Furnace and A/C
Hello, I am new to this subject and need some advice. I have a house with a Heil 9000 forced air gas furnance. I recently had some work done on the furnace, and the contractor stated that it was at the end of its useful life and needed to be replaced. How long does a furnace like that last? The house was built in 1992 and was @ 2600 square feet. I just finished he basement and it is about 4000 square feet now. I was thinking about replacing the furnace and putting in central a/c at the same time. I also have a question about that! Does a/c take different duct work, or can it be put in using the same system the furnace uses. Thanks you for any help, this is my first house and I am very confused!
Frequently, ductwork is undersized (as many furnaces are oversized). Even if your ductwork was properly sized for your furnace, it is possible that an air conditioner might require larger ductwork.
Originally Posted by Deedle42
You need to have a professional do a heat calc and ductwork evaluation.
Last edited by ampulman; 02-08-2008 at 03:30 PM.
Reason: add information
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where do you live? someone on this board may be able to help you.
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I am up in Southeastern Idaho. Does anyone know how long a furnance will last? Mine is a Heil 9000 and is about 15 years old. I can't find any info on the internet, is that a mid-effeciency brand?
The average life of a gas warm air furnace is normally thought to be about 12-15 years. Since you're in the northern clime, your furnace will accumulate in the vicinity of 1,000 hours of operating time. That's about 30,000 miles on your car if you drove it at 30 mph for 1,000 hours a year. So in 15 years, you've accumulated the equivalent of 450,000 miles on that machine!! So yes, it's at about the end of its life and I wouldn't recommend spending any money on it for repairs.
In direct answer to your duct question, yes, the same duct distribution is used for both heating and cooling but it should be sized for the maximum airflow that will be used be that summer or winter.
When selecting a company to do the work, I'd highly recommend interviewing over the telephone with one simple question. "How will you determine the proper size furnace and air conditioning unit for my home?" The answers should reflect some sort of scientific calculation. Some examples of acceptable answers might be, "By ACCA Calculation methods", "By Manual 'J' Calculations", "By using a room-by-room calculation", "By calculating software" or anything similar. Examples of unaccpetable answers are, "By square footage", "By years of experience...", "By looking at the size of the existing unit", or any other non-mathematical method. Proper sizing is important to be sure the equipment will heat and cool your home properly without wasting money on oversized equipment, which leads to short cycling and discomfort. Done right you should enjoy many, many years of comfort and reliability. Done incorrectly and you'll have an equally long run of discomfort, higher utility costs and general dissatisfaction. Yes, the right way will cost more up front but the dividends are many over the years.
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