How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is the average life expectancy of an electric furnace?
Friday, May 29, 2020
How long does an electric furnace last?
You can expect an electric resistance furnace to last about 18 to 24 years, with an average of 21 years. We only see this type of furnace in our region in older mobile homes. Like any furnace, a long heating season will mean a shorter lifespan, and vice versa. While furnaces that provide heat via electric resistance heat coils are less expensive to buy and install, they are 50% less energy efficient than a heat pump in moderate climates. See our article How much cheaper is it to heat a house with a heat pump versus an electric furnace or baseboard heater? for more on this.
Here’s a bar graph that compares the life expectancy of an electric furnace to other HVAC appliances.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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