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  1. #1

    Buying a Foreclosure for First Home - Need HVAC Help

    Hello,

    First of all, thanks for helping me out, or at least looking to help me out. I read the rules and I believe I am in the right section.

    I live in Columbus, OH and here are the current pricing for both electric and gas:

    $0.0669 per kWh (Electric)
    $0.54276 per hundred ccf (Gas)

    My Situation is as follows:
    I am buying a foreclosed home that needs the gas furnace, the a/c and the water heater (for anyone knowledgeable in that area) replaced. We're getting a good deal on the home, so the expense in getting my **First** (so please bear with me, never really had to do much HVAC) home energy efficient and ready to be enjoyed is not really an issue, but of course, I'd like to save as much as possible.

    My home is a Bi-Level 1,192sq ft. I do not know the specifics of the furnace or the A/C unit due to limited time in the home. I wish I paid better attention, but I'm new at the whole thing. We have approximately 10 windows and a sliding door on the lower level that exits to the backyard. We also have a glass door leading to a balcony on the upper level. The inspection is next week, so I'll be getting contractors to to fill-in and update the insulation as I have the funds for, and I will also be replacing the windows when I get the chance, probably within the next 12-18 months.

    I was originally looking at just replacing the furnace and the A/C, until I stumbled on Heat Pumps. I know this isn't a huge house, I know the basics about the heat pumps, but I am still unsure about whether or not it can be used as a stand alone unit, or getting a dual-fuel unit would be better. Also, since I'll be in a time-crunch (getting a FHA 203k loan) to get the renovations done, I won't have too much time to hunt down contractors and price a lot.

    I came here to get a basic idea about what HVAC system will work best for me, the general sizing of the units and what I should avoid as well as what I should look for.

    Thanks so much again for your help, and let me know if I need to provide anything else! God Bless!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    86
    In order to get the units sized right you will have to get a heat load calc done. That is the first and most important step in the process. For that you will need to have a qualified pro come out to take care of it. As far as choices on equipment I will leave that one up to the folks that do the work up in your neck of the woods to chime in on. Good luck

  3. #3
    That makes sense.

    Home inspectors won't be doing this will they? Most certified installers will though correct? Most contractors won't sell me something if it's the wrong size will they? I guess it's a bit more complex than I had thought.


    One other thing I forgot to mention: Fan Coils. I got this as a description for fan coils: "An indoor component of a heat pump system used in place of a furnace, to provide additional heating on cold days when the heat pump does not provide adequate heating." is this accurate? Can a large enough fan coil be used in lieu of a furnace, or is it better to do the dual fuel anyway?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    352
    Quote Originally Posted by JEKirby87 View Post
    That makes sense.

    Home inspectors won't be doing this will they? Most certified installers will though correct? Most contractors won't sell me something if it's the wrong size will they? I guess it's a bit more complex than I had thought.


    One other thing I forgot to mention: Fan Coils. I got this as a description for fan coils: "An indoor component of a heat pump system used in place of a furnace, to provide additional heating on cold days when the heat pump does not provide adequate heating." is this accurate? Can a large enough fan coil be used in lieu of a furnace, or is it better to do the dual fuel anyway?

    Thanks again.
    Contractors don't always do load calculations and many times the furnace and AC are oversize when they use a "rule of thumb" approach. Make sure you get someone to do a load calculation for you (contractor, home energy raters, etc).

    A heat pump is just an air conditioner that can work backwards. Usually an air conditioner takes the hot air inside and expels it outside, a heat pump can do that and it can reverse so it can extract heat from the outside and expel it inside. Now, when the temperature gets really really cold outside then there isn't much heat that the heat pump can extract so you will need aux electric heaters that are just extra electric heaters. A dual fuel has the heat pump and a gas furnace, so you don't have to use the electric heaters. Dual fuel is more efficient but more expensive...

    From your load calculation you can figure out how big of a heating and cooling system you will need and if you need electric heat or how how many kilowatts heater you will need.
    You can call me Sam

    It should be a crime to be a mechanical engineer in San Diego
    Summer Design Temperature: 83 F Dry Bulb ~ 69 F Wet Bulb (California Climate Zone 7)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    You gas and electric are both very low. Thsi is a smaller more economical home, so no need to over improve it. The expectation in your area is a gas furnace and central AC not a heat pump unless your hoem was all electric without gas service.

    Just get a properly sized furance and AC system. Get a price for Good and Better. You don't want to "overimrpove" beyond that. Save you money ot rennovate the kitchen . Remodeled kitchen have the best return and resell quickly. I would have them quote a basic 13 SEER system with basic single stage furnace, then a 15 SEER single stage AC with 2 stage furnace.

    Have them do a load calculation, but knowing that climate and the size and genral description you gave, I doubt it needs more than a 45k BTU furnace and 2 ton AC, maybe even a 1.5 ton AC if you have a lot of shade and descent insulation. You may not even have large enough ductwork for more than a 2 tons anyway.

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