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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hiram, Ohio
    Posts
    221

    advice on new furnace, propane forced air, 3 ton AC

    I've had 3 techs out to look at my needs for a new furnace. One guy I didn't like at all, the other two told me just about the same thing..

    1) ducting is correct for the house
    2) the air filter is a little small, suggest upgrading to a 4" thick pleated to get more filter area
    3) I am right in the middle between at 90K input BTU and a 70K size-wise..
    4) my current 92K 90% is sized okay, but a little bit big.
    5) both suggest either a Goodman GMH or a Goodman GMVC, both will work fine but the VC may provide better comfort because of the true multistage.

    One guy would put in the 90 regardless which furnace I went with, the other guy would do the 70 if I chose the GMH and the 90 if I chose the GMVC, saying that since it has a true low stage, if the 90 was a little bit big it wouldn't matter much. The 70 might struggle some if we had a stretch of extremely cold weather (like below zero around the clock). He also liked the more blower ability of the 90 to work with the 3 ton AC, which will not be replaced at this time. If I went with the 70, he suggested the bigger blower to make sure their was enough flow for the AC, to get to the furthest bedroom as best as possible.

    So my questions are:

    Is it worth the extra cash for the VC, and regardless which I choose, should I go with the 70 or the 90 btu.? Thanks for any response..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Greenwood Indiana (Indianapolis)
    Posts
    420

    Smile

    Rheem has 3 - 95% eff. 75,000 btu's furnaces. Stainless steel heat exchangers. Might want to consider a modulating furnace, basically an automatic adjustable btu furnace that way it is always the right size. Try and go to Rheem.com and look at their products. I would also choose a furnace with a variable speed blower motor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,117
    If you're in a favorable climate, I would look at a heat pump.
    Propane can break the bank, even with the most efficient furnace.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hiram, Ohio
    Posts
    221
    thanks for the replies, but the question I have is which of the two furnaces mentioned in my original post, and which BTU. BTW, I live in NE Ohio. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    The GMVC 70,000 BTU. Might want to consider a different contractor, since putting the 90,000 in would defeat the purpose of a 2 stage.

    But you'll want your duct work checked first. Since if its not big enough, a VS blower will tend to give you a loud duct system.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,590
    Ditto on the heat pump backup. Last thing I would want is LP heat so if you can get a good HP to do most of the work, you'll save a bundle.

    Kevin, though Superior won't admit it, Rheem is changing all of the upflow, single stage 90-95 models to aluminized steel HX like the builder unit. Cheap labor in Mexico, cheaper heat exchanger, same price

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hiram, Ohio
    Posts
    221
    So if I scrap the LP idea, then the heat pump would do most of it, then straight electric would come in if the heat pump couldn't handle it? Or would I still have some sort of LP as a back up?
    All that said, 2100 sq ft colonial built in 1990, construction grade, NE Ohio, how much would it cost annually to heat? How much for this entire new system? Just ballpark costs if possible, so I can compare with what I currently have. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    No prices are allowed to be given on install or repair cost.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hiram, Ohio
    Posts
    221
    dang it, I am sorry on the $$ question... I know better than that... Mike.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,590
    If you could give us your cost per gallon of propane and cost per kwh of elect. we could better tell you on operating costs. Only drawback to electric might be the need to upgrade to a larger panel.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,867
    have the contractor show you all the numbers to find your best solution ,if electric is reasonable go with electric back up ,in my area you can just about heat with electric strip heat for what you can heat with propane ,we do a fair amount of dual fuel,

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hiram, Ohio
    Posts
    221
    In January, I used 770 kilowatt hours, my bill was $94.00. Propane is $2.73 per gallon. We only have a 100 amp service drop, the house was built around propane.. We have propane heat, stove, water heater, clothes dryer. If I switched to electric heat and there IS a cost savings, how long might it take to re-coup the cost of a new system (if that is an approved way of getting a vague idea of initial cost of making the change) I would only change the heat to electric at this time, all else would remain LP. Would the 100 amp service be enough?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,590
    Propane with a 95% furnace is a hair less than electric backup though with electric, the heat pump would still be on. But with the cost of a 200 amp service, probably would make payback difficult or impossible. So dual fuel makes the most sense.

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