20 year old furnace
My wife and I just bought an old 30’s brick cottage and I swear the furnace is as old as the house! It’s gas. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been well maintained and am wondering what kinds of things i need to do to keep it running for a few more years. Also, when it goes, what is likely to go first? What kinds of failures would be catastrophic? Thanks for your insight.
Before I finally changed mine, the fan motor went out twice. They are not too expensive so i would have 1 on hand just in case. Keep it clean, especially the fan. Lube any pillow blocks with light oil, you should see a hole about 1/16" in dia. near the squirrel cage shaft.
"It is what it is."
"What kinds of failures would be catastrophicWhat kinds of failures would be catastrophic"
Expolsion. Cracked heat exchanger, bad flue system.
And with any of these you might not know it until it is too late.
I would start with getting it inspected and serviced.
It might need replacing before it gets cold or might last another 20.
A-holes. Hey every group has to have one. And I have been elected to be the one. I should make that my tagline.
Get it serviced NOW by a reliable co. When they go, it ain't gonna be warm out, and your forced to settle for the furnace thats available, not necessarily the one you want.
What kind of furnace? Gas, oil, coal? Hot water, forced air, steam? Where do you live? How big is the house?
Gas forced air furnaces are subject to various maladies -- bad fan motor, bad fan bearings, control valve failure, etc. The one "killer" (in more ways than one) is a bad heat exchanger -- it means the furnace is gone and it may mean that you're gone too, if you're unlucky.
If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, get one.
Get the furnace inspected by a competent serviceman.
If it's a gas furnace in good condition all it needs is a vacuuming and (if the bearings aren't sealed) oil in the motor bearings once a year. (Plus of course changing the air filter regularly.)
Oil furnaces need an annual tuneup from a competent serviceman.
I should add that in a 30s house the chimney should be inspected. The chimney can leak fumes into the house, or it can collapse inside and cause fumes to back up through the furnace.
Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be! --Miguel de Cervantes
My furnace was 60 years old and still working when I got rid of it. It was scary looking. And probably unsafe too. I just was tired of worrying about it dying on a subzero night. It was a coal burning Lenox natural gas converted gravity unit that could be operated without electricity if needed.
The new one is so complicated I'm concerned about it failing on a subzero night. It has sensors for everything, and fans and ignitors etc. Oh well, its way cheaper to run.
Just got mine replaced last week. It was the original furnace in the house - built 1956 - and was running fine. AC died - it was 19 Y/O - and I went for the whole shooting match.View Image
Got central AC too. Nice.
Actually, you have a better chance of hitting the lotto than having an explosion. Bad venting is the number one cause of co in a house.
Have the furnace cleaned and serviced and if the service tech says you are going to die tommorow ask him why. Always get three prices.
If you can afford it upgrade insulation and seal cracks to stop heat loss, before you have the furnace sized to the house.
I just replaced my 35 year old furnace last year. My heating use dropped almost 35%. Some might have been milder winter, I'm just too lazy to look up the degree days. But, it is well worth it to replace!!!!