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Old 09-01-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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Can I ADD or have to REPLACE?


I have a 1986 era COMFORTMAKER gas updraft furnace.
Model # GUD040A012-IN

Working fine, but I would like to add central air.
Does anyone know if this is an option with this unit?
Or will I have to replace the entire unit?

Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions.

Gerry

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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Can I ADD or have to REPLACE?


Should be no problem. I would get a experienced Heil or Comfortmaker, ICP tech to carefully check the heat exchanger for cracks or popped compression rivets first. Those units are prone to both.

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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Can I ADD or have to REPLACE?


First, thanks for the quick responce!

IF such a problem exists, would you recomend repair or replace?

I have not had very good experiances with local San Diego repair types on this unit. Two seperate times repair people have quoted very expensive parts and repair costs, and then friends have fixed the unit for less than 150.00 both times.

Thats why I am starting here this time.

Gerry
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #4
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That unit is 23 yrs old and after 20 yrs any furnace may have a cracked heat exchanger. I would buy a new one as they are more efficient and there may be grants/rebates from your local government/power company etc for more efficient furnaces and air conditioners. Impossible to predict when it will crack and the metal on some of those units looks like recycled metal to me. Builders grade quality the later models were. The heat exchanger is most likely obsolete and the labor to install it is $600-$800 or more. Their newer units are much better. Lennox,Carrier,Trane would be my first picks in that order.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:27 PM   #5
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Again, thank you for the help.

I guess its time to look for a new one.

Gerry
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:27 PM   #6
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You have 50-50 chance of getting another 10 yrs out of it.
Not sure why but you may see no change in your utility bill with a higher efficiency unit.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 09-01-2009 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
You have 50-50 chance of getting another 10 yrs out of it.
Not sure why but you may see no change in your utility bill with a higher efficiency unit.
Nope. Every furnace of that ilk has cracks after 20 years 100%. That line was one of the first lines i carried. Everyone cracked like clock work after 19 years.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:47 PM   #8
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Nope. Every furnace of that ilk has cracks after 20 years 100%. That line was one of the first lines i carried. Everyone cracked like clock work after 19 years.
I should have said, "In general, . . ."

Were they designed to do that or it was unintentional? 200,000 heat/cool cycles?
Designed in obsolescence?
Alum HX?
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:51 PM   #9
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They were the one of the first aluminized steel exchangers, the metal fatigue
was a problem.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:43 AM   #10
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Lots of 80s era furnaces had HX problems.

Not to mention a popular brand installed in the 90s that many HX popped crimp rings in just a few years.

Bad idea to tell someone that they can get longer use of one.
Unless you are familar with the brand and model.

Don't want to kill someones kids do you.


OP.

Lots of companies push their techs to sell sell sell. Both parts and new systems.
Many of these companies. Are the ones that advertise low diagnostic or no diagnostic charges.

Might want to shy away from those companies when you need service in the future.
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
That unit is 23 yrs old and after 20 yrs any furnace may have a cracked heat exchanger. I would buy a new one as they are more efficient and there may be grants/rebates from your local government/power company etc for more efficient furnaces and air conditioners. Impossible to predict when it will crack and the metal on some of those units looks like recycled metal to me. Builders grade quality the later models were. The heat exchanger is most likely obsolete and the labor to install it is $600-$800 or more. Their newer units are much better. Lennox,Carrier,Trane would be my first picks in that order.
I agree with the exception of the brand names. Get rid of the old one, why install a nice new A/C system on top of an old heater unit that will possibly need several parts changes IE: Motor, transformer relay, ETC ETC.
Also the heater is half the system and is likely to fail much sooner than the outdoor half. For a couple hundred bucks go for the complete system.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:07 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the information.

Based on popular opinion, I think i'll be looking for a complete new unit.

The joy of not understanding something means you have to rely on others. The joy of reliable and helpful others is what makes that work.

Again, thank you all for the help. It was greatly appreciated.

Gerry
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Bad idea to tell someone that they can get longer use of one.
Unless you are familar with the brand and model.
Don't want to kill someones kids do you.
So you can squeeze the last year out of a gas appliance and get your money's worth but at some decreased level of safety.
Good point, good disclaimer.

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