Makes no sense. I replaced a 33 year old oil burner and save about $900
a year in oil costs. I've done that for the past three years now. So,
for fear of losing a $500 board you think I should spend an extra $900 a
year? The boys at Mobile/Exxon thank you for the business.
That's not the only reason. Too many things to go into.
I shold add that my friends from NYC all lived in apartments, and I
was the first to get a house, and I'm showing them how nice it is to
have a house, with no AC, no water, and no electricity. I don't
think I convinced them.
On Wednesday, December 25, 2013 9:55:05 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
who 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 sa
y that I will keep this furnace for as long as it holds out since there is
nothing electronic to go wrong when there is are nearby lightning strikes o
r power surges, both of which have taken out neighbors furnaces more than o
Whether it makes sense depends on the yearly operating cost difference
and the payback time period. You have oil, which is a lot more expensive
than natural gas. He may also be located in GA or similar, where
the fuel usage isn't that great. Instead of saving $900 a year, he
might only save $250, which makes a big difference.
On 12/27/2013 8:15 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
What does the price of natural gas have to do with this? He said he has
an oil fired furnace. He also said he is afraid to change because he
could blow out a $500+ circuit board. That is a rather poor excuse.
Sure, you have to run the numbers, but to say you are afraid of an
expensive repair makes no sense at all to keep spending it on oil. Run
the numbers, then lets talk.
On Friday, December 27, 2013 10:48:16 AM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
There are two people here talking about not replacing an old furnace
because of concerns about the repair cost of the increased complexity,
possible blown boards from surges, etc. It started with hrho, who said
he has a gas furnace. Micky has an oil one. I agree, it's all about
the numbers. Part of the number analysis is easy. That's estimating
the cost savings on fuel. But how do you factor in repair cost of
the new high efficiency units vs the old unit? I don't know that it's
even possible to get data to analyze, eg what the actual failure rate
of the new furnaces are vs the old. That is what you'd need to estimate
the total ownership cost. And if you're biased against getting a high
eff to begin with, you could come up with any estimate to justify it.
I was concerned about the possible higher cost of failure on
the more complex new system, ECM motors in particular. But with
the federal tax credits, rebates, etc in 2010 it made sense to me
to replace a 25 year old furnace because it was at it's expected
EOL. As I posted previously, in 2 seasons of usage of the new
versus one season of the old, I saved over 40% in gas usage. But part
of that is I have the thermostat set lower now too. I
should also be saving on electricity, because the new one has an
ECM blower. And I'm for sure saving on AC too. Still, depending
on the total install cost, versus how much your fuel bills are,
repair costs, etc it could take 10+ years to recover. I did mine
because I figured with the tax credit it was a good deal and who
knows how much longer the 25 year old system was going to last.
If he lives somewhere where his fuel usage is low - say he only uses
$400 of oil a year, and his furnace is 45% efficient and a new
super-duper oil furnace is 90% efficient, he will only stand to save
something like $200 a year on oil. If that new furnace costs him $2000
installed,, his payback is 10 years - and if he blows only ONE $500
board in those 10 years, his payback goes to 12.5 years. Blow a
second board, and the payback goes to 15 years - aproxemately the
expected lifespan of many of today's good high efficiency furnaces.
On Friday, December 27, 2013 1:15:21 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
It would be cold day in hell when you could get a high eff furnace
installed for $2000, at least around these parts, NJ. When I went out
to get quotes for a new furnace and AC, they were from $8K to $11K.
The equipment cost is about half furnace, half AC.
So, I think we're all on the same page. The payback depends mostly
on the cost of fuel saved and the climate.
On Wednesday, December 25, 2013 9:00:30 PM UTC-5, micky 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
If it has electronics on it, three things come to mind:
1 - Those electronics have apparently lasted 34 years without failing from
2 - What a company charges for replacement parts often doesn't
have much relation to their cost. Without actual data on what
a board for a high efficiency unit costs versus your ancient
furnace board, it's pure speculation.
