Just wanted to say thank you to you all who responded to my posted during the furnace-buying decision process.
After long last, the furnace (a Heil 90+ efficient) is in and running, as is the humidifier. Both are running fine, or so it seems. Installation went from about 9:00 AM to about 6:00 PM. No major problems, other than something was cross-wired when he went to test it for the first time (found and corrected within minutes), and they had to replace a ball valve on the line into the furnace because the old, original 30-year-old one was leaking.
Can't say I really notice much difference from the old furnace, but at least I don't have to worry about whether old Betsy is going to last another winter. And I guess the humidifier will be nice this winter.
Some people asked for photos of before and after...they are here:
The only thing not done yet is the chimney lining for the hot water heater....it was torrential rain yesterday (day 8 and counting!) and he asked if it was OK to come back next weekend, instead, which is fine by me, as long as it gets done. He told me that he checked with the town, and it's not required for a chimney and setup like ours, but everyone here said to do it, so he's going to do it.
Speaking of the chimney, after all this rain, we had a leak around the chimney that he noticed...going up in the attic, I saw a lot of water running down the sides of the chimney in the attic, but no one place that it was coming from. I went up on the roof today with some 208 caulk / asphault and applied a liberal amount on the upper part of the chimney. I'd never looked in my chimney before, and was surprised to see the existing liner so unevenly laid out (there are photos on that site above). I wouldn't be surprised if water was leaking through those! Will the new liner prevent that if it were indeed happening?
Thanks, as always! Thoughts, etc. welcome!