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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 20 yr old furnace is just going to cost too mucht to get fixed. So, replacement time. I live in campbell

I asked my contractor what he would put in his house. He said American Standard/Trane or Carrier.

He also said the 90-92 % efficiency the sweet spot for cost vs efficiency.

Thoughts?
You can PM me or post back
 

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There are only 3-4 furnace companies in NA. The rest are all rebranded units of the 3-4.
I'd get a 92% unit, as it cost just a few hundie more. Depending on where it is mounted, you may need a condensate pump($100). 90%+ all drip water(condensate), so you need to get rid of the water somehow.
The cats meow are the ones that have a variable blower fans, rather than just 2 stage.
You can get real fancy and add electronic filters and humidifiers.

These are real basic devices. You can install one yourself if you find/buy one that is the orientation you need. A new one is only ~$750. Look at CL there are installers in there that will install a new one for not too much. Don't get taken like others and pay 2-3k for a new furnace. Yikes.
 

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Good info here...I went with a Bryant two stage/variable speed fan, high efficient, heater. Be sure not to buy a bigger unit than you need. When your'e done with this also get a pellet stove insert for the fireplace.
 

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A few years back, I got a 2 stage 80% Trane. I could not just justify the extra cost of going to a 90% furnace with the little savings it would offer. Then again, I got a house that's well insulated, and my gas bill never goes over $100 a month.

Depending on how old your house is, you may want to replace your old heating ducts. Newer ones are more efficient.

Another thing to consider if you want to be fancy is to have a couple thermostats in different rooms and install electric variable flaps.
 

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I went the low budget route about 7 years ago and have no regrets.

Picked up a Bryant 383KAV upflow model. 80% efficiency, 2 speed fan, low end model which was a major upgrade compared to what i was replacing. dirt cheap unit
relocated the furnace from the garage to the attic- good move

Purchased a plenam with no holes. Easy to cut your own.

Mapped out the existing duct work and diameters

Purchased new flexible ducts, Y's, reducers, restriction valves, tape, insulation... from Home Depot. They stocked everything needed, but I did find that some Depots carry a better selection than others

Tore out old asbestos ridden nasty duct work, by first spraying it thoroughly with water using a Hudson sprayer, and then wearing a disposable set of overalls, using a respirator and getting downright dirty. This was not the fun part. There was no airborne asbestos, the stuff turns to mush very quickly when sprayed with water. disposed of this stuff properly during a hazardous material clean up day hosted by the local waste management company. Cost of disposal $0

Installed all the new goodies with the help of a friend and it works sooooo much better than the circa 1960's stuff that I tore out.
 

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Sometimes location impacts efficiency choice....

In some areas not installing a 92% + efficient furnace requires you to pass a ducting leak test, check your local building codes. (this depends on your "climate zone") Passing that test with old/funky ducting can open up a can of worms, if you're going to pull a permit. (meaning not installing yourself)

I put in a 85% (or so) efficient Carrier a couple of years ago, went with the variable speed fan and the 2 stage burner, well worth it. Attic install, all new ducting, works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone, it has been a learning experience for me.

I found that I need to get a 95% efficient furnace to get the 30% tax credit. That make the price between the 80% model and the 95% model a wash. Although, I have to wait for my 2010 tax return. I wish my old one would have died a month ago. I could have had it on my 2009 return :madman:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wish I had a little more expertise and time to do it myself to get it up in the attic. It would be interesting. I don't like to mess with natural gas unless I'm sure I know what I'm doing. That is not the case here. If I mess up, it could lead to a fire or or worse, BOOM!

fat.tires said:
I went the low budget route about 7 years ago and have no regrets.

Picked up a Bryant 383KAV upflow model. 80% efficiency, 2 speed fan, low end model which was a major upgrade compared to what i was replacing. dirt cheap unit
relocated the furnace from the garage to the attic- good move

Purchased a plenam with no holes. Easy to cut your own.

Mapped out the existing duct work and diameters

Purchased new flexible ducts, Y's, reducers, restriction valves, tape, insulation... from Home Depot. They stocked everything needed, but I did find that some Depots carry a better selection than others

Tore out old asbestos ridden nasty duct work, by first spraying it thoroughly with water using a Hudson sprayer, and then wearing a disposable set of overalls, using a respirator and getting downright dirty. This was not the fun part. There was no airborne asbestos, the stuff turns to mush very quickly when sprayed with water. disposed of this stuff properly during a hazardous material clean up day hosted by the local waste management company. Cost of disposal $0

Installed all the new goodies with the help of a friend and it works sooooo much better than the circa 1960's stuff that I tore out.
 

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tax credit?

ziscwg said:
Thanks everyone, it has been a learning experience for me.

