I am making a decision on a new furnace in the next few weeks. I need some advice on some difficult decisions. Here is some backround.
I live in CT and it does get cold here. I have a 2,800 sqft 2 story house. I currently have both oil and propane for my house. I do not have a/c and may only put it in a few years down the road. I am currently heating with a 21 year old Armstrong furnace and got killed last year on fuel. I burn wood with a pacific energy insert that is rated for 3,000 sqft. My hot water heater is on propane and was a bad job done against code. It is vented right into the oil furnace, and both are vented up through the same flue.
Are less that ideal with really bad kinks, bends, dips, and things that just look very counter-intuitive to me. I also know that I have 1000 cfm output with only 400 cfm return, and all the returns are sitting right near the furnace. No returns on first floor. This is something I will address regardless of furnace I choose.
I priced out Hydro-Air and though it seems like a great system, it is too pricey for me.
Propane- I have two installers I like. One is a Lennox dealer who is highly recommended and the other a Carrier dealer. I have propane fuel, though I may need to install a bigger tank. If I go this route I do not need to replace the hot water heater.
Oil- I have two installers I like and trust. I also really like the ThermoPride furnance and its seems everyone agrees- even propane installers, that this is the best furnace. I am looking at a ThermoPride with variable speed fan. I would need to replace the hot water heater, which adds to the cost.
I cannot give prices. I have a budget for 5,000 to 9,000 with the obvious thing being the best system for the least amount of money. What would you do if you were me?
Should I go Oil or Propane?
Is Variable Speed an option that will compensate for inadequate duct work?
What things should I look for in an installer?
Any other advice?
I appreciate and thank you all in advace for your recommendations.