Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Sure, they're more efficient, but how's the quality?
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Sure, they're more efficient, but how's the quality?

Hi! We have an older house (1920) with a great Rheem furnace from 1974. In our 20 years here, it's never given us any trouble. We replaced the thermocoupler (?) a few times. Heats very well. Quiet. Several HVAC guys have commented that it's sized very well for our house, which is small (1300sf.) We live in Northern Ohio and our highest gas bill the past 2 years was $320. We don't budget.

We don't have a/c and we're finally breaking down and getting it. With this $1500 tax credit, we thought we might as well replace the furnace.

But I'm worried about the quality of the new furnaces. It seems like every time we replace an appliance, like our dishwasher, refrigerator, washer, dryer...the new appliance is less quality. And we don't buy the cheap stuff, we tend to buy near the higher end.

We're looking at Lennox and Carrier and we're only getting quotes from companies we've heard good things about. I know the installation is key.

Any thoughts?


Re: Sure, they're more efficient, but how's the quality?

its a good move to research the product your about to buy, its the only way to get your moneys worth, shop around. talk to builders and heating contractors as opposed to salesman. the contractors will be more likely to give you an honest opinion as to which brand because a more reliable model means less callbacks for them which is money out of pocket for them early on and money out of pocket for you long term

as for appliances being lesser quality as of late. this seems to be the trend as of late for more than just appliances. fine homebuilding did a article related to the perks of being green. basically it talked about benefits of recycling and using green products, but they gave a major strike on the issue of recycled products are of lower quality than raw materials. ive noticed this with even every day items such as food containers. the plastic is from recycled material but their only good for 6 months, i have the same thing from 5 years ago which is in better condition than one i bought 2 months ago.

Re: Sure, they're more efficient, but how's the quality?

Welcome to planned obsolescence.

In our cellar, we have a Philco fridge that my parents bought in in 1954, still running strong. The only repair it's ever had is changing the light bulb.

Newer furnaces seem to last about 15-20 years, and the complex controls and igniters they use will require more service than your old one ever did.


As you say, quality installation and service are the key. You are on the right track to search out a good contractor.

Re: Sure, they're more efficient, but how's the quality?

It's sad. We have an old, old GE range. Really ugly brown thing, but it works very well. It will never die.

Now we're rethinking the whole thing. The size of the new a/c units was shocking! It would be like having a refrigerator in our back yard! Like many older homes, we're in the city and we don't have much of a yard.

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