Thread Number: 79243  /  Tag: Air Conditioners
Furnace at an estate sale this morning
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Post# 1031694   5/3/2019 at 14:51 (394 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        

1952 Lennox. Original to the house!!

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Post# 1031697 , Reply# 1   5/3/2019 at 15:42 (394 days old) by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

My house used to have one of these dinosaur juice fired monsters. Original to the house from 1910. It was taken out a few years ago.

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Post# 1031698 , Reply# 2   5/3/2019 at 15:48 (394 days old) by DE409 (Maryland)        

Hate to see their utility bills!

Post# 1031699 , Reply# 3   5/3/2019 at 15:49 (394 days old) by DE409 (Maryland)        

Why are they selling the furnace at an estate sale? LOL usually the house goes with?

Post# 1031710 , Reply# 4   5/3/2019 at 16:36 (394 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
It wasnt for sale

I just thought it was interesting, a real furnace that works like a furnace is supposed to is rarely seen, the energy police have scared most people into changing them for a so called energy efficient model,,,think a minute its run since 1952...that's 67 years,,it still has all its original controls etc its heated that house all those years with very very little trouble I would give anything to have it in my house it will still out last 3 of anything new made today!

Post# 1031742 , Reply# 5   5/3/2019 at 22:36 (394 days old) by Diesirae7 (Central Illinois)        
ahh the classic Lennox

I've done a lot of clean and checks on those Lennox furnaces when I was just out of HVAC school in Quincy IL, that town was loaded with some nice classics.

Post# 1031755 , Reply# 6   5/4/2019 at 04:11 (394 days old) by TheSpiritOf76 (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and OZ All Together. )        
That Reminds me of...

thespiritof76's profile picture
Of when I walked through the Estate Sale at my house in 2011, and was introduced to Big Bertha for the first time, but certainly not the last! Just as Hans was saying, the machine its self is a Winchester, Capital that is original to my house, built in 1903. At the time, she was coal burning, and is still located in what use to be the coal room with the cast iron coal chute door. She however was converted to gas in or around 1929. She has been heating my house for 116 winters! That is mighty impressive, and she is still here!

Post# 1031756 , Reply# 7   5/4/2019 at 04:25 (394 days old) by superocd (PNW)        

I've been in HVACR for six years and have never seen anything this old on a call and don't think I will ever. Just the usual ~7-20 year old condensing furnaces. Lots and lots of heat pumps.

The caveat with something this old is the heat exchanger (inefficiency is secondary). The mechanical parts of this furnace may be dead simple and anvil reliable (no control boards or plastic/low-grade metal) but eventually, heat exchangers may start to crack or separate. I've seen it happen on furnaces right at the 10 year mark. Of course, this thing was designed when planned obsolescence only meant car manufacturers constantly changing the looks of their cars to get people to buy new models and not a finite lifespan intentionally engineered into products, but even still heat exchangers are not infallible. It really should be inspected once a year. However, even with a cracked heat exchanger, it could live on as a display piece in an appliance collection!

Post# 1031791 , Reply# 8   5/4/2019 at 15:08 (393 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
but you forget

The heat exchangers made back then were heavier than 10 gauge steel, real USA steel, not old cars melted down,i have never seen but one furnace that old crack and it cracked on a weld and was in a wet basement and was very rusty, if you have never seen the way these are built its really reveals just how far down we have gone in the way we build our stuff, this furnace would be about 75 percent efficient, yes it will use some more oil than a new furnace but it will give less trouble, run much quieter and give less trouble

Post# 1031795 , Reply# 9   5/4/2019 at 15:40 (393 days old) by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

I'm not really used to furnaces and I'm quite curious.

Do this thing use the same principle (gravity) as a super old "octopuss" furnace I saw a little bit over 1 year ago when I was looking for an apartment to rent?

It was a giant round thing in the basement that looked like a giant "Dalek" from Dr. Who with an absurd number of ducts coming out of it.

The apartment had several small registers on the floor and there was a giant register in the living room floor (i guess it was the cold air return)

The apartment i live now (back unit) has a furnace abandoned in the basement that belongs to the front house, next to a blue Kenmore incinerator and a Ruud water heater that is also abandoned but the landlord decided to leave it there because it's a beautiful antique piece. I think it's tankless, but it looks like a regular tank. My apartment had a similar water heater that was in use until the apartment was remodeled in 2017. He took the water heater to his weekend house in Napa Valley to use as a decoration.

Post# 1031813 , Reply# 10   5/4/2019 at 18:51 (393 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
This is

A forced air furnace,It has a blower that switches on when the burner heats the heat exchanger to a pre determined temperature, then turns off both blower and burner when the thermostat is satisfied.

Post# 1031815 , Reply# 11   5/4/2019 at 19:01 (393 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Older Forced Furnace Operation

combo52's profile picture

About reply # 10, Hi Hans, wouldn't the thromostat just turn off the burner and then the blower thromostat would turn off the blower a few minutes later to scavenge extra heat and keep the heat exchanger from the stress of stopping so hot.



Post# 1031817 , Reply# 12   5/4/2019 at 19:20 (393 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I did miss state John,

Actually the heating cycle is this, Thermostat calls for heat, Burner starts, when fan /limit control reaches a pre set temperature the blower starts, when the thermostat contacts open , when the room temp reaches the set temp, the burner shuts off and the fan continues to run until the fan limit senses the temp has dropped below a set temp, to protect against the temperature going above the set temp, the thermostat is usually equipped with a tiny heat anticipator heater, this warms the thermostat so it actually turns off a degree or so before the room temp is warm enough, then the residual heat in the furnace, considerable in these heavy old units, brings the temperature in the room up to set temp, preventing overshoot.

Post# 1031845 , Reply# 13   5/5/2019 at 02:30 (393 days old) by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing this info!

As you can imagine, I'm not that used to furnaces as I never had one

Post# 1031866 , Reply# 14   5/5/2019 at 12:05 (392 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Tag From Our Orignal Furnace

combo52's profile picture

It was a Hallmark installed in 1956, nearly all of the orignal 80+ homes in this neighborhood had the same Gas Forced air furnace, And as proof all thing old weren't that good we started seeing them out for trash by the early 60s.


They all seemed to develop cracked heat exchanges, I actually kept our till 1981, when I finely took it out and looked at it, it also had a huge crack in the HE.


This furnace was the type of furnace that gives hot-heat a bad name, it was way too powerful, when it kicked in you felt the blast of hot air and you were ready to start taking off clothing, the current American Standard furnace is a two stage 60,000-80,000 BTU output with variable blower and not only can you not hear it but you can't tell if is on or off, the house stays at a completely even temperature, and best of all never a problem in over 15 years.


Picture of rating tag from the Hallmark


John L.

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This post was last edited 05/05/2019 at 14:54
Post# 1031870 , Reply# 15   5/5/2019 at 13:19 (392 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

We had one of those "octopus" gravity furnaces in the basement of the house I grew up in.  Original 1927 unit.  It caused a sooty residue to accumulate around all of the registers.  My parents had it replaced with a Payne forced air unit that included a 6" thick heavily pleated filter after my mom developed asthma around 1980.  That unit held up well and was highly efficient.  If the new owners can add A/C to it, they'd be better off than buying anything new -- that is, if the BTUs and CFMs can handle the upstairs additions currently under construction.


My dad kept the large enameled badge from the original unit and tacked it up in the garage.  I took it for office decor when I worked for an HVAC contractor.   I received lots of positive comments on it from the construction and service personnel.  It measures about 16" x 18".  I still have it and at some point will incorporate it into the signage wall I'm planning for the carport in our backyard.



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Post# 1031873 , Reply# 16   5/5/2019 at 14:10 (392 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
RE Hallmark

I never saw a gas fired Hallmark, They are one of the best oil furnaces on the market today, My hometown is full of 60s Hallmark oil furnaces I never saw one of them crack, They are made by the Boyertown furnace co.

Post# 1031906 , Reply# 17   5/5/2019 at 21:26 (392 days old) by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

kevin313's profile picture

Next time I'm there, I'll take a photo of the two Thermo-Pride gas furnaces in the basement of Cavalcade. They were installed when the building was completed "remodeled" - in 1964!! They are beasts but heat that building like you wouldn't believe!

Post# 1031911 , Reply# 18   5/5/2019 at 22:02 (392 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        
Reply #13

Tom, If you want to know more about heating systems in colder climates, you might want to check this thread:

Thread # 61679 Let's Talk About heating Shall We?

The New York Times article linked below makes several references to an NYC law enacted in response to the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1919. Now imagine storm windows added, insulation installed where practical, and air leaks plugged in buildings that complied with this law. I only saw the numbers once... many years ago but I believe they were something like

"Room(s) must have a temp of at least of 60F with each window open one inch (two inches if the room has just one window) with an exterior temp of 20F"

Remember, this applied to rooms that today would be considered quite drafty, even with everything closed up.

Cold Climate Trivia tid-bit: NYC can provide steam service to buildings just like it provides natural gas and electricity. I believe a few other cities do as well.

Post# 1031925 , Reply# 19   5/6/2019 at 07:04 (392 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Detroit and Lansing Michigan both have steam utilities within their downtowns.

Post# 1032428 , Reply# 20   5/11/2019 at 23:17 (386 days old) by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

kevin313's profile picture

Here are the twin 1964 Thermo Pride furnaces that heat the Cavalcade building. For as big as they are they are very quiet !

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Post# 1032443 , Reply# 21   5/12/2019 at 08:45 (385 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
The new

Thermo Prides look exactly the same.

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