If you missed the article on page 4 in the Daily Breeze this morning about the furnace fire in a Manhattan Beach home, you can read it here. Fortunately no one was hurt but the damage to the house was estimated to be about $60,000, which is a lot more then the cost of a new furnace.
The furnace was one of a number manufactured by Consolidated Industries that had been recalled in 2001. The furnaces were sold in California between 1984 to 1992. They were sold under a variety of names( see list below). They were horizontal furnaces that were made for attic and crawl space installation. They were made to sit directly on the floor instead of on a platform.
The issue with them is that they did not meet California air quality standards. so the manufacturer decided to "fix" the problem by installing NOx rods. The concept sounded good but unfortunately the company failed to test them after the alteration. Turns out that with the installation of the NOx rods the furnaces could become highly combustible. After approximately 140,000 fires associated with the furnaces, lots of lawsuits and the manufacturer seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy , the furnaces were finally recalled in 2001.
While there were a number of articles in newspapers about the recall there apparently was no way to send out notices to consumers who actually purchased these furnaces as they were marketed under so many different brand names. There are a number of homeowners who have no idea about the danger these furnaces pose. Many of these furnaces are not discovered until the home sells and an inspection is done as part of the sale.
If you have a furnace that in not in a vertical position in a closet then you should check to see if it is one of the recalled furnaces. If you are not sure call in a licensed furnace company to check for you. Depending on the brand of furnace you have you may receive a new furnace free and just pay for installation or your home insurance may pay part of the cost. If neither of these options are possible then consider this.... A new furnace that might cost $3000 is a lot cheaper than fire damage that is $60,000.
Recalled Furnace Brands and Serial Numbers: