Upgrade a 15yr system?

snoberonSeptember 28, 2012

New member, first post.

Location: Metro Detroit area, Michigan

House: 40yr 955 sqt brick ranch with basement,3 bd, east-west facing

Furnance: Lennox-G23Q 2/3 -75-4 80% AFUE installed 1997

A/C unit: Lennox HS29-024-2P 11 SEER installed 1997?

Last year I had the ignition control module replaced, this year the control board replaced.

We are planning on staying in the house at least another 15yrs, the questions I have are:

1. Given the age of both units and the repairs I had done to the furnace, is it time to starting looking to replace both units?

2. Are the size of the units correct for the size house.

3. Given how long we plan on staying in the house, should I look at Furnaces that are between 85%-92% AFUE, 13-17? SEER for A/C unit. For the best return on investment?

4. Are certain brands better then other? if so, what makes them a better long-term investment? (understand brand preference can come down to personal choice)

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Thank you.

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I am not familiar with Lennox mdl numbers like I should. Any idea of BTU output of existing furnace?

Here is what I suggest.

A furnace like Trane's XT95 40 KBTU size with a two ton 13-14 SEER AC condenser and matching coil. Add a whole house pleated filter media cabinet. That furnace is a 95% eff condensing model that will require venting to outside.and has a high eff blower motor but not var speed. Excellent choice for your location and home's size.

BTW, I would bet you are oversized on old furnace.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 7:43PM
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Input: 75,000 BTUH

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 2:41AM
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Yep, just as I suspected, way oversized.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 6:23AM
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You have replaced the parts on the furnace that often fail. The furnace may last another 5 - 10 years, but there is no guarntee. The AC tends to have a shorter life since the condenser is exposed to the outside elements.

How harsh are the winters in Detroit? How much insulation do you have in the attic and the exterior walls? How tight are your windows? These would determine the sizes of the furnace and AC. A load calculation would determine the heating and cooling requirements.

Carrier/Bryant and Rheem/Rudd are also good brands, but the smallest furnace may be a 50 or 60K BTU size.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Winters have avg in the low 20's -low 30's with. Attic has R-19, I do need more installation in the attic ( got a quote to add R-38 for $1380) unknown what is in the walls. Single pane windows have no noticeable leaks.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 1:19PM
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answer is depends.
single pane windows allow alot of temp transfer.
houses leak in unexpected places.

your unit is at the end of its useful life.
a new unit will be more efficient and provide
some savings in operation.

before you add insulation in attic you should
air seal. openings on attic floor/ceiling of
living space allow attic temps to enter the house.

investing in a blower door test to know where to seal the house leaks, and a duct test to know where to seal
the duct leaks will improve the comfort of the house.

once leaks are sealed..then blow/install insulation.
it is much easier to heat and cool a house with few
air leaks than a house with lots of air leaks.
and why pay to condition air that never makes into
the space where you live?

air sealing/duct sealing are two things that
quickly pay for themselves & make a big difference
in comfort & utility costs.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 5:57PM
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The problem with replacing all your equipment is that it's expensive. You are talking around $5k.

Your energy savings will probably be about $300 a year, so it takes about 14 years to get your money back.

I did an energy audit and my electric company calculated that my a/c costs were about $500 per year. Even if I improve my energy efficiency by 50%, I'm only saving about $250 per year.

So, sometimes it makes more sense to insulate your attic/walls and seal your ducts than go for a super energy efficient system. It depends on your costs.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 9:03PM
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