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Old 02-13-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
433 posts, read 985,237 times
Reputation: 158
Default Need help on getting a new gas furnace!

Well,my parents' home has an ancient gas furnace that is about 22 years give or take. It broke and it was a Carrier. So,the new gas furnace has to be a Carrier.

So far,we as in my dad and me contacted the original installer of our old furnace and a gas company.

The sq ft of our home is 1,854 sq ft minus the garage minus the basement,since there isn't going to be vents for heating and cooling in those rooms.

The guy from the original business told us that it is advisable for us to get a 80% efficient furnace and told us that the gas company is trying to get us to pay more with the 95% efficient. In addition,he told us that the ducts are too small and it will create static pressure. The financing that he told me is that 50% down and 6 months no interest.

The guy from the gas company didn't give me a recommendation,since I wanted the best efficient furnace which is 95% efficient. In addition,I told the guy from the original business that the guy from the gas company didn't mention about doing the duct work for about $7,000 USD and the gas company is trying to make more money off of you. The guy from the gas company just told us that they will be doing some sheet metals work for a few hundreds and install a new thermostat.

1.So,should I contact a different business or what? I need help.

2.One of the contractors told me that they will get a permit,but do they actually give you the permit for you to keep or they keep it?

3.Why would you want a contractor sign on their written estimate?

Last edited by BORGUSX; 02-13-2009 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,737 posts, read 20,571,515 times
Reputation: 4647
Quote:
Originally Posted by BORGUSX View Post
Well,my parents' home has an ancient gas furnace that is about 22 years give or take. It broke and it was a Carrier. So,the new gas furnace has to be a Carrier. Not sure why you would say that, different brands can hook up to the duct work

So far,we as in my dad and me contacted the original installer of our old furnace and a gas company.

The sq ft of our home is 1,854 sq ft minus the garage minus the basement,since there isn't going to be vents for heating and cooling in those rooms.

The guy from the original business told us that it is advisable for us to get a 80% efficient furnace and told us that the gas company is trying to get us to pay more with the 95% efficient. In addition,he told us that the ducts are too small and it will create static pressure. The financing that he told me is that 50% down and 6 months no interest. Typically the lower efficiency furnaces are simpler and more reliable. They cost less initially but cost more for fuel over time.

Duct sizing is based on air flow. If you didn't have a problem with air flow in the old furnace, you will probably be OK with the new one.

Financing is a different question - different companies will offer different deals.

The guy from the gas company didn't give me a recommendation,since I wanted the best efficient furnace which is 95% efficient. In addition,I told the guy from the original business that the guy from the gas company didn't mention about doing the duct work for about $7,000 USD and the gas company is trying to make more money off of you. The guy from the gas company just told us that they will be doing some sheet metals work for a few hundreds and install a new thermostat. Assuming the 95% furnace is going to give you good reliability, use your current efficiency and this year's gas bills to figure out what your new bills would be with the 80% and the 95%. From this you can get the payback time. If the 95% would save you enough to pay for the difference in price within say 5 years or less, it's probably the better deal.

1.So,should I contact a different business or what? I need help. It would not hurt to get a couple more bids, talk to people you know about who did their furnace, are they satisfied?

2.One of the contractors told me that they will get a permit,but do they actually give you the permit for you to keep or they keep it? Typically they will have to post the permit at the job site for inspectors to sign off on. This varies with local regulations.

3.Why would you want a contractor sign on their written estimate? Are you asking if you would want or why you would want a contractor to sign their estimate? If so, it's just to indicate who did the estimate, and that they really did it, as opposed to you found one of their forms and filled it out for them to do the job for half price.
Make sense?
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:00 PM
 
13,117 posts, read 23,405,339 times
Reputation: 7373
Lots of different questions here...

I have very old central gas furnaces... as in 1922 and new high efficiency 95%+ units...

The least expensive option is almost always to repair the existing unit unless parts are no longer available... such as the heat exchanger.

Going with a 80% furnace is the simplest new install because you should be able to use the existing vent (Smoke Stack)

Going with a High Efficiency 95% will require a new Vent Pipe, Outside Air Intake and somewhere to pipe the condensation... it is more involved and might even require a condensation pump if the furnace is in the center of the home or basement.

Replaced a 1960 70% with a new 80% furnace in a 1900 square feet home for $1375... parts and labor... the city permit was an additional $122. The job was done by a one man heating contractor.

Upgraded to a new 95% gas unit for my parents home... Materials cost about $1500 and took me a day and half to run the new vent pipe through a two story home, air intake and condensate drain. Neighbors paid $6800 for the same thing last year...

If you almost never use your furnace... the 95% will take a lot longer to pay for itself... if you use the furnace a lot... I would go with the highest efficiency unit and you might be able to get a utility rebate or tax credit.

Duct work has to be in good condition or your wasting money... My homes are older and have all metal ducting and were in great shape... Changing out ducts can be labor intensive and will add several thousand to the price.

The quality of the new ducts is only as good as the installer is meticulous.

Some of the new ducts are very easily damaged be rodents... something to think about.

Any furnace that has pilot-less ignition will save you money because your not using gas 24/7 to keep a pilot light lit.

I installed a high efficiency Tempstar Unit in my Brother's home... he only had a double wall furnace. The Tempstar was bought as package with Air Conditioning.

