We had our annual furnace and A/C inspection yesterday.
The technician told me the heat exchanger (gas furnace) is showing some hot spots. Which could lead to cracking over the next year or so. Which could lead to CO leaks in the house (we take that seriously, as I once lived in an apartment where we most likely had slow carbon monoxide poisoning).
So, the heat exchanger will need to be replaced at some point, I gather.
The problem: The furnace is about 14 years old and the technician wasn’t sure they could even find a replacement. And if they do, it’s a couple grand (give or take; he wasn’t sure) to do the swap.
So - does this all sound reasonable? Would it typically really be that hard to find a replacement, and is the cost really that high to do the repair?
The tech was clearly suggesting we think about a new furnace.
We’re estimating that a replacement furnace would be on the order of 5-6 grand, assuming it’s roughly the same cost as the A/C system (replaced in 2004, for about 5100 bucks).
Now, one problem we have is the furnace is located in the middle of the basement. Not in a room against an outside wall. A more efficient furnace would require venting to an outside wall - i.e., we’d have to run a pipe through one of the rooms, to vent outdoors. There’s obviously a cosmetic issue there (dunno if we could enclose the pipe in a soffit). Less efficient furnaces might not require the outside venting, but if we’re going to replace the bloody thing, we might as well make improvements.
The other problem, obviously, is we don’t happen to have 5 grand lying around. We’d come up with it if we had to, but I’m obviouly not in a huge rush!
Fortunately, it’s May, and we’re not likely to need the furnace for a few months. So we have time to do the research.