gravity furnace

I need your input. I came across a multi-family property that has a huge gravity furnace in each unit. What do you guys think about it? Is it costly to repair or replace? Should I avoid this type of property? Anyone has experience with it? Thanks.

I’ve never seen nor have I dealt with a gravity furnace but if you’re uncomfortable with them figure out how much it would cost to remove them and replace them with gas/electric. Then ask for that money back at closing, or up the purchase price by that amount then have it credited to you. Should probably cost a few thousand bucks, but the peace of mind will be nice. Good luck.

I’ll just give you my dealings with them and let you make your own decision.

They are very heavy to remove.

Very inefficient to heat with as the downstairs where they are is hot and the upstairs where the heat has to slowly rise on its own through the ceiling/floor grates is cold.

Very expensive to replace as you have no ducts at all in place, so a new furnace would be the same as a new build, complete supply and return ducts etc.

I’ve seen houses with gravity heat, and they usually had supply ducts. Maybe it just depends on the age of the building, and the region?

When we had a gravity heat furnace replaced with forced air, they just hooked up to the existing supply ducts. Put towels over the registers when you turn on your new forced air furnace for the first time, because there will be a lot of dust and dirt that will have collected in the old ducts over the years.