Admiral Services / Furnace needs replacing
I recently hired Admiral Services to inspect my gas furnaces for fall. The price was reasonable and it had been years since I used them for reasons you’ll see at the bottom.
They used a camera on a gooseneck that lets them look into the blower tube of the furnace. As soon as they put this device in, the lead technician said he would have to disable my furnace. I was upset.
He explained that the weld seam in the blower tube was separated and showed me what on the camera. I was told that this happens after years of the tubes being super heated and cooled. I asked about carbon monoxide tests and he said that they didn’t do this anymore because meters give false readings.
He said that a few years ago a manufacturer who made almost all of the furnaces for every company went out of business because of a law suit with the seam problem. Since then, all the exchange tubes were cast, or seamless, which solves the problem. He also said that HVAC service companies were notified of the problem with seams. He was very convincing. He then checked the second unit and found the same problem. The units were the same age.
Even though he seemed to have good information, I am a skeptical person. I paid the fee and let them go, with the gas to my furnaces turned off. I then looked on the internet and could not find anything to match what he was saying. I then hired another inspector who said that he had not heard of this. He agreed that tubes can have hairline cracks or microscopic holes that leak carbon monoxide but that seam problems were not that common. I then brought a huge national company (name withheld at his request). The rep said he heard the exact story about Admiral last fall from another customer in our area. He said that the last time a bankruptcy of a furnace company happened as described to me was about twenty years ago, not recently. He also said that Carrier’s new heat exchangers are tubes with seams that are wrapped and welded, not cast.
This is my second dealing with Admiral. Four years ago, they inspected an AC coil and found a leak. They gave me a bid on the spot for about $3000. I contacted Sears for a competitive bid and I hired them on the spot for $950. I only hired Admiral this time because it was a reasonable fee and I thought I’d give them another chance.
I will always now be skeptical of Admiral Services.