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Jeremy airjer W

New Furnace/Central Air?

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So I had two companies give me estimates for a new furnace and central air. We had an unfortunate incident with the condensor unit and decided as long as that has to be replaced might as well update the 1956 furnace! Here are my questions.

One company is pushing the high efficiency, and the other said the lower efficiency would be better and more reliable.

One carries RUUD, the other has HEIL. What are your thoughts on these?

Both want to install an R-410 A/C System?

Any thoughts or recommendation on these or products that you have had installed and like would be appreciated!!

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FWIW, we went high efficieny about 5 years ago or so (Trane) and I am glad we did. We also did the variable speed fan (ac/dc) and so far no problems, and it keeps the house way more comfortable and no hot or cold spots like with the last furnace (from about '70). The high speed fanhardly ever kicks on.

Good luck, but I would go high efficiancy, especially with fuel prices, you will make up the cost difference even quicker. Check the warranties as well, I actually got more parts and labor warranty on the high eff., go figure...

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I have a few friends in the service/install and engineering ends of the business. They replaced mine 3 years ago with a high efficency Maytag furnace and a/c unit. Installed an Aprilaire air filter and humidifier. After rebates it cost me less than $1600. I paid no labor. The rebates were a round $6-700. The thing they told me was that many of the units use the same motors and parts. I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong but it should give you an idea of the cost of the unit anyway.

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I was told when I got mine that anything over 90% is too effecient and can give you some expensive breakdowns. They said for the difference you pay you don't get a hole lot in exchange. Take if for what it's worth, but I'v had mine (REEM) for about five years now and it's been great.

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the r-22 is being fazed out to the 410. It will still be avilible after but already the 22 is sky rocketing in price. what ton and seer were the ac units? and check for all rebates!!!

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the canvas connection is used on the tin where the a-coil goes. try and get them to do a 14 or 16 seer-nowa days could get away with some haggling. And we all know you are handy so you could save a few bucks by setting the unit and a-coil and running-not hooking up- the lines (then let them do the start up-hooking up the lines and pressure testing it) easy.

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Here is a sample of how furnaces are made,, Carrier is the mainline product and all of these use basically the same technology on the higher end stuff,, we deal Comfortmaker which is basically the same as Carrier and all the rest,,, ICP makes all the furnaces and there are a few other companies like ICP which also make a bunch of other furnaces and A/C units,, just as long as you go with a good reputable company to do your install they should stand behind the product and be sure to get a 95% efficeint furnace and at least a 14 seer A/C unit or even think about going with a heat pump if you are in a rural area or anywhere with a cut rate if you go with off peak meetering.... sorry for the long post but I enjoy this stuff

Tempstar makes residential and commercial central air conditioners and furnaces. Tempstar is owned by International Comfort Products (ICP), which is owned by Carrier which in turn is owned by United Technologies Corporation. ICP markets furnaces under the brand names of Arcoaire, Clare, Comfortmaker, Dettson, Heil, KeepRite, Lincoln, and Tempstar. ICP is headquartered in the United States.

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Just went through that process myself. I wound up with a 95 percent furnace and a 3 ton heat pump(16seer R410) replacing a 1976 era furnace and a/c. The furnace cost was 910 and the heat pump was 2000. I did the install on the furnace myself and my contractor came out and installed the heat pump and double checked everything on a hourly rate. The biggest problem I ran into was routing the new intake/exhaust since you can no longer use your roof vent. Then I had to line the old vent for the gas water heater to downsize to a 4 inch so it would draft properly. Also had to put in a 4 inch fresh air intake to come up to code. The heat pump is controlled by a box which allows me to set a limit on how cold it is outside for it to start and a timer that if it does not bring plenum temp up sufficiently that the furnace kicks in. With the heat pump I get all my heat from about 32 degrees on up from the heat pump and it assists down to about 20 degrees. My total cost when done was about 5500 dollars. This included the concentric vent kit, the reline kit, the stand for the heatpump, a new air filter kit. all sheet metal, the a coil,the line set, control box,misc pipe,tape,everything and 8 hours labor at 80 bucks per hour. Take off about 500 in rebates and hopefully more if they authorize the tax credits in congress. You would be surprised at all the misc stuff required and the time it takes to do it right. My pay back will hopefully be just 5-8 years. The machines have a 10 year warranty and I did buy a labor warranty for 10 years at 150 per machine. Very happy so far with the performance of the heat pump in this cool spring. Nice to know I wasn't burning gas since mid march. I know your a mechanic and you may be able to work with the contractor and do your own tearout and part of the install and have them do what you are not comfortable with and save some money. Hope this helps.

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Sounds like a good system. Glad to see you sprang for the heat pump. Yeah there is a lot to retro fitting like that especialy if you do it right and to code. Congrats.

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And we all know you are handy so you could save a few bucks by setting the unit and a-coil and running-not hooking up- the lines (then let them do the start up-hooking up the lines and pressure testing it) easy.

