I am a first-time home owner who is trying to figure out what to do about replacing a 40-year-old furnace. I have the following 3 bids:
Option to step up to either:
Option to step up to:
Heil (Model not listed in bid)
I found a site that has a sizing estimator My house is about 1800 sq. ft., with about half of that being a full basement. The sizing estimator instructs users to not include basements, so I entered my square feet as 950 (the ground floor is slightly larger than the basement). The estimator also requires a zip code (I live in Helena, Montana). Based on my input, the sizing estimator calculated that I will need only 37,000 BTUs.
Here are my questions:
1) I'm not sure if that sizing estimator is reliable. Without getting into all the work of doing a Manual J load calculation, what is the best way to estimate the BTUs that will be sufficient to heat my house?
2) I know that the higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace and the more money that will be saved on my heating bill. But I'm really debating between a model in the 92% range and one in the 95% range. I haven't been able to find any information to tell me if the additional 3% will result in enough cost savings on my heating bill to offset the greater cost of the 95% AFUE furnace. What kind of additional annual savings could I expect with the 95% furnace over and above the 92% furnace?
3) Can anyone tell me which of the furnace models list above has the best reliability track record?
4) Can anyone recommend other furnace makes and models that are highly reliable? How about 95% furnaces (Since none list above are 95%)?
Thanks for any help that you can offer!