$760 Circuit Board or new system ?

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Bubba wrote:

What else would I want a furnace to do? Is "working" not good enough?

First, I dispute your $20 / month.
Second, the heat put out by the pilot is (mostly) captured within your house anyways, and during the heating season heat (from all sources) is desired.

Third, I turn off the gas to my furnace during the off-heat months.
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Not unless its working correctly.

Its probably a little higher than $20

It shouldn't be, the heat generated by the pilot should be going up the stack.

FWIW, the average utility savings from new systems that I unstall, run 60% or more reduction.
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Running efficient would be good enough which your 30yr old unit cannot do no matter what you say or do.

Dispute all you want. In case you havent noticed, natural gas does nothing but go up and up each winter. Right now its in the "ridiculous" price range.

??? WTF! Since when does a pilot flame go into your house? Have you noticed those big holes in your furnace where the burners fit in? Have you also notice that big hole near the top of your furnace called the draft diverter? Have you not also noticed that big hole in your outside wall or metal vent up through the house where your furnace flue connects? In case you didnt realize that big hole acts like a vacuum cleaner. The colder it is outside and the more heat you apply inside increases the suction of that flue. Go stand atop your chimney on a 0 degree morning while the furnace is running. Better yet, just watch the vapor go up. Now, tell me once again how well and cheap that 30 yr old furnace of yours is doing.

If you had a new efficient furnace you wouldnt have to do that. When you die, is your wife going to know how to do all that extra nonsense?
Lemme guess..............you're an engineer? My, my my. How did I ever know? Bubba
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Bubba wrote:

Did ya notice all the birds standing on your rooftop? :)
--
Zyp



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Bubba wrote:

According to this:
http://www.energyideas.org/default.cfm?o=h,g,ds&c=z,z,4407
A furnace pilot light uses about 21 cf per day - and this number was arrived at from 2 different sources.
I'm paying about 1.05 cents per cf for my NG (33.43 cents per cubic meter, including the gas itself and a few other costs like transportation and storage).
So I'm paying 22 cents per day to run my pilot light. The average month has 30.4 days, so I'm paying $6.70 per month to run my pilot light.
This page:
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/pub/home/Heating_With_Gas_Section6.cfm
Says that the difference between a standing pilot light furnace (60% AFUE) and one with an electronic ignition can be as little as 2% more efficient (62 - 67% AFUE). The fact that it also has a vent damper should also be noted - the damper is no doubt preventing interior heat loss through the flue when the furnace isin't running.

It's a flame burning *in your house*, no differently than the burners which are also flames burning *in your house*.
If your furnace is capturing heat from your burners, when why can't it capture the heat from your pilot as well? Or is that a strange concept for you?
Note the following (quoted from the first link I posted above):
"Another important point is that the heat from the pilot is usually not all lost during the heating season. In most stoves and furnaces, much of the heat from the pilot finds its way into the building."
Also note that your argument about the pilot being wasted heat doesn't apply when the burners are actually on (because the pilot is adding it's own paltry amount of heat to the burner output). The colder it gets outside, the more often the furnace burners are on (the duty cycle of the furnace increases) and the percentage of time that only the pilot light is on goes down.

So when only the pilot is on, you wouldn't get much heat, which means you wouldn't get much suction, which means more of the heat from the pilot would remain in the furnace - keeping some localized part of the heat exchanger warm in between calls for heat.

The efficiency of the furnace is not a function of whether or not I have a standing pilot light or electronic ignition. The MUCH bigger efficiencies come from having more efficient heat exchangers, or motorized vent dampers, or scavanging heat from the exhaust to heat the combustion intake air.
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http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/pub/home/Heating_With_Gas_Section6.cfm
OK... so if your so knowledgeable, then WTF are you doing here, other than trying to stir up shit?? Why are you not a licensed, insured tech/contractor?? Oh... thats right, you have a<gasp> EE that will do you about as much good in the real world as an advanced degree in liberal arts. KMA and welcome to my killfile
*click*
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Noon-Air wrote:

How long have you been reading and posting to usenet?
Are you not aware of what the true purpose and normal discourse is of a usenet newsgroup?
It's interesting you think I'm trying to "stir up shit".
Does that mean there is "shit" here to stir up?

I don't have to be to post HVAC-related questions or to speculate about furnace function and design.
Perhaps you're operating on the faulty premis that you need to be employed in the HVAC field to post messages to this newsgroup.

Again, more interesting insights into your personality and thought process. You show contempt for university-level education, even to the extent of ridiculing a degree that most would find highly desirable and financially rewarding in the "real world".
And by the way, who do you think designed the furnaces and the electronic controls that you apparently recommend and install every day? Engineers perhaps?
This is not about who's education is better or more useful or more rewarding. It never was.
Most people that participate in usenet discussions want nothing more than to argue a point or follow a question to it's conclusion. When faced with solid information, some admit they were wrong, some change the subject, and some bury their head in the sand.

Which one are you?
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ummm.....*click*
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HVAC Guy wrote:

http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/infosource/pub/home/Heating_With_Gas_Section6.cfm
I think you missed the point.
Energy conservation is not only about saving money. It's about saving fuel. With less and less pilots burning, [BTW: the heat the pilot generates goes up the flue stack. Since the blower isn't running - the heat is lost.] Although you only see a 2% savings [by your recent investigation] the savings is so some "other" person can use the fuel. But I guess you're selfisness wins out.
Flue dampers are an interesting lot. They save on water heaters better than forced air furnaces. The chimney flue of a water heater runs right up the middle of the storage [warm water] and is consistantly venting to the outdoors. Heat rises, remember your high school education.
In 1978 when intermittent ignition came about, the savings was in fuel rather than monetary. And now all of the conservation efforts are attempts to conserve on fuel so others will have the convienece.
I'm glad that you are an EE engineer [at least that's the perception.] So why not do what your trained for and leave the stuff you're not trained for to others?
How would you feel if everyone did your job, [not that I could] but what if.? You wouldn't mind. And what if I inlisted your FREE help. You wouldn't mind, would ya? Ofcourse not, because you're a generous type. Which is exampled by your display of conservation of fuel for others to purchase by utilizing a 1970's heating appliance.
--
Zyp



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And again, as you pointed out on that 60% eff furnace, you are only capturing about 60% of that but since the blower isnt running the heat cant be "scrubbed" from the heat exchanger THUS goes right on up and out the chimney. Furnaces are also lined with insulation around the inside of the furnace further preventing heat from radiating out into the home.

Again, remember this isnt a steel or cast-iron wood stove sittiing out in the middle of your living room able to radiate any heat into the living space.

and again, having the EE brain of yours and thinking in labratory terms you miss the real life concept. The pilot and burners are on. The furnace heats up and blows the heat into the living space. The burners shuts off when the temp is satisfied and in a min or two the blower goes off. Now you have a warm heat exchanger, a pilot running and a nice warm chimney. Say HELLO to your nice new vacuum cleaner sitting atop your home.

I think you just like to argue. You can read and type all the articles you want. Your furnace SUCKS and it SUCKS real well..............right up the chimney. Keep living in the past. Hang onto those old ideas and old equipment. I'll move on with the times and use efficient equipment. $6.70 a month for your pilot........hehehe. I think you should do your own experiment and try that. Turn off everything except one pilot. At the end of the month, tell me what your bill was. Im sure it will be $6.70 :-P Bubba
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HVAC Guy wrote:

Who are you kidding? I've been in this crappy trade for 36 years. Those older standing pilot furnaces needed tons of service every year! Replacement thermocouples, rusting iron heat exchangers, crappy belts, plugged burners, man those were the days.
Today, direct drive, alumimum/ steel heat exchangers HSI igntion [fewer spiders and flies in pilots] dual seat gas valves, inshot burners, all make maintenance a thing of the past. As long as the equipment is installed properly, and serviced periodically, the homeowner is reaping a huge benefit. Not only in less down time, less maintenance cost, less often repairs costs, but extended service life as well.!
Today's furnace's [of a simular calibar] cost less. When you look at the track home [economy] furance line, you will see the pricing has stayed about the same though out the last few decades. Only those applicances with more features cost considerably more, and rightfully so. More engineering, tooling, and components raise the price of the more efficient appliances. HVAC is probably one of the only things that acutally is a good buy today! Price stability, [exept for the last year with increases in steel and copper prices, not to mention the cost of the newer refrigerant] trade competition, and [new stupid hungry contractors] have kept the price down.
--
Zyp



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Zyp wrote:

Not only do I have an old furnace (circa 1976) in my house, I also have a large double unit (8 burners, circa 1981) at my office (for the second floor) and a smaller (but newer?) unit for the first floor (electronic ignition). That newer furnace (Whisper heat?) was a pain in the ass because the electronic ignition started to act up last winter and I took the electronic control module apart and resoldered the cold joint that developed at the ignition coil.
In the combined 10 years I've owned and operated these 3 furnaces, I've never called for a tech to service them, but the only one that had problems was the one with electronic ignition.
I've never had a problem with thermocouples. Yes, the heat exchangers are rusty, but I vacuum them out along with the burners every few years.
Crappy belts? Are you saying that belts used in 90+ furnaces are somehow different? In my experience, belts last a long time, even when I run the fan almost continuously for the 3 peak summer months.
If I were installing these furnaces back when they were new, I would have fabricated an exhaust gas and combustion intake heat exchanger to improve the efficiency of the units. That could have been done with all those units installed 20, 30 years ago to improve efficiency if they wanted to do that.
The idea of electronic ignition does not thrill me. Too much technology (and too expensive) given the savings.
The idea of a closed (sealed) combustion intake side (with scavaging heat from the exhaust side) does appeal to me - but that is basically "plumbing" and could have been done years ago with add-ons outside the furnace itself.
Something else I'd do is create a ducted, gated path around my AC evap coil so in the winter the air can flow around the coils instead of being forced through them.
Beyond a more efficient heat exchanger (which I presume they are today vs 20 or 30 years ago) I would think they'd be making them out of stainless steel by now (are they?). I would also think they would have variable gas valves (variable BTU output, instead of full-on or full-off) or staged valves. Do they have this today?
What about electronically commutated motors? How many furnaces have those today? I would replace my motors with those if they were available - at a reasonable price.
But you know what would really motivate me to replace my furnaces today?
Give me a furnace where the motor also runs on natural gas so I still have heat if there's a power failure.
I'd also like to see someone come out with a heat exchanger that has water sprayed onto it as a way to humidify the air (and take even more heat away from the exchanger and put it in the house). Does anyone do that?
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Not yet, because the engineers are scrambling to design equipment that meets the ever-changing DOE, and EPA laws, rules, and regulations. Then there's the problem of reducng the carbon footprint and creating "Green" equipment. There are gas furnaces on the market that are 96% efficient. Unless there are major changes in technology, thats about the best your gonna do.
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Noon-Air wrote:

Hi, If there were 100% efficiency furnace, that means we can build perpetual machine, LOL! HVACguy is a painter who keeps painting himself into a corner.
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HVAC Guy wrote:

ECM - already in use in today's Variable Speed Furances. Humidifcation, there are many offerings on the market. 100% efficient. The closest fossil buring appliance is 96%. But, if you talk heat pump, there are some on the market that use a natural gas powered engine to turn the compressor. The exhaust side heat is removed as well and added as system heat. During the summer, the heat is used to heat water off the hot gas discharge of the compressor. The heat of compression gives the equipment a high Coefficient of Performance which returns in fossil fuel savings. Stainless steel heat exchanger's are offered on the high efficiency gas furances [lifetime warranty I might add.]
Currently high humidty is being used to add to the density of air for turning turbine engines in electrical energy development and that's returning an exciting result. If that can be translated into energy savings on gas furnaces is yet to be seen though.
The biggest move is ERV / HRV. Homes are being built tighter and tighter which requires some type of controlled exchange when stale air is exhausted and outside air is brough in to make up. These are real enegery saving choices that are in their infancy.
Obviously you are not what your badge says you might be [HVAC gay]. Otherwise you'd be aware of what's offered in the trade. It's painfully obvious that you think you know, but you really don't know jack.
--
Zyp



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Moe Jones wrote:

13 year's old - standing pilot? Standing pilots went out in 1980 to intermittent pilots. Intermittent Pilots went out around 1990 to HSI. [Except commerical, some commerical equipment still has intermittent pilots.]
--
Zyp



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Thanks for your service to our country.
The board runs about $150.00 to the tech but the costs for a company to make a house call is quite expensive these days. For a litany of reasons I won't go into, I don't think I could even show up at the job for under $150.00 anymore. I noticed that company B did not quote you for a repair. If not he may just be a salesman looking for a commission. As far as the $760.00 quote, the tech may be replacing some or all the ignition components to cover his butt. It's your call, you'll have to judge the techs and contractors yourself. That being said you may want to get a third or fourth opinion.
You should be able to get a free estimate for replacing your equipment from the contractors. You can always ask them if they would give you an estimate to repair as well. Some will, some won't without a fee. Be sure to look until you find a contractor that will do a professional job on the installation as that is the most important part. Opinions will very greatly but I would recommend looking at Trane/American Standard, Rheem/RUUD and Carrier/Bryant as the best choices for new equipment.
Joseph

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Did you say you're in Virginia?
If the humidity is bad, a furnace may be rusted and rotted inside. it would be kind of you to post the model number of the furnace, so I can call the parts house and see what a new board costs.
--

Christopher A. Young;
.
.

"Jim" < snipped-for-privacy@us.army.mil> wrote in message
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Thanks for serving, I hope that wasn't your only welcome home gift...
As you can see by most of the gibberish between our posts, there are those who'd rather fight than switch...
If you going to swap A/C then get a new furnace. I'd recommend a heat pump unit to really save cost of operation. If a $760 dollar repair is only gonna get you 7 more years, I'd see that as a huge "Nickel & Dime"'ing
A Heat pump will cost a bunch more up front but will save you bigtime if you live in an area that has any amount of heating degree days. Here in Minnesota a 16 Seer HP with a Variable speed blower has proven a $500.00+ per year cost savings on 4 houses I've work on. This is based on Gas @ $1.20 a therm & $.08 Electric. Propane & Fuel oil savings are even greater.
I'd take a couple more estimates & ask for a decent load calc, as the equipment you've got may well be oversized, as this was common back in the day... I'm a fan of American Std/Trane & will recommend them highly, but your local, reputable, contractors product line should work if installed correctly...
goodluck geothermaljones
p.s. Some folks will replace a burnt out fuse w/ a penny because it's much cheaper & for the most part works quite well...

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geothermaljones wrote:

Heat pumps won't heat your house when the outside temperature is 25F (-4C) or colder - unless you're talking about a ground-source heat pump.
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