Help on choice and cost of furnace

Laurie.123October 14, 2011

My Chicago home is a split level, 1600 sq. ft. Furnace located in sub-basement. Sub-basement, main floor, and upper floor are warm but basement is always cold.

Replacing 25 yr old furnace about 60% efficient still working. A/C is newer and is 3 ton. Not being replaced.

First quote obtained Rheem RGRM,75,000 BTU, 95 %,variable speed

Aprilaire model 700 humidifier

digital thermostat

Total $4275 less tax credit & Rheem rebate

optional $150 media cleaner

Installer in business since 1952, part of Home Depot program

Lot more than I expected to spend. Need some advice. Please help.

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Rheem makes nice furnaces. However, I would never recommend purchasing HVAC through any big box store program.

The characterization of your basement always being cold usually is an indication of poor ductwork design/sizing, insulation qualities. Basements at or partially below grade have low heat loss properties. Dealer should
make a full evaluation and suggestions for improvement. The basement is used as livable space?

That furnace will require a two stg thermostat for full functionality and best operation. You need to find out mdl thermostat quoted.

I do recommend a good 4-5" box filter media cabinet.

If you are dissatisfied with pricing, then shop around.


Here is a link that might be useful: Rheem Mdl RGRM Furnace

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Thank you so much for your thoughts. I was referred to the dealer from Home Depot, but the dealer is an independently owned company in business since 1952. No complaints with BBB. Does that make any difference? Should I keep looking?

The basement is partially below ground and has a finished family room. As you say, it might be poor duct work or insulation. What can be done short of ripping walls apart?
What do I ask the Dealer to do?

The media cabinet requires expensive filters a couple times a year. What is the advantage of a media cabinet?

I read the Rheem Web page. I still feel lost. Any help is appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 11:36AM
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The HVAC contractor is obligated to pay a certain percentage to Home Depot. You are either going to pay a higher price, or the contractor may cut corners on the installation to make up the difference. You should get three quotes to compare costs and recommendations of contractors.

Ask the dealer to measure your duct work to determine if the size is sufficient. You may not need to open up walls.

A 4 inch filter lasts 3-4 times longer than a 1 inch filter. So it is not costing more money for filter replacement. In addition the 4 inch filter has less air resistance than the 1 inch filter. This will improve air flow.

Who told you your 25 year old furnace is 60% efficent? Furnaces of that vintage usually have 75-78% efficiency ratings.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 1:00PM
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