On Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:01:40 -0600, The Daring Dufas
The house I first lived in had a coal furnace when my father bought it
in 1945. (No he wasn't a returning vet. He had served in WWI.)
Soon after that, he put in a stoker, so my mother wouldn't have to
shovel coal in the middle of the day. He would do it before leaving
for work, and the stoker would add a little bit of coal all day long.
Soon after that, HE got tired of shovelling coal (at age 53) and he
had put in a gas furnace It has a big fan, I'm sure, to circulate the
air to a 2-story plus basement** house. And because I was a newborn
in 1947, he had put in another fan in the duct that went to my room,
so it was always warm. Born in January, didn't get a bath with water
until April, so I wouldn't get chilled. Oil was used, baby oil or
maybe olive oil!
**Unfinished basement. In fact water came up through the drain in the
middle of the big room, whenever it rained much. So there was
nothing in the big room. The washer and dryer had to be put on wood
boxes, and the furnace rusted quite a bit at the floor.
There was still an iron coal chute door one could see from the
outside, but I don't think there was any coal or even a coal chute
anymore. Although there was a corner of the basement I never went
to. Maybe it was full of coal, now that you mention it. Was it harder
to get coal out of a basement than to suck heating oil out of a tank?
On Saturday, December 21, 2013 2:02:50 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
That's like saying Ford can't spec the output horsepower of the
engines on the cars they make, yet obviously they do.
I just looked up the spec sheet for
the Rheem gas furnace I have and they do spec both input and output.
If you think about it, how could they spec that it's 93% efficient,
that it meets govt standards etc, if they can't determine how much
heat comes out, only how much goes in? All kinds of systems are
spec'd for a variety of parameters, but of course if the system isn't
installed properly, maintained properly, is old etc, then those spec;s
aren't going to be met. That wasn't the issue. The issue was whether
manufacturers spec furnaces on input or output. Clearly many in fact
Just admit it, once again, you're wrong krw and Micky is right.
I have a 55 year old natural gas fired hot air furnace. Just a giant tin c
an with a flame in the can and air blowing around it. When we first bought
the house 45 years ago, I redid the insulation in walls and attic. I notic
ed that the furnace was fired up only about 30% of the time even on subzero
days. I took the orifice outof the gas nozzle, filled it in with solder,
and then redrilled the nozzle so the cross-sectional area was 1/2 of what i
t had previously been. The flame was greatly reduced, of course, and I had
to rebalance the gas - air flow using the adjuster that was part of the no
zzle assembly. The furnace now does run longer, but my gas consumption bas
ed on degree days is much lower than it used to be.
On Monday, December 23, 2013 9:11:31 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
in can with a flame in the can and air blowing around it. When we first bo
ught the house 45 years ago, I redid the insulation in walls and attic. I n
oticed that the furnace was fired up only about 30% of the time even on sub
zero days. I took the orifice outof the gas nozzle, filled it in with sold
er, and then redrilled the nozzle so the cross-sectional area was 1/2 of wh
at it had previously been. The flame was greatly reduced, of course, and I
had to rebalance the gas - air flow using the adjuster that was part of th
e nozzle assembly. The furnace now does run longer, but my gas consumption
based on degree days is much lower than it used to be.
I know that when I replaced my 25 year old gas furnace with a 93%
efficient one, my gas usage dropped over 40%. I'd be surprised that
reducing the orrifice size would make much difference in efficiency.
On 12/24/2013 5:01 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Reducing the orifice size just makes it run longer to even out
temperature fluctuations. Still lots of heat going up the stack.
If you are in a cold climate, most anything over 30 years is wasting
making it run longer increases the efficiency maginally because it is
not running cold as much of the time and more of the heat
(percentage-wise) is being absorbed in the heat exchanger so less goes
out the stack.
On Thursday, December 19, 2013 1:17:00 AM UTC-6, Gz wrote:
I haven't pursued getting a "modern" furnace because I have neighbors who h
ave put in newer furnaces and have had all sorts of problems with them. As
an electrical engineer, I love to try new technology, but I have to say tha
t I will keep this furnace for as long as it holds out since there is nothi
ng electronic to go wrong when there is are nearby lightning strikes or pow
er surges, both of which have taken out neighbors furnaces more than once.
On Wednesday, December 25, 2013 2:49:41 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
o have put in newer furnaces and have had all sorts of problems with them.
As an electrical engineer, I love to try new technology, but I have to say
that I will keep this furnace for as long as it holds out since there is no
thing electronic to go wrong when there is are nearby lightning strikes or
power surges, both of which have taken out neighbors furnaces more than onc
It is a vailid point to consider. How many more problems they have, IDK,
but anytime you have electronics as opposed to just motors and
switches, there is more potential for that kind of problem. I've had a
high efficiency furnace for 3 years now. And I know several other people
who have had them for years. IDK of any problems with the electronics
on any of them, at least so far. Sone of those houses have surge
protection, others don't.
It also depends where you live, how prevalent lightning is, whether
you have the house protected from surges, etc. With an ancient furnace
like that, a new high efficiency unit could cut his gas bill by 40% or
more. But even then, if you do the payback calculation, even if he
lives in most areas of the USA, the payback period could be a long time.
If he lives where the furnace isn't used that much, it could be 20+ years.
I did mine when they had the $1500 fed tax credit, various state rebates,
etc. that reduced the cost significantly. Plus, at 25 years old, I
figured it was near it's EOL and better to replace it while I had a
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 08:48:45 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Wow. That's very interesting. I don't want to lose a control board
to lightning or surges. They're at least 500 dollars by now, probalby
7 or 800.
My 34 year old oil furnace does have a few electronic parts, that is,
one circuit board with maybe 30 parts iirc (last looked at 10 years
ago at least) including 1 or 2 transistors iirc, or even maybe a
I had trouble with the mechanical relay on it for a while, but for
some reason that stopped giving me trouble 20 years ago and has worked
fine ever since.
And a month after I bought the house, when it was 4 years old, when I
had 4 friends visiting from NYC on July 4 weekend. the AC failed
becaue the 110 volt tranformer that powered the circuit board broke.
The guy at the supply house wanted to sell me a new circuit board for
350 or 400 dollars, but I whined and he sold me a transformer instead
for 10 dollars. Still working 30 years later. Transformer is too
big to go where the old one did, as part of the circuit board, but
that's not a problem
(Moved in middle of May The AC broke at noon on Saturday, July 4. The
water went out at 6PM on Saturday, and all the electricity failed at
noon on Sunday! Hard to believe. I've never lost more than one of
these in any 3 month period since.
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