Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Furnace

A couple of weeks ago, I was forced to buy a new furnace. As it turned out, the warm weather in the following week and a half meant I probably could have postponed the purchase by a week or so, at least. But, as that turned out, the check I wrote that Wednesday was not cashed until just this past Friday - over two weeks. Generally speaking, checks are deposited very quickly by companies. They like to earn interest on money, if nothing else. Thus, this delay had me slightly worried about lost checks, claims that I didn't pay, having to cancel payment on said check after writing a new one, fighting collection agencies, cancelling business with what I had thought to be a trustworthy HVAC company, etc. Turns out they just take their time collecting their pay.

Anyway, it would have cost ~$500 to fix the furnace, so I figured that was the equivalent of ~$500 off the purchase price of a new furnace. Since the condenser coil above the old furnace wasn't installed properly (the drain pipe was too narrow and clogged), the old furnace was rusted out, and I think dripping water had fried the electronics in the broken component twice already. I was tired of that furnace. Incidentally, A.B. MAY fixed it the last time and did nothing to even investigate the rust. Plus, they incorrectly installed a new water panel in my humidifier, which caused it to leak water all over the back part of the basement. Needless to say, I was not happy with A.B. MAY.

Still, I had Neal Harris and A.B. MAY out to give me quotes on a new furnace, just for kicks. Neal Harris started their furnaces at $2775 for a standard 80% furnace, and an 80% 2-stage variable speed furnace was $4180. Not what I was hoping to spend. A.B. MAY's prices were $1790 and $3593 for the same type of furnaces. Still a bit pricey, really. My friend, Brian, recommended ISSA Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, and their prices were $1650 and $2550. What they lacked in professionalism (and there was a definite lack, there), they made up in price, confidence, personality, and trust-inspiring behavior.

So, I ended up spending $2550 to fix something A.B. MAY should have fixed last year, but the new furnace will allow me to get a high-efficiency heat pump next year or so. Overall, I haven't had too much stress over spending that money, so I'd call it a good purchase.

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