Contemplating a new furnace

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Old 01-31-13, 03:41 PM
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Contemplating a new furnace

Furnace guy Cleaned our furnace today. Its has an old Reilo burner. I know nothing about furnaces so I would like some suggestions as in good reliable brand. Its an Oil fired forced hot air furnace. My mother had one installed it works well but is very noisy. Also, is there a furnace that would have a water jacket so I can use it to heat water so I can get rid of my LP fired water heater. I want to make sure what the furnace guy wants to sell me is a decnt machine. TIA for any advice. TimH
 
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Old 01-31-13, 04:58 PM
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I really can't answer your question directly but my opinion is stay with the LP fired water heater. I can't see having to keep a boiler fired up for domestic hot water and then to be limited by the amount of hot water anyway.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 02:07 PM
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Have you checked out a heat pump as an alternative to oil?


Depending on you power costs and other issues (such as minimum temperatures) that might let you escape from the oil barons...
 
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Old 02-01-13, 02:26 PM
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To answer the original question, no such product exists at least for forced air.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for the input

What are the operating parameters for a Heat Pump. Get below zero here at least a few times during the winter. I'm near Albany NY
 
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Old 02-01-13, 05:41 PM
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Traditional heatpumps are best suited for mild climates.

As it gets colder outside, capacity drops off. Depending on your house and the size of the heatpump, below 25-40F, supplemental heat is needed.

There are two ways to do a heatpump in a cold climate:

1. Replace furnace with an air handler which has a blower, coil, and electric elements. When the heatpump can no longer keep up by itself, the heatpump runs continuously while the electric elements cycle on and off. At a certain point (below 10-15F in my opinion) the electric elements take over completely.

2. Install a heatpump but keep the oil furnace for backup heat. Oil furnace takes over completely below 25-40F.

To have a heatpump:

- The house has to be reasonably well insulated because they have 1/3-1/2 the capacity of furnaces
- The ductwork has to be in good condition -> they aren't forgiving at all
- The electric service must be at least 200 amps if electric backup is required

The determine if a heatpump is worth installing, post your...

1. Electricity rate including all charges (c/kwh)
2. Cost of fuel oil, delivered
3. Efficiency of furnace (if it's old, it could be 60-70%)
 
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Old 02-01-13, 06:14 PM
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Muggle: You've nevr heard of hydro-air?
 
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Old 02-01-13, 06:34 PM
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Thanks Muggle, I think a heat pump is out. House isn't well insulated though we expect to tackle that this summer. We do have a 200 amp entrance.. Electricity rates in NY are among the highest ( so I'm told )in the nation. Our present furnace is ~30 years old. Definitely needs replacing. I Like my old furnace simply because I can fix it when it breaks down. I pretty sure a new furnace I will need to call a tech. Also may need to look at some type of direct vent not sure if they make oil furnaces with direct vent.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 06:45 PM
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Just a thought for you Tim, if you plan on doing some extensive energy efficiency improvements, best to think about what size heating system you will need once that is completed. A replacement now would typically be the same size as what you have which might end up being a lot bigger than you will need.

There is another catch. Often a new system will be quoted as saving you some % of your heating costs. However, that would be based upon your current heat loss. Add improvements and cut your heat loss in half, and the savings from the new furnace are also cut in half. It's not always possible, but a super insulated home doesn't really care about the cost of energy, because the use so little.

Think about it from both ends and you will get a better solution.

Bud
 
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Old 02-01-13, 06:59 PM
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Grady, whats hydro air?


( Extra characters to make minimum length post)
 
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Old 02-01-13, 07:06 PM
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Best is Thermo pride. Then there is everything else
 
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Old 02-01-13, 08:00 PM
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" Muggle: You've nevr heard of hydro-air? "

A boiler is needed for that - the op was asking about a jacket for a forced air furnace.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 08:05 PM
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" Thanks Muggle, I think a heat pump is out. House isn't well insulated though we expect to tackle that this summer. We do have a 200 amp entrance.. Electricity rates in NY are among the highest ( so I'm told )in the nation. Our present furnace is ~30 years old. Definitely needs replacing. I Like my old furnace simply because I can fix it when it breaks down. I pretty sure a new furnace I will need to call a tech. Also may need to look at some type of direct vent not sure if they make oil furnaces with direct vent. "

What's your electricity rate?

Electricity is expensive, but so is oil.

I wouldn't be so quick to take the heatpump option off the table without investigating first.

Regardless of what kind of heating system you purchase, any planned efficiency upgrades must be done prior to getting rid of the existing furnace. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with a grossly oversized heating system.

In the long run getting off oil is a wise move. (I can only assume that natural gas isn't available)
 
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Old 02-02-13, 01:24 PM
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Tim,
Hydro-air is a system which uses a source of hot water, be it a boiler or dual purpose water heater, to heat water which is then passed thru a coil in an air handler to blow warm air into the house. Works basically the same way as does the heater in your car. If the blower on your old furnace is still good, the furnace could be used as the air handler.
 
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