Thursday, October 29, 2020

So, About That Furnace?

      The twenty-year-old furnace at Roseholme Cottage has a cracked heat exchanger.  Oh, it's not a large crack, just a long, lovely, meandering hairline.  It's not spewing CO into the house instead of up the flue, not yet -- but a little dab of that stuff will do you and the crack is likely to get worse.

      The heat exchanger is pretty much the heart of the system, so we'll be replacing the furnace.  It's a medium-efficiency two-stage gas type and we'll get another of the same.  Scheduled for the second week of November at the price of a high-mileage used car in good shape.  Ouch.

      In the meantime?  No running the furnace overnight, or when no one is home.  We have a radiator-type space heater that will keep the place warm on its lowest setting* if outside temperatures stay above 45 F, and it only gets used when there's someone to watch it. Here's hoping for no cold snaps.
* The lowest setting would be the one that doesn't produce noticeable heating at the receptacle.  This is important if you're going to run the heater for long periods of time: once heat has changed the temper of the contacts in the wall socket, they'll start to get loose.  The looser they fit, the more they'll heat up.  The more they heat up, well, you get the picture.  Eventually the plastic parts soften. That would be bad. 


B said...

You MAY be eligible for some State and Federal credits depending on what furnace you replace it with.

RandyGC said...

It just keeps coming, Doesn't it?

Had that happen to the previous unit, in the middle of winter. Prompted me to finally go out an purchase CO detectors for each floor as a precaution for the week until it could be replaced.

Hope it's a smooth install.

Alien said...

"...a medium-efficiency two-stage gas type..."

Other than initial cost, is there a reason to avoid a high efficiency condensing gas furnace? I suspect the efficiency savings might not outweigh the difference in capital cost, but amortized over a 25-30 year life, it may come close to balancing, and the condensing types offer the advantage of using high-temp PVC for the exhaust rather than requiring a chimney, so they can be physicially positioned where most desirable rather than adjacent to the chimney.

No idea if utility and/or government energy-saving rebates extend beyond the high efficiency models, but that's an avenue for exploration.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

You, of course, have a CO detector along with that smoke alarm.

Roberta X said...

Simplest/quickest fix is to replace what we have with an equivalent product.

I had a CO detector, but it's old. Ordered a replacement, expect it to arrive tomorrow.