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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26
    I am in need of a need furnace and since my A/C unit is 20+ I plan on going ahead and replacing both. I live near Memphis, TN in a 1800sf house and was hoping to get some recommedations on type A/C and Gas furnance I should look for. I will try to get several bids but wanted to have an idea what I need to look for in comparing those bids.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, Ny
    Posts
    632
    Originally posted by gtownguy
    I am in need of a need furnace and since my A/C unit is 20+ I plan on going ahead and replacing both. I live near Memphis, TN in a 1800sf house and was hoping to get some recommedations on type A/C and Gas furnance I should look for. I will try to get several bids but wanted to have an idea what I need to look for in comparing those bids.

    Thanks
    Make sure that whatever company gives you an estimate give you a heat loss and heat gain for your home.

    Ask to see photos of their work and references.

    Do not make a decision based soley on price. You may end up paying more in the long run.

    Be at the estimates and ask questions. Make sure that they put everything in writing on the contract especially installation specific items. For example, Humidifiers, New Ductwork, Removal of old appliance.

    Good Luck.

    Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
    -Robert Green Ingersoll

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Derby City
    Posts
    3,964
    Ditto
    Everyone has a purpose in life..........even if it's to be a bad example.

    Seek first to understand, before seeking to be understood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    For a more technical explanation look here. It's written from a west coast point of view. But most of it still applies.

    For a more user friendly explanation, go to John Lloyd's website. For some reason he doesn't display it in his profile or credentials. But I'm sure if you say pretty please he'll reveal it.

    Spend 90% of your efforts singling out the best contractor. Spend the other 10% on worrying about brand and features. There's no other sane way to have an HVAC system installed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,151
    Look into dual fuel, where you use a heat pump outside with your gas furnace. The heat pump runs in mild weather, which is most of the winter there, and costs mucho lesso to run than the gas. Today's biggest heating bill saver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26
    I have had 4 companies out for an estimate so far, but none of them have done a load calc. One of the guys did take some measurements in my attic but I haven't yet received the estimate from him. I did get an estimate yesterday for a Trane system and was wondering if the $2300 difference in price between a duel fuel system and regular A/C / Gas Furnace was inline? He also said that it was not necessary to run new refrig lines even though the refrigerant would be a different type, is this truly the case?

    I still have 3 more companies coming, but if they don't do load calcs I guess I will call a few more.

    One more thing, is it worth the money to install a UV unit and if so how much extra should that cost?

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

    [Edited by gtownguy on 11-04-2005 at 09:42 AM]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26
    I am getting so many conflicting opinions that I am getting really confused. One guy tells me that a 2 stage furnace will be much cheaper because it will run on low most of the time and the next guy tells me that a 2 stage will not use less gas since the overall heat requirements will be the same and use the same amount of fuel. A lot of the people have reacted positive when I mentioned duel fuel option but one guy said he was unable to quote that option and another said that a heat pump would cost more (intial cost, repair cost) and would not last as long as a regular A/C unit.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,000
    Originally posted by gtownguy
    another said that a heat pump would cost more (intial cost, repair cost) and would not last as long as a regular A/C unit.
    I personally don't believe that a heat pump is as efficient in the cool mode as a standard a/c, but I don't like them so my opinion it bias.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    A two stage furnace will not save you any money over a single stage furnace. It could potentially cost a smidge (some say more than a smidge) more. The reason to go two stage on a furnace is for comfort and noise reasons. Don't bother talking to the contractor that says otherwise again. He doesn't know his trade.

    UV lights can serve to sterilize a portion of the evaporator coil. They may or may not be useful. It depends on how humid your area is and how wet the coil stays during the summer. A UV light can't sterilze the air directly. Just don't buy it thinking it's a one time expense. You'll need to replace the bulb(s) every year or two.

    You don't need new refrigerant lines unless the old ones are damaged in some way or too small. Most of the time they are not damaged. But it's not uncommon that they're undersized by a little.

    A heat pump is a bit more complex. The compressor sees a little more stress during winter operation. And of course a heat pump runs much more often than an air conditioner. So naturally the initial costs are more and repairs are a little more frequent. But that doesn't mean that you'll be fixing it right away. It could go many, many years with no trouble at all. That depends in large part on how it is installed and maintained.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26
    Still haven't got a quote from a company I truly trust, nor have any of them done any load calculations (at least not to my knowledge). I have only called companies that have been in business 10+ years and have somewhat clean BBB records, you would think I could find a good one in the bunch. Could anyone give me an estimate on the price difference between regular A/C unit and Heat Pump? I have gotten a range of $XXX - $XXXX difference.

