Not long ago I showed a buyer a house with a gravity furnace and got the response I often get… what is that???

Gravity furnace

Often nicknamed an 'octopus' furnace because of its multiple 'arms' they date back to the late 1800's and early 1900's. They were originally designed to burn coal, but later switched to burn oil or natural gas. There aren't too many left but you still sometimes find them in older homes, especially ones where the owners have lived there for many decades.

Although they are only about 50% energy efficient and take up huge amounts of space older homeowners often don't replace them because, like the Energizer Bunny, they just keep going and going and going… with few moving parts, there isn't much that can break down.

As its name implies, air circulation in a gravity furnace relies on gravity… the principle that warm air rises and cool air falls. There typically is no fan on a gravity furnace… that is why there are so many 'arms' and why they are so large. Since no fan is pushing the air, the air pressure is lower as the warm air gently enters the room and there tend to be fewer hot spots. However, there is no way to provide central air conditioning or warm air to the basement with this type of furnace… and there is no filter since that obstructs air movement.

When a home has a gravity furnace, the new homeowners will usually choose to replace it with a new energy-efficient forced air furnace and air conditioning system… which requires all new ductwork. Additionally, almost all gravity furnace systems are insulated with asbestos… ok as long as it remains sealed, but needs asbestos abatement if removed because of the health hazard.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – EmailMinneapolis Realtor

RELATED POST

 

About Sharlene Hensrud

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

Related Posts

Get the electrical, plumbing, and mechanicals right on your kitchen remodel

If you plan to renovate your kitchen, take the time and spend a little extra money to get the plumbing, mechanicals, and electrical right. Home inspectors find a lot of remodeled kitchens where it would have been just a little bit of extra work to fix an existing problem or avoid future problems, but someone skimped.

Read More

Contingent upon Inspection

Most buyers make their offer to purchase a property contingent upon a complete home inspecton…for good reason. If you are like most people, buying a home is the biggest single investment you will ever make. It makes sense to protect that investment by having a qualified, professional inspector take an in-depth, unbiased look at your.

Read More

BUYING 2014: The Four Key Home Search Factors

There are four key search factors involved when buying a home, and even though this order may not match your personal priorities, their importance usually follows this order: LOCATION, PRICE, SIZE & TYPE, CONDITION. #1 – LOCATION Location is the most important factor… the one you can't change. Location affects everything from price to schools.

Read More