3 - What's your experience been with all the other electronics
in the house? Are they all failing from surges? If not, then
why would the new furnace be any different than all the other
electronics? The most vulnerable would be things like TV, cable
modems, phones, etc that are connected not only to AC, but to
other lines that go outside the house too. A furnace would be
more like the refrigerator, oven, etc., which are usually far less
likely to get damaged by surges.
Which kind of helps prove my point. I'll bet the control board for
a modern high eff furnace doesn't cost much more. Probably the most
expensive part would be if you have a ECM blower, but you can get
high eff furnaces with a conventional blower if you want.
but I whined and he sold me a transformer instead
Whether it makes sense to replace an old inefficient furnace with
a new high eff one depends on your climate, fuel costs, payback
period etc. I'd say to not do so for fear that the new system
is going to fail due to surges and cost a lot to fix is one part
of the equation, but you have to factor everything else in. And
for surges, a proper whole house surge protector for $100 is
something every home should have today. With that the probability
of surge damage to the electronics will be greatly reduced.
On 12/27/2013 08:32 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I never lost a furnace, but I did take a big hit at my last house a few
years back. I did use a whole house surge protector and also most
electronics were on cheap surge-protected power strips. Some of my
neighbors lost some big dollar items; my total loss was one ancient
power strip (which was on an ungrounded circuit), the control board for
the dishwasher, and the power supply board for an electrostatic air
filter. Total cost of parts to repair was less than insurance
deductible, so I didn't claim. Dominion Power told us to pound sand
even though I'm certain that the issue could have been prevented by more
aggressive tree trimming (a common issue around here.)
Subsequent to that incident I installed another surge protector on the
recep feeding the air filter and dehumidifier; touch wood, I haven't
lost anything else since.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
I guess I'm either too lazy to go to the trouble to design a suitable prote
ction circuit, or too cheap to consider spending some money, or, probably b
oth. I just hate the way everything is thrown away because there is someth
ing that maybe is better available.
I fix old "Italian style" Christmas tree light strings, adding a couple of
sockets and bulbs to 50 light sets to convert them to 52 light sets. The 4
% drop in voltage doesn't dim the lights noticeably, and they don't burn ou
t nearly as fast. Then I donate them to Goodwill, along with severaL spare
bulbs for each set in a paper bag attached to the set. Easy to do if you
understand about hot and neutral 120V circuits and use a handitester to fol
low the hot lead to wherever there is a break. What can be confusing is wh
ere a bulb is burned out, but the little shorting stub wound around the fil
ament supports fails to close/burn through sufficiently to short out the la
mp, but closes enough that the capacitance allows some 120V to leak thru, j
ust enough that the handitester responds, but with a noticeably weaker resp
onse than full on or full off. Those defects can take twice as long to fin
d and fix. Good to do on a rainy or snowy January day.
On 12/25/2013 4:23 PM, email@example.com wrote:
When I was helping my late friend GB do residential HVAC work. Many
customers in rural areas were having capacitors and circuit boards blown
out in their HVAC systems here in Alabamastan. I got him to start
installing hard wired surge arresters on the condensing unit and air
handler to protect them, especially the very expensive control boards
in the heat pumps. The new super duper high efficiency systems that used
no more power than a night light were very expensive to repair when a
power surge hit them. 5 years after I started installing hard wired
surge arresters on residential HVAC systems, the hard wired surge
arresters showed up in all the HVAC and refrigeration supply houses in
the area. Before that, I had been installing them for many years on
commercial systems and got them at electrical supply houses. Me and GB
never had to replace another blown capacitor or circuit board for a
rural customer who had us install the surge arresters. I know guys who
will say, "I don't want to install protection, I want lighting to damage
things so I can make more money fixing them." Of course when it hits a
large area, many systems go down and the fellow can't get to them then
the customer calls someone else and may never call him back again. ^_^
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