gar air heating system

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Old 11-20-09, 12:15 PM
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gar air heating system

Im buying a house and the gas heating air system is as follows:

BRAND NAME: Bryant
OPERATING PRINCIPLE: Forced Hot Air
SIZE (BTU INPUT): 100,000
NUMBER OF ZONES: One

I want to get someone to replace it, since it is 58 years old. and preferably add humidifier system and air conditioning system. What brand names should I look for and how many BTUs? I live in the burbs of NYC. So temperature ranges from 50 to 0F and rarely get up to -20F. House is approximately 1600 square feet. 4 brs, 2 baths.

What kind of pricing should I expect and how long should it take them. I have an unfinished basement. Any other things to look out for?
 
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Old 11-20-09, 12:36 PM
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Being the system is that old the duct work is more than likely not sized for a/c. What you need to do is get bids from at least 3 quality HVAC companies. They will all need to do a Manual D calculation "verifies duct sizing" and a Manual J calculation "verifies unit size". Don't be too worried about brand name it's the installation that matters so get some references from friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc...
 
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Old 12-22-09, 11:04 AM
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Finally got some quotes for the furnace.

Thank you for the opportunity to quote you for the installation of the following items:

One Carrier model 58MVC Two Stage Variable Speed Direct vent gas-fired furnace with 80,000BTU

input and with up to 96 % Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (A.F.U.E.) rating.


The following checked work/items is/are included:


X New furnace operating & safety controls X Connection of existing furnace gas piping to new furnace

X Connection to existing ductwork X Connection of existing furnace wiring to new furnace

X Programmable Clock Thermostat X New PVC flue piping to the exterior of your home.

Note: Low voltage wiring for new two stage thermostat is not included in this quote and must be

installed by a licensed electrician at an additional cost to you.


_X_ General Conditions (back of page)

No electrical work or electrical wiring is included unless specified.

Total Cost as proposed: $$5,900.00net cost
That is the quote from the better recommended contractor. The other one wasn't as highly recommended but still well recommended is:
Install 95% efficient Luxaire pvc vented 100,000 btu furnace. $5000.00
Both were willing to throw in a humidifier but neither put that in the contract. Which I will get them to change. I think I am going to go with the $5900 even if it is more expensive and 20k less BTU. So my questions thus far are:

1. Is Carrier model 58MVC Two Stage Variable Speed a good furnace?
2. Is the low voltage wiring for the thermostat easy for me to do or should I try to get them to do it for free?
3. Does the two stage thermostat digital and include stuff like timers for when the heat should go on and off?
4. Do they remove the old pips to my chimney and close that off?
5. Do they clean my existing ducts or can I get them to throw that in?
6. They also said they can replace my water heater for a 50 gallon gas heater for $1395. Is that too expensive?

Thanks
 
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Old 12-22-09, 11:35 AM
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1. Yes, two stage means the furnace will most of the time run at a reduced heat rating, probably around 48,000 BTU input. The furnace will run for a longer time period but burn less gas. Longer run times will give you more comfort. The variable speed (of the blower) means quieter operation and lower electrical cost to run the blower. This is a win-win proposal.

2. The low-voltage wiring could be easy or it could be difficult depending on where the thermostat will be located. The cable needs to be run inside walls and through at least one floor. The furnace installer will NOT be able to run the cable due to New York laws concerning electrical installations requiring licensed electricians to do the work. While you may have the tools and ability to do the work yourself the law may require that you get a permit and have the work inspected.

3. Yes. It will also control if the heat is on the first stage or if it is cold enough that the second stage will be necessary.

4. That would be a negotiable item and needs to be spelled out in the contract to install the new furnace. The cost should be minimal.

5. No. You can get duct cleaning at an additional cost. Good duct cleaning will cost in excess of $500 and take the better part of an entire day. Most likely the benefit of the duct cleaning would be minimal.

6. In my area that would be a little high, it may be a decent price in New York.
 
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Old 12-22-09, 12:34 PM
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Your area must have regulations that prevent furnace installers from putting in thermostat wire. That's too bad.

An electrician will probably sock you pretty good for that task. That's certainly a job I'd consider doing if you have some DIY experience and can fish some wires through the wall and to the location of the furnace.

I'd have the contractor specify the number of wires that should be in the thermostat bundle and the gauge of the wires recommended.


Duct cleaning is frequently a wast of money. Do you have family members with allergies or other respiratory problems who might be sensitive to such things? If so, it might be worth considering.

If not, pull off a few of the heating grills in the floor and look down to see what dust and debris might have accumulated there. The elbow probably collects more junk than the rest of the system, and you can clean that out easily enough. But if it's loaded with junk, it might be an argument for having the ducts cleaned.

