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Furnace replacement

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by metron, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Well its about that time. My central air is shot so im getting that replaced and figured i might as well do the furnace at the same time. We got quotes for 80% and 92% efficiency units made by amana to the tune of 1800 and 2400 respectively. Not bad prices. Im leaning toward the 92.

    Anyone have any comments on traditional 80% furnaces vs the more efficient condensation units? Any bad experiences with amana? From what i gather, any brand can be a lemon and proper installation is really the primary concern as opposed to which brand to get.
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Why such low efficiencies? We replaced ours in October, and all of the quotes we got were for units in the 90's.

    BTW.....how did your drywall finishing project turn out?

  3. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Hey Mike! Good memory on the drywall and thanks again for your tips! I would say im a professional amateur drywaller by now. ;) I scraped and skimmed 30% of the house and replaced the bathroom walls by myself. Looks perfect!

    All the quotes we got were for 80, 92, and 95. I think the legal min is 78 so 80s are still around and everyone we talked to still offers them. Perhaps to grab customers who dont know better by offering lower prices.
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    We found some tools online to compute operating cost of the different efficiencies. We went with the highest efficiency we could afford, 95%. Amana wasn't available from any of the contractors we got bids from. It was Carrier, Trane, and York. We ended up with Trane. The Trane that we replaced lasted 25+ years. It is a dual stage, which is nice. Too bad we moved out without being able to enjoy the new one.

    Nice work on the drywall. With some patience and practice, about anyone can do a good job.

  5. Most units around here are 98%. I wouldn't go with anything less than 95%. Also, mudding is actually quite fun.

  6. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Meh... Mudding is ok once you get the hang of it. Until then its a bit enraging :mad: :help:

    So Mike did you figure that the efficiency savings offset the cost? The 95% is about $400 more. Certainly 80 to 92 is worth it.
  7. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I would think it would have to do more with how long you intend to live there. Long term savings over additional $400 now. At least that's how I understand the minor differences.

    And I prefer the trim work to mudding, texturing, and painting. To each his own, right ;)
  8. Look at heat pumps. We replaced our old AC unit with a heat pump and it also does duty as an extremely efficient furnace down to 20 degrees. We put in a new 98% gas furnace at the same time and the heat pump is FAR more efficient to operate. We've been in the high 80's to high 90's with very high humidity for the last month and the heat pump has kept up beautifully.
  9. I LOVE finish work. My dad and I make some good coin doing trimming jobs for cash.

  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Get the high efficiency one. It's the 21st century after all.
  11. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Do not get Goodman. It represents false economy. Always the worst reliability rating from Consumer Reports readers.

    That is all I have to contribute.
  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    When my wife's brother got a new furnace he was told the advantage of the medium efficiency furnace was that they lasted a lot longer. So you could save money over the lifetime of the furnace.

    Not sure I buy that since fuel prices seem to keep climbing. We had no choice, we had to get high efficiency since we do not have a chimney. The chimney was removed by a previous owner who put in an electric furnace.
  13. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    The question is how much will one save going from 92% to 95%?? If you spend $600 a year to heat your house, then that extra 3% efficiency will save you $18 per year. BUT, a portion your ehating costs will be fixed charges that are not affected by using less heating fuel, so the true savings are even less.
  14. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    I do this for a living , 10 years residential , 15+ commercial industrial.

    Go high efficiency if you can , if your selling the house it wont make your house with more but is more appealing to buyers.

    Buy a unit right in the middle of their lineup , the bottom is just that , the top of the line is the Cadillac and it isn't if a expensive repair comes along its when . Some of these high end models have components that can cost over thousand , or even more , dollars to repair replace. The middle of the road units generally use more common components , they have sold and produced more of them so costs are generally average.

    Make sure the brand you buy has a local , reputable distributer , not the guy you buy it from but the guy HE buys it from . Do you want heat/AC now or in three days? Local parts availability is a plus.

    As far as brands all I can say is research , we sell Trane a nd carrier because they are recognized rands and both have fully stocked warehouses here in town.

    There is only a handful of manufactures that make ALL the different brands of units , Carrier makes 4 brands, Trane makes several , ICP makes a handful , York also makes Coleman etc............. If you shun one brand and buy another you may have bought the same thing relabeled.
  15. I replaced mine just before last winter. I went with a Comfortmaker brand. It was affordable and got good reviews overall. I have natural gas, and forced air. I went with the higher efficiency 95% model. I def. saved a lot in gas bills BUT... gas prices are down and it was unseasonably mild all winter.

    The only issue is it appears I picked one too big for my home. When the fans kick on it's pushing a LOT of air through the six ducts in my house. Too loud for my tastes. I was told by an HVAC guy that I overshot what I needed for my1,300 square foot place. I'm hoping that can be addressed somehow, but I gave up researching for the summer. I'll tinker again in a few months...
  16. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    You might be able to adjust your fan speed. Im told that the ones im looking at are 4 speed adjustable and factory set to med-high.

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I think ill get the 92 since we wouldnt realize much savings with a 95 over the long term though we do plan on staying here for a lon time. We have quotes from good rep companies that have been in the area for a long time. No bbb complaints.

    I will say that a $5k+ job of any sort puts a serious damper on gas pains. No new basses for a while :bawl:
  17. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Oh... Well amana is made by goodman. Did you have bad experiences?

    One thing i have seen is that even the "good" brands have about 50/50 great/terrible reviews. The best brands have an average rating of about 3/5.

    Some of it might have to do with similar phenomena you see on tb. Those with bad experiences are eager to report them somewhere on the net while those with good experiences arent as much. Maybe...
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Around here it isn't even possible to buy a unit that isn't at least a 93%er.
  19. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I like the point from Indiana Mike about not if it will break, but when. For that reason, we wanted to work with a company with the best certified techs and high customer service rating. I paid attention to how many vans and trucks I saw around town to get a better feel for the larger companies, then I went to each company that gave us a bid to see their operation in person.

    It was kind of an akward moment when the salesguy offered to stop by with the quote, but I said I'd prefer to meet him at his office and see the shop. They were all agreeable to my request.

  20. I put mine in myself, with my brother's help, so I guess it doesn't matter about the shops. I know the guys (well, my brother does) at the local plumbing place and I felt confident buying from them.

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