    Thanks to everyone for all your input.

    (No pricing questions, due to site rules )


    [Edited by jultzya on 11-08-2005 at 11:35 PM]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    The price question is not really useful. Get enough bids and you'll always get disparities of thousands.

    The real challenge is finding a contractor you like. Limiting yourself to ten year old companies does not serve that goal. Longevity means only that a contractor has some competence at marketing and running a business. There is little correlation between years in business and how good a job he'll do.

    As an example: The most infamous crook in my area has been in business for more than two decades. There's not a wholesaler in town that won't snicker in agreement if you make a derisive remark about them. One wholesaler that did a fair amount of business with them stopped selling to them because of their bad ethics (or so they say). Yet they meet your criteria of longevity and a clean BBB record.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,286
    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    Look into dual fuel, Today's biggest heating bill saver.
    BaldLoonie is the Best.

    Dual Fuel in Memphis TN?
    Electric Rate $0.__ / kW
    Gas ___ $_.__ MCF

    I believe there are low electric rates (<0.08) in TN and high efficiency heat pump would be great $aver for you.

    Equipment or utility Rebates ?

    1800 Sq.Ft. ... 3-ton depending on lots of variables
    TN has significant cooling + heating seasons

    i.e. TRANE 4TWX 6036 / 4TEE3F040
    Heating Capacity
    Outside Air
    Temp ___ BTUh _ C.O.P.
    17' ___ 22,200_ 2.96
    35' ___ 25,920_ 3.28
    47' ___ 33,000_ 4.06
    H.S.P.F. 9.2


    You may require ~40,000 BTUh at 21'F design temperature.

    http://www.trane.com/Residential/Pro...mps/XL16i.aspx

    ___ Insulation Walls R-11 + Ceiling R-30
    Windows .. U-Value ______
    ___ Window area on each side
    N
    S
    E
    W
    ___ Orientation
    ... Front of house faces ___
    __ Infiltration __ ?

    [Edited by dan sw fl on 11-09-2005 at 06:18 AM]
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,286

    Dual Fuel + Balance Point

    Originally posted by dan sw fl
    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    Look into dual fuel, Today's biggest heating bill saver.
    I believe there are low electric rates (<$0.08) in TN
    and high efficiency heat pump would be
    a GREAT $aver for You.

    i.e. TRANE 4TWX 6036 / 4TEE3F040
    Heating Capacity
    Outside Air
    Temp ___ BTUh _ C.O.P.
    17' ___ 22,200_ 2.96
    35' ___ 25,920_ 3.28
    47' ___ 33,000_ 4.06
    H.S.P.F. 9.2

    You may require ~40,000 BTUh at 21'F design temperature.
    [Edited by dan sw fl on 11-09-2005 at 06:18 AM]
    Typical 3-ton heat pump "Balance Point"
    EXAMPLE Below
    ___ specifics can be determined based on your residence.

    I believe that low electric rate and your 'comfort factor' may permit use of 5kW electric strip to reduce ( 37')
    balance point to ~26'F.

    O.A. Equip
    ______ Rated___ Approx.
    Temp___BTUh ___ Heat Required
    55... 37000 12800
    54... 36500 13600
    53... 36000 14400
    52... 35500 15200
    51... 35000 16000
    50... 34500 16800
    49... 34000 17600
    48... 33500 18400
    47... 33000 19200

    46... 32410 20000
    45... 31820 20800
    44... 31230 21600
    43... 30640 22400
    42... 30050 23200
    41... 29460 24000
    40... 28870 24800
    39... 28280 25600 Aux Heat
    38... 27690 26400 1290
    37... 27100 27200 -100
    36... 26510 28000 -1490
    35... 25920 28800 -2880

    34... 25713 29600 -3887
    33... 25507 30400 -4893
    32... 25300 31200 -5900
    31... 25093 32000 -6907
    30... 24887 32800 -7913
    29... 24680 33600 -8920
    28... 24473 34400 -9927 __5 kw
    27... 24267 35200 -10933 17060
    26... 24060 36000 -11940
    25... 23853 36800 -12947

    24... 23647 37600 -13953
    23... 23440 38400 -14960
    22... 23233 39200 -15967
    21... 23027 40000 -16973
    20... 22820 40800 -17980
    19... 22613 41600 -18987
    18... 22407 42400 -19993

    17... 22200 43200 -21000
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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