Furnace and Air Conditioner

Recently we purchased an older mobile home. We expected to find a number of upgrades needing to be done. One thing we hoped not to have worry about was the furnace or air conditioner. We did our due diligence and arranged to have both the furnace and the air conditioner checked out.

Provincial Heating came out and took a look at the units for us. We were advised that both units were working but very old, maybe thirty years old. We were also advised that few parts were available for the furnace and some of the parts that were still available would likely have a long delivery time to receive. It was suggested that if we were considering replacing the furnace, that we should do so sooner rather than later and to try to avoid busy periods when the temperature is very high or low. The air conditioner was also working but again about thirty years old.

Our 30 plus year old furnace.

A few days after the service inspection we noticed water in the duct work nearest the furnace. We contacted Provincial Heating again and explained what we were seeing in the vent. They advised us that the Air Conditioning coil that is situated below the furnace was likely the cause of the water.

We decided to have the furnace and air conditioner replaced. We contacted three installers for prices. We wanted to go with a two-stage furnace, mainly because we had heard that it was the better choice. I had found out from an inspector at Manitoba Hydro that in some cases, depending on the needs of the building, a single stage furnace is a better choice.

We gave Provincial Heating the first crack at an estimate. Their price was similar to the others we received; the main difference was that they had extra charges for any modifications. I wanted to have a firm price going in.

We also had Furnasman provide an estimate. The sales rep Trevor seemed knowledgeable about the install process and the equipment. He confirmed what would be included as well as adding an extra vent to the porch. $10,300 all in, two stage Lennox Merritt ML296 70kbtu furnace and a Lennox air conditioner.

The third with an estimate was Reliance. Omar the sales rep, didn’t give off a great vide. He seemed more interested in having us rent the equipment than purchasing it. Something I told him we were not interested in doing, but he still pushed. He also told us we requested a tap water test, which we hadn’t, but I allowed him to go ahead. Was I surprised when he told us that we would benefit from one of their water treatment products. They had Goodman products, not a brand that I was familiar with, and the price was in the same ballpark. Because of the vibe, we wouldn’t have picked them.

We decided on Furnasman, Trevor set everything up for us and we had an install date set for the first week of June. On the day of the install, we were given a surprise, the furnace we were supposed to get could not be installed. The installer told me that two stage furnaces were not allowed in mobile homes by Manitoba Hydro and only certain makes and models could be. One that was allowed was a Payne PG95ESAA single stage 60kbtu, that they brought with them. I was asked if I still wanted it installed, what could I do if this is all that can go in, what choice did I have? I contacted Trevor to find out if there was a price change on the furnace. I contacted Trevor several times by phone and text but did not receive a call back.

After the furnace and air conditioning coil were removed, we found out that the floor supporting them had gotten wet over time, likely from the leaking coil. The floor would have to be cut out and replaced. The installer told me that this wasn’t something that they did, and I would have to get the floor repaired before they could continue the repair. Fortunately, our contractor was available to come by and repair the floor in just a few days.

The vents on the AC coil were completely plugged with dust.

The floor repaired; it was time to have Furnasman come back out to finish the install. The install went well with no further delays. I did hear from the office at Furnasman that Trevor had been away sick and that was why I had not heard back from him. When Trevor was able to get back to me, I let him know that the installers felt that it wouldn’t be the best time to add another vent because of the structure supporting insulation under the mobile home. We also discussed the price of the furnace being installed. Trevor told me that the Payne furnace cost $1000 more than the Lennox Merritt that he had quoted and that they would keep the price the same. Trevor also said that they would adjust the total because they were not going to install the new vent, the new price $10,000.

Being told that the Payne furnace was more expensive than the Lennox furnace, just didn’t sit right with me. I saw an advertisement on Facebook from Furnasman and sent and inquiry about furnace prices. The response was not quite what I was expecting.

A short time after the install, we had a pretty hard rain. I noticed that water was dripping off of one of the exhaust pipes to the furnace and dripping onto the filter. I contacted Furnasman to have someone out to inspect the roof for leaks because that was where the pipes went. Fortunately, they were able to send someone quickly, unfortunately the dispatch didn’t relay the information correctly and the technician thought they were coming to look at an Air Conditioning problem and didn’t have a ladder to get on the roof. A second service call had to be booked. On the next call they applied more silicone to the roof, and we have not seen another leak from that pipe.

Installing roof top exhaust pipes.

Once again, I had to contact Furnasman. This time they advised me that if it was not a warranty related issue that there would be a service fee. We noticed that one of the copper pipes coming out of the furnace was dripping water onto the newly repaired floor, it appeared to be condensation building up on piping for the air conditioner. The technician found that during the furnace install, they had left some of the pipe exposed, that should have been covered by the black insulating foam. The technician was able to adjust the foam to cover up the pipe. He also sealed the exposed holes on the furnace and on the floor. (We had previously asked the installers doing the installation, to make sure that any holes in the floor were sealed to prevent critters from getting in.) The technician also found a longer section of pipe that wasn’t covered behind the furnace that he was able to cover.

The Pricing on the furnace wasn’t sitting with me well. I started to search out comparable prices on the Lennox and Payne products. Although they both seemed to have decent reviews, the Lennox came out on top and the Payne had a lower rating and price.

I sent a text to Trevor explaining my findings on the prices and the service history but didn’t hear back from him. I was starting to feel like this was a Bait and switch deal. Trying to keep an open mind that Furnasman misinterpreted the code on furnace installs in mobile homes. I talked to an inspector at Manitoba Hydro, and he informed me that the code states that if the structure has been made to be permanently located, then there are no restrictions to furnace equipment installs. While I was talking to the inspector, I found out that I was required to make arrangements to have an inspection done on the furnace install, if I didn’t, I risked having the gas shut off. This is when I also found out that Furnasman had not pulled a permit to do the work. Without a permit I could not arrange an inspection.

Another call to Furnasman to let them know that I needed book an inspection. I was told they would look into the permit. Furnasman got back to me the same day with the permit number. I asked if Trevor was still with the company and was told that he was. I let them know I had been trying to reach him but was not getting a response, they offered to message him. It has been several days since I last contacted Furnasman and I still haven’t heard back from Trevor.

The sales rep Trevor still has not responded to my calls or messages I guess he has decided to ghost me. I did manage to get the permit from Furnasman, only took 2 weeks. The first available inspection was booked for October. A representative from Furnasman has offered to investigate our install. After a week there has been no response on the investigation, other than they are still looking into it.

On August 26 I made contact with Furnasman online. After twelve days they were able to get me the permit number. I had already called the local office and I was able to get a number a couple of days earlier. September 19, I still had not heard back from Furnasman on my inquiry, related to the furnace installation. They did tell me three times that they would reach out to whoever was working on investigating my inquiry.

September 19, I received a call from Trevor our original sales representative. I shared our experience since having the equipment installed by Furnasman. Trevor apologized for not being available and that our experience was not what they wanted for their customers. Trevor asked what they could do for us to make up for the frustration. I suggest that they are currently running a Summer Sale and maybe it could be made available to us. Trevor told me he had a meeting with his GM the next morning and he would get back to me in the morning. Two days later Trevor sent a text and they wanted to give us a two-year maintenance package. I asked what the maintenance package was about but did not get a response that day.

I didn’t notice anything in the ad about a minimum purchase needed to qualify for the savings.

September 24 and another leak from the exhaust pipes, dripping onto the air filter. The fourth service call was booked and scheduled for the next morning. Unfortunately, the appointment had to be rescheduled because none of the technicians working on Sunday had a ladder in their trucks. The ladder was needed to gain access to the roof. Apparently, the ladders were in the office that is locked on Sundays. The new appointment was set for Tuesday afternoon. Luckily no more rain is expected before that time. I sent a text to the sales rep to inform him of the leak. Since he has not responded to my last text, I do not expect a response.

Tuesday came and went without a service technician from Furnasman. When I called the next day to find out what happened, I was told that the call was rescheduled to Wednesday with no specific time set. The call was again rescheduled and has now has been referred to an installer, scheduled for Friday morning.

Friday morning the installers arrived prepared to tackle the cause of the leak. They found that silicone previously used had dried and cracked at the top of the stack allowing water to run down. They applied new silicone and tapered it to prevent any standing water and allow better runoff. No rain is expected for a couple of days, while the new repair sets, we will wait to see how it turns out. We will also have to wait until November for the inspector to check out the install.

October 19 Sent a new message to Furnasman

We needed to book another service call, this time it was because we had mice sightings. We found a hole that was not completely filled in. This is one of the points we stressed that had to be covered to avoid any intrusions. An exterminator was booked, we used Combat Pest Control. They did a great job, and our new visitors were gone within two weeks.

Furnasman did send out another service technician to look at the potential access points. The Technician did fill in an access point outside where the air conditioning pipes enter the home. The technician also noticed that we had not received a cover for the air conditioner and made arrangements to have one dropped off.

We finally had Manitoba Hydro out to inspect the furnace install. The install was confirmed done properly.

I have to say that most of the people on the phone at Furnasman have done as they promised and followed up on getting the information we needed, even if it wasn’t always what we were hoping to hear.

Four service calls so far to make the initial install right, one service call had to be rescheduled, and I have lost count on the number of phone calls and text messages to this point. There was poor or no communication when it came to the equipment to be installed and when service calls were rescheduled. The sales offer could use more detail, so it doesn’t mislead the purchaser. Disappointed in the compensation offered, yep. As far as the equipment installed, the furnace and air conditioner are performing well. The fan on the furnace is loud and because of the location in the home, it is challenging to hold a conversation. Would we use Furnasman to install the vent that wasn’t done during the installation, maybe, if we could have the second install team that came out to correct the leak from the exhaust pipe.

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