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slidehammer

Natural Gas Furnace.......

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I have a Lennox N. gas furnace in my home in Peel region. Its on its 22nd year and has worked perfect since. Last week, it failed to start so i called a local technician to fix. After listening to a sales pitch recommending getting a new furnace install, I had my furnace fixed by replacing a minor but expensive part. After inspecting my furnace, I doesn't look like its in too bad condition, the burners look good and most all components look clean. Is there an expire date on these, or can I expect to a few more years use out of this furnace?

 

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22 years is a long service life on any mechanical item, it's run its course and you could benefit in cost savings by installing a newer more efficient furnace, if you get a 2 stage furnace you will likely see greater savings, but a higher up front cost, as well as a DC motor, higher up front costs lesser running costs

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I'm sympathetic, I have a 14 yr old Comfortmaker high efficiency. Recently spent $1300 on it, had a week or two to pull the trigger on a new one and get that $1300 off the price...Didn't do it, hope I don't regret it!

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My furnace was original, 32 years old and working fine when I replaced it since I was replacing the AC. My neighbors is original and 35 years old now and working fine. I don't notice any significant cost savings with the newer furnace.

 

I had a lot of quotes when replacing my furnace. Many "used car salesman" snakes in that industry.

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My furnace was original, 32 years old and working fine when I replaced it since I was replacing the AC. My neighbors is original and 35 years old now and working fine. I don't notice any significant cost savings with the newer furnace.

 

I had a lot of quotes when replacing my furnace. Many "used car salesman" snakes in that industry.

Many other factors come into play when it comes to cost savings, how sealed is your building envelope for one? And you can assume and call them snakes, but the engineering data is what they're telling you, not just some line... If you replaced a 32 year old furnace and didn't see cost savings you either put in a low quality unit or somethings wrong.

 

On a furnace that is 32 years old, the flue exhaust would be scorching hot, put your hand on it, you're getting a burn, that's lost energy/efficiency going out the side of your house. Now do the same on your 636 cpvc pipe, you can stand there 24/7 365 and hold onto that flue exhaust and never worry about getting burned, the heat is retained much more efficiently in units built in the past decade than the previous 3 theres no denying that.

 

Like with anything, you get what you pay for, if you don't buy a Lund, don't expect the same as one

 

Just a quick Google shows me brands are releasing units that are up to 97.3% efficient... Your unit from say 1980 I'm assuming... Was anywhere from 56%-70% efficient... Big difference long term, might be $15-$30/month less in fuel, add that up over the course of a season and however many years, it's a good size of cost savings

Edited by Lucas F

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Back to the OP, The biggest issue with older units that would make me say replace right away is a crack in the heat exchanger, carbon monoxide would enter the ducts and you'd never know... Inspection of the burners wouldn't give you an idea as to the condition of them, if it's all good and you're happy with keeping it, keep it

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And you can assume and call them snakes, but the engineering data is what they're telling you, not just some line... If you replaced a 32 year old furnace and didn't see cost savings you either put in a low quality unit or somethings wrong.

 

There definitely are some some snakes. Someone tried to tell me that the savings would cover the monthly payments for a new furnace. I did the calculations myself; it wasn't even close.

 

 

 

Big difference long term, might be $15-$30/month less in fuel, add that up over the course of a season and however many years, it's a good size of cost savings

 

That's not enough to justify a new furnace just to save on your gas bill. $30/month for six months of the year is $180 per year. After tens years you will have only saved $1,800; I don't that is even half way to paying for a new furnace.

 

The risk of an old furnace breaking down in the middle of a cold snap is something to consider though. CO2 is a bigger issue; but most houses do have detectors now. They're mandatory in Toronto.

 

Edited by JohnBacon

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There definitely are some some snakes. Someone tried to tell me that the savings would cover the monthly payments for a new furnace. I did the calculations myself; it wasn't even close.

 

 

 

 

That's not enough to justify a new furnace just to save on your gas bill. $30/month for six months of the year is $180 per year. After tens years you will have only saved $1,800; I don't that is even half way to paying for a new furnace.

 

The risk of an old furnace breaking down in the middle of a cold snap is something to consider though. CO2 is a bigger issue; but most houses do have detectors now. They're mandatory in Toronto.