I found that I need to get a 95% efficient furnace to get the 30% tax credit. That make the price between the 80% model and the 95% model a wash. Although, I have to wait for my 2010 tax return. I wish my old one would have died a month ago. I could have had it on my 2009 return :madman:
Does the 30% tax credit phase out based on income or Min Alt Tax?
That was the caveat on the hybrid car tax credit, I got burned on that one....
 

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Totally coincidental.... my 92 year old neighbor just came over, asking me to take a look at his furnace. It only blows cold air and he's been bundled up for 2 weeks with space heaters.

btw... I am a recovering accountant, a tightwad by nature, somewhat capable, but definitely not a HVAC person.

Furnace is only 5 years old (Trane XL 80). My eyes are better than his (barely), so after figuring out the furnace would not stay ignited, and it's flashing some kind of error code via a red light... I called a local HVAC shop that is familiar with that model and is supposed to stop by within the next hour.

Good luck with your project. Heat is a good thing, so are tax credits!
 

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That what I love this forum so much :) Timely information but pure coincidence.

I'm dealing with 20yo house that was sabotaged (REO), so instead of trying to get all wires together and live with old heater/AC I got a quote from one the companies.
For dual-zone (two thermostats) system with new 95% Furnace and AC unit, HVAC quoted 7K plus permit for 8K total.

Looking at this thread it seems it way too much. More research ahead.
 

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Stalk said:
That what I love this forum so much :) Timely information but pure coincidence.

I'm dealing with 20yo house that was sabotaged (REO), so instead of trying to get all wires together and live with old heater/AC I got a quote from one the companies.
For dual-zone (two thermostats) system with new 95% Furnace and AC unit, HVAC quoted 7K plus permit for 8K total.

Looking at this thread it seems it way too much. More research ahead.
I used Servicemagic.com for my furnace and for other stuff since then. I think that I paid about $3k for 120k BTU 80% Trane furnace (installation included). A 90% unit was close to $1k more if I recall correctly. $1k for the permit sounds quite steep though. $7k for the whoel thing seems about right to me.
 

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We got a Trane a couple years ago. Before that we had one floor heater that was probably installed when our house was built in 1925. The guy from PG&E said we shouldn't use that old heater for any reason.... We would probably still be going around in winter coats in the house if we didn't have kids.

Luckily we have a tiny house, so one zone is all we need.
 

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fat.tires said:
Totally coincidental.... my 92 year old neighbor just came over, asking me to take a look at his furnace. It only blows cold air and he's been bundled up for 2 weeks with space heaters.

btw... I am a recovering accountant, a tightwad by nature, somewhat capable, but definitely not a HVAC person.

Furnace is only 5 years old (Trane XL 80). My eyes are better than his (barely), so after figuring out the furnace would not stay ignited, and it's flashing some kind of error code via a red light... I called a local HVAC shop that is familiar with that model and is supposed to stop by within the next hour.

Good luck with your project. Heat is a good thing, so are tax credits!
You know PG&E will do free safety inspections on your home appliances. They aren't supposed to be a free repair service, but my experience has been the inspectors can't resist doing a few tweeks to get something right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I asked the same question about income phase out for us. The Guy who did our first quote said it does not have an income cap. However, I have not heard from my tax guy yet on this. He would be the expert. The HVAC guy I worked with first said his company doesnt like to screw people for a few bucks. He knows bad news travels fast and people can post opinions all over the place and deter potential customers. So, they just lay it out straight up and hope you buy from them.

normonster said:
Does the 30% tax credit phase out based on income or Min Alt Tax?
That was the caveat on the hybrid car tax credit, I got burned on that one....
 

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fat.tires said:
Totally coincidental.... my 92 year old neighbor just came over, asking me to take a look at his furnace. It only blows cold air and he's been bundled up for 2 weeks with space heaters.

btw... I am a recovering accountant, a tightwad by nature, somewhat capable, but definitely not a HVAC person.

Furnace is only 5 years old (Trane XL 80). My eyes are better than his (barely), so after figuring out the furnace would not stay ignited, and it's flashing some kind of error code via a red light... I called a local HVAC shop that is familiar with that model and is supposed to stop by within the next hour.

Good luck with your project. Heat is a good thing, so are tax credits!
Hopefully he just needs a new ignitor.
 

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So who is you HVAC guy? I got a quote from A&H who was recommended by my agent, but curious what other recommendations are here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I used Atlas heating and air and Foothill heating and air.

Stalk said:
So who is you HVAC guy? I got a quote from A&H who was recommended by my agent, but curious what other recommendations are here.
 

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We just went with Degree HVAC (http://www.degreehvac.com/home) for ours. They replaced our original unit (which was one of those old, in the wall contraptions) with a 95% efficiency central heat and we are all set for A/C -- just need to purchase the unit at a later date. Price was in the $8k range before rebates - of which, there were many. Total rebates will be just less than $2k.

Service was very good, and they did the install in about a day in a half. Very nice!
 
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