I know I did not pay for a service contract, but I did pay thousands for this system 19 months ago, and I don't think its unreasonable to expect it to work for more than one season before it needs repair.
(Is polishing a dirty flame sensor "maintenance" or repair?
Units that use inside air are prong to the flame sensor needing cleaned more often. its the environment the product is working in that causes problems.
A dirty flame sensor generally does not prevent ignition. The dirty flame sensor just causes the burner to shut off a few seconds later. I dont think I ever ran into a furnace that would sometimes work for 5 days or so then not work at all due to a dirty flame sensor.
Not saying you cant go a few years without it, the manufacture recommends it.
It could be like an appliance, like the Microwave, it breaks and you replace the entire thing but no one ever does maintenance to them. I expect that all things mechanical need maintenance, HVAC included.
Or, maybe this problem will never happen again....(? I am guessing that you live around Columbus since you have Columbia Gas, 3 figure sevice call are not out of the norm for that area. This time of year, everything is frozen to the ground. They've been in business for 50 years, and don't do a lot of advertising.
) Ed Your efficiency will be (eventually if not now) directly related to maintaining the equipment in good working order. There are a few good HVAC companies, and a few bad HVAC companies in your area. I don't think I can tell you who on this site, not sure if it is against the rules. They are one of the bigger outfits in the area., but not the biggest.Or, could installation have been faulty, somehow allowing a dirty burn?I live in central Ohio in a 25 year old development.That .50 per month I'm saving in gas consumption doesn't come close to the cost of a maintenance contract or even one service call. I know next to nothing about HVAC, But, if as a routine matter, you all don't see failure of 19 month old furnaces as unacceptable, then in this consumer's opinion, there is something very wrong with your industry. 80% furnace can have the same flame sensor problem.I'm sure maintenance contracts provide valuable revenue and predictable and evenly spaced work, but to me those contracts must be masking poorly designed and unreliable products. That additional 18% is just not worth the extra expense and unreliability. It all depends on what is stored around the intake of the furnace.) Are high efficiency furnaces really this unreliable?