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Well, where do I post this one? Furnace numbers today

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wg_bent, Jun 23, 2007.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Furnace guy came today to clean and do yearly check.

    Usage is supplemental to Osburn for heat, Primary for Hot water.

    18 year old Burnham

    Smoke 0+
    Draft .02 (dif .03)
    Stack temp 450
    CO2 reading 11
    Net efficiency 81.5

    So... Any Opinions on this beast? I have no idea if those are good numbers or not.

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  2. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    Western NY
    sounds just fine to me.
  3. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

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    Nothing wrong with those numbers from an 18 year-old furnace Warren.Did that combustion test show O2 numbers,and % excess air?
  4. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Ashfield, MA
    I've got to assume those are pretty good numbers. I just pulled the card fom my last cleaning last year (and have at least an 18 year old Becket burner, and Burnham Boiler - mostly for hot water)

    The numbers were:
    Net stack - 300
    CO2 11%
    Smoke 0
    Breech Draft .03
    Overfire Draft .02

    Burner Effiniency 85 3/4

    Down at the botton of the card, 80-85 (efficiency) is rated as "excellent"; 75-79 3/4 is "good"; 70-74 3/4 is "fair"; and below 70 is "poor"

    So - just a guess, but I think your's is doing pretty well.
  5. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    North Worc. CTY MA
    I would say good numbers. Going by the numbers (and the fact the burner tech wrote them up the way he did) you got your $$$'s worth. While the 450 is on the "upper end" it sounds like the guy "did right by you". This tech?? Someone you use fairly often???
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    The local guy from Kingston. KOSCO.
  7. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Jan 19, 2006
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    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    Interesting topic - I just discovered this new forum.

    I had a fun experience with getting the oil furnace serviced recently. First, since we burned so little oil the past couple of years with the stove installed, we don't have a contract anymore. I'm still on my tank from last fall. Well that turned out to be a problem, because nobody that sells oil will provide service unless you have a contract.

    So then I started calling plumbers. First, all of them pitch a cheap "light cleaning" for ~$70-100 assuming you have had it serviced every year, and if not, they try to sell a higher priced cleaning. This is kind of a nonsense metric to me since a furnace that burns 1500 gallons in a year is going to be much filthier than a furnace that burns 400 gallons over 2 years. I eventually gave up trying to make that point on the phone and just told them "oh yea, I get it cleaned every year." It had been about 1000 gallons since the last cleaning; a typical average year's worth of use around here for most people.

    I ended up just calling Wolfe, one of the larger operations in Dutchess county. They have an interesting scam. They come out for $70 and don't do a whole lot. They replace the nozzle and the fuel filter, and "inspect" some things. That's about it. Then they pitch the "heavy cleaning" where they brush out the heat exchanger for an extra $300. Unbelievable! Along the way while the guy was working and we were chatting about various things and I was watching him, he figured out how much I've done around the place and there was no way I was paying $300 to have a furnace brushed. Once that was clear, he almost seemed relieved that he was done with the BS pitch and then proceeded to show me pretty much everything I could ever need to know about adjusting things, priming the pump, dealing with burner lockouts, suggested replacing the rear elbow w/cleanout tee to avoid water coming in from the chimney, etc... and was a nice guy. I tipped him well, and at this point, I think I'm done with paying for oil burner servicing from these places. He also explained how they're supposed to push $3K tankless heater installs that he readily admitted are a terrible deal - expensive as heck to service for parts and labor and unlikely to ever save enough money to pay off. I also learned the going rate on a aquastat replacement is about $600 parts and labor, so I felt a lot better about having soldered mine to fix a failed joint the year after we moved in.

    As for the "heavy cleaning," a $5 brush from Williams Lumber in Rhinebeck and 45 minutes later, the furnace was completely cleaned up inside as well and vacuumed out from the bottom. Pretty darned straightforward job and I'll probably do it even sooner than 1000 gallons next time as it was starting to pile up in the exchangers.

    -Colin
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I figure on doing the same thing this year too.
    I was going to installed an outside air kit, and got a used combustion test kit to tune the air shutter but still haven't used it!
    Probably won't install that kit either.
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Won't help at all with the service side, but you can at least get a general checkup and the efficiency test for "free" in some areas, at least once... Here in MA, and I understand many other states have the same sort of program, the utility companies have an "Energy Audit" program where they come in and give your home an audit for energy consumption, and this includes a furnace efficiency check where they get the combustion numbers for you. The guy that does the test will also give you some compact florescent bulbs or install some weatherstripping and similar minor energy fixes. Supposedly it's paid for "voluntarily" by the utilities (as in the gov't tells them "Volunteer or else") which means that everyone's utility bills were jacked up to pay for it :roll: Might as well take advantage of it...

    Gooserider
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