Please share - thank you!
There is no best furnace. Here are the most important things to consider:
1. Installation. Determine who is the best company to sell and install your heating/cooling units. There may be more than one.
2. Proposals: Get at least three proposals. With each proposal, make sure it includes a heating/cooling load calculation (companies who don't do a calculation, should be rejected--period).
Note: A heating/cooling load calculation is not guess work. It requires complete measurements of your home including windows, doors, insulation, floor and wall sizes...etc. Then that information is inputted into a computer program which determines the proper size of equipment for your home.
3. Once you have the proposals, you can then pick out the equipment you want based on features and price.
Remember: Installation first, equipment second.
Good equipment, installed poorly won't last more than a few years and cost you money. The majority of failures in equipment is due to poor installation.
All that said, if I absolutely knew that 3 contractors had stellar reputations, good associations with their distributors, were bonded and insured, and had well trained employees.........then I might choose (depending on warranty, price and features).
1. Trane or American Standard
2. Carrier or Bryant
3. and all the others
This is however, based on where I live and what available here.
Do your homework and ask a lot of questions. Don't fall for the friendly good ol' guy installer that "wings" it.
Here is a link that might be useful: Information in choosing an installer and equipment
This post was edited by audiomixer on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 1:15
It all depends on what you are looking for and your budget
Sizing is key to comfort and reasonable operating costs
High efficiency 95%+ or standard efficiency 80%
Two stage burners or single stage models
Just my idea but I believe furnaces are closer together on quality compared to a wide separation in outside condensers.
I personally would want a furnace to have a variable speed blower motor and at the very least the high efficient x-13 blower motor. Stainless steel heat exchangers are a big plus.
Other factors to take into consideration is one's location, winter weather, how long you plan on being in home. I always encourage homeowners to have a thorough inspection of their ductwork system. Keep in mind new HVAC is a waste if one has a poorly sized, poorly designed, not enough return, poor insulation, and a leaky ductwork system. The most overlooked element in a new HVAC system,
Thank you for the great tips! I am in CA and not at home during the day - the house is old 1952 and I guess I need to check the duct system first - we did clean the ducts when we bought the house 4 years ago. I am debating whether to move the furnace under the roof to free space for second bathroom - still thinking if it's a good idea. Thank you!
I am also not sure what is the difference in pricing for 95% or 80% efficient and single or two stage burner?
Higher efficiency means more bux...
Two stage heat means more bux...
Rheem and Ruud are right up there with number 1 and 2 and usually a good bang for the buck.
Today I got my first bid - $1800 for the furnace ( 80% one stage probably Carrier ), $2100 for new ducts (?) and $2400 for moving the furnace to the attic. Are those prices reasonable? I still need to check others. My question is should I replace the ducts - the contractor said they are old and probably leaking - how would I know if that 2K cost is justified - maybe they are OK and not leaking? Is the $1800 just the price for the equipment or it should be less since I'll pay $2400 for the install in the attic.
Please share your advice.
are ducts flex or hard pipe duct?
to determine how much they leak,
you get a duct leakage test.
if they are properly sized (& size of system isn't increased)
then it will be worth while to mastic seal the ducts.
usually when flex duct is cleaned, it tears.
$1800 is furnace, $600 to move it to attic?
didn't you post about crawlspace vs attic vs basement
putting equipement & ducts in attic isn't the
best choice. basement would be the best.
best of luck.