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  1. #1

    20 year old home furnace and AC

    Hello,
    I am new here and need some advice. HVAC is not my field of expertise so I am looking for things I am probably missing in my decision making process.


    My current home gas furnace and AC are 20 years old. Once a year some small part quits working and I have a professional come in and diagnose/repair the parts. My technicians keep telling me the life-span is over for both my furnace and AC units.

    This past week the furnace gas valve has been acting up. Sometimes it will just turn the gas off right in the middle of the heating cycle. I did not figure out the problem was the gas valve, I left that up to the technician.

    Here are my options:
    1) Replace the gas valve for a bunch of $.
    2) Just wing-it and hope I make it through the rest of this winter.
    3) Replace the AC and Furnace for a bunch of $$$


    I don't have the a bunch of $$$ so I would be charging the new system on credit. I am a little worried that if I pay the $ on a gas valve then something else will break and the cost will just keep going up.

    I just wonder if I am missing other options I could be thinking about. What would you do?

    Thank you.
    Scooter
    Last edited by scooter9; 01-20-2009 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,732
    remove the pricing, not allowed.

    what would you do with a 20 yr old car nickle and diming you?

    time for a new one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,880
    Its risky putting a lot of money in a old system like that.
    Next thing that could go, would be the HX.
    By the time you add up a gas vavle and heat exchanger, you would have paid for a new furnace.

    Now is probably a better time to replace them, then when it quits when its real cold outside.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,687
    Quote Originally Posted by t527ed View Post

    what would you do with a 20 yr old car nickle and diming you?

    time for a new one.
    my thoughts exactly

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    2,677
    Yep, time for a system change out.
    You can't fix stupid

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    440
    I agree, new system.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,903
    If it has a standing pilot and draft hood (<65% efficient), don't put any money into it.

    If the A/C is still in good shape and you have mild summers, keep it.
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,842
    At 20 years old, any major repair to the furnace is just throwing good money after bad. Given the length of most warranties on new equipment coupled with the instant savings on energy costs, the pay back starts immediately where as your $$ from the repair costs are gone, put that $$ toward the new system. While the AC may still be working, at 20 years, it's efficiency is way off of the new equipment today. You will save money by doing both systems at the same time and here again, the pay back starts right now.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    murrayville
    Posts
    9
    i would put a whole new system in a/c and furnace

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    For the time being just wing it. If the furnace quits outright then put a coat on and think warm thoughts. That's assuming of course that it's not so cold where you are that it would be unhealthy to do so. If you can't make it through this season then fix the old one.

    I make that suggestion because people make bad decisions when under pressure. Take the pressure off yourself for this season if you can. Have the work done in the off season. Otherwise you'll go down the three bids and buy routine and probably not get the best value**.

    Spending a few hundred this season, if you're forced to, to buy yourself time will pay you back at least that much if you use the time to get educated and make a really good decision. You need to get educated because there's way more to getting a good HVAC system than meets the eye. The biggest variable is the contractor. You can't know if he knows his stuff until you know a little about what he's suppose to know. Clear as mud?

    **I'm not equating value with low bid. Low bid is usually low value.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Mechanicsville, Va
    Posts
    20
    Try finding a contracter that offers financing my company does same as cash for 12 months the sooner you buy the sooner u start to save

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