I've been looking around this forum and some others as well, and I hope I find some knowledgeable advice here. I just purchased a home w/o AC and with floor furnace. so we want to update all of it because it can get super hot and mildly chilly. The house is about 1200sq, single story, old (60 yo). How big of a/c and heating unit should I look for? Any brands I should be aware of? Any other advice is very welcomed!
Thanks in advance!
Look for a contractor that does load calcs to know what size A/C and furnace you need instead of guessing at the size.
buy for the install, not the name brand. you can read throughout this website all the nightmares and horror stories of poorly installed equipment
On a home that old you should be able to get some utility support $$ for upfit of insulation/weatherization measures. Putting in a system without tightening up the structure could lead to poor outcome (hi op/cost and short cycling). Other than that - one approach is to remove the floor furnace, creating a new return air plenum there with floor grill mounted, solves one issue on a full cut in job. Your installing contractor would have to verify what makes sense and meets code.
"Putting in a system without tightening up the structure could lead to poor outcome (hi op/cost and short cycling)" This statement is 100% true and I can personally attest to it's truthfullness. I have a farm house that is over 100 yrs old and I just recently updated the exterior of my home with foam bd insulation and tyvek house wrap and put some new vinly on the outside and with that alone I am able to maitain a cooler ID temps with no AC and maintain a warmer home in the evening without the furnace running. I am also able to maitain consititant temps between my upstairs and downstairs within 1* and maintain equal RH right at about 46% thru out my home. If you were to replace what you have now with new equipment and then do the upgrades after the replacement you would more than likely end up with oversized equipment and be uncomfortable for the life of the equipment, but if you did the weatherization prior to having new equipment installed you will have a more comfortable home because of it and your cost to operate the equipment will be alot less because of it. Insulation, windows, sealing of windows and door's is cheap when you consider the other options some of which can be a bit expensive over the long term. A small foot print that your home is should take too much to upgrade the door's and windows and add insulation to your attic would and should be your first move, then get some estimates on new equipment.
"If you were to replace what you have now with new equipment and then do the upgrades after the replacement you would more than likely end up with oversized equipment and be uncomfortable for the life of the equipment"
Dan's point about sizing makes alot of sense - load would change dramatically after fixing the envelope.