Wanted to say hello....I think you'll be seeing more of me in the next month or so as I try to decide on which is the right course of action for my furnace replacement. Basic situation is...
We bought our 1600 sq house in 1996. The house was built in 1969 with forced hot air system. I _believe_ that the furnace is the original (Bryant SL-D series). At some point in the mid-1970s (judging by the inspection tags), the homeowner added a Sears humidifier to the ductwork above the furnace, but it's never worked as long as we've owned the house. As best I can tell, right around the same time, central air was put in.
After several years of bad luck with the AC after we bought the house, we had the central air condenser replaced with a Rheem RAPA030 in 1999. No problems since, other than some installation problems right after it was put in - now corrected.
We've always planned to replace the furnace sooner rather than later, but each annual inspection by our gas utility tells us that the furnace may have some years on it still. This year, though, we found a flood in the basement from the condensation pan being clogged, and the person who came to fix that said that it looked like the furnace was on its last legs, especially the exhanger (I may be confusing terms...the triangular radiator-like object above the furnace). The furnace has also been running louder, and more rattley lately, and I'd rather replace it now than wait for it to die in the middle of winter.
First bid came yesterday from a local Tappan dealer who spent all of 5 minutes in the house and never got further than taking the panel off the front of the furnace. He assured me that the exchanger won't need replacing, only the furnace, although he never even looked at the exchanger. His bid is a low one. He recommended Tappan, but didn't go over models, options, etc.
Any initial thoughts? I'm hoping y'all don't mind a series of questions as this develops. A highly-recommended local contractor is coming tomorrow for his bid.
If they just replaced the outdoor unit of your a/c, then get the matching indoor coil when you replace your furnace.
OK, I didn't think of that. Thank you. In fact, in hindsight, we probably should have had it done when the condenser was replaced, right?
Sounds like he was out for your money, and not your business.
I was on a estimate Tuesday, I was there over an hr.
He said I was the only one that told him his duct work wasn't big enough.
He had 7, 6" supplies on an 8x10 trunk line.
That was way to obvious,
Any way, run from that guy. Don't even count his numbers as being an estimate. Call some ore and throw his out.
If you try to fail, and succeed.
Which have you done ?
The RAPA could do 14 SEER with VS blower and proper coil. With new coil but standard blower, it's 12 SEER. I sure hope they didn't reuse an old coil! If they did, that is SAD and you got screwed. That triangular shaped thing above the furnace is the cooling coil.
To get full benefit of that A/C, I'd get a variable speed blower in your next furnace. If they did indeed use an old coil, get a matched RHEEM coil too. Don't have to get a Rheem furnace, but at least get the right coil this time.
If you have a 1969 Bryant (we call them Old Blue) it's probably nothing but rust inside and there likely is rust holes, visible or not. I sure wouldn't keep it. They were made here, boy have we taken them out over the last 15 years.
Anyway dispose of Mr 5 minute Tappan, he's a hack. Look for a good dealer. Where are you, maybe one of us can help!
My advice page: http://www.johnmills.net/work/advice.html
In your situation, with obviously old inefficient equipment, it would have been a good idea to match the complete system at the same time.
I'm in Connecticut. I've got five companies coming out for bids, two of whom were recommended by neighbors.
I just went through my receipts from when the new condenser was put in during the summer of 1999, and I don't see anything about a new coil / exchanger / whatever. Just condenser. I honestly don't remember what the different bids were at the time....but I know we were pretty low on cash at that point and probably went with the lowball bid. We very well may have gotten screwed, as you said.
Thanks for supporting my hunch about the bid from yesterday.
JC, you may find my rant about "My experience with the HVAC sales guy" helpful - I just posted it. Sounds like I'm not alone...
If your in better financial shape, you might want to consider the rheem modulating furnace, for comfort, and efficiency.
Baldloonie can give you a better description of how it works.
He assured me that the exchanger won't need replacing, only the furnace, although he never even looked at the exchanger.
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What?? you mean the evaporator?
I dont always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos-Equis. I am the most interesting man in the world. Stay thirsty my friends.
Yeah, he is talking about the evaporator.
with gas prices on the rise ask about a 90% efficiency furnace and have the cooling coil replaced. make sure you ask if your return duct system is large enough. if its not then you'll starve that new system of air and it can cause compressor failure or your heat exchanger to crack prematurely.......and please just becuase its been there for 20 or more years and it has worked fine doesnt mean it will work with the new unit. You can have the best system made installed but if your duct work isnt right you'll be wasting your money