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  1. #1

    Is a Rinnai or Navien combo unit right for me?

    I recently bought my first home in upstate NY and would like to replace my old gas down draft furnace. It may be original, 1950s or so... not really sure. The new combo units that provide whole house heat and on demand water are intriguing. But I don't know if these are right for my situation. My house is small, around 1000 sq. ft., one level, no basement, ranch style with an attic/crawl space. There is no existing duct work, instead the furnace and hot water tank are located in the middle of the house. I would like to add the duct work and move the furnace / tank to the attached garage. But I'm also not sure if that is possible or cost effective. Please help in pointing me in the right direction. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    Posts
    3,082
    So you have a boiler not a furnace?


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  3. #3
    No its a gas furnace. I thought I read that these units could be hooked up to existing duct work(if I had any).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    Posts
    3,082
    I don't understand. Is this a gravity furnace or a forced air furnace with a blower?


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  5. #5
    Forced air with a blower, but no duct work. The unit is located in the center of the house. Strange I know, but I believe its where the term central heating came from.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    If you're planning on relocating things, then you're essentially starting with a clean sheet of paper for the design. In that case, you're options are many. If you want the greatest comfort with gas heat, I'd recommend a modulating gas warm air furnace, properly sized for the home. A load analysis should be done to determine the furnace size. For domestic hot water, you'd could then use the on-demand tankless water heater of your choice. Both Rinnai and Navien have water heaters without boiler heat as well as the combi units. It is my personal opinion that using a combi boiler with a hydro-air ducted system is a waste of money and will actually be less comfortable than an advance warm air furnace. Either way you're going to put in a duct system, probably with cooling attached and you have the further option of putting in the gas furnace with a heat pump attached, if so desired. At this time, I know of no hydro-air package that can control the blower the way the new modulating gas furnaces can.
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