, or if one of the main components needs replacement. Parts like heat exchangers cost approximately $2000 to replace. In such a case, it’s better to buy a new furnace that averages between $3000 and $5000.

However, if you have a warranty that is still valid and can cover the cost of the replacement of such a main component, repairing is better.

When is the right time to replace the furnace?

The following signs are good indicators that it’s time to replace your old furnace with a new one.

  • Higher utility bills
  • Low Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Anything under 90% AFUE is inefficient
  • The furnace is producing a lot of noise
  • There are cold and hot spots in the house
  • Infrequent cycles
  • There is a need for frequent repairs
  • There is increased humidity or dryness in the house

According to ENERGY STAR, it is better to replace your furnace if it has been in use for more than 15 years. Upgrading to one that is certified will give you a high AFUE rating and better performance.

How to maximize the lifespan of a furnace

Taking the right measures to prolong the lifespan of your furnace is one of the best ways to get more value for your money. One of those measures is having a professional do the installation. Installing the heater correctly and safely will ensure it remains in perfect condition for longer. Installation by an expert will also ensure the furnace functions at maximum efficiency, and any defect is identified early.

Cleaning the furnace and conducting routine maintenance can also extend the lifespan. Have an expert technician inspect all the components of the furnace to ensure they are all functioning optimally. Replacing the filter monthly, sealing ductwork and air leaks, and vacuuming the burner and flame sensor every year can also help prolong the lifespan.

Calling a technician immediately you notice a problem with the furnace is also crucial. Ignoring any problem can result in more damage that reduces the longevity of the heater.

How to choose a new furnace

The first thing to look for in a new furnace is the ENERGY STAR certification or the AFUE rating. It confirms the high efficiency of the furnace, and the AFUE should not be less than 90%. The higher the percentage, the better.

Look at the zoning capabilities, especially when you have a big house with some rooms being used more frequently than others. You’ll be able to set different temperatures in every room.

Don’t ignore the warranty when you’re purchasing a new furnace. Check the warranty terms as well. In most cases, warranties for standard parts will last 1-10 years, while those for a heat exchanger will last between 5 to 10 years. Labour warranty ranges from 1 to 3 years. It’s still possible to get a lifetime warranty or one that lasts more than ten years.

Consider additional features such as display options, self-diagnostics, humidity control, silent operation, remote control, air purification systems, etc.


With more attention in the form of frequent maintenance and cleaning, your furnace can still last long, even if it’s already ten years. The more you take care of it, the longer it will serve you. Pay attention to the maintenance and repair costs and upgrade when necessary.

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