Thats a hypothetical contingency plan based on assumed history designed to humor those who think the sky is falling. Unfortunaltely for the environmentalists, it suggests this is a mere repeat of the past which would debunk an notion that we as a modern day people have caused the world to somehow not be able to manage itself.
But hey, if you want to oversize your stuff and have it run improperly for 40 years until that day comes, then knock yourself out. Odds are it wont last half that long anyway, especially since it will be short cycling.
Instead, I suggest you consider your retirement home to be built using better insulation and get used to staying in a well conditioned home durring periods of extreme temperatures.
Ignore the wind chill for your design day. It is how fast an object will freeze. At -20, with a wind chill factor of -40, an object will only get to -20, it just gets there faster.
But, and there is always a but, the wind speed will affect the infiltration rate of your house. In other words, it will increase the heat loss. Spend time and money on insulating and draft proofing and you will save money in the long run.
It is a Department of Defense report> it's suggesting that the salinity of the water may decrease as a result of melting glaciers affecting the boyancy of the frieghter ships reducing their ability to carry full loads and the impact that has on the greater quanity of ships in the harbors and what that means to our national security.
Hardly has anything to do with what the future holds, its a contingiency plan in the event the movie comes true.
Good luck, sndtechie. I know what it's like to be out of work for years too. I was a computer programmer in my former incarnation. Now I do heavy wrenching for Uncle Sam. Can't talk more about that without going to the political forum.
Get a 2 stage or 2 stage VS system. Don't drop this to save money. Probably you should get quotes on replacing both furnace and A/C. Consider a dual fuel system. I know money's tight but you are going to live with your new system for ten to 20 years. You'll probably get a discount for buying both furnace and A/C together and some assurance that they are matched. Consider a house refinance or home improvement loan with a ten year period to pay for it. Do it now before interest rates go up more. They're still low.
Another tip: Check out the contractor page for one near you. Don't save money on a hack. And consider running your own load calc using HVAC-Calc, just as a check, for peace of mind.
P.S. Definitely go 2 stage on the A/C for Milwaukee. Worrying about global warming (or cyclic change, if that's what it is) is fine, but mostly Summer is mild where you live. On low stage you'll get needed dehumidification.
several mentions of insulation prompt me to add a bit of advice born of experience ... my home is over 2000 sq ft. of heated area. I had a 120,000 furnace that worked well, but was not too efficient, and a 4 ton AC ...
after I did a search on how to improve the total house ...
I put in cellouse insulation ..12 - 14 inches on top the fiberglas that was there already.. I now have a 67000 furnace, and am planning to replace the AC with a 1.5 ton unit, as the house is that much more efficient!! Fiberglas is not even a very good air filter... cellouse stops air flow, and that is REALLY the secret to better insulation .. look at how the "new" fiberglas is put in a plastic bag .. it helps ..but it will not easily flow into corners and seal nearly as easy. my thought for you is find out what you have in the attic, and make it at least R-50 before you pop for a new furnace or AC .. it will pay back in less than a year if you hace 50's insulation up there now!! AND it is an easy DIY project... good luck, and read about Dr Max Gerson and his method of detoxification!
I live and work in the area and your right it was extremely cold, first I would like to mention that if you have flame and no hot air coming out your blower is not working the first thing you could do in a pinch, is put a box fan in front of the furnace with the blower door of and turn furnace on so flames are on and the box fan in to the furnace that will get some heat upstairs, I was extremely busy on call this weekend and saw similar problems all week end long.
The first thing to keep in mind is that it sound like you have a condensating furnace and they all produce water as the water sit around it grows bacteria and becomes stagnant and tends to plug up so the water lines or hoses and the trap should be cleaned usually done on a tune up, as well as the filter replaced but if have a 1" filter you should do it your self as often as needed about 1 a month.
Second if the burners were in fact on the entire time your furnace should of shut of by the high limit switch due to extreme heat in the exchanger that a safety on the furnace.
So now it time to analyze how old is your furnace and is it worth it to fix this issues, you'll need make model, and serial number to figure it out
sorry i missed that you were on the replacing stages already, defenetly go with a two stage but make sure both gas and blower motor are variable, I think Trane does make one. defenetly, can not use a all in one with out back up and that gets complicated you need a split system your duct work is already installed so might as well use it most brands theese days have two stage, Carrier was the first and had some bugs but I think they have worked them out consider Trane, Carrier, Lennox, and for a lot less Goodman just came out may be two years ago with 2 stage and VS furnaces when I do installs for friends and family thats what I use and can typically save them severall hundreds of dollars but I do have to admit that I got my gramma a carrier and her gas consumtion went down by almost half.