Advice on a new heating system

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  #1  
Old 06-29-10, 01:11 AM
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Advice on a new heating system

Hello everybody,

I'm in the process of looking at replacing an old AC unit and natural gas furnace that have seen better days. They both work, I'd just like to get more efficient units. I live in the Tacoma area and electric rates are $0.066/KWH and gas is roughly a $1/therm. My electric usage is about 500KWh/month and gas usage is 1.7 Therm/day on average. I have a 4000 sq foot house with a basement. I have installed a solar hot water heater which definitely helps. I just got a quote for an American Standard Hybrid System (Heritage 16 Heat Pump, 95-2 Stage Variable Furnace, indoor comfort coil, accuclean filtering system, Honeywell Focus Pro wireless thermostat, and whole house duct cleaning and sanitation) for about $18000 (that's with tax). Not sure if I should pull the trigger....kinda pricey. My questions are the following 1. Is this a good deal? 2. Would it make more sense (given my moderate climate conditions) to forego the furnace and just stick with the heat pump and use heat strips for auxiliary heat? 3. Or would it make better sense to stick with the heat furnace and invest in a high efficiency air conditioner? 4. Or should I simply get an energy audit and invest more heavily in efficiency retrofits for my house?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-29-10, 01:56 AM
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Leave well enough alone. Sounds like your present system is running cheaply. Just give it a cleaning, inspection and a tune up. That money will feel mighty good in your pocket. Review in 5 years.
 
  #3  
Old 06-29-10, 09:01 AM
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Kind of going backwards through your post - unless someone has major allergies, duct cleaning has been declared by a major consumer magazine to be a rip off. Same goes for the super duper filter. Just use cheapies and change them out on a regular schedule. If you currently have a thermostat, and I assume that you do, there is no need for a new one if you stick with a single stage gas furnace. Why wireless? A heat pump may require a different t'stat. In my part of the world, gas heat is the cheapest, then heat pump, and full electric heat is dead last. Yes, a more efficient furnace and air conditioner will lower your utility bills, but will take many years to recover the cost. As mcircus more or less said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
  #4  
Old 06-29-10, 06:33 PM
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1st duct cleaning if done correct is a very good thing to do. A good company will take two guys 6 to 8 hours to do. They get a bad wrap because of the jack legs doing it with rotobrush in 3 hours.
2nd. Why the sanitation? Is there mold growing? If it is no mold I would not spend the money or spray another chemical.
3rd. Yes get a new stat. when your old stat breaks in August and you have a $300 bill for a trouble call you can thank me then. I would not go wireless unless you can't get the wires to it.
4th. If your units are more than 10 years old you will see the savings in around 6 years. Money well spent.
5th That price seams high to me have you got any other prices?
 
  #5  
Old 06-30-10, 12:10 AM
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Thanks for the advice

I think I'm going to ask for a requote, reducing the furnace down to the Heritage 80 single stage, getting rid of the Accuclean and duct cleaning. I actually had the duct cleaning done last year, probably don't need it. I'll let you guys know what the dealer says. Thanks again.
 
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