How to Determine Your Furnace’s Age

young couple trying to determine furnace age

Generally speaking, when a person sells their home they will provide the new homeowner with a list of updates. This includes when the roof was last replaced, how old the water heater is, and the age of the HVAC system. Unfortunately, not all homeowners have this information, depending on how they acquired their new home. So, we thought we’d walk you through how to tell your furnace’s age today and what maintenance warning signs to look for.

First, open the panel
Newer furnaces often print the age of the furnace on the front of the access panel. By simply opening yours, you may see a quick summary of both the manufacturer and contractor installation date. Pretty simple, right?

If not, do you have a service record?
Of course, one or both pieces of information may be missing here. You may be able to see when it was manufactured but not installed. Instead, there may be a service record from the HVAC company that gives you a better understanding of your furnace’s operational age.

Find a label or stamp imprint
In the absence of both of these, some furnace manufacturers will stamp or imprint the date directly into the metal. If not, it’s also possible that some of the furnace components (such as the gas valve, electric relay, or even the blower blades themselves) will have this information imprinted on them.

Interpret the serial number
If you can’t find a manufacturer or an install date, you should be able to find a serial number. Together, with knowing the name of your furnace brand, you can use web resources to input your serial number to get a technical summary of your furnace’s info. This will, by default, include the date of manufacture.

Warning sign #1: Energy Star ratings
While doing this investigation, you may run across a summary of the furnace’s Energy Star ratings. Depending on the furnace’s age, you may inadvertently discover that you have a relatively inefficient furnace. This is the first warning sign that your furnace is older than is desired.

Warning sign #2: Noises
Another general sign that you have an older furnace is if you hear unexplainable noises. We recently wrote a BLOG on some of the most common HVAC noises. Be sure to check it out, and if you hear any of them, you may have an older furnace (or one in need of maintenance).

Warning sign #3: Unexpected operation
Finally, as with any mechanical component, it will gradually wear with age. If your furnace takes a while to turn on, doesn’t seem to be heating your home as well as it
did last year, or seems to turn off at the wrong time, it can point to several problems requiring immediate maintenance.

Let us know if you can’t tell your furnace’s age…
…or need help interpreting what you find. We understand that not all homeowners have the time to do this kind of research and that others still are unsure if they’re reading what they find the right way. If you need help figuring out your furnace’s age, or see any of these three aging furnace warning signs, let us know and we’ll set up a time to talk!

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