They should close off the opening to the chimney and remove the old vent pipe, and they should readily agree to including that in the contract.


Is there an issue with the water heater? If not, I don't see a reason to replace it.
 
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Old 12-22-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by sddiy View Post
6. They also said they can replace my water heater for a 50 gallon gas heater for $1395. Is that too expensive?

Thanks
To much information is not said.

You did not say if your original one is gas or electric. And you did not say, even if currently gas, if current one is chimney vented or power vented while they might want to power vent and run pipe/cut hole, to do so. And you did not say if this specific gas water is some new ultra efficient variety that might be some Cadillac of all water heaters, and/or if it will have a recirculation system.

How much would it cost you for a gas-fired tankless water heater with a gpm rating capable showers without a temperature fall-off.
 
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Old 12-22-09, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
To much information is not said.

You did not say if your original one is gas or electric. And you did not say, even if currently gas, if current one is chimney vented or power vented while they might want to power vent and run pipe/cut hole, to do so. And you did not say if this specific gas water is some new ultra efficient variety that might be some Cadillac of all water heaters, and/or if it will have a recirculation system.

How much would it cost you for a gas-fired tankless water heater with a gpm rating capable showers without a temperature fall-off.
original water heater is a 40 gallon gas vented to the chimeny. Not sure what the replacement 50 gallon one would be and where it would be vented. I'll ask.

For a tankless I got quoted:
1. Install new high efficiency Rinnai m# r74i tankless hot water heater. $ 3000.00
 
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Old 12-23-09, 07:30 AM
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I got the following additions to the contract:

___ Electronic Air Cleaner: $1,395.00 (less $50.00 rebate) each

___ Mechanical Air Cleaner: $795.00 (less $50.00 rebate) each

___ High Capacity Steam Humidifier: $ 1,595.00 (less $50.00 rebate) each


___ High Capacity Humidifier: $795.00 (less $50.00 rebate) each

___ 50 gallon hot water heater installed along with the furnace $1,395.00



___ If/as required by municipality: Standard Installation of combustion air ventilation using a fan in the can

ventilation system in the furnace area: $ 1,395.00

___ One (1) chimney flue cleaning: $150.00
Things are getting pretty expensive.

1. Why is the air cleaner a separate charge, shouldn't that come with the furnace? Is mechanical good enough or do i need electronic?

2. Whats the difference between a steam humidifier and non steam?

3. I have to ask about the combustion air ventilation. Shouldn't they know if it is required? And shouldn't this be part of the furnace install?
 
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Old 12-23-09, 07:38 AM
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Ummm. Sounds like some gold plating going on there to me.


Personally, I favor cheap $1 filters from Home Depot.

IF you have family members with asthma or other breathing difficulties, fancy air filtration might be worthwhile. But if everybody is happy without it, why spend more?

Humidifier --- that may be worthwhile in some parts of the country. Do doors and such tend to stick because of dry air, or is the air uncomfortable for the family because it's so dry? If so, perhaps the expense and complexity is worthwhile.

If not, why bother?

And if the water heater is operating properly, why replace it now? Unless there are special access issues, I doubt that there is much advantage to doing that now rather than later.
 
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Old 12-23-09, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
Ummm. Sounds like some gold plating going on there to me.


Personally, I favor cheap $1 filters from Home Depot.

IF you have family members with asthma or other breathing difficulties, fancy air filtration might be worthwhile. But if everybody is happy without it, why spend more?

Humidifier --- that may be worthwhile in some parts of the country. Do doors and such tend to stick because of dry air, or is the air uncomfortable for the family because it's so dry? If so, perhaps the expense and complexity is worthwhile.

If not, why bother?

And if the water heater is operating properly, why replace it now? Unless there are special access issues, I doubt that there is much advantage to doing that now rather than later.
I have allergies, so the air filter is a must. But is the mechanical good enough?

Humidifier is also a must because it gets so dry in the winter that I can't sleep well without it. I have a room one I use, but it would be better if the whole house was humidity controlled. Only question is, what is the benefit of the more expensive one?

Water heater is 20 years old, and I feel like the faucets don't get hot fast enough. Maybe that is another issue. But also, with the new water heater, I'd like them to vent it outside instead of the chimeny. So since they are doing that already for the high efficiency furnace, would it be easier to do the water heater then also?
 
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Old 12-23-09, 09:22 AM
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Those all sound like good reasons for going ahead with those tasks.
 
