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The Dangers Associated With an Old Furnace

A furnace is considered old or outdated if it’s beyond its life expectancy. However, how long a furnace is expected to last is dependent on how well it’s maintained, how often it is used, and which type of furnace it is. There are different types of furnaces with varying lifespans, including;

  • Natural gas: 15 to 20 years
  • Oil: up to 25 years
  • Propane: 15 to 30 years
  • Electric: 20 to 30 years

As they age, furnaces start to break down or become inefficient, which can endanger the health and safety of your family. Since most furnaces run on gas or oil, there is always a risk of their fuel leaking into your home and catching fire. Therefore, any homeowner must be aware of the potential risks associated with their type of furnace and what to do about it. Below are some of the dangers related to aging furnaces.

Furnace and Heating Repair


Furnaces are prone to corrosion when they are not properly maintained, which can result in leaks. Exposure to small amounts of gas, especially carbon monoxide, can cause serious health problems over time. Sensors often detect the presence of gas but can also fail, leading to fatal poisoning and devastating furnace explosion.

In addition, oil furnaces are also prone to leaks which can cause damage to your home and present a fire risk. Replacing your old furnace with a new one can reduce such risks.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Overexposure to carbon monoxide results in carbon monoxide poisoning, which is deadly. While old furnaces are prone to leaks, carbon monoxide can freely find its way into your home. Since it’s colorless and odorless, people usually don’t notice it until it impacts their health.

Ideally, you can install a carbon monoxide detector that can alert you to the presence of this fatal gas or check your pilot light from time to time. Blue lights indicate a perfect balance of gasses working inside your furnace, while yellow light means that these gases are not balanced and that your furnace is malfunctioning. A yellow signal is a sign of a carbon monoxide leak, which requires immediate action.

Fire hazard

If you haven’t been using your furnace for a long time, turning it on for the first time, you may smell oil or gas. This can be expected since your furnace is warming up for the first time in a while and should be the only time you smell this. However, if you continue to smell odors coming from your furnace even after being used is a sign that something isn’t working right.

Ensure that you also keep away flammable materials from your furnace as it increases the chances of a fire outbreak. Furnaces need space around them to allow airflow to assist with the combustion process. Old furnaces, for that matter, can overheat the combustible items nearby, which can become a severe hazard.

Breathing problems

An outdated furnace is more likely to pump pathogens, dust, and debris through your ventilation system and into your home. This reduces the air quality in your home, which is extremely important. As a result, you and your family will experience breathing issues and pose problems for those with allergies, asthma, or other chest-related illnesses.

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Financial Stress

Old furnaces require more electricity to work, which means digging deep in your wallet. High repair costs and higher electricity bills can skyrocket your bills, causing financial stress. Stress can impact your health, leading to serious health issues such as insomnia, high blood pressure, heart problems, but to name a few. To solve this, ensure that you regularly maintain your furnace or replace an old furnace with a new one.

With heating systems, there is always a possibility that something can break or malfunction. Therefore, you need to be aware of potential complications that can occur with your furnace. Old furnaces are more likely to develop leaks, require more fuel to run, and cause health problems to you and your family. However, with regular maintenance or and repair, your furnace can last much longer and function effectively. Ideally, you can replace your outdated furnace with a more energy-efficient new one to prevent such risks from occurring.

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Customer Reviews

Called Absolute for my 81 year old landlord in the height of Summer heat. Scott came out to inspect the old beast of an AC and found many issues. He took the time to educate us, note everything, photograph it and provide several recommendations...and my stubborn landlord has done nothing LOL. A couple months later we asked that Scott come back out and he was there that same day.

Emily H.

Santa Ana, CA

I contacted Absolute Airflow to check my mother's AC, as it was not getting cold. The tech (Scott) arrived earlier than his scheduled time, and was very knowledgeable, professional, and most of very personable with my mother in letting her know that the issue was. Superb customer service Scott and thank you Absolute Airflow! I highly recommend Absolute Airflow.

Billy A.

Billy A.

Bellflower, CA

I have called in Absokite Airflow for my tankless water heater and A/C unit for maintenance. They were professional and took the safety precautions necessary including wearing a mask and cornering their shoes when entering my home. I recommend them highly. Shout out to Zack who took care of the tankless water heater.  They were professional and friendly.

Beatriz S.


Santa Fe Springs, CA

Carlos came to our house to access the A/C project and to give us an estimate. He was very knowledgeable and took his time to explain all the opinions in detail as well as the installation process and warranties. Tanner and Chris were the installers, they were very professional taking their time and attention to details. To keep our house clean while installing the new A/C system.

Robert M.

Robert M.

Whittier, CA