Need recommendations


Old 09-17-07, 11:20 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Need recommendations

We just completed a full year in our new home, built around 1991-2. I have a HUUUGE, highly inefficient furnace - Carrier, 175,000 BTUs, 80% efficient with an 8 inch flue. It is heating a 3300sf home in Chicago, and has been for about 15 years. My gas bill in February was $450. The furnace is in the center of the basement, with ductwork going left and right to both floors.

I am looking at replacing the furnace before it gets cold, hopefully taking advantage of the tax benefit while I'm at it. I figure that an efficient furnace will knock down the cost of the bills enough to make it worth replacing now instead of 3-5 years from now, when it will likely die.

I talked to a reliable furnace guy, and he gave me 3 options. He said that there isn't much made that will accomodate the size of my home and the power and input of my A/C.

First, he suggested a 93% efficient Rheem model to replace what is there at a cost of around $3500.

Second, he suggested but didn't recommend piggybacking 2 smaller furnaces within the existing ductwork.

Third, he suggested 2 furnaces and 2 a/c units, which is what the original builder should have done. However, it is not possible to do this properly, with each unit heating a floor, without ripping out lots of ductwork. However, it is possible to split the house left-right and have a unit serving each side. This is probably the best way to solve the unbalanced heating issues, as the thermostat is on the south, right side in a protected area, while the heating problems are on exterior, northern walls on the left side, with lots of windows. HOWEVER, the cost to do this is around $10,000 - not out of budget, but questionable as to whether we can recoup the costs over the long term. I don't expect to move, so that isn't an issue.

So, if it was your house, what would you do? What do you recommend?
Sponsored Links
Old 09-17-07, 06:20 PM
Grady's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware, The First State
Posts: 14,231
Received 22 Votes on 20 Posts
The first thing I would do is to perform a manual J heating & cooling load calculation. There is a very good program available online for around $50.

The idea of splitting the house sounds reasonable. A big plus to this approach is if one system goes down, at least you have some heat. It may not be comfortable but it is certainly better than nothing & may prevent a freeze-up.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: