Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A new furnace, "quality controlled"

I bought a new furnace last fall to replace the one that was installed when this house was built in the mid 50's. Yeah, it was that old and yeah, it still worked. I replaced it "just in case," and to save on natural gas. (With higher price of gas last year, I couldn't tell the difference!). The new furnace is nice. It's smaller and uses electronic ignition rather than a pilot light. The fan is stronger so the house is more evenly heated. But... it only has a 10 year warranty.

I'm still not sure if it was the wisest thing to replace the furnace that ran without trouble for 60 years with one that's guaranteed to do so for only 10 years.

Is that what they call quality controlled? Controlled to last a much shorter period of time than it could and should last?

Your refrigerator, your kitchen range, your slow cooker, your TV, your iron... they're all designed to fail within a certain period of time.

It used to be a matter of pride to manufacture a furnace or a washing machine that didn't need repairs. Pride? What's that? Now it comes when the company turns a profit, meaning they sold a lot of products. The more the better, so they manufacture them to become obsolete or to break down irreparably within a few years so people will have to buy new ones.

Such is "progress."


  1. yes Pat I know what you mean. They just don't make things like that anymore is no cliche it is a truism. My house was also built in the mid 50's. I love every nook and cranny. When I bought the house the toilets were original porcelain 1954 but they had to be replaced and I have since replaced my toilets twice!!! Now I am complaining because the toilet seat covers have been replaced four times because they just don't last!!!!! I wish I could still have my 50's toilets back! Oh I can see the porcelain now!

  2. I'm pretty sure some of the bathroom things were replaced before I bought the house. Before I bought this one, I lived in a 100 + year old farmhouse. The farther we go, the worse quality is. I had a choice of buying this one or a brand new one. I wouldn't have a newly built home, if the ones I saw were an indication of what they're like.

  3. A few winters ago my hvac went out. I can specifically remember how cold it had gotten in the house. It took a few days to get it replaced; I shook the entire time. Brrrrrrr

  4. Yeah, it could have been pretty cold in this place if the old furnace had gone out. I hated to take it out until it quit working, though! The new one probably cost more than the old one and won't last nearly as long.

  5. I agree with you completely,it is very frustrating that we seem to be living in such a throw away world now. As you said, products seem to be designed to fail. Replacement or repair parts seem to be almost non existent at times.
    But if it makes you feel better, I highly doubt your old furnace had a 60 year warranty. So who knows, maybe you'll get lucky again.

    Wishing you 60 happy trouble free heating seasons!

  6. Justin, it might not have had a 60 year warranty, but I seriously doubt it only had a 10 year one. :)