What is inside a 50 year-old furnace?

Ever asked yourself what’s inside a 50 year-old furnace? Yeah, me neither. And yet, the answer to this very question was provided to me as I continued with the renovations in the basement.

Namely, taking the 50 year-old furnace apart so I could get the bugger out. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to. Thank God for that!

Once I’d removed all the ductwork on top, I started to unscrew whatever could be unscrewed as a way to find out how this thing could come apart. The sucker is big — I think the Smart Car is smaller — and weighs a tonne. (Well, maybe not exactly, but I could barely move it on my own.)

Once the top was off and I’d removed most of the front and rear plates, I could see the basic innards: burners, heating elements, blower, and control system. Fairly straight-forward. But big. And heavy. And old.

First, remove the plates, top bracket, back access door, and anything else I could easily yank. Along with the cast iron burners. Heavy suckers, too.   Then came the heating elements, which were the bulk of the weight, and the blower (which wasn’t light, either). This left the empty shell, which was almost as awkward as the rest of the stuff.

I’m so glad we’re moving to a more efficient system. Just looking at this thing made me cringe. And we have a lot of new room downstairs now that it’s out.

Anyone looking for scrap metal? I’ve got several hundred pounds in my backyard now…

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2 Replies to “What is inside a 50 year-old furnace?”

  1. When we lived in Winnipeg several years ago, the furnace had to be replaced in the house we were renting. The old one was close to the size of two refrigerators, and the new one was just a little bit larger than a dishwasher and WAY more efficient. As you say – lots more room!

    Hmmmm – I wonder just how old our furnace is……..

  2. I just finished removing the 50-year-old furnace/AC. I bought the place last January. However, I knew it was eventually going to have to be done. The furnace was made by Singer. The real estate agent gave me extra CO detectors for free and stressed that I use them. These were sure signs of a furnace replacement in the horizon.
    I pulled quit a bit of metal from that unit and outdoor condense. I am hoping to recover some money in scrap value. Meanwhile, I await the new furnace, drip the faucets, and heat with a portable during the day. It was 22 degrees last night…brrrr.

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