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  1. #1
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    Jan 2018
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    Question Looking for a new furnace. Would like helpful advice if you could.

    Hello Everyone,

    Time for a new furnace and I think it would be helpful to get some pro advice.

    I currently have an older Tempstar with [manufactured in 91] and it is time to replace.

    I got a bid on a lennox, but I am not sure I really need 96% efficiency, but I do like the idea of a two stage motor. Any help and assistance anyone here can give. I am also concerned about balancing [made some changes in remodeling] that it has enough air return/balance etc.

    Love to get some opinions? My home is about 1200 sq ft of finished space [areas that I want heated]
    I live in the Hat of the North [MN] it does get windy and cold. I don't have two pane windows on all of my windows, but do have storms on half. When I moved here, the basement wasn't finished as it is now and would like a little better heat then it has now.

    Thanks in advance : )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Billington Heights, NY
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    You probably need 98% efficiency, forget about 96%. That's so old school

    Manual J for heat load
    Manual D for ducting

    Those are the 2 most important. The contractor should run those and then determine what equipment fits the measurements.
    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"

    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

    Jtrammel - "I’m going to sell hvac systems derp derp derp"
    BBeerme - "every time he opens his mouth, he reminds me of a cow without the fart bag."

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  4. #3
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    Thread Starter
    The guy just used my older furnace btu and when I brought up venting and ducting he just was a bit vague and referred to my old 1959 ducting. Because of more efficiency?
    and would you suggest anything more then a two stage motor with or without the mod. gas valve? 1200 sq ft includes lower walk out basement.

    I also have two bedrooms on one side that have never received heat well. Help me Wanda.
    Last edited by Little Heater; 01-12-2018 at 10:45 PM. Reason: cuz

  5. #4
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    Thread Starter
    The guy just used my older furnace btu and when I brought up venting and ducting he just was a bit vague and referred to my old 1959 ducting. Because of more efficiency?
    and would you suggest anything more then a two stage motor with or without the mod. gas valve? 1200 sq ft includes lower walk out basement.

    I am told that using the fan on all the time, as opposed to "auto" is better?

  6. #5
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    Sep 2008
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    Lennox is a pretty good brand for the most part. I like and sell Trane, but we're all partial to the brand we sell, I guess.

    I would suggest interviewing a few contractors. After all, they are the final part of the assembly line, if you will. If they don't install the equipment properly, it doesn't matter if it's a gold plated, diamond encrusted Lennox, it won't last and won't provide the comfort you're looking for.

    Find a company that will take time to ask you questions about your comfort level in the home, what you want, what you wish you could have, and don't be so afraid to talk about budget. If they're offering you a high end piece of equipment they should be fully prepared to explain what the benefits are, and a potential payback estimation.

    In all honesty most equipment is priced pretty much to reach the same payback in the life cycle. What you typically get with higher end equipment is more comfort. So, you have ask yourself, is your comfort worth the extra money.
    Also, ducting is a huge part of the equation. Many contractors won't mention ducting if you don't ask, because it takes time, and time is money. However, if you want a system to function properly as designed, make sure the ducting can handle the airflow it needs to do so.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

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  8. #6
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    Jan 2015
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    Bellevue, Washington, United States
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    Marc and I tend to disagree on a few things when it comes to heating.

    Usually the 98% furnaces use a modulating gas valve and in my expirience they need a lot more maintenance. The 2 stage systems have been reliable overall, and the ecm blowers like the x-drive motors have been ok.

    If you upgrade to a variable speed blowers and a modulating burner you could be in for a lot more maintanance and that would negative the savings. That's my take on furnaces.

    On another point if your ductwork is that old you may need work done on it. Back in those days they used metal duct work which is great, but they sometimes just assymbled it with duct tape. These systems tend to be very leaky and you may want to have it inspected, duct sealed, and insulated to an R8.

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  10. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Very good input. Thanks. I am concerned about my ducting that included air return as well and I wanted to see someone take a little more time about my questions, but I honestly think this guy was in a hurry for the next appointment.

    I like the input about the maintenance on both the gas valve and the motor. Two stage sounds okay, but it did worry me on the side of use and maintenance. Plus, since I have lived here, the living room has been better heated, while the to bedrooms seemed to suffer in comfort,[air input via registers seemed weak in comparison too]. I wanted to get this corrected or at least helped. If someone who is on here wants to come out for a bid, this is a serious invite.

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Colver View Post
    Marc and I tend to disagree on a few things when it comes to heating.

    Usually the 98% furnaces use a modulating gas valve and in my expirience they need a lot more maintenance. The 2 stage systems have been reliable overall, and the ecm blowers like the x-drive motors have been ok.

    If you upgrade to a variable speed blowers and a modulating burner you could be in for a lot more maintanance and that would negative the savings. That's my take on furnaces.

    On another point if your ductwork is that old you may need work done on it. Back in those days they used metal duct work which is great, but they sometimes just assymbled it with duct tape. These systems tend to be very leaky and you may want to have it inspected, duct sealed, and insulated to an R8.
    The 98% thing was a joke...

    the calculations are still needed. whether it's VS or staged, the maintenance is the same. if you have a bad install the furnace will fail just as easily if it is staged or variable speed. Once you are out of the warranty period a failure of a variable speed motor could equal or negate the savings of the past years.
    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"

    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

    Jtrammel - "I’m going to sell hvac systems derp derp derp"
    BBeerme - "every time he opens his mouth, he reminds me of a cow without the fart bag."

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  13. #9
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    Jan 2018
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    Thread Starter
    I thought so, good. Anyway I appreciated your efforts too. I have been just getting over the worst part of being sick. My furnace is down and I said "screw this, need a new one", but it isn't as easy as snapping your thumbs [bad joke]. It is so nice to come here and have you all to give me input.

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