Furnace FAQ

On this page you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions we hear about furnaces.  If you have a question that isn’t answered here we invite you to contact us– after all, that’s what we’re here for!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many BTU’s are required to properly heat my home?

A rough calculation would be to divide the square footage of your home by 0.28.  This will give you a rough approximation. A more accurate calculation can be made by determining the amount of heat loss your home experiences and then choosing a furnace to compensate for said loss.

When should I replace my furnace?

The average standard-efficiency furnace lasts for between 15 – 18 years (assuming proper maintenance).  A high-efficiency furnace lasts an average of 12 – 14 years. If your home is more than 10 years old you should begin to diligently monitor your furnace and its operation.

When is the best time to have a new furnace installed?

It is recommended that you have a new furnace installed in the warmer months.  Ideally the furnace is addressed when a replacement is recommended by an experienced technician, regardless of the time of year.

What kind of maintenance should I be doing on my furnace?

In order for a furnace to run efficiently there are a few items that should be checked regularly:

  • Furnace filter – Depending on the type of filter and how often your furnace is used, you may want to change it every 3 – 6 months.  Filters that provide premium filtration should be changed no later than every 3 months.
  • Airflow and efficient operation – Ensure that your furnace has adequate airflow to do its job, and that it is blowing warm air.  If your furnace takes a long time to bring your home to temperature you may want to consider having it inspected.

In addition to the two common maintenance items above, you should also inspect the furnace annually to ensure that the heat exchanger, pilot light, and other items are in excellent operating condition.

What are signs that my furnace may soon require replacement?

Like an old car, an old furnace may run just fine and present little (if any) indication that it is nearing the end of its usable life.  If your home is more than 10 years old, keep an eye on the performance of your furnace.

Other items to watch for are:

  • Taking a long time to ignite, or failure to ignite
  • Substantial rust building up
  • Odd smells when it is running (such as sulfur, rotten eggs, etc.)
  • Pilot light struggles to remain lit
How often should I replace my furnace filter?

Unless your filter specifies otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to inspect your furnace filter monthly and replace it when it is dirty.

Filters that provide extreme filtration will likely need to be changed every 3 months or less.