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Old 12-23-09, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sddiy View Post
Water heater is 20 years old, and I feel like the faucets don't get hot fast enough. Maybe that is another issue. But also, with the new water heater, I'd like them to vent it outside instead of the chimeny. So since they are doing that already for the high efficiency furnace, would it be easier to do the water heater then also?
Faucets not getting hot fast enough will not be corrected by another water heater. Are your faucets far away from the water heater? How is the volume of water that comes out the faucet? If slow, then it take a long time to heat up. Also if the pipes are run through unheated space, that will add to it also. Makes sure aerators are clean at the end of faucet spouts, to increase the gpm's to their fullest potential.

If the furnace guys do water heaters also, then it might save you on their trip charge, for not having them come again. Maybe.
 
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Old 12-23-09, 05:02 PM
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$1400. installed price for a power-vented gas-fired water heater is an acceptable-to-good price. If your current water heater is 20 years old replacement is probably a good idea and the power-vent model will be a bit more efficient than a "standard" gas-fired water heater.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the media filter and the electronic is that as a media filter collects dust and dirt it becomes MORE efficacious in removing dirt and the exact opposite is true of the electronic filter; as the electronic filter collects more dirt it becomes LESS efficacious in removing dirt.

While electronic air filters will remove the smallest particles, including cigarette smoke, they are maintenance intensive. They really need to be disassembled and cleaned every two weeks or their efficacy drops off sharply. Most people think that cleaning them more than every other month is a bother so the truth is the thick "media" filter is usually the better choice. I have an electronic filter on my system it became just too much of a nuisance to have to shut down the heating system for several hours while I removed the filter cells, washed them in the laundry tub and then waited for them to dry before replacing and starting up the system again. Last year I went with using a 4 inch thick media filter and it lasted for the entire year before needing replacement.

Of course the ideal would be a thick media filter and the electronic, then you could probably get by with cleaning the electronic filter every four to six weeks instead of every two weeks but I doubt that very many systems have such an installation.

As for the humidifier... sorry but I have no experience with them.
 
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Old 12-24-09, 07:34 AM
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thanks for the great advice all. Been trying to contact the guy and he hasn't called me back :/
 
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Old 12-31-09, 08:03 AM
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Finally spoke to the guy and its too expensive. The second quote i got includes the furnace, humidifier, media filter, and 50 gallon water heater...all for the price of just the furnace from the other company. Over $3k savings.

So why the big discrepancy? One negative to the lower price is that they didn't do a manual J calculation so they suggested a 100k BTU furnace. While the more expensive place suggested an 80k BTU after they did a manual J calculation.

Here is the lower quote. Is anything missing or any thing that needs to be put on the contract so I am not left without heat and a half ass job?

General Description

1. We propose to install all equipment listed above at the White Plains, NY Location.
2. All work to conform within state and local codes.
3. Location of all mechanical equipment including ductwork, condensers and air handlers.
4. 1Year labor warranty on all mechanical equipment. 1 year Parts warranty.



Heating and A/C--Option #1

1. We propose to install (1) STATE 50 gallon hot water heater. $ 1000.00
2. Install (1) 95% efficient 100,000 btu Luxaire hot air furnace. $5000.00
3. Includes all electrical.
4. Includes media filter
5. Includes aprillaire humidifier.
6. Includes all necessary labor and materials.
Also, how do I tell them I want an 80k btu furnace sicne another company recommended that?
 
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Old 12-31-09, 10:30 AM
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If all you need is 80,000 BTU then a 100,000 BTU furnace is simply too large. A larger furnace will "short cycle" meaning it will be on for just a few minutes and then off for a few minutes and then on and continue this on-off-on forever. Your comfort will definitely suffer along with your wallet as this cycling is not fuel efficient and it is also causing more wear-and-tear on the furnace itself. Understand that if this proposed furnace is a multiple stage unit the cycling will not be as obvious but it will still be less efficient than the correctly sized furnace.

There is also the possibility that the existing ductwork would be too small for the 100,000 BTU furnace and this would tend to shorten the life of the furnace. Slow and steady is far better than run and stop.

You CAN do the heat loss calculation yourself. There are some free calculators available on the Internet along with some that have a cost. I don't have the link handy but there is one for about $50. that is highly recommended and since you are having trouble getting a contractor to do the calculation you may want to explore doing it yourself. Have you looked at your present furnace to see if you can find a BTU rating? Your present furnace is almost guaranteed to be larger than necessary, especially if you have done any work to improve the energy efficiency of your home like increased insulation, weatherstripping of doors or windows or the replacement of windows. Also, going from the assumed 60% overall efficiency of the present furnace to the 90+% overall efficiency of the new furnace would in itself point to needing a lower-rated BTU furnace.

As for wanting the contractor to install a lower BTU rated furnace than what is quoted...you are the one paying the bill and you are the one to ultimately decide what is installed. If the contractor balks then you want a different contractor.
 
