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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    140

    How efficient was a vintage 1986 Bryant gas furnace? Any votes for Rheem or Ruud?

    Hi Guys, I just bought a two story house that has two systems, downstairs is a museum piece.... the original gas furnace by Bryant installed in 1986, still working but I am guessing it is one reason for high gas bills shared by the sellers.

    What efficiency do you suppose it was/is? I plan to do a load calc before replacing (Input, apparently 75,000 for a single floor with unfinished and unconditioned space below and heated cooled space above.... approx 1300 SF on this unit's floor. When we get moved and the rest of the hassle behind us I will replace it with something higher efficiency.

    The oversized GMH95 I installed in my current home is pretty noisy, partly because of too much air being forced through old (small) ducts.

    After the load calc, I am leaning toward a Rheem Super Quiet 80... or the 95 equivalent. Any of you pros recommend that brand?

    THanks

    Shovel99

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    33,907
    Between 65 and 90% depending on model.

    Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Tapatalk 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    140
    Thanks BL, shovel99

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,424
    If you're replacing, simply go with the 95% unit. For no more than it cost extra, you'll not only get better efficiency, you'll usually get a longer/better warranty. Energy costs will keep going up, you can count on it!

  5. #5

    Cannot Recommend a Rheem

    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary, or ask questions of the OP here.

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    Last edited by beenthere; 02-28-2013 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    ThankfulLady, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary or ask questions of the OP here.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    870
    All brands have their enthusiasts and their detractors. Ford - First On Race Day or Found On Road Dead.

    I like Ruud/Rheem equipment. In reality, all equipment breaks eventually. Most modern heating and ac equipment is pretty good, there is always the possibility of a design change that later develops issues.

    High energy costs could be the old furnace, something else or a combination of factors.
    Many times high utility bills are caused by leaking ductwork. I've read studies that concluded a 15% duct leak rate can increase energy costs by 25%.
    A poorly insulated home or one that is poorly sealed can cause contribute to high energy bills.
    The two story home will also suffer from the stack effect, heat rises and leaves the building. As the warm air rises it will pull in cooler outside air through the leaky building structure if the warm air leaks out the top.

    As a service technician, I've met customers who raved about how low their utility bills were after getting a new system. Most of them also had their ducts sealed, better insulation installed in the attic, new weatherstripping on the doors and solar screens on the windows.

    I've also had customers remark they didn't get the expected drop in energy bills they expected with a new system. After checking their home out, I discovered they had inadequate insulation, leaky ducts and no weatherstripping at the doors. Their contractor didn't offer to serve them other than offering them a higher seer ac unit and a more efficient furnace.

    Frequently a modest increase in AC and heating efficiency coupled with fixing the issues with the home will halve utility bills.
    I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
    ― Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Good to hear you understand the need for proper sizing. It impacts comfort and equipment effciency, and will reduce equipment life. The fastest way to kill a furnace or compressor is low airflow. Keep your filter cahnged and coils clean and install and size it right, and most systems will last a long time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,829
    This is just a curious question to the poster but given the Bryant furnace is over 30-years old and still working, why the desire to switch manufacturers? As others have said, directly or indirectly, the success of the installation is more dependent on the installing company that the furnace manufacturer but all else being equal, why would you not want another Bryant? Or why did you not ask about Carrier, Trane, Lennox, York? Just curious as to the reasoning, that's all.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    140

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    This is just a curious question to the poster but given the Bryant furnace is over 30-years old and still working, why the desire to switch manufacturers? As others have said, directly or indirectly, the success of the installation is more dependent on the installing company that the furnace manufacturer but all else being equal, why would you not want another Bryant? Or why did you not ask about Carrier, Trane, Lennox, York? Just curious as to the reasoning, that's all.
    HI Skipped, thanks for your input. I have been consumed with getting moved and higher priority fixes and am back on the case of new furnace.
    When I got bids for 2009 new furnace and air in 2009 at previous house, 2 of three bidding contractors bid Trane and the bids were substantially higher than Amana (goodman) or the Goodman I ended up choosing. Price was an important issue. I have assumed that Carrier, Trane Lenox and York are all upper tier priced product. I have read here that installation is more important than the equipment, that most of the mfrs are "assembling" parts from the same suppliers, and hence the importance of "installation" over brand. And I am just cheap.

    The Goodman GMH was noisier than expected at last house, and a number of searches brought up Rheem quiet 80. I am not sure that the payback is going to be there for 95%... with the extra cost of ducting and 95% system. The coil and condenser are newer on the system that needs a furnace, which makes "paying up" to replace the AC at the samem time less attractive for all the bells and whistles.

    Since moving in, I have found that some of the supply ducting is through "between the joist" chases... loosely taped gaps etc, some of which is accessible and a lot of which isnt. Upper story supplies are through the attic... they are insulated, but I doubt if they are properly sealed. In the unfinished basement I can feel the cool air blowing from almost every direction, including a supply with a register just screwed to a drop ceiling... and air just blowing out in the 2 inch space between the cut hole in the supply duct and the drop ceiling!!!! Much to tighten up, some can be accessed and some can't. Gains to be had.

    I have no idea what an HVAC pro will charge me to unwrap the supplies in the 130 degree attic... seal all the joints, and re insulate. I assume it ain't cheap, but neither is electricity and it is just going up the roof. Insulation up ;there is at most 8-10 inches of batt glass and not continuous. I plan on blowing in glass to R40 or so which should be substantial help but want to complete everything else first.

    Againt thanks for input.

    Thanks, Paul
    Last edited by shovel99; 06-06-2013 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Add info.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
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    Forget the "tier" idea, as it's simply not so. Used by salesman to justify their pricing but has no relation to actual quality. Dealer/installer is much more important than the brand on the box. If you had noise before it probably was more due to existing ductwork, or fan speed than brand. If you are looking for quiet, make sure you "spec" the db rating of the equipment you are expecting.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    WHen I've priced equipment for work, there's not much difference between comparable equipment levels in York, Carrier, Trane. Goodman might be slightly less, but not much.

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