Time to replace the furnace?
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  1. #1
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    Default Time to replace the furnace?

    ~Woke up to a 47* house this morning. Repairman will be here later. This is the 4th time we've had an issue with this furnace in the 40 months we've lived here.

    The furnace will be 24 years old this year. I signed us up with a service plan when we bought the house because the furnace was so old and I know how expensive visits and repairs can be. But I just realized we've paid $600 in those months for 4 visits/repairs. The part that keeps going out is the ignitor and that's about a $50 part. Just seems we kinda broke even there.

    Anyway, a new furnace isn't nearly as expensive as I expected. Even a high efficiency installed should come in under $3K with rebate. A new furnace should also reduce our bill by about 20% during the winter months.

    We use about 5 therms a day in the winter(all 6 months of it), of which .5 of a therm is just for the water heater. We pay $.60 a therm plus a base customer charge. I estimate we'd save $100 total over the winter months by replacing the furnace.

    But, the payback period for a $3k purchase, saving about $300 a year in energy and repair costs, is 10 years. The furnace could be dead by then. And warranties on new furnaces seem to only cover parts, not labor, so I may be estimating high on the savings if we have to pay a tech to replace a covered part.

    And once we install our replacement windows this spring, the energy savings projected will be even less.

    Should I keep paying the service insurance and wait until it really dies, or replace the furnace? I won't make a decision until late summer(if we're still here anyway)but I'll need lots of time to do research.~

  2. #2
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    I suggest doing the research on the new furnace anyway. If you're gone by the time summer rolls around, you can leave the information for the next owner.

    My parents bought a new furnace a few years ago but I was glad that they kept the service plan with their electric/gas company. The furnace broke while they were away and I had to call for someone to come and fix it. It got down to 49*F but we were heading into some really cold days. Fortunately, the servicewoman showed up on time, was able to locate the part at the warehouse, and was able to install it that night. So it was fixed and warm by the time my parents got back from their trip. Especially since the blizzard happened a week and a half later.

  3. #3
    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    A newer furnace will be a selling point should you sell this house and will add to your comfort level if you don't. If you can afford it - and still do the new windows - I'd replace the furnace. A newer furnace is not only more efficient (get one that is at least 90%) but also will be more comfortable because of the two stage heating cycle. If this is a forced air furnace, while you're at it, look into installing an electro-static air filter. It adds a little bit more but changes everything in terms of keeping the house dust and allergen free.

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  5. #4
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    I'm going to follow this thread because I'm in the same boat. Although I will also be doing the A/C as well. I have the money saved, but I can get 0% financing as well.
    I hope you keep this thread alive with the info you find out.
    ~Russ

  6. #5
    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    i vote new furnace

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    any update?
    ~Russ

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