Furnace Life


Is there an average life that one can expect from a gas furnace? I have a furnace that is at least 20 years old, and the exhaust motor is making the same noise as the last time, when it needed replacement. That was a few hundred dollars.
So, I am wondering if I should just replace the furnace with something more efficient, rather than sink money into it. As I understand it, furnaces of this vintage are only about 60% efficient.
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Why not run efficency numbers to help you decide they go to 96% and VSDC motors save about 1/3 in electricity.
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Don't know what vintage you are talking about, but I've never seen a furnace with an exhaust blower that was only 60% efficient. Even a run of the mill, cheap gas furnace has been 80% for decades. And they have a lifespan of about 25 years.
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http://hes.lbl.gov/hes/aceee/afue.html
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I think the 25 year life span is maybe a little high but you also need to check the heat exchanger for cracks which can send carbon monoxide into your living space. The fact that you have had repairs in the past and your efficentcy concerns make me think it is time for a new one.
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snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote:

furnaces are only used a few days out of a year. I suspect they last a lot longer.
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Interesting site. They claim:
"If your furnace is 20 years old or more, it probably has an AFUE of just 50 to 60%. By 1990, the typical efficiency had risen to 80%. Some models today have an efficiencies of 95% or higher!"
So, from 1987 to 1990 the typical new furnace went from 50-60%, to 80%? I don't find that credible.
And if that ain't bad enough, how about this gem:
"The highest efficiency models can cost a little more up front, but you'll save on fuel bills. You may have to shop around; some installers may charge as little as $100 more for the high-efficiency models, others charge a lot more. "
Anybody find that credible?
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Maybe not an accurate statement, but that doesn't necessarily make it un-credible. A lot of people make statements without 'doing the math' - and many fail to realize 1990 was almost 20 years ago! And there were some pretty quick improvements to furnace efficiencies on the late 80's if I recall.
I do agree that if this is really the exhaust blower that is going out then it is probably higher in efficiency than 60%. And if so, replacing with a new higher efficiency unit would probably not be justified in the fuel cost savings.
Have the unit checked out by a reputable company. They would be better at giving you feedback on the replace vs. repair cost, and if you end up replacing they will probably apply the cost of the service call to the replacement cost.
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On 29 Apr 2007 08:54:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think the problem is that there is no date on the page. They might have written it 5, 10, 15 years ago, so that 20 years old might mean 1972!
Here: the link pointed to by the page http://hes.lbl.gov/hes/aceee/furnace.html says "The ACEEE List of Most Efficient Furnaces and Boilers: 1998" so that page is about 9 years old and maybe the other one is too. They mean 1978!
I've complained about this before, that so little on the Net has a date. One would think the software for writing webpages would at least put it in the source code, but I've never found it there. Not this time either. The software isn't designed to put a date in, even though lots of other software is. And here there is a valid need.
People no longer date their mail. That is, they put a date on a snail mail letter, but rely on the computer to date email. This is fine until someone copiess and pastes, or forwards without a dated attribution line.
When I wanted to find a particular hamfest announcment, I found 6 of them, all for different dates, and none listing the year. Only because in this case I knew it was on Sunday was I able to figure out which date was a Sunday *this* year.

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No. Either that or they are noly referring to the labor portion of the install cost, and not for the equipment. I would not buy one of these high efficiency furnaces simply because I don't run my furnace enough to justify the cost.
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Buck Turgidson wrote:

I don't think I would put a lot of money into it. I would consider it an opportunity to upgrade. You may or may not make the money back, but I feel the current technology is good and I would not want to put good money into a furnace that may be close to the end of it's life anyway.
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