Life Expectancy of Furnace

secsteveOctober 7, 2012

We were told our ten year old American Standard furnace's heat exchanger is bad at our last service call. The company sent us an estimate to replace the whole system to the tune of almost $3,000.00 with a Trane system.

After much research it seems to me that a furnace should last longer then ten years. Ours is a natural gas system, and the one that we had replaced was thirteen years old.

Am I being too skeptical regarding the life of this furnace and the amount to replace it?

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saltidawg

I replaced my oil furnace two years ago - it was 37 years old

The A/C I replaced with a Heat Pump at the same time was twenty-two years old.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:57PM
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saltidawg

Both my oil furnace and A/C were working fine when I replaced them. I made a preemptive strike. lol

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:05PM
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juliekcmo

many new residential furnaces have 20 year warranty on their heat exchangers

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:03PM
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harlemhvacguy

secsteve,

I would get a 2nd opinion.

Where is the furnace located?

The furnace depending on model has a 20 year warranty.But you don't see to many cracked ones in 10 years unless it is in a package unit.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:55AM
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secsteve

Well, I was right. Called American Standard and sure enough, the heat exchanger is under a lifetime warranty. So it'll only cost us about $400 for the part, freight, and labor.

Sure beats the heck out of replacing the whole furnace.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:32AM
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mike_home

I think a lot of heat exchangers crack due to a poor installation. If the furnace is running too hot it puts more stress on the metal. Verify the furnace is operating below the maximum allowable temperature. The furnace temperature is a function of the blower fan speed. If the speed is too low, the furnace will run hot. The furnance venting should also be checked. Inadequate venting will also cause the furnace to run too hot.

My Carrier furnaces were 25 years old when I replaced them. I never had the heat exchangers inspected, but they were preforming well the day I replaced them.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:46AM
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hamconsulting

You are lucky that American Standard honored the lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger and it only cost you $400. Typically, labor is much higher than that.

I've come to realize that manufacturers typically look for excuses to void the warranty. The most common excuse is "bad installation". They will find something wrong even one of their certified installers performed the work.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 11:57PM
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joe_mn

How do u replace the heat exchanger? Your getting a new part? What part is that? I thought a new part would be new furnace?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:57AM
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secsteve

joe, I have no idea how the heat exchanger is replaced and that's the tech's job. The new part is a heat exchanger.

American Standard said the part can be replaced, not a whole new furnace.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 11:31AM
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secsteve

hamconsulting, as it turns out what you wrote was part of the problem. You mentioned to have the venting checked and as it turns out, the ventilation is inadequate. The repairman noted that the space was small and when the doors are shut, the furnace has to work harder. He's checking on a couple of ways to fix that problem. It could be as simple as putting a grill and vent above the furnace to allow fresh air to get in. There is a metal plate above the furnace where this could be installed.

Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:10AM
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hamconsulting

Thanks for giving me the credit, but it was mike_home who suggested that the venting be checked.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 3:18AM
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TomSmith60643

SECSTEVE, GO GOOGLE "HEAT EXCHANGER SCAMS" I think this guy was trying to pull a fast one on you. also, look here on these forums:http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/hvac/msg1018203516670.html?11

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 4:02PM
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alan_s_thefirst

I'd think hard about using the people who just wanted to replace the thing, to replace the heat exchanger. If they were a decent company, they'd look at the warranty situation or by rights should know about stuff like that.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:49AM
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stoveguyy

Tech said heat exchanger was bad. U did not say tech mentioned it could be fixed. U only said tech said u could replace furnace for 3k. U find heat exchanger can be fixed under warranty for 400 after contacting furnace manufacturer? My house had 37yr old furnace with no fresh air intake. Used house air for combustion. I added fresh air intake 10yrs ago. Central air died last yr. furnace was still working fine. This low air intake flow sounds like bunk.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:43AM
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Servicetech

Have him show you the crack when the exchanger is pulled...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 10:28PM
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