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Old 12-31-09, 11:25 AM
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See what they will knock off to install the 80,000 BTU version of the furnace they propose to install.


Frankly, in my opinion heating contractors should make a charge for doing a competent job of figuring the heat loss.

Homeowners should pay to have that done right once and then give that figure to contractors to use.



Seattle Pioneer
 
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Old 01-01-10, 06:02 AM
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The 58MVC is a 3 stage furnace, often referred to as a multi-phase or modulating furnace (does not actually modulate).

It is a top of the line Infinity furnace and should be installed with the infinity control for maximum comfort and features, otherwise it will work on a timed basis.

The Infinity control (I believe) only requires 3 wires.

delta
 
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Old 01-01-10, 09:47 AM
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You guys reminded me to ask if the cheaper quote was a multistage furnace (the luxuair). This is the answer I got:

The furnace is variable speed motor and also has modulation. The gas valve and other components modulate depending on temperature and run time. Its the best and mosy eficient furnace that luxaire makes.
Is that good?
 
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Old 01-01-10, 01:53 PM
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It would have been nice if the contractor had supplied a specific model number of the furnace he was proposing but I assume that this is what was proposed as it is the only modulating furnace with variable speed blower in the line.

Luxaire

Here are some of the manuals for this furnace.

Technical guide

Installation manual

And the sales brochure:

Sales brochure

I notice that this same cabinet size also comes in an 80,000 BTU input model and that may be a better choice. The 100,000 BTU input model does modulate down to 35,000 BTU input but the 80,000 BTU model modulates down to 28,000 BTU input. Unfortunately, without a heat loss calculation there is no way of determining what size you really need. There is also the fact that this is a new (to you) house and you have no history of how the existing furnace performs and probably little idea of the energy efficiency of the house as it is today.

Ideally you would have the heat loss calculation that applies to the house as it is now and then you could "tweek" the calculation with improved insulation, and air sealing along with looking at the ramifications of new windows and other higher-cost improvements. You really want to size the new furnace to what the requirement will be AFTER you make the retrofits and improvements or you will end up with a furnace vastly larger than what you need.

You do want to get the high-end "communicating" thermostat that is specifically listed for this furnace in order to maximize the potential of the modulating design. I didn't delve deep enough into the installation manual to determine just how it modulates but I do know that with a lesser thermostat it will likely use a time-based algorithm rather than a true modulating control to vary the heat output. Then again, it may always be using a time-based algorithm.

If you are planning on eventually installing cooling in the house you really need to do a heat gain calculation in addition to the heat loss. It may be that you need a larger blower for the cooling than would normally be used for the heating portion and you need the calculation to determine this. I notice that the furnace does come in a smaller case (blower) size with both a 60,000 BTU and an 80,000 BTU rating along with the next case size (which is the quote I think) that has the 80,000 and 100,000 BTU ratings.

I think the best think you could do now is to do the calculation. Here is the link for the one that is most often suggested by the professionals on this forum. The cost is $49. for a single residential use.

Air Conditioning Sizing Software

If you want to try some free calculators do a Google search using the term heat loss calculation and there are several. The free ones range from insanely simple (and not very accurate) to pretty good. The biggest problem you will have is in making the guesstimates for existing insulation and air infiltration factors.
 
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Old 01-01-10, 04:44 PM
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Good points. I definitely want to do a lot of things to reduce heat loss like replacing windows and insulating walls, so I'm going to go with 80k furnace.

I looked up the less expensive company and they are not BBB rated. However, the more expensive place is A+ rated. Should I be worried about going with a place not rated by the BBB?
 
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Old 01-02-10, 07:03 AM
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I found out the furnace model is LP8C080C16MP11. The contractor says its 97% efficient. But the luxaire website says its only 80% efficient and its a discontinued model.

Luxaire - Dealers - Products- Commercial - Evaporator Coils - Single Package Cooling and Heating Units

Am I correct that this model is only 80% efficient? Does it matter that it is a discontinued item? Specifically for warranty purposes from the manufacturer.
 
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Old 01-02-10, 08:21 AM
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90% efficient furnaces typically use plastic pipe to vent the combustion gasses. 80% efficient furnaces use metal vent pipe.

Did you obtain the model number off the rating plate in the burner compartment of the furnace?
 
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Old 01-03-10, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
90% efficient furnaces typically use plastic pipe to vent the combustion gasses. 80% efficient furnaces use metal vent pipe.

Did you obtain the model number off the rating plate in the burner compartment of the furnace?
I obtained it from the heating contractor. But I questioned him about it and he said he made a mistake its an LP9c series not the LP8C. I wonder if I hadn't inquired would I have ended up with an 80% efficient furnace???
 
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