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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A furnace is considered old or outdated if it’s beyond its life expectancy.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.


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.

The Dangers Associated With an Old Furnace

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.

The Dangers Associated With an Old Furnace

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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Claudia M.

Scott, along with his associate, Gabe, did a great job. They were both professional and friendly. Scott explained in enough detail to help me understand how my a/c unit works-he’s very informative. Have was a great help, cutting the time it took to clean and install the HVAC equipment. I liked that they were both pet friendly, that’s also important for me. I’ve been a customer of absolute Airflow for a couple of years and they are a great company …

Ty S.

Have had nothing but amazing experiences with Absolute Airflow from the beginning. We have had a few issues here and there but Absolute has always sent someone out quickly and stood behind their work. Most recently they sent out Spencer and he was the best technician we’ve ever had! He was extremely respectful and polite, he also took the time to thoroughly talk me through and help me understand the genesis of our various issues we were encountering. Definitely hope …

Ian S.

My requested service was set up by Marcus who came to my home to evaluate and was prepared with options and great prices for my water heater replacement. Was able to get an appointment within 3 days as there was no emergency. My install tech James was amazing, He was very respectful and maintained a clean and organized work area as the installation was in the home. The removal, prep, and installation of new water, gas, and venting took approximately …

Richard S.

I can’t express enough how impressed I am with this company and especially Anthony Belt. Anthony was so thorough and patient with my wife and me. The impressive part was he was able not only to identify all the problems with my heating and ac but went above and beyond to fix all of them! My electrical bills were over $500 a month during the ac months and now they are less than $200! Not only am I saving a …

Patrick K.

I haven’t posted any reviews in a long while but here I am thanks to SCOTT with Absolute Airflow. The warmer Cali weather is around the corner and as a responsible homeowner, I decided to get my HVAC system checked out and tuned up before the summer heat. Scott provided us with the full red carpet experience. His knowledge, quality and care put into his work, and professionalism were all outstanding. Replaced fan motor due to oil leak (a normal …

Liem H.

Outstanding experience from the start. I’ve been a member of Absolute Airflow for almost 2 years now. Since then, I’ve had my system maintained twice a year. Every service has been very thorough and professional. Each time, everything was explained to me in terms that I would understand, coupled with plenty of photo documentation. Which I appreciate so much. Knowing that I would have to replace my aging system. I dreaded the coming expense and experience. But my fears were …