Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Furnace Woes

Like many old house owners, I need a new furnace. While the one I have is the original 1958 American Standard, it still runs with very few major glitches. Obviously, the biggest problem with it is its efficiency. I've had several different "experts" tell me that it was running on about 60% efficiency. That's really bad news considering the average winter temperature here is about 30°F. This last winter, our heating bills were horrendous, and we were still freezing to death. That's after I put up all that stupid weather stripping crap around the door and window frames!

Anyway, since this is not a terribly busy season for furnace installers, I decided I would give a few local companies a call for replacement quotes. I did some research, and found that Lennox is the "way to go". So, I visited their website and I found that they make a high-efficiency, energy star rated furnace that is also reasonably priced, or "economical" as they put it.

I then looked up my local Lennox dealer and called them up for a quote. The guy came and gave his seemingly never-ending spiel on how Lennox is the best, blah, blah, blah...Anyway, to make a long story short, the quote was almost laughable. The funny part about the whole thing is that the guy made it a point to tell me that his company wasn't used to selling "low end" models. What??? Either Lennox really is the best, so they can demand those prices (even for their "low end" models), or the installer was feeding me a load of you know what. I don't know. At any rate, I won't be using this company for a new furnace installation.

Now, I don't know what to do. Should I call another Lennox dealer or start researching other brands? My dad told me to look into another American Standard. His theory is that they have to be good if the 50 year old one I have is still running. Also, I just recently read that American Standard and Trane are the same company. I know Trane makes a good furnace. So, does that mean anything?

I really need some input...Please help.


SmilingJudy said...

I had my whole system (furnace and A/C) replaced with Trane about 2 years ago. No complaints. It's a furnace. It works. It's quiet. Not much else to say.

Barnaby Jones said...

Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector. Our 1959 heater had the heat exchanger break and it was leaking carbon monoxide.

We ended up replacing the heater with a Carrier ( )...but if you go with the extra high efficiency heaters I think they require (as ours does) a drain for water that it somehow extracts from the air (to increase efficiency methinks).

Make sure you compare warranties between the products you consider.

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