Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Has anyone had to replace a furnace lately? Our gas furnace is 30 years old, and I'm afraid that will be where husband's bonus (if he gets it) will go this year. Whoopee!

    I'm interested in any stories you have to tell me about how to make the best choice. My house is about 2000 sf, we have a moderate climate, and a heat pump that needs to have it's drive belt and perhaps bearings replaced. We really only use the heat pump for AC in the summer. I was going to use it this winter, but then the grinding noise began...

    I had a guy out here this summer to work on the heat pump for something else (did he sabotage it?) and he tried to tell me it would be $10,000 to replace my gas furnace. :surprise: Well, you know who we're not calling! It should be $2,500 - $3,500, I think.

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No intersting stories but in case husband doesn't get enough of a bonus to cover it, many power companies will offer a deal where you pay them in monthly installments to cover the cost- I think they just add it into your electric bill. Of course it would have to be a heat pump (electric) and not gas. My only advice would be to get one made by a reputable company and go through an authorized dealer, whether it's gas or electric. Trane is a good one, but there are a few others. Have someone clean the ducts at the same time.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    What you need are friends or relatives that have a background in HVAC. I have uncles on both sides of my family that specialize in HVAC & are plumbers.

    They came up & measured my house, verified it's "special" needs (insulating, old windows, heck old house) then ordered the furnace. My cousin who is licensed in this state then came up & installed the furnace & had the inspection done.

    I did learn that with all the heating choices we have, there are only 2 or 3 companies that actually make furnaces. Square footage is a factor, along with the age of the home, insulation, age of windows, etc. I ended up paying $10,000 for both the furnace and the air conditioner we installed. The furnace alone was around $5500 installed 9 years ago.

    Having said that, I've only had to replace a furnace in the climate I'm in now. When I lived in your neck of the woods everything in our home was brand spanking new.

    I guess that was pretty useless ~ good luck.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    We replaced our 30 year old furnace a few years ago to one that supposedly was to be much more energy efficient. In reality the new one isn't much better and I'm glad I stuck with the old one until it truly needed replacing.

    We did just buy a reunsable, washable furnace filter. Our size suddenly became hard to find and the prices went up from a few bucks to about $8 so I can recoup it quickly.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You guys aren't making me feel any better... ;)

    I actually work for a company the installs and repairs industrial fans. I could get a furnace at cost through them. They might even be able to install it, if not do the gas hook-up. $10,000, seriously Linda? OMG!

    I'm going to get some 3 quotes and see what happens from there. I'll be sure that they tell me exactly what I need. We have all new windows, and are pretty well insulated. The heat pump will continue to work for the AC, I think, if I get the bearings fixed.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    More news to not make you feel any better: when I asked the life expectancy on the replacement they said 11 years. It seriously ticked me off when I was replacing a 30 year old still working unit.
  7. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    Hi Witz,

    We are replacing our furnace.....almost as we speak. Ours is an oil unit and we are replacing it with the same thing.

    Our home is much smaller than yours, but I think the process of choices is just as "big." It was recommended to me that we get 3 estimates, or more if we had a mind to.

    One estimate was from a large nationally known company with subcontractors - Sears. Another was from a local family run heating contractor's biz - who has worked on our old furnace and came recommended by another tradesman and a friend of mine. I would like to get a 3rd, but haven't lined one up yet.

    The local guy, who seems to be a good choice, recommended a Peerless furnace. His complete job estimate was 6k. Sears was substantially higher and while the estimate visit was very thorough, I felt like I was dealing with a used car salesman who tries to win you over and make a sale right away.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Chris, that is what I hate. That feeling like they're offering you something too good to be true. and I have to hurry into a decision. I do think that if I am not in dire need of a furnace right now, I have more bargaining power. I'm not going to freeze over the weekend if I don't get something in there yesterday.
  9. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    When the Sears guy gave me the rush job, I checked out mentally. He picked up his sales material with 3 different furnace packages - each with 2 prices listed, one for "if you sign today" the other for "if you are not a sucker and need time to think this over"....and very deliberately drew a line thru today's price and pointedly told me that I would have to revert to the standard pricing because I wasn't willing to make a 6k+ decision without at least talking to my husband.

    I had solicited an estimate from Sears to see how big companies compare in price to the smaller locals and because I was following the advice about seeking at least 3 estimates.

    Another important thing I learned in this process is that you want to go with someone who is licensed and insured; do not be shy about asking to see proof of either.