choosing a furnice


Old 12-28-00, 08:47 AM
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We have an old home (built in 1920) close to Birmingham Ala. The circa 1970s gas forced air furnice just died. My husband had called someone before I was able to remind him we had a homeowner's warranty policy. The h.o.w.s repair people have not come yet and the first guys basically condemned the furnice and turned off the gas to it. (Something about a combustion chamber being rusted through).
If unrepairable the homeowner's warranty people are only obligated to replace it with a new one that has "similar features". Because furnices have improved immensely since that time, I am assuming what the first guy said "they will give you the cheepest contractors furnice available" is probably right. We can have the option of taking a cash amount equal to the wholesale value of what they would install and apply it toward a better furnice.
My question is what should I look at in doing this. (I am in the South so efficiency has less of an effect on operating costs). I assume it has to fit the present air conditioning system. (The AC works well and is newer than the furnice - so the h.o.w. people wouldnt consider replacing that).
How should I decide if what will be offered to me is adequite or not.
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Old 12-28-00, 03:07 PM
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before the H.O.W. people show up call around and get prices on a new replacement then when H.O.W. comes out you can compare what they will replace with to what you want to install,keep in mind they could have a cheaper price because of the number of units they replace
Old 12-28-00, 04:24 PM
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Go for the h.o.w. replacement. Since your old furnace is from the 70's it is more than likely no more than 60% effiecient. All brands being produced today are minimum 80% and that is what they will have to install.
Old 12-29-00, 07:47 AM
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Unhappy update

After waiting over a day, the h.o.w's people came and made the same conclusion that the furnice cannot be repaired. The furnice they have offered us is a Goodman brand (anybody ever hear of it?) and only has a one year guarantee. The problem is that what they are offering as a cash alternative is $600 and the furnice my husband favored would be about $2400. (If we shopped around I think we could have got a settle-for for around $1600) Even if we had the money, it probably would be better spent at this time towards the many projects this 1920 bungalow needs (Roof over laundry room, re-wiring, tile in bathroom, terne roof painted ...). I guess our biggist gripe is the time it will take, I doubt it will be done before the weekend is over. If we could have chose our own contractor it would have been in yesterday. (By the way h.o.w is not the name of our homeowner's warranty company-I prefer venting over bashing)
Thankyou for your input.
Old 12-29-00, 03:15 PM
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Goodman is a no frills unit. They are alright and have a very good warrenty. 1 yr. parts and labor, 5yrs. on all parts, and 10yrs on the heat exchanger. Make sure they give you the warrenty information packet. All goodman's are 80% effeicent, which is probably no less than 20% more than the furnace they are changing.

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