New Furnace Questions

Old 03-15-04, 04:48 PM
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New Furnace Questions

We are currently looking to replace the propane furnace that was in our house when we bought it and convert to natural gas. We live in Wisconsin and our house has a square footage of 1344 ranch style modular.

We have gotten three estimates so far and will hopefully get two more. The problem is with each estimate we get different opinions as to what we need. The first person said to stay away from the variable stage furnances because there are too many problems, the second person said variable stage is the only way to go and the third person said both variable and standard two-stage furnaces are good. We need help, this is our first experience in buying a furnace.

The three quotes we got were for:
1. Lennox Elite G51 single stage 45,000btu $2410
or Lennox G61 two stage 45,000btu $2,760
& AC Lennox HS29-024 12 SEER $1780

2. Goodman 2 stage variable 60,000 btu furnance $2675
AC Goodman 12 SEER $2600
but there is $1500 discount promotion
3. Thermo Pride 4 speed direct drive 75,000 btu $2,250
Thermo Pride Variable Speed drive 75,000 btu $2,500
AC Goodman 12 SEER $1,595
AC Goodman 13 SEER $1,795

Are there any opinions as to what we should go with. We are a little confused since btu range from 45,000-75,000 we do not want a furnace to big but living in Wisconsin we want to make sure it heats properly. One contractor said to take the sq footage and multiply by three and add zero to the end and another went around our house and measured the rooms and windows but they both came up with 45,000 btu. Is this supposed to be the input or output?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by vanvleetx2; 03-18-04 at 10:33 AM.
Old 03-15-04, 05:36 PM
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5 bids sounds good. I dont see why they dont run a heat loss and a AC load there on the home . They should for sure ,and show it to you .

Id list the furnace to use as Trane, Lennox and Rheem . Thermo Pride dont know much about. Goodman Id put on the very bottom more like a builder's model

Now as far north as you are Id say you want a furnace with a AFUE over 90+ and the V/S blower on it.

As far as the A/C I dont know how much you will run it up there .But I think a SEER of 10 and not over a 12 for sure.

Dont know how it is there on fuel cost for LP,Nat, oil ,and electric.
you could go to and see what one is best.

That 45K btu should be the heat loss of the home.I dont know how low they should go there for the furnace to still heat the home . like did they say it would heat the home to 70o at say a -10o or -15o degrees.
What ever they say how or why. make them put it down on the contract.
The Btu of the units should be the output of them. ED
Old 03-15-04, 06:04 PM
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Hello: vanvleetx2

According to my calculations, the 45,000 btu unit with the 10 seer A/C would be fine. Lennox would be my choice of the brands mentioned thus far.

A 60,000 BTU unit could also be used. Only difference is the time factor. Would heat up house faster but not warmer. Would run slightly less than the 45,000 BTU unit.

That's all that would be gained heat wise. However, if a 12 seer unit is needed, than the 60,000 btu unit with a matched 12 seer A/C would be best choice.

Some factors are the climate zone your in, house insulation, building materials used in the construction, number of windows and type of windows as well as ceiling height, etc.

Alway's consider the warranties and future service needs for any major appliances you're considering purchasing. Price isn't always the best guide for long term appliance investments.

"My Two Cents"
Old 03-16-04, 01:29 PM
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look into the rheem modulationg furnace, very dependable, efficient, and delivers excellent comfort. i am not a real fan of the brands you mention (am not familiar with thermopride) but the installation quality is often more important than the name on the unit. goodman has a bad rep because it is inexpensive, and the "hacks" put it in almost exclusively. properly installed, however it can be a good bargain. amana is excellent equipment, you may want to get a price on that
Old 03-18-04, 10:39 AM
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The Lennox dealer also provided us with a written quote on an Arco Air system.

Arco Air 75,000 btu 90% eff furnace $2,105
Arco 2 ton 10 Seer AC system $1339

Has anyone heard of this brand, how good are they? We are considering going with the Lennox 2 stage G61 furnance and the Arco Air AC system since in WI the AC is not as much of a concern, otherwise the complete Lennox system is out of our budget.

Two more quotes to come though.
Old 03-21-04, 06:21 AM
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Thrmopride make good equiptment, and I have not been around the gas models.. I am sure they are just as good as thier oil lines.

I personaly not a fan of Lennox lines.. I'd get a couple more bids.

I'd suggest Trane/American Standard line, and Rheem/Ruud line.

Arco A/C never heard of them. So I can't comment on that.

I see a few big diffrenace in BTU rating for the system you've gotten bid for. Did the dealers do a heat lost/gain on the home and give you a computer print out report?? If not ask for one.

I would NEVER go w/ a dealer who just do a "rule of thumb" deal. (take this x that, and + this, / that, and you get =)

If you want to make sure you are getting the right system, go over to this will be the best $50 you've spent! Sizing is important! (if system not sized right, your cost will be high, shorten life of the system.. ect)

SEER rating on A/C 10 is very basic. yes I know you are in WI, but we do get our hot spells, and humidty. 12/13 SEER is the highest I would suggest here in the midwest. Check w/ your power company, you may get some type of rebate w/ a higher SEER rated A/C.

Old 03-21-04, 11:35 AM
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75,000btu's? To heat a house not more than 1344 square feet one story ranch? WOW! That seems like overkill, even in your state.

May I suggest having that loss/gain test done? Hope so. The heating unit seems way over rated. Contractor should also be able to provide logical reasons for suggesting btu sizes, etc.

If not willing to do so, are they attempting to sell you what makes them the most profits or what unit(s) they happen to have in the warehouse, need to move out quickly, left overs from year prior or have on the trucks? Questions to ask.

But not necessarily oversized for the A/C unit size. Since moisture removal is a factor in A/C. Too short of cycles, which will result if the seer rating is too high, will not remove enough moisture while the A/C is running, if the unit is oversized.

Brand wise is your choice. Alway's consider the warranties and future service needs for any major appliances you're considering purchasing. Price isn't always the best guide for long term appliance investments.
Old 03-21-04, 02:39 PM
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I questioned the ThermoPride dealer regarding the size of the furnance. I was told that the heat loss calc. showed a worse case scenio of 48,000btu and the 50,000btu furnace only had an output of 47,000btu and he didn't want to take a chance. If we got the variable speed furnace the output is 70,000/52,000.The guy seems reputable and the furnace has a 5 year parts and labor warranty provided by the manufacturer. He did however suggest a standard vs. the variable since the new design hasn't been on the market long enough to prove that it will last a long time without any problems.

It seems as though all the quotes we have gotten we have been told we are borderline between a 50,000btu and 75,000btu furnace and most have suggested the

We also got another quote:
Heil 50,000btu variable speed furnace $2350
Heil 50,000btu singe statge furnace $1950
Heil A/C 12 SEER Scroll $1725
Heil A/C 12 SEER Piston $1625

I was told that with Heil the variable speed furnaces can be replaced with a standard blower. Something that the other furnace companies haven't developed yet.

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