That all sounds good except I have a phobia of compressed gases! I'm not messing with the natural gas line!! That and I just shake my head every time I look at the furnace, I wouldn't even know where to start!!! I'm not the smartest guy on the planet but I do know when its better to just leave it to the pros!!! grin

LDB thanks for the insight! The more I check into the Heil, the more I think it would be a good choice.

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I will say this, working in the industry in the manufacturing side of this business, the componets of the furnace and a/c unit are pretty much the same across the board, like many things, it's the brand name on it and what they build and stand behind that you are buying. Last year I went with a goodman a sub company of another large company, but do some checking and 2 ton 14 seer at 90% would be the route I would take and relatively low, there are also a few companies that do the 1 year no payments no interest, which is nice if you don't have the $$$ up front, that's what we did and couldn't be happier. When they get your new unit, watch out for their thermostats they try to package and bend you over with...if you want more specifics on anything, [YouNeedAuthorization]@yahoo.com

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Originally Posted By: dakotakid31
And we all know you are handy so you could save a few bucks by setting the unit and a-coil and running-not hooking up- the lines (then let them do the start up-hooking up the lines and pressure testing it) easy.

That all sounds good except I have a phobia of compressed gases! I'm not messing with the natural gas line!! That and I just shake my head every time I look at the furnace, I wouldn't even know where to start!!! I'm not the smartest guy on the planet but I do know when its better to just leave it to the pros!!! grin

LDB thanks for the insight! The more I check into the Heil, the more I think it would be a good choice.

No gas to worry about with the ac-they will do the hook ups with the start up. I just set a new a-coil and compressor (glad i didnt become a tinner-but not that bad) ran new copper lines and they are coming on Wed to do the start up. i COULD HAVE DID IT BUT THAT WOULD VOID THE WARRENTY. And about the fear of gas- we just repaired a leak in an huge older house that they said they have been smelling it for 5 years...lol that was a 2" main.

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We decided on a Bryant furnace and a York A/c Unit from Standard Plumbing and heating. The furnace is a 66,000 btu, 80% two stage. And the A/C unit is a 2 ton 14 sear R-22 system. The'll be here tommorrow to install and I can't wait to crank up the central air!!

Thanks for all the info!!!!

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Life is good! The installer had the A/c running by 2:00pm yesterday, boy was that nice!!

Heres the old 93,000 btu furnace

Furnaceb.jpg

And the new 66,000 BTU 2 stage 80% efficient

Furnacea.jpg

Its the little green thing in the lower right. Its absolutely amazing how small it is!!

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Cost and reliability! Everybody that I have talked to said that although they have improved greatly they still have reliability issues. I wanted the "Toyota" ( grin ) of furnaces and this particular one seems to be the workhorse and dependable. Besides when you go from a 1956 93k BTU 60% efficient to a latemodel 80% efficient the cost savings should be huge!! I can already tell since the house is a cozy 76 and the A/C isn't running most of the day like the old system we had.

It wasn't that much more to go with a 2 stage instead of a single stage. The theory behind it made sense to when it was explained. The jump from a 2 stage to a high efficiency with all the bells and whistles was substantial!!

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Jer, You're going to be real happy with that unit. You're going to be even happier with your heating bills come this winter.

I work in a field where we burn things, really hot, for a living. It amazes me daily the new technology coming out to make things burn better, cleaner, and cheaper.

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What was the deciding factor that made you go with a 80% unit?

I think he was posing a question as to why not a 90+ or even a 95% model?

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Originally Posted By: mnfishinguy
What was the deciding factor that made you go with a 80% unit?

I think he was posing a question as to why not a 90+ or even a 95% model?

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Do these high tech models have a "limp" mode or are you SOL when something goes bad?

I'll be replacing mine in the next few years and have alwasy thought I'd go state of the art with it, but I have't dug into it real deep yet.

When you say substantial, are we talking like a jump from $1000 to $3000 or what?

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I have no idea if there is a limp mode but that is a good question!

The difference in cost between a regular 2 stage and a high efficiency 2 stage was about a $1000. There where other high efficiencies with high tech computer controlled blower motors that where more than that but I was not interested so I never received a quote for one.

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Do these high tech models have a "limp" mode or are you SOL when something goes bad?

I'll be replacing mine in the next few years and have alwasy thought I'd go state of the art with it, but I have't dug into it real deep yet.

When you say substantial, are we talking like a jump from $1000 to $3000 or what?

If you get it installed by a reputable company they should be available to fix it at all hours, and if it is a good furnace it should come with a decent warrenty. As far as I know I have never seen a "limp mode" but then again our furnaces never seem to need it. If you go with a good contractor they should have every part for their furnace they sell in their service van so they can fix any problem you have when they come to service it, and if not that all parts for newer furnaces are most likely available next day at the latest. I know I have ran to the cities or Cloud for parts during the day b4 for some special circumstances. Bottem line is go with a reputable company and don't worry about the name on the furnace.

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