Our furnace went out on us last night and I woke up to a beautiful, sunny, 47º house this morning! The furnace technician came out and it was a simple 30 minute fix due to a sensor going bad. He said it was caused by the heat exchange not working properly and the flames actually coming back out of the jets and cooking it (sorry for my poor HVAC terminology). He said the heat exchange needs cleaned every 10 years or so and ours was in pretty bad shape, which he showed me how badly it was rusting. Then he gave me two options. Either get it cleaned, which would be $350, or get a new, middle of the road Goodman furnace installed, which would run around $2000. I'm the type of guy that researches things before pulling the trigger so I'm coming to my fellow Polksters to see what I should do.
The furnace and AC units are Trane. Both are 20 years old on the dot. We've had the house for 5 months now so I don't know what kind of maintenance they've had. We would like to live here another 8-10 years before getting a larger house when we have a few munchkins running around. The house is a 1400 ft2 ranch with the furnace in the basement. I'm sure the furnace and AC aren't very efficient so getting a new furnace is probably the better route and I can't see spending almost $400 to have ours cleaned when another grand or so will get me a new furnace.
What I'm looking for is what a good brand furnace is and how much I should expect to pay for it? This isn't going to be the home I retire in so I don't want to drop a fortune on it but I also don't want home buyers discouraged by a crappy HVAC brand when we go to sell. Also, should I change the AC out at the same time or does that not affect the price much? The AC works great but the unit is getting pretty ugly covered in rust. I was also thinking getting the furnace replaced in the summer may get me a cheaper unit and a new AC when the weather cools down, but if most businesses deal with both heating and cooling does this philosophy not work?
Thanks for any input you guys may have!