Choosing new system

justdoinmythingJuly 5, 2012

I am a newbie on GW. I have been reading posts on several of the forums for over a year now and feel confident I can get great info here. There are several experts on this forum that I would appreciate any advice you may have for me.

I am in the process of getting estimates on replacing my 20 year old Tempstar units. They have only needed minor repair over this period and are currently still working.

My home is located in DE and is a single story 1300 sf about 50 years old. My current system is 80% 100,000 btu with a 2 1/2 ton 10 seer AC.

I have 3 quotes so far:

Tempstar: $6,000

F8MVL0901717 90,000BTU 80% AFLU

TXA530GK 2 1/1 TON 16 SEER

END4X31C17 2 1/2 TON 16 SEER

No stat model given

Trane: $8,000

TDH2B080A9V3VA 80,000 BTU

4TTB4030E1000B 2 1/2 TON


No stat model given (although listed a 2 stage in quote)

Arcoaire: $13,000

80% AFLU furnace - 13 SEER air cond. No model numbers were given in quote. I have requested specific info but have not yet received it.

I am planning to also get a Rheem quote but everyone is extremely busy right now.

Thanks for your help.

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The Arcoaire quote is ridiculous. I would avoid the Tempstar.

Is the furnace located in the attic? If not, then why are you not looking at 90%+ efficiency furnaces?

If your equipment is currently working, then I suggest you wait until September 1 to get additional quotes. It has been very hot in the mid-Atlantic region lately. The HVAC contractors are very busy and are not going to give you much attention. The rebates will also start up in the fall. You will get a little better price and a contractor who has time to give you a thorough quote.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Thanks Mike for your comments.

The furnace is on the first floor. The ductwork is in a crawl space. I had a new roof installed last year and am not crazy about putting a hole in it for the exhaust pipe. The cost to operate difference between the 80% and 90+% shouldn't be that much for my small house (at least I don't think so). Please corrct me if I'm wrong.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:37AM
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The PVC piping would go out the side of the house. There should be no new holes in your roof.

If did the calcualtion correctly if you purchased a 80% AFUE furnace instead of a 95% model, you would pay an additional 18% for gas. In addition you may qualify for a local utility rebate with the high efficiency furnace.

Do an estimate of your gas usage for heating only. We had a mild winter this year, so also look at the previous year. You should be able to calculate how long it will take to pay back to the additional cost of the high efficiency furnace.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:46AM
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The Trane estimate is for the more efficient furnace and he said he would need to put a pipe thru the roof. My current unit is located in the center of the house and I'm not sure you could go out horizontally.

The total gas billed over the last couple of years has been right around $1,000 per year(little over for 2010 and under for 2011). This also includes gas HW heater and gas dryer.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:21PM
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You are being oversized on your furnace choices both quote #1 and #2.

I would install a 60 KBTU high eff furnace 2 stg var speed in the crawl space unless there is a good reason not to.

Trane is good.

Post back.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:01PM
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Not one of the contractors has mentioned putting the furnace in the crawl space, so I'm not sure if its a viable option.

The one thing I asked for (after reading this forum for about a year) was that it be a two stage, variable speed system with all matching componants. I still need to know what stat would work best with each system.

Being comfortable in the winter is more important as I get older and colder. My AC is usually set between 76 and 78 in the summer.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:25PM
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You should follow up on the suggestion of a high efficient 90+% condensing furnace with your dealer. A 60 K model would be the correct size for your home.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 8:25AM
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I just received the stat model # from the Trane dealer. Is this one a good match? Honeywell TH6220D1002


    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:28PM
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"The cost to operate difference between the 80% and 90+% shouldn't be that much for my small house"

Look up your annual gas bill and figure out the savings. If your gas bill for the furnace is $3k a year then $600 of that is going up the flue (i.e. not heating your home) with an 80 AFUE furnace. With a 98 AFUE furnace you'd be wasting $60. Now you're at $540/yr in savings. The cost difference on these furnaces may be $1k-$1.5k so you'll make up the initial cost in 3 years.

Note that these are completely fictitious numbers and you'll need to run your own calculations. Alternately post your annual gas bill along with any other gas appliances you use (water heater, range, etc.) and we can give you a ballpark estimate.

The final thing to factor in is if you should get a heat pump or just an A/C. In some locations heat pumps make a lot of financial sense depending on climate and utility costs.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Greg, my cost per year for gas (heat, hw, cooking, and dryer) is about $1,000 to 1,100. I'm in the mid-atlantic region and do not want a heat pump.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Contractor quoting Arcoaire will NOT give specific information on equipment model numbers. Needless to say, he won't get the job (quote way too high anyway).

How is the York brand?


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 6:30PM
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