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Need a New Furnace --- Recommendations Really Needed

Sugarcubesea

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It's been around 25 to 30 degrees the last few day in MI and I noticed on Friday that even though we had our furnace set at 69 it dropped to 54 in the house. We are planning on selling the house this year and I really don't want to drop $5K on a new furnace and installation.

Should I call a company to replace the parts or just get a new furnace?

We are heading out of town first week of February and don't want to come home to a house with no heat and busted pipes.

I would love everyones thoughts...thanks
 

Passepartout

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Are you SURE that the existing one is shot? If you are unsure, you should have a professional go over it and see what it's condition is. Perhaps it can be put back in shape reasonably. OTOH, if it truly needs replacement, that becomes a valid selling point, and should or included in the selling price you ask, so you're not really out the full cost.

I'd start by getting it looked at rather than asking TUGgers. I know. I had ours replaced 2 years ago and TUG never knew. ;)

Jim
 

vacationhopeful

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Oil heater? More than 20 years old? If a gas heater, more than 25 years old?

New furnace time. Besides, home inspectors LOVE their job and even it was running JUST FINE, they will come up with an ISSUE with the furnace to justify their inspection fees. And hope to get a "a referral fee" from their 'regular' 'go to heating company'.

Had this issue last month with a gas heater .... on a house I lived in for several years. Just weeks before closing. I had replaced the air conditioning compressor 2 years earlier.

PS This was a ASIS sale .... and NO, I was NOT happy. But I had no mortgage on the house and had owned it for 30+ years. And it was just 2 weeks before closing. Just write if off ... and enjoy your new furnace.
 

Sugarcubesea

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Are you SURE that the existing one is shot? If you are unsure, you should have a professional go over it and see what it's condition is. Perhaps it can be put back in shape reasonably. OTOH, if it truly needs replacement, that becomes a valid selling point, and should or included in the selling price you ask, so you're not really out the full cost.

I'd start by getting it looked at rather than asking TUGgers. I know. I had ours replaced 2 years ago and TUG never knew. ;)

Jim

I spent all day yesterday dealing with this... I had a HVAC company out and they cleaned the whole unit and tested it and determined that it could last another year or 10 more years but no one can guarantee when a furnace goes. Its not back up to 69 so whatever he did worked...so happy but I'm still going to get quotes for a new furnace.
 

Sugarcubesea

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Oil heater? More than 20 years old? If a gas heater, more than 25 years old?

New furnace time. Besides, home inspectors LOVE their job and even it was running JUST FINE, they will come up with an ISSUE with the furnace to justify their inspection fees. And hope to get a "a referral fee" from their 'regular' 'go to heating company'.

Had this issue last month with a gas heater .... on a house I lived in for several years. Just weeks before closing. I had replaced the air conditioning compressor 2 years earlier.

PS This was a ASIS sale .... and NO, I was NOT happy. But I had no mortgage on the house and had owned it for 30+ years. And it was just 2 weeks before closing. Just write if off ... and enjoy your new furnace.


Its a gas heater and its only 13 years old....
 

Sugarcubesea

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The reason I was asking was to determine if there was a model or brand that folks liked, should have posted that vs what I posted as I was doing it from an HVAC store...
 

WinniWoman

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We had put in an energy efficient System 2000 years ago in our former home and loved it. It can handle oil or propane. We had baseboard hot water heat. And it had a 20 gallon hot water reserve tank on demand hot water system. Never ran out if hot water. Really good.

A good selling point for a house. Maybe you could recoup some of the cost?

But if the furnace is only 13 years old, I would just try to fix it unless suggested otherwise by a HVAC professional.
 
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zinger1457

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Not sure why you would need a new one if a little cleaning fixed the problem and it's working fine. Just have the HVAC guy come out again before you list it for sale and have him do a complete inspection report.
 

sjsharkie

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Its a gas heater and its only 13 years old....
Most gas heaters should last longer than 13 years. I'd say if the HVAC person has fixed it and it is working fine, then you are all good to go.

When you get your sellers' home inspection done, most inspectors will just note the date of the unit manufacture, test it and if everything works out OK, you are fine. And if it doesn't last you the year, then you can replace it then with a cheap unit or just give the buyer a credit. I wouldn't drop any more cash on it now if it is fully operational.

-ryan
 

BJRSanDiego

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Your furnace isn't all that old. It appears to now be working. Be thankful that it is working and don't put anymore money into it until you need to.

In 20 plus years in the same house, I had one furnace igniter fail ($20) plus an incident of a sticky gas control (fixed with a well placed "technical tap" with a small ball pen hammer). The AC has crapped out 4 times (2 times it was a $15 start capacitor, once (or twice) it was a $5 cartridge fuse (yes, they have a finite life - - perhaps a few thousand cycles) and once it was an AC contactor ($20). I suspect that I may end up having to replace the system eventually as it is old But it is surprising how the common failure items are often very cheap to fix/replace. I suspect that if I had called out the "pros" that they would have tried to talk me into replacing the system - - perhaps once, or twice or....
 

Big Matt

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Don't do anything else. I don't know if you ever get/got annual maintenance checks, but usually you get some sort of guaranteed repair window or discount on parts. I find those plans to be worth the money. Furnaces are very simple machines, but parts can get worn out if not kept clean and maintained. On a gas furnace the most common problem is the igniter.
 

isisdave

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In 20 plus years in the same house, I had one furnace igniter fail ($20) plus an incident of a sticky gas control (fixed with a well placed "technical tap" with a small ball pen hammer).

We used to call that a "service rap."
 

DrQ

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I spent all day yesterday dealing with this... I had a HVAC company out and they cleaned the whole unit and tested it and determined that it could last another year or 10 more years but no one can guarantee when a furnace goes. Its not back up to 69 so whatever he did worked...so happy but I'm still going to get quotes for a new furnace.
Before you replace the furnace, you need to get a really GOOD HVAC company to look at it.

They should place a probe in the combustion chamber to measure if the output is at the rated BTUs.
They should look at the temperatures throughout the ductwork to see if the distribution is correct.
Do a heat load analysis on the house to see if it is properly sized.

It's not just a furnace, it is a SYSTEM.
 

Sugarcubesea

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I have yearly maintenance on our furnace and the HVAC Company told me a sensor went out... They have replaced that sensor and its been working great this week... Thank you for all of your great tips and help...Really Appreciate the advice and tips...
 

Passepartout

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I signed up for a local HVAC outfit's maintenance plan where they come out twice a year and inspect and lube and check it out.

One year, 2 guys came and only brought one box of tools. Shortly, the lead guy asked me down to the basement. They had opened up the furnace, and put an endoscope in the fire box. They said it was cracked and would flood the house with carbon monoxide and we'd die. They shut off the gas and said I couldn't turn it back on and that the business owner would be along to sell me a new furnace. He came and after drawing pictures and diagrams, shot me a 'today only' price like a TS salesweasel. I called the HVAC guy that takes care of DWs office. He checked the unit, turned on the gas and restarted it. I bought a CO detector to put in the bedroom near the register, just in case. It never detected any CO.

Eventually, the fan quit and we did replace the furnace with a new one, but I guarantee those first guys lost my business!

Jim
 

easyrider

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Its a gas heater and its only 13 years old....
Sometimes the vent gets clogged up by things like bees nests when the furnace is off. This can cause co2 build up and poor heating functions.

Bill
 

presley

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I have yearly maintenance on our furnace and the HVAC Company told me a sensor went out... They have replaced that sensor and its been working great this week... Thank you for all of your great tips and help...Really Appreciate the advice and tips...
That's great to hear. Easy fix and not a lot of money.
 
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