Buying a new furnace and AC - advice?

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Old 03-05-15, 07:08 AM
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Buying a new furnace and AC - advice?

I am new home owner and I got a proposal from a contractor for a carrier model high efficiency 2 stage furnace and AC around 13k for everything, labor included. The condensate drain is going to the basement sink (I think he will just have the condensate dripping into the basement sink drain). I was concerned about it being acidic but he said the neutralization kit via the PVC should be more than enough to meet code.

Any pearls of wisdom or advice you would give me so I can watch out for them and ask smart questions? The intake and flue pipes for the furnace will be going out of the house pointing towards the backyard.

I live in the northeast MA.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 08:34 AM
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Make sure your contractor does a manual J heating & cooling calculation. This will tell you both the correct size equipment needed for your house. Get several bids. Ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. about whom they have used to do similar work.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 09:04 AM
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What is the size and efficiency of your current furnace that is being replaced?
Do you plan on making any additional energy efficiency improvements after the new furnace is installed?

As Grady asked, a manual J heat loss is a must, along with an evaluation of your current ducting.

I know you asked about the condensate drain, but every time I hear the "high efficiency" description I become concerned that the increase in efficiency has been oversold with expectations of big savings, which in many cased doesn't happen. It can happen, but sizing of the new furnace, sizing of the ducts, air sealing of the entire system, and some added energy upgrades are usually required.

Bud
 
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Old 03-05-15, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion, I never heard of this load calculation and the contractor never did it. He just looked at my old furnace (approx 20-22 yrs old I think) which admittedly now I know is past its prime once I learned that furnaces last roughly 15 years at most. I should've planned for this when we bought the new house, but at the time, the furnace was still working - now it's being temperamental. We're planning to live in the house for at least ten years, if not longer.

Along with the recommended furnace and AC for 13k, it also includes making the return vent bigger (by cutting a bit of the hardwood floor in the living room) and installing a larger diameter return duct - he said it is currently too small for the furnace and house, and the furnace I was using was oversized.

You think it's ok for the condensate to drip and drain into the basement sink and not directly into the sewage drain on my basement floor? He said it meets code and is perfectly fine with the neutralization kit - hopefully those things don't break and last a long time without needing maintenance?
 
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Old 03-05-15, 12:37 PM
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Dripping into the sink is actually preferable since it creates an air gap between the sewer & the condensate discharge as well as having a trap. Some localities do not allow condensate to be put into the sanitary sewer, period.

Will the furnace be installed above the basement where the condensate can drain into the sink by gravity? If not, a small condesate pump will need to be installed & they do require a minimal amount of maintenance. The neutralizer will likely have to be serviced annually to maintain it's effectiveness.
 
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