 

I used gas only as a point of reference because that's the easiest bill to tell savings off of, you get one with a variable frequency drive running on dc, you can google how efficient those units are, we did the calculations in my basic for sheet metal I think payback for savings based on a typical unit you'd be replacing was 7 years, I wouldn't scoff at that. Even your 10 year sample if you have savings at 10 years, you still have a furnace that should last you another 10+ depending on care taken.

 

No way would savings be able to cover monthly payments i agree on that, but in a lot of situations people try to give many in my industry a bad name, same as they do auto mechanics, Realtors, insurance companies etc... Everyone needs to make a buck

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We've been quoted $1950 to replace our 30 year old unit with a Carrier made 95% efficient furnace. That's installed, out the door, 10 year manufacturer warranty, 1 year of service calls covered. We had guys in from Reliance and others quoting $6000++ for a similar optioned model! Shop around, find a friend's discount like we did.

Good luck!

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newer hi efficiencies will put an end to the 'throw tons of hot air for a few minutes, then shut down and repeat' cycle. hi units will run just enough to keep the temperature steady with little if any temp swings. and the dc motors will save plenty in hydro costs. when we said good bye to our older furnace and got a new one, I think the savings in gas and hydro had to be around 40% in a two story, semi sealed home.

 

pay now or pay later imo esp before winter sets in and getting a new furnace is going to be a pita.

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Kenzy,

 

I recently did a lot of research on furnaces and AC, mainly AC as my furnace is only 13 years old, but I got the info on costs etc as I was having them in anyway. I spoke to all the big companies, and a bunch of small independents as well as my buddies best friend who works as an hvac guy for a local regional government and had his own business in residential hvac for a long time. To a man they all said the carrier furnace of today, and for the last 7-8 years have been crap. Cracked heat exchangers on a routine basis etc, and no end to other issues as well. I guess carrier was sold and they aren't the furnace they where. It's a shame, the furnace I have is a Carrier and it's been bullet proof! Something to consider.

Edited by porkpie

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I have a 25 year old Coleman Evcon - inherited it when I purchased this house 2 years ago. Last week I replaced the vent inducer motor. Other than that, it runs like clockwork. You may get better efficiency out of a newer furnace, but they're (a) not as well built, ( B) hackable (google 'Tranewreck' and you'll come across presentations about how these new internet-connected furnaces have absolutely laughable security), and © take a long time to recoup your money.

 

Since new furnaces break more often, recouping your money becomes tougher. It's all part of the same scam, IMO, to push people to rent furnaces and water heaters - the warranties are shorter, the parts are crappier, so people move toward rentals, which are more profitable.

 

My brother in law is a 25-year HVAC tech. He always says "Unless the heat exchanger cracks, keep your current one. And when you decide to sell, let me know, we'll put a new one in at cost."

Edited by Ronzo

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Never give business to the likes of reliance or enercare, they are big corporations who make money off of rentals and payment plans, the up front cost from them is far and above what most other places would charge for the same thing.

 

Buddy I used to work with bought a house built in the 80's, 4 level backsplit, and when the previous owner moved in they replaced all the mechanical, dual stage furnace, added a water softener for some reason (Hamilton mountain no need for that) humidifier the whole bit.

 

The seller had to pay something ridiculous like 13k to get out of the payment plan LOL

 

His monthly bills on a bigger house than mine were considerably less. And like someone above me had mentioned it just runs on low speed and maintains... Sipping the fuel/electricity

Edited by Lucas F

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Kenzy,

 

I recently did a lot of research on furnaces and AC, mainly AC as my furnace is only 13 years old, but I got the info on costs etc as I was having them in anyway. I spoke to all the big companies, and a bunch of small independents as well as my buddies best friend who works as an hvac guy for a local regional government and had his own business in residential hvac for a long time. To a man they all said the carrier furnace of today, and for the last 7-8 years have been crap. Cracked heat exchangers on a routine basis etc, and no end to other issues as well. I guess carrier was sold and they aren't the furnace they where. It's a shame, the furnace I have is a Carrier and it's been bullet proof! Something to consider.

As an hvac contractor I have to agree with some of the carrier furnaces being crap. They had a batch that were plagued with bad heat exchangers and many current ones with pressure switch/condensate drainage issues. Replacement parts are ridiculously expensive on some as well. Sometimes its not even worth taking on the job of repairing them because of high part price.

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