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New Furnace?

November 6th, 2015 at 08:46 pm

So our furnace didn't want to start up again for the 4th year in a row. So we called the contractor out to come take a look. It only took him a couple minutes to pin point the broken part and he said he would try to find one for us.

He calls back today, after more than a week of searching he has found the last remaining part in the US for our furnace. It's $500...

Well the furnace is 30-40 years old, and a piece of junk. It's sooo inefficient, and we have rusty, leaky old ducts which we can not even get to. Every year we cross our fingers, that it's going to work. We turn the heat down to 55-60 and use space heaters. The propane alone is $1,500 - $2,000 every winter, on top of our electric bill which can soar up to $300 a month with space heaters. Ouch. All to be at a still chilly 65 degrees.

We have been wanting to get mini splits since we moved in. Which is a ductless heating and cooling system. (Because the crawl space is too small for ducts) But kept putting it off. Well the time may have finally come...

We can buy mini splits in sections. So for now we are looking at getting 2. One for the bedroom, and one for the living room/dining room/kitchen. We would still have to use one space heater in the bathroom like we normally do. (No central heat there currently, broken duct)

Off the top of his head he estimated they would cost around $3k to install. And later on when we had the cash we could add more for the bathroom and upstairs. He is going to sit down and give me real figures on Monday.

Honestly, with the $1,500 from the propane savings, and the $500 it would cost to fix our current furnace, we are looking at only a $1,000 difference. They are suppose to be super cheap to run in our area, and the thought of having air conditioning as well is quite appealing!

We knew this was coming, but didn't want it to be so soon. Now we have to make a quick decision. Not happy to have to take on debt. But at least I'm getting extra income from my new job.

We would have to add it to the LOC with the $1,000 for the windows. Of course we could instantly put our propane account credit towards it ($500 ish), and also the $120 monthly propane payment.

Not to mention the electric bill savings.

We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. He's been trying to talk us into replacing for several years now. And he really doesn't want us to throw more money on the old one.

What do you guys think?

8 Responses to “New Furnace?”

  1. Carol Says:

    Definitely don't put money into the old one! If mini splits will work for you, then great--I have a friend who loves hers-- but she has a furnace,too. Will they really do the whole job of heating where you live?

  2. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Is the plan to one day replace the furnace as well? I loved our mini splits we had three. We needed it because our furnace was in the attic and it was impossible to heat the bottom floor without our gas fireplace and mini splits. They aren't as efficient as the furnace and the ones we got didn't work efficiently below 40.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Don't know what mini splits are, but I would guess the cost savings would be significant and worth doing in the long run.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    From the sounds of it, it sounds like going with the mini-splits is the best plan.

  5. Joe Says:

    Make sure you check for any rebates offered by your state.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    I think getting the mini splits seems like the most workable plan. You certainly don't want to invest any more on the old furnace.

  7. Xtreme Thunder Says:

    Hmmm, this is a tough one to suggest over the internet. Make sure you investigate both advantages and disadvantages, both short and long term for mini-split vs. new furnace and duct work rehabilitation. I would get more than one quote if you can, even if the outfit you are currently dealing with is in good faith. It is always good to get quotes on both systems, from multiple HVAC contractors. I would require them to perform a FULL HVAC load calculation and evaluation on the entire home for both systems. I would also look at energy consumption both short and long term for the two different systems as well as payback in energy savings. As mentioned above, certain HVAC systems work more efficient than others in climates that fall below/ or exceed certain temperatures.

  8. snafu Says:

    I recall your mentioning your home is 100 y/o but you've added/upgraded insulation which leads me to believe you live in a 4 season state. A furnace lifespan is about 15 years and during it's last years is woefully inefficient. The facts support the house needing a new furnace and duct work.

    Stop gap measures are no longer sensible. Electric space heaters merely add expense, propane may be less expensive this year but what are you getting for your money? Spending winter being too cold at 55-60 offers no discernible benefit. What has your contractor said that is disputable? What do you disagree with? What is the point of putting a $ 500. part in a 30-40 year, non functioning furnace? Any stop gap measures merely adds cost to the needed, furnace.

    I know it adds debt but this is not like buying a designer handbag or some bit of frippery. I hope you follow Xtreme's suggestions for full HVAC so that you get the best value for cost and household turbulence.

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