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.