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Old 08-07-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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Furnace and possibly AC recommendations


We are out in the county and run on propane. Near the end of last winter our propane use suddenly skyrocketed. Our propane company has repeatedly checked for leaks etc, and finally recommended we have our furnace inspected. We have been in our house 5 yrs and plan to live here long term, so we have been paying annual home warranty solely based on knowing our furnace/ac was old (20yr when we bought the house, 25 yr now) and feeling it would go out one day soon. It took the warranty company 3 weeks to send someone, the service tech took the whole front part of the furnace apart and says the front of the heat exchanger is cracked and likely did cause the excessive propane use. Original equipment was top of the line Lennox Pulse high efficiency furnace and Lennox a/c. Warranty company wants to give us bottom of the line Payne furnace, or only allow $700 cash-out. We fully expected to have to pay some difference in upgrading, but not $3000 difference! And, in the meantime, our A/C has started to just barely cool and I can only imagine what the warranty company will try to give us for that! The company they sent out will put in the furnace they provided as per their contract, it will still cost us a few hundred dollars for coil rework etc.. or they gave us a bid for a whole new system (Coleman) for $7200 - 95% furnace, 14 seer a/c (80k btu and 3.5 ton). So, just how bad is that Payne furnace? How much is it worth for me to pay all this extra? Should we look at a different contractor and/or different brand also? We plan to live here, retire here etc.. I want long term efficiency and reliability. HELP!
Thanks guys for all opinions!

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Old 08-07-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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Payne is not a bad unit. Carrier owns Payne and Bryant. I have worked on LOTS of all 3. Proper yearly maintenance especially with Propane is very important. If it is not setup properly and checked once a year it can burn dirty and produce lots of soot and plug the heat exchanger of any brand. Easy to get parts for which is not always the case with other brands. Personally I don`t think brand (C) is much better than the Payne.

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Last edited by yuri; 08-07-2010 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:18 PM   #3
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That Pulse needed to be inspected and cleaned every year. The former owners probably didn't tell you that. And that is what caused the furnace to go out(don't tell that contractor, cause if they inform your warranty company, they will void your warranty) as bad as it did.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:01 PM   #4
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Thanks Yuri.. I will consider the Payne, I just dont have a good feeling about it, I dont know why. I am just sick over this whole thing, we love our home and I cant bear the thought of putting in something inferior. Can you tell me, are the Payne's quiet? Our unit sits downstairs right under our master bedroom, so quiet is really important to me also. Are there any brands that you feel are really superior?

Beenthere.. you are probably right but whats done is done. I just need to be sure we make a wise decision that will last us many years going forward. I felt like we had something that was quality and I want to feel the same way when this whole ordeal is finished.

thanks!
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:23 PM   #5
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Well, if you want my slightly biased opinion ( I am a Lennox tech) you should stay with the Lennox and buy a G61V with ECM motor. The Payne is better than some of the other brands IMO but the entry level one is your basic Chev Cavalier. Their ventors can be a bit noisy and troublesome. I still think it is a good unit to go with if it is free from the warranty people. If you want to buy a high quality, ultra quiet unit then the Lennox G61V http://www.lennox.com/products/furnaces/G61V/
or the G71 is your best bet and extremely quiet with a ECM motor. Carrier/Payne makes a high end unit also but you will have to pay for it.

Where do you live? A heat pump/duel fuel combo may be a better idea and cheaper to heat your house with. We have a couple heat pump Pros on staff here.

There may be some tax credits for duel fuel systems from your utility co and gov't.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:15 PM   #6
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Well, I can appreciate you liking the Lennox. I dont really mind it, and I think its good quality, but honestly it has been quite difficult to find someone to work on it, so I think I'm going to try to find something that my local HVAC company can service. Aside from that, I have no idea what I'm going to do.. LOL.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:36 PM   #7
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Whats done is done.

Don't make the same mistake with the new furnace. Have it serviced.

Or do it yourself.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:07 PM   #8
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Good advice, beenthere.

Surely there are more opinions than just Yuri? I respect Yuri's opinion of course, but was hoping for multiple ideas... anyone else?

And Yuri... to answer your earlier question, I am in Missouri, and we considered a heat pump, but were led to believe our climate was cold enough it may not be our best option. If some here disagree, I'd appreciate hearing their thinking, as I still have an open mind about it.

thanks!
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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The G61 is what we have, and right now with the unit in Fan mode, you can not even tell that the fan is running. Love it when it runs in the winter. Keeps the heat balanced and until it kicks into the highest stage, you still can not tell that the fan is running.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:06 PM   #10
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The only way to know for sure is to contact your electrical utility. They will have engineers who can provide you with a cost analysis for different types of fuels, heat pump etc. They want to sell you electricity and get the $$ away from the Propane co. A proper analysis will show you how much it costs with the heat pump at certain temps. The one drawback to heatpumps is that the supply air temp is 110-120 F range. Your Pulse will give you up to 150. A heat pump will heat properly with those temps but some people don't like that air temp. Others don't care.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:51 PM   #11
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Looks like from September to till the end of November. A heat could provide 80 to 100% of your heat. And from early March till the end of the heating season also 95 to 100% of your heating needs. Based on last years winter temps.

You just need to know what your utility rates are for both fuels to know if it will be cheaper, then gas.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #12
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The G61 and xp19 is what I have. Would have bought the G71 furnace instead but it only comes in 70K BTU and up which is way too big for my house. Last year was one of the coldest in over 100 years and beenthere was spot on for heating dates. Normal years here the HP will do all of the heating except when the temp drops real low at night, then the furnace takes over. If you get the Lennox system I highly recomend the Lennox comfortsense 7000 IAQ thermostat to go with the package.

Can't comment on Payne or Coleman since most of those I see are in cheap rental houses and trailer parks and we're not two bucks and a truck heating and air.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:43 PM   #13
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All info is appreciated. I am going to call some different contractors then, and not rely on the one the warranty company sent out. Thanks for all the input!
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:02 PM   #14
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Ask the contractors, utility company and gov't agencies if there are any rebates. Marty made off like a bandit with all the rebates he got.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:37 PM   #15
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I'll send you a PM with the final cost yuri.

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