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Genhawk21 01-11-2008 10:27 AM

Furnace Replacement Options?
 
Here's my problem - in a few years I'm going to have to replace a furnace. The house (actually one unit in a small triplex) was built in the 50s, and many things were different back then. Originally, I think it was a smaller furnace.

So the furnace is next to the water heater and the return vent is only a foot from the combustion chamber. Nothing can be rerouted easily because the walls are concrete, the floor is slab, and the roof is flat. There is also nowhere that makes sense to relocate the furnace or water heater to, since the unit is only 750sf and you can't exactly knock a wall out. The furnace/water heater area isn't enclosed, and to enclose it with the proper clearances would make the hall area too narrow to meet code.

I had an Anderson rep come out, and he suggested relocating the furnace to the roof which would make sense, allow for a combined hot/cold unit, and utilize the existing ductwork. Problem is that's very expensive and will require a full electrical upgrade to do, so I definitely can't get it done this year.

While it does seem like that is probably ultimately the way to go (and would make some storage space next to the water heater, which would be nice), I just wanted to see if anyone had suggestions for other options I should consider?

bigMikeB 01-11-2008 03:58 PM

A furnace in a mobile home is tight to replace, often only two inches on a side for clearance. So when you say there's a foot from the return to the water heater, it sounds like an easy push-pull replacement. With new short furnaces adding a coil for a/c might not be hard either. Get a price from a local HVAC contractor for a short furnace with a plenum that will hold an A coil when your ready for and electric and a/c upgrade. That way you can see if the added storage space is worth the extra funds.

Genhawk21 01-11-2008 04:29 PM

As I understand it the problem is that the return air intake is less than a foot from the area where the furnace draws the combustion air from. Code requires at least 10' to avoid drawing fumes into the return air and blowing them throughout the house. The only way to fix that would be to get a sealed furnace, maybe?

Or are you saying that I might be able to get a smaller furnace and enclose it? The Anderson rep told me that I can get a shorter furnace, but I need one that is narrower front to back. He told me they are no longer made, but I don't know for certain that's accurate, either...

bigMikeB 01-11-2008 04:35 PM

I thought you meant just the ducting, not the actual intake. Yes, you would need a sealed combustion chamber unit. Most furnaces are @26" front to back.

Genhawk21 01-11-2008 05:28 PM

Yep and that's what I have now...

I'm considering just putting a tankless water heater on the outside of the apartment, that would take care of one problem. And then I suppose that getting a sealed furnace or moving it to the roof would solve the other.

Radiant heat/electric wall units/gas wall units don't seem to be very good options, but I don't know much about HVAC.

bigMikeB 01-11-2008 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Genhawk21 (Post 87646)
Yep and that's what I have now...

I'm considering just putting a tankless water heater on the outside of the apartment, that would take care of one problem. And then I suppose that getting a sealed furnace or moving it to the roof would solve the other.

Radiant heat/electric wall units/gas wall units don't seem to be very good options, but I don't know much about HVAC.


Those are all very expensive options.


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