If you own a home built between 1983 and 1995 and the furnace is in the attic, there is a very good chance that a company called Consolidated Industries manufactured this furnace. They were sold through many different brand names but most of the furnaces were manufactured under the Premier and Consolidated labels.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, these furnaces present a substantial risk of fire. There have been about 50 reports of fires and damage to homes associated with these furnaces as well as failures of burners and heat exchangers that can lead to fires. Because these furnaces were installed so long ago, there are not a lot of recent communications regarding this furnace
BACKGROUND: In 1983, The Air Quality Board put into effect a regulation on nitrous oxide emissions. Premier/Consolidated Industries produced the least expensive horizontal furnaces that met these requirements. Approximately 190,000 of these furnaces were sold between 1983 and 1994.
What Consolidated did to meet the nitrous oxide requirements was equip their furnaces with steel control rods installed above the burners. In some cases these steel rods cause the burners to overheat and crack the burner box, igniting flames outside the furnace and igniting combustible materials outside the furnace.
These furnaces were only produced to meet California’s nox-requirements. Furnaces produced for other states were not affected.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO REPLACE THE FURNACE? Nearly all Major Contractors have financing plans where you can get assistance in with the cost of the furnace and installation per month many times with no money down.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN TO ME IN THE FUTURE? Buy your heating equipment from a well-known, well-financed manufacturer. Make sure that product is actually manufactured by that manufacturer and just not name branded by the manufacturer. (Manufactured by another company, but nameplate or sticker showing the major manufacturer). When purchasing a new home, ask the brand of the heating and air conditioning equipment. If you have never heard of the brand, ask the builder to substitute a well-known, well-financed brand of heating and air conditioning equipment.
We recommend that you immediately purchase a smoke detector and caarbon monoxide detector. Put one of these smoke detectors in the attic close to the furnace. Try the test button with another person in the house to make sure the alarm can be heard in the house especially in the bedrooms.
When you have your furnace replaced make sure you keep the nameplate and the brand label. You may also want to take a photo of the furnace, which includes the nameplate and the brand label. If there is any burn damage to supporting structures you will also want to take a photo of this damage for your insurance company.
THE BRIGHT SIDE. Most of the Premier/Consolidated furnaces are over 18 years old and are nearing the end of their useful life. These furnaces compared to today’s standard were not very efficient, both in electrical usage and in natural gas usage. There are furnaces that are available today that use 50% less energy to run the fans and can be upto 98% efficient with the gas side of the unit.
With today’s energy prices, older furnaces like the Consolidated furnace is a real energy waster.
If you need help with temperature, contact Cold Craft, Inc.
408.374.7292 or [email protected]