The entire package including ducts, registers, hepa filter box, condensate safety pan and 220-30amp service for the AC ran $3400 in materials. There was a rebate that he couldn't get because he used me instead of a participating HVAC contractor. The inspector said it was one of the cleanest installs he'd ever seen...

The Tempstar is nice because it has two stage burners and variable blower. The two stage burners let the furnace operate at 25 Btu, 50 Btu or 75 Btu depending on the temperature differential.

The variable blower is very nice because the unit is almost silent during normal operation, as in maintaining room temperature. The Blower only goes to full speed when the home is cold and the furnace is first turned on.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 02-13-2009 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:17 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 15,684,604 times
Reputation: 2385
Default Sounds like you are getting ripped.......

A new high efficiency furnace is something like $1500 wholesale.

I replaced mine as a total ripout. Paid a local HVAC guy to supply the furnace and all the materials for new ducts where needed. I did all the rip out, most of the grunt work. He installed the actual furnace, I did all the wiring, new thermostat. This included the materials to do a new supply / exhaust pipe for the air / flue gas and a drain. All new duct work going upstairs, formly had no heat, again I did all the grunt work. My total for the job was $2750 for a nice 95% efficient unit. Got no complains. Heating bills are very low, I have the house pretty tight and upgraded. We had to replace all the ducts to individual registers with like 6 - 8" metal round ducts, the main ducts are formed in the joist bays. Nice quality job has performed as expected.

Do not monkey around buying anything but a high efficiency unit, pays for itself quick at todays fuel prices. You can cut your costs dramatically by doing all the grunt work. I could not replace it cheaper myself, plus did not have the bending tools. Was running out of time and needed it done.

Never try to deal with the gas company, they are the most self interested folks, never anything in the deal for you. Do it right and you should be able to get some energy credits on your taxes. Ask around for who is the best and most reasonable heating contractor, usually the best guys are also pretty nice guys. Can be a huge variation in prices, lot of the contractors want to treat you like a clown who knows nothing. Find the right guy, do not be afraid to get dirty yourself. I've actually become pretty good friends with this one contractor, see him every so often at social functions. Helps to have contacts.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
433 posts, read 985,237 times
Reputation: 158
The person from the gas company told us that we needed PVC pipes,but I forgot why do we need it,though? Can someone inform me? In addition,if we had PVC pipes,does the furnace still need to use our ducts for heating,also or it would be just our current air conditioner that uses the ducts?

I mean we only use the furnace when it is needed in the fall and winter,so what do you mean by using the furnace a lot since it is up for interpretation...

What I found out that PVC pipes has some bad toxins... Darn!

Last edited by BORGUSX; 02-13-2009 at 07:59 PM..
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:38 PM
 
13,117 posts, read 23,405,339 times
Reputation: 7373
Quote:
Originally Posted by BORGUSX View Post
The person from the gas company told us that we needed PVC pipes,but I forgot why do we need it,though? Can someone inform me? In addition,if we had PVC pipes,does the furnace still need to use our ducts for heating,also or it would be just our current air conditioner that uses the ducts?

I mean we only use the furnace when it is needed in the fall and winter,so what do you mean by using the furnace a lot since it is up for interpretation...
PVC pipes refers to the Vent and Air Intake piping. The exhaust stack on High Efficiency units does not get hot enough to carry the water vapor out the pipe. Water Vapor is a by-product of combustion with Natural Gas.

Plastic Pipe doesn't rust and handles water.

I live in CA... The home I grew up in never, ever had the furnace turned on my entire childhood... except at Christmas when the Great Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents came to visit.... Dad would actually have to go and lite the pilot because it was turned off the rest of the year.

Mom is older and started to notice the cold about 3 years ago... I installed a new 95% furnace for her and she uses it about 4 months of the year.

Neighbors in the old neighborhood are on their 3rd or 4th furnace in 50 years... I remember they had an elderly invalid and the house was always about 76 or warmer... like opening an oven door when they opened the front door... about 12 years and their furnaces were toast... mostly heat exchangers...

Many of the older CA tract homes were sold without any heaters at all... zero. For less than a $100 you could have Montgomery Wards install a basic Floor Furnace to take off the chill. These are 1920's and 1930's tract homes.

After WWII, homes came standard with a wall furnace...

Central Heat wasn't coming into wide use untill the mid to late 50's.

New homes in my area still don't come with AC unless you are willing to pay extra...
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
433 posts, read 985,237 times
Reputation: 158
If anyone can look through or skim through this link regarding about how to conduct business with a contractor:Hiring a Contractor | CMHC

See,if there are step(s) that I can skip or something that I can do that isn't provided in the link for conducting business with a contractor that does something related to HVAC.

I am going to call the department of the city that I live in that has something to do with issuing building permit(s)!
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:07 AM
 
27,046 posts, read 19,080,349 times
Reputation: 3662
Just be careful. Stuff like HVAC done by hacks will cost you more in the end (like with most contracting) even when it looks like you could be saving lots of money by side stepping some things.

How to select a contractor.pdf
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:07 PM
 
27,046 posts, read 19,080,349 times
Reputation: 3662
US House Passes Stimulus Bill With HVACR Tax Credits 244-188 (http://www.acca.org/blog.php?id=315 - broken link)
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,100 posts, read 6,793,016 times
Reputation: 2747
I wonder if they raised the cap on insulation, doors and windows to. I'm re-insulating our attic and want to add elsewhere, so I'd burn through the existing $500 credit pretty quickly..
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