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Monday, March 10, 2014

Knowing how to determine the age of a furnace helps you make smarter short-term and long-term decisions about fixing or replacing your heating system. When facing immediate service expenses you might weigh your options to repair or replace a furnace of uncertain age. If you plan on living in the home for a limited amount of time, knowing the age of your furnace will give you a better idea about its life-expectancy and the potential need to replace it. Or, you may simply be wondering how your old furnace compares to newer units in terms of energy-efficiency and performance. The average life-expectancy of a gas-fired furnace in the United States is between 15 and 20 years. 

Tips for determining the age of your furnace

  • Check for a pilot light. Those small flames that ignite the burner used to be standard but were rendered obsolete about two decades ago by electronic igniters. If you see a pilot light glowing inside your furnace, it’s at least 20 years old.
  • Record the model and serial number on the metal manufacturer's nameplate, usually inside the furnace compartment door. The serial number contains a brand-specific code that indicates the date of production. Call or e-mail the manufacturer’s customer service department to have them provide the exact age.
  • Look for service stickers. Service personnel often leave stickers or tags with Last Service Date. It may be a log, listing multiple service dates stretching back over the years. These can provide a basis for estimating age.
  • Consult warranty papers. If the previous owner included warranty info among the house records, the furnace warranty will include an exact date of installation.  
  • Request a Property Condition Disclosure Statement. In many states, home sellers are required to provide a Property Condition Disclosure Statement that includes vital information such as the date of purchase and installation of HVAC equipment and other major components of the home. This document may be among your house records.

For more information about how to determine the age of a furnace in the Chicago area, contact us at today.

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