Author Topic: It's not broke, but am I premature to repalce?  (Read 988 times)

bonovox_co

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It's not broke, but am I premature to repalce?
« on: October 10, 2017, 05:00:39 PM »
I recently decided to keep my house in Denver for the long term (after 10 years of ownership).  The furnace is the builder furnace and is 22 years old. I've never done anything to it in terms of service other than filter changes in 10 years.  It continues to hum along.  Most people around my neighborhood did not see this life out of this same model and dealt with expensive repairs and unplanned replacements.  If it fails on me in Winter, I may be forced to do a repair only to replace it a short time later effectively eating that repair cost.  I'm in a position where I can replace it, have done my homework on models, and my thought is why not do it sooner than later if I plan to stay another 10 years?  The new quotes are reasonable and energy efficient, which isn't a selling point but a nice to have.  Winter is coming!  A furnace is a pretty important thing around here.  What do you say?

omachi

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Re: It's not broke, but am I premature to repalce?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 06:37:27 PM »
What's the energy efficiency of said furnace? When I replaced mine, which was a bit older than 22 and really inefficient, my heating bills went way down and my house was more consistently heated because it's a multi-stage with a constant fan. Totally worth it for me, even though the old one wasn't broken. Savings from heat bills probably paid for the furnace in 4-5 winters.

EarthSurfer

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Re: It's not broke, but am I premature to repalce?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 04:09:20 AM »
I recently decided to keep my house in Denver for the long term (after 10 years of ownership).  The furnace is the builder furnace and is 22 years old. I've never done anything to it in terms of service other than filter changes in 10 years.  It continues to hum along.  Most people around my neighborhood did not see this life out of this same model and dealt with expensive repairs and unplanned replacements....

Howdy Neighbor! If you were to sell, a home inspection would flag the age of the furnace. If it's a vertical airflow design with AC, the inspector would likely recommend replacement since the AC condensate tends to accelerate the corrosion of the furnace heat exchanger.

The two big failure are heat exchanger cracks and burner failures. Heat exhanger cracks are potentially deadly if you don't have CO detectors and you aren't having the furnace checked ever year or so at this age. A properly adjusted and maintained burner system could last 30+ years, but replacement parts become difficult and expensive to maintain at some point. Express shipping and multiple visits drive up the repair cost substantially. (Not to mention utility closets are rarely designed to leave adequate clearance for service / teardown!)

If you have an old school single stage furnace with a vertical flu, you will likely see a 20-30% reduction in energy costs with a new 90+% efficiency unit. This was an easy choice for me around 2009 when there were energy efficiency rebates available through XCEL and tax incentives.

Whatever you do, install a carbon monoxide detector or two if yours are over 10 years old or you don't have one. Consider doing the same on smoke detectors. The detector systems have a rated life, which is typically 10 years.