Convert from Oil Air to Gas Air Furnace

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Old 01-03-10, 07:41 PM
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Convert from Oil Air to Gas Air Furnace

Hello, I am in the process of buying a house and should close in a couple of weeks. Please bare with me since I am a complete noob and will ask many silly questions. The house is in great shape, however, the first thing on my agenda is to replace the 30 or so year old oil furnace with a gas one. The gas piping is already ran in the basement, so the gas company should have no problem connecting it from the main. My question is what would be a good quote for an energy efficient, star compliant furnace? Which brand and model number offers quality and the best bang for a buck? What would be done with an oil tank, oil itself? I would like to add a central A/C as well, what would be a good, star compliant unit? The house is a little over 1,100 SQ feet.

I also have a little idea on what to do with an electric tank water heater. Would it be possible to slap a few solar panels on the roof, a battery storage in the basement and hook it up to the water heater or this is not as easy as it seems? Thanks.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 07:16 AM
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You can call a few dealer and have them look at your home and give you a quote. A good install will make any brand a good brand. If they do a bad install, then the "high end' brand will not last like it should.

Important thing they NEED to do on YOUR home is.
-Manual J (load calac)
-Ductwork sizing to handle A/C


Just a shot out of the dark, I'd say furnace may fall in the 60k range, and A/C in the 2 tons zone.

For comfort and energy savings, is the 90% furnace with two stage burner and variable speed blower. For more savings, maybe a Heat Pump (Duel Fuel)

These are the brand I suggest.

-Trane XC95m (3 stage)
-Carrier Infinity (3 stage)
-Rheem Modulating (13 stage)
-York Modulating (I think 25 stages)

As for the tank, your local dealer will have to give you the answer since code may vary from here.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 10:23 AM
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Personally I favor furnaces made by Carrier, including it's brands Payne, Day and Night or Bryant. Their primary advantage is that there are so many of them that most repairman are likely to be able to fix them, if they can fix anything.

As a side benefit, the odds that a part you need may be carried by a repairman are pretty good, while parts for other furnaces may not be carried on a repairman's truck, and you may have to wait a day or a weekend, or more, before they can be obtained and installed.

Also, my bias would be towards single stage furnaces. Most manufacturers have figured out how to build reliable single stage furnaces, while 2 stage furnaces are version 2.0 of this type and continuously variable furnaces are at stage 1.0.

Parts for those furnaces may be harder to get and a good deal more expensive. And they can fail faster due to the version 1.0 problem. Fan motors on continuously variable furnaces have had a tendency to fail because the electronics in the motor can fail, and replacement motors can cost $1,000.

Older motors don't have any electronics and don't tend to fail for many years.



So if you live in a relatively cold climate, I'd consider a single stage 90% efficient condensing furnace made by Carrier. Cheaper to buy, too, than the fancier furnaces.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
Also, my bias would be towards single stage furnaces. Most manufacturers have figured out how to build reliable single stage furnaces, while 2 stage furnaces are version 2.0 of this type and continuously variable furnaces are at stage 1.0.
I've not heard of "Version 2.0" furnace before?? They may do some design change or something simple. My Trane vs my uncle's 10 years old Trane is pretty much the same, just minor changes in the inducer fan for variable speed.

Fan motors on continuously variable furnaces have had a tendency to fail because the electronics in the motor can fail, and replacement motors can cost $1,000.
If the ductwork is not sized to handle the air flow (Manual-D) then yes the blower is going to fight to get the air moved as it was programed to do. That's why I stress good install. If it's a bad install, then it will burn out. I run mine all the time, now it's been 5+ years no issues. And also, $1,000 for a motor??


So if you live in a relatively cold climate, I'd consider a single stage 90%
I would not agree on that. My furnace is designed for -20˚, and lot of times we are just in the teens, so if I stayed with the 60k, it would not run enough to keep my house in comfort. With the two stage, it runs steady in 1st stage with better comfort. We've been well below 0's the last few days, and the 2nd stage is now kicking more.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay11J View Post
I would not agree on that. My furnace is designed for -20˚, and lot of times we are just in the teens, so if I stayed with the 60k, it would not run enough to keep my house in comfort. With the two stage, it runs steady in 1st stage with better comfort. We've been well below 0's the last few days, and the 2nd stage is now kicking more.

People have been using single stage forced air furnaces since after WWII and they have done a creditable job of heating homes.

Before that, hot air systems using gravity to heat homes did the job well.

Two stage and variable furnaces perhaps improvge upon that somewhat, and if people want to spend the extra money and deal with the extra complexity of such designs they are certainly welcome to do so.

Personally, I think single stage 90% furnaces are the best choice overall for relatively cold climates. Others are welcome to their own opinions.


I hate planned obsolescence! Please help w/ this variable speed blower motor fix [Archive] - DoItYourself.com Community Forums
 
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Old 02-08-10, 09:18 PM
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So it is finally happening. First week after I closed on a home, I interviewed 3 contractors. Two more are coming this week. They all say I need to replace 4 inch single ducts with a one central duct that sprawls 6-8 inch ducts in each room. However, they recommend adding registers on the outside walls, rather than inside- the way I have right now. So one quote I received for the quality job, with Trane furnace and A/C is almost $12K. Same job, but with top of the line furnace is almost 13K. I was planning on 7-8K job, but this is almost twice as much! Would it help if I start quoting other brands? I think Trane has a brand markup.
 
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Old 02-08-10, 10:00 PM
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Putting heating registers on outside walls and under windows matches heat loss with heat gain and will produce a more comfortable room environment. Windows in particular are significant sources of heat loss, and can be drafty absent an offsetting source of heat.

That's somewhat reduced with insulated windows these days.
 
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Old 04-25-10, 06:07 PM
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Went with the Bryant 95s Evolution system. Works very well and very quiet, however, our master bedroom, which was added to the house and the furthest away from the furnace, does not seem to get much air.

In the morning, when the heat kicks in, it is 3-4 degrees cooler. I am afraid that when A/C season starts, the bedroom won't cool off efficiently. There are also a lot of windows in the room, so obviously that causes the room to be cooler/hotter.

Our HVAC guy said that the system needs to be balanced by closing most of the dampers that are located closer to the furnace and having the bedroom dampers open. It seems to me that this method will have the system work longer than necessary. Would adding an additional duct in the bedroom help in this situation? Anyone has any suggestions?
 
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Old 04-28-10, 06:10 PM
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Is this a single story home with a basement? If so keep shopping.
 
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Old 04-28-10, 06:57 PM
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Not sure what you mean, but yes, single story with a basement.
 
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