I may need to replace my direct-vent oil furnace soon (since I can’t seem to locate a replacement heat exchanger for my Clare Brothers furnace). I’ve been calling around for quotes, and one company told me they could not reuse the venting on my current furnace. They claim that the all new venting is needed, and said venting is furnace-specific. Is this true? It seems kinda wasteful that I have to spend an additional $1500-$2000 for new venting when I have a perfectly working venting system in place. I figured all I would need is some kind of adapting collar to connect the new furnace to the current exhaust vent.
At the cost of oil, you might consider a different form of heat. I just changed out an old oil-burner and put in a heat pump over at my son’s house. Sealed up the venting and was able to use the same ducting.
Cost went way down and when it was 92 degrees the other day, the added benefit for a/c was great. What area do you live in?
I’m in Crysler, Ontario, Canada. I don’t have many options for heat out here in the country. I’m in the middle of nowhere. Natural gas isn’t an option for me. When you say “heat pump”, what exactly do you mean?
Normally heat pumps are not the best form of heating in very cold climates. Here is a link to a company that sells a heat pump that can work in your area without using fossil fuels. It will explain it better than I can.
This is a different style heat pump as it contains 2 compressors and allows it to work at temperatures much lower than a normal, single compressor unit with back up resistance heating strips.
Not even some municipal inspectors know this. I inspected a completely renovated “bungalow into a 2 story house” this spring. The chimney was torn down and a direct vent system installed on the existing boiler. The system had passed municipal inspection but I found 2 code violations, one of which was the direct vent sidewall exhaust was not approved by the furnace manufacturer for their boiler.
The crazy thing was that my client was referred to be by his brother, a municipal inspector supervisor in another NS jurisdiction. He arrived on the scene during my inspection and was floored by what I found!!
Vent sizing is important, but $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 extra for venting materials and labor? That sounds absurd. The pricing is way off.
I’d get another estimate from a competitor and ask them about the venting.
Thanks for the great info guys! Since I’m in Canada, heat pump doesn’t sound like an ideal solution for me. It gets pretty frigid here in winter (-30C isn’t out of the question). I’m stuck with oil until natural gas comes my way. I’m definetly getting more quotes. $5000 total sounds like a bit much for an oil furnace. Oh lord how I wish I could have just replaced my heat exchanger! Thanks again guys, I really appreciate all this info!