I see that the Feds will give us up to $1,500 if we replace our old furnaces
with a high-efficiency furnace.
I've lived in my house for 20 years, and when I bought, the furnace was a
"few" years old. So I am guessing that it is at least 25 years old, and
probably about 65% or 75% efficiency.
Should I take advantage of this opportunity and upgrade?
I am thinking that one of these days, even though the furnace works fine, it
will crap out - probably in January.
I live in Maryland.
I'm no expert but gas or oil may make difference. Saw new house
advertised today that says it's propane furnaces are 90% efficient.
With oil, don't think you may get that efficiency but don't think oil
furnaces last that long. In 35 years, I've had to replace two that had
burned through fire box.
Only you can answer that question. I just replaced my 25yr old
oil&air furnace last year. My old furnace was 80% efficient
according to the last smoke test. I looked at supposedly 90%
efficient oil furnaces that were new technology-- only available from
one manufacturer- and several thousand dollars. For last year's
rebate the furnace had to be 90%- I don't know about the 2010 rebate.
Then I saw a 80% efficient furnace on craigslist for $500. It was
new-old stock. It works for me. FWIW- it seems to be using the
same amount of oil as my old one- just quieter & without the rusty
firebox. . . and if something breaks I can find parts for it. But
even without the rebate I'm a couple grand ahead of the game.
So I doubt your heating bill is a huge one. That's where you start.
What can you save with a new furnace? Can you save enough to pay
for a high-efficiency furnace? Or will you get enough 'warm fuzzies'
from being 'green' that the $$ doesn't matter?
25 years is about many exchangers life span, Go for a 96% Stainless
Steel exchanger unit. You can save on electric consumption winter and
summer with a VSDC motor. With all the electronics and a VSDC motor
the 10-15yr or more warranty is a smart idea. For 1500 back its a no
I forgot to mention that it is gas, not oil. In 2010, you need 95% AFUE for
the credit on a gas furnace.
I agree - if a 95% AFUE is a couple thousand more than a "standard" model,
and I can get the Feds to pay for much of the difference, why not do it,
especially given the age of my furnace?
Maryland isn't brutally cold like the northern-tier states, but it ain't no
picnic in the winter, either.
I replaced my boiler with a System 2000 from www.energykinetics.com So far,
I've not had to put one penny out of pocket to do it. My oil savings over
the past 15 months are 38%. Couple that with a $1500 tax credit, a $500
state tax rebate, and 0% state financing for 10 years, it was a no brainer
for me. The savings in oil more than offsets the cost of a payment every
month. In a few years that money will be going right into my pocket. Oh,
did I mention better comfort with the new hot water system? And the cooler
basement area in the summer?
Do some research on your fuel costs, shop around for the right equipment,
check out state rebates too. Most dealsers know what is available.
I also live in MD. 4 years ago we replaced a 30 y/o gas forced hot air furnace.
The HVAC contractor estimated that the old one was probably about 65% - 70%
efficient at best. We looked at both 92% and 96% models. The incremental
purchase price between the two was substantial and we figured that it would
probably take an additional 10 years of use to amortize the cost differential
between the price of the 92% and the 96% model. Therefore, we went with the 92%
furnace. Our winter gas bills dropped by about 30% with no change in the
thermostat settings or insulation status of the house.
With your old furnace, you're facing a possible carbon monoxide risk (heat
exchangers that old can crack at any time) and if you are planning to stay in
your current house for more than about 5 years, you'll pay for the new furnace
in saved energy costs. (Even sooner if energy prices continue to rise).
Haven't shopped for furnaces recently. If the price differential between 92%
and 96% has narrowed, or if you plan to stay in your home for a real long time,
you might want to pop for the 96% model.
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