Old House Restoration

A real family makes an old house their home...for the 2nd time
The Splendido's renovate, restore and rejuvenate their home with their own hands - all while living in the house
and balancing their family needs...you know...like most families have to do it!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Furnace Removal, Furnace Efficiencies, Air Purification & More

how to remove a furnace
So this is the furnace that was in the house when we moved in. It is about 15 years old and worked well. It kept us comfortable for our first winter in the new house. So of course I had to replace it. Wait! What?

See even though it was "fine"...I wanted better. I work for the RJ Murray Co., Inc. in Latham. We are the oldest Carrier distributor in the world. Since 1933 we have been selling and supporting the Carrier brand of heating, cooling and indoor air quality (IAQ) equipment. Did you know? Willis Carrier is called "The father of modern air conditioning" having invented it in 1903!

So it is understandable that this Lennox stuff was not going to last in my house for long. They are the competition...aghast!

Plus there were real life reasons I wanted to change out our working furnace. First, 10-15 years is the average life cycle for a furnace. So we were already on borrowed time...and living in Upstate NY...enough said.

The second reason had everything to do with this yellow tag. 80.0 AFUE. It is an 80% furnace. Although it is a 25% more efficient that the 64 AFUE furnaces of a few decades ago, it is still 21.75% less efficient than Carrier's
Infinity 98 Gas Furnace With Greenspeed Intelligence (Infinity Furnace for short) of today, which is an amazing 97.4 AFUE.

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Basically it is the standard for all heating equipment to help you compare one unit's efficiency to another. The higher the AFUE the more efficient the furnace/boiler is.

To put in it real money terms - With an 80% furnace, for every $1.00 you send to National Grid for natural gas to heat your home...$0.80 is used to heat your home and the other $0.20 goes straight up the chimney (literally). With the 97.4% Infinity furnace only $0.026 is wasted.

It is easy to see the savings that will be had this upcoming winter and every year after that.

Here is the EnergyGuide tag off the new furnace:

This Carrier Infinity Furnace is so efficient it is off the charts! 
No. Really. It is more efficient than the line graph - look at the pic!

The first step before you remove the old furnace is to get the new equipment home. Luckily for me - I just had to go to the scratch and dent area and pick out the furnace...and in my case a condenser and evaporator coil since I am also adding central air (foreshadowing of future posts).

The scratch and dents are exactly what they sound like. Units that cosmetically cannot be sold as new, but will work perfectly. If you are looking to save money, you can let your hvac dealer know if the distributor has scratch and dents you would be interested...at a reduced cost of course. Ask for a comparative quote so you can make an educated decision. Some of the scratch and dents are really minor and for most homeowners - the furnace resides in a basement, an attic or in a closet...so as long as the blemish is only cosmetic who really cares?! Don't accept any equipment that has more than cosmetic damage...however this should not be an issue, because I know we don't sell them to our dealers. Hopefully all the other brands follow suit. 

Removing the furnace and plenum and more

how to remove a furnace 
So like I said, I work for the local Carrier Distributor. Just because I work "in the industry" does not mean I know what the hell I am doing when it comes to removing and installing a new hvac system. Luckily for me I work with some awesome people (friends) that do. Myself and two co-workers did the removal. They volunteered to helped me long ago when we first moved...the conversation kind of went like this...They asked me, "How's the new house?" I said, "Great." They said "How is the system?" I said, "it is an older Lennox system, but there is no AC." They said, "we can help you when the time comes." I joked, "I hope you don't come to regret saying that."  :-)   12 months later, they were in my basement helping me...and they have been back several times during the course of this project. Good guys! I am lucky.

It took 2 hours to remove the furnace, take the ridiculously large plenums off (those two oddly shaped pieces of sheet metal that connect the furnace to the supply and return ductwork) and then to place the new furnace in position to see what we were dealing with.

Another added benefit of this project was gaining a nice amount of floor space in the basement. The new furnace, plenum and connecting ducts were going to take up about half the room of the current setup. Bonus! Now we can store more stuff! <---I am being sarcastic in case that did not come across....but seriously who doesn't like having more storage?!

From This                                                        To This

how to install a furnace

Granted it is not fully hooked up and we still have a long way to go, but if you look closely at the floor in the after picture, you can see the unpainted section. That is the storage area that was gained.

how to install a furnace
Here is another view of the furnace and the evaporator coil.

Also down on the lower left you will see the Carrier Infinity Air Purifier that I am adding to the system in replace of the standard cartridge filters on most systems. This system is the only system on the market that CAPTURES & KILLS airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and mold as small as 0.01 microns – that’s 18,000 times smaller than the head of a pin. And because it is attached to the ductwork - it is a whole home air purification system...unlike those towers that can only do one room. In a home with 4 people (Karen and all 3 kids) that suffer from allergies - I'll take all the help I can get. ;-) But seriously it will be great knowing that I am doing everything I can to help them all breathe easier.

BTW - this Carrier Infinity Air Purifier or its little brother, the Carrier Performance Air Purifier, can be added to any existing forced air (heating and/or AC) that has ductwork - no matter what brand.

Now that the system is in place the next step is to have some new ductwork/plenums made to connect it to the current ducts. Then we can finish installing it and the condenser. More posts to come later...

....because now I am off to the recycling yard

Want to find out more?
If you want to get more information on any of these Carrier products or find a local expert Carrier dealer, you can check out our consumer site UpgradeToComfort.com. It is a site I helped design to educate homeowners to allow them to make an informed decision when it comes to their heating, cooling and IAQ needs.


  1. Wow! Your knowledge about the important things to consider when installing a furnace is admirable. I'm so amazed while reading your post due to the way you delivered it in such a nice and educational way. It seems that you really know what you're talking about. Thanks for sharing that, John! Kudos and all the best to you!

    Tommy Hopkins @ AccuTemp

  2. Wow! That furnace is awesome. I think you’re one who really knows about those kinds of stuff and won’t settle for anything less. Anyway, it's nice to know that you’ve already replaced the old one, rather than keeping up with it and witnessing the dilemmas it could bring you when it reaches its breaking point. In any way, thanks for sharing that, John! Have a great day!

    Brett Rogers @ Flame Furnace

  3. While it has served you well for quite some time, it really was best that you’ve opted to switch to a better model. You’ll never know when it might suddenly give out, plus the fact that it’s quite inefficient with regard to its output. Anyway, I hope your new one serves you well for another decade or so without problems. Cheers!

    Dennis Cannon @ LairdAndSon

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  5. This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here!emergency furnace repairs