Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

PostBy: Millworker On: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:02 pm

Dear frugal friends. Here is my dilemma. I moved into an 1850 farmhouse 2 years ago. The house came with 5ish year old dual zone heat pumps (heat/AC), older oil furnace, and a 1994 Stratford coal stove. After the first month of running the heat pumps I said enough of this garbage, turned them off, and I have been burning coal ever since. I am very happy with the coal stove, but with two other heat systems I would like to have one of them functional as a backup. So, I called the HVAC folks, told them that I thought heat pumps were garbage (but I am happy with the AC side of the systems), but that I would like them to come out to look at my system and prove to me that heat pumps are as great as they claim they are. The outcome: $574 to repair a small "orifice" + $98 diagnostic fee + $342 service plan for 2 units (which also discounts the labor) = $1014. And, that is before any additional diagnostic/labor on the 2nd unit :mad: :mad: :mad:
To put this in perspective, over the past 15 months I have spent $1500.00 for coal. I am really ticked. The way I see it my options are 1.) pay at a minimum the $1014+ (plus an annual service amount of $342.00) to get the heat pumps repaired, OR call the oil company & have them quote me soup to nuts to get the oil furnace up and running, OR consider buying $ installing a small 2nd stove (pellet, wood - probably not coal since I would use it sparingly). What do you guys think I should do? I know you guys will have brillinat answers :D
Millworker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Startford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC100

Re: Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

PostBy: billw On: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:21 pm

If it was me I'd take the oil furnace out and replace it with a refurbished coal furnace, leave the heat pumps for air conditioning and use the stove as a heating backup in case of a prolonged power loss.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

PostBy: franco b On: Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:24 pm

If the oil furnace is sound I would repair it. Fuel oil companies are competitive and will repair it reasonably to get your business.

I think it makes good sense to have something that requires no tending in the event of sickness or other eventuality.

Forget the heat pumps and air conditioning. Too expensive to run in an old house. Get a window air conditioner for your bedroom.Or get a fan to blow in at night.

Use the stove for main heat. Most old houses are money pits so you have to save where you can.

Richard
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea


Re: Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

PostBy: Millworker On: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:10 pm

franco b wrote:If the oil furnace is sound I would repair it.
Richard


At the moment this is what I am leaning toward. There may be nothing wrong with the furnace, it just hasn't been used in 2+ years, not sure if the previous owners used it? I will see what they quote me to get up and running. I can't imagine it would be more than the $1000 to fix ONE of my heat pumps.
Millworker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Startford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC100

Re: Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

PostBy: Berlin On: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:44 am

i'd use the oil furnace, basic parts on a furnace or burner are inexpensive and as was mentioned the labor cost will be low. for even a neglected furnace, basic cleaning, replace nozzle and filter, set burner w/ bach kit shouldn't be more than 150-200 wherever you live, many places it will be less than 100.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

PostBy: Millworker On: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:14 am

Berlin wrote:i'd use the oil furnace, basic parts on a furnace or burner are inexpensive and as was mentioned the labor cost will be low. for even a neglected furnace, basic cleaning, replace nozzle and filter, set burner w/ bach kit shouldn't be more than 150-200 wherever you live, many places it will be less than 100.


If this is true then it's a no brainer.
Millworker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Startford
Stove/Furnace Model: SC100

Re: Need Help With Heating Options - Frustrated

PostBy: Berlin On: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:11 pm

it will probably be true as long as the service company is honest. to prevent someone potentially taking advantage of things i wouldn't mention that the furnace hasn't been run in a while etc. i'd simply tell them it hasn't been servcied in two years and you need a cleaning and a burner tune-up, don't act as if you think something might be wrong with it or they might "find" something wrong with it. i'm not saying that all or even most hvac/oil men are dishonest, but try to give them as little as possible opertunity to be.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal