The average furnace lasts between 15 to 20 years. When you reach the 15-year threshold, breakdowns become more common. Parts are worn down, electrical systems are aged, and it’s simply more likely that something will fail. Rather than replacing parts and dealing with repeated breakdowns, schedule a replacement. Here are helpful tips so you can determine how old your unit is.
How to Tell How Old a Furnace Is
1. Find the Manufacturing Date
When many furnaces are manufactured and shipped out, they’re fitted with a sticker listing the model number, serial number, and manufacture date. These are often applied on the side of the unit. Look for the sticker, which also includes a bar code.
If the date isn’t listed, try searching for the serial number on the manufacturer’s website. It’s normal that stickers may have been damaged or torn off over the years, so you may need to rely on other methods.
2. Check the Fan Blades
Fan blades sometimes have the manufacture date stamped onto them. Turn the furnace off and unplug it so there’s no chance of the unit accidentally turning on. You can remove the master fuse as a second precaution. Remove the side panel and look at each blade on the interior fan. You may need to clear away dust and debris to clearly see a manufacture date stamp.
3. Call the Manufacturer
When all else fails, reach out to the manufacturer. Send photos of the unit, especially of the serial number/model number sticker—even if they have been partially worn off.
The manufacturer may still be able to determine the unit’s age. Furnace repair professionals may also be able to look up this information or at least find the right details to share with the manufacturer, so schedule an inspection.