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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    8
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    New Furnace and Filtration, your help, you opinion, appreciated

    The Home:
    o Saratoga, CA (mild winters, 20-50 degrees F range at night)
    o +30yr-old ranch, 2,300 sqft
    o Gas fired, forced air, down-flow furnace in the garage
    o All new (2yr-old) R8 duct work under and return
    o 10-registers (6in duct at register), two returns
    o All windows are Anderson dual pane with plantation shutters
    o Insulated attic with composite shake roof, all hardwood floors
    o Furnace: 10-15yr-old Payne, 115,000btu input, 4 ton, 80% AFUE, one-stage, one speed blower
    o No AC and no desire to ever install it

    The Problem:
    o High gas & electric bills ($500+ in winter months)
    o Cold and uneven heat throughout house
    o Noisy when furnace runs, cycles too often to keep temp
    o Need to micro-manage thermostat to control cost yet remain at comfortable temp
    o Furnace is off during the day and turned down to 64 at night
    o Use of portable heater in bedroom at night
    o Two dogs and allergies require running portable air filters

    Solution:
    o New furnace, Variable speed fan, modulating heat, 95% AFUE
    o Whole house air filtration system

    Four Options in my preference order:
    1 - American Standard Freedom(R) 95 Comfort Modulating (w/ tstat), AccuClean Filtration
    2 - Rheem Prestige RGGE Modulating (w/ tstat), Electronic Air Cleaner (RXIE)
    3 - York Affinity YP9C Modulating, Aprilaire 5000
    4 - Carrier Infinity ICS 3-stage "Modulating" (w/ tstat), Infinity Air

    I am leaning towards the American Standard because it does seem to be the best total package.

    Any other opinions?

    My biggest concern is sizing the unit correctly and I would like some help. All of the installers (4) are in unanimity that a Manual J load calculation is not necessary for this job, but I would like to error towards under sizing. With our mild winters and the efficiency of these modulating furnaces undersize seems the way to go for optimum comfort and energy savings. Furthermore we would like to run the fan and air filtration continuously.

    Should I continue to shop for an installer that will do a Manual J load calculation?

    One problem is that smallest 4-ton American Standard is 100,000 btu input (oversized).

    How do I know if the smaller 3-ton is too small?

    Please share some opinions and experiences with these systems and similar sizings?

    Thanks,
    Howard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    40,748
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    Someone needs to do a heat loss calc on the home and see what size furnace you need. The furnace should be chosen for the BTU output the house needs. If a brand doesn't make a furnace with a blower big enough, choose another brand. Don't oversize the heat just to get a blower. 10 6" runs is about 2.5 tons of duct capability. So you would have a big problem with overheating if you put a 100,000 BTU Trane 95 on it.

    I don't care for the Accuclean, if I went electronic I'd want the Aprilaire 5000 or Honeywell's new electronic media cleaner.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    8
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    Thread Starter
    What don't you like about Accuclean? The litterature claims 99.98% and less than 0.1 micron filtration (better than a hepa filter). This compares to Aprilaire 5000 that is 98% down to 1 micron.

    Both have no disposable filters media and can simply be washed and replaced. I recall 5-year warranty on the filters.

    I am not expert on air filtration, so what are the other considerations?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    SW Michigan, near Battle Creek
    Posts
    921
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    what about heat pump?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    36
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    The aprilaire 5000 has a replaceable filter media. I recommend it. I also like the carrier air purifier. Equipment wise everyone will have diff views. I like the carrier and the trane style. Just depends on what models u r looking at for ac/hp outdoor units for efficiencies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,744
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    Lennox Pure Air is the best if you want to pay the price. I can't say as much for my beloved Trane though. Not a huge fan of the Clean Effects, it's ok, but the Pure Air has it. Super pricey for install and upkeep, but worth the money if you have severe allergies. The Aprilaire 5000 is a good deal for the price. If the power head fails after the warranty is up, you still have a decent media filter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,904
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    Heat Pump. And demand a manual J. And manual D, for ducts.
    10 6" ducts can't move enough air for 4 tons of cooling. That's why your old system is not making you comfortable.
    You need proper air-flow to be comfortable.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    8
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    Thread Starter
    The home today has no Heat Pump. What will a Heat Pump do for me? How will it solve my problems?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    18
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    I would go with the York Affinity which modulates in 1% increments combined with the Carrer Inifinty Air purifier. You may have to get 2 seperate dealors in to install each but this gives you the best of both worlds IMO.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Triad - North Carolina
    Posts
    538
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    A heat pump setup could be used with the existing or new furnace as a "dual fuel" so the more efficient (depending on utility costs) heat pump heats your home during moderate demand times.

    Air flow is an issue as stated by 2old.

    I have seen a hugh number of systems (old systems) that were installed with plain 5' media filters and the internals were as clean as new. I'm personally not fond of the trane clean effects either but the lennox is great if you can stand the annual costs.
    Yes, I've seen that before and it doesn't mean I like it.

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