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Old 03-04-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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heatless in Pennsylvania


We just bought a house near Pittsburgh and the ancient natural gas heating system has been ransacked -- all the baseboard radiators stolen -- plus the boiler in the basement looks like it's from the Civil War era.

I am thinking maybe we should start over with a forced air system in the attic. It is a two story 2000 square foot well insulated house so I am thinking that a 60,000 BTU system should do? I am a bit puzzled about how to distribute the heat.

There is a space in the wall at one end that we could use to send heat down to the two floors below. But how do you get it from one end of the house to the other?

I installed a furnace once but it was pretty straightforward with the heat coming out of the top to a plenum etc. I can run the gas line, electric, etc. but I am not sure what kind of furnace I need. Is this what a "multi position" furnace is about?

I don't want to turn this job over to a local HVAC guy but maybe I should hire a tech as a consultant?

Or can I get enough opinions here to mostly keep me out of trouble?

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Old 03-04-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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heatless in Pennsylvania


It was once said that if it was easy everyone would be doing it and that saying goes along way with HVAC.

You are on the right track as far as asking questions. So here is my advise.

Get some quotes to what you will need. With a 2 story you may need two units.

You will need a Man J for a load calculation and Man D for duct work sizing.

It just may be less expensive to have the work done rather than installing it yourself and then hiring a HVAC company to come in and correct issues.

There are many aspects to an installation as far as gas pipe sizing, load calculation, duct calculation, code requirements, electrical requirements ect..

If you are set on installing the system(s) yourself then hire a HVAC company as a consultant.

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Old 03-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
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heatless in Pennsylvania


Thanks for the counsel. I have been thinking that I should find a local HVAC tech to hold my hand.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #4
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heatless in Pennsylvania


I agree,you start with a manual "J" and a manual "D".
I agree that the best solution would be two seperate units,one in the attic and one in the basement.
You could also look into one unit with upper and lower zones.This takes some knowledge because the ductwork is critical and a lot differant than a unit in a single zone.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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heatless in Pennsylvania


mark no disrespect but yes I would have a hvac tech out to look at job... make sure you have a manual J and D performed...this will take the guess work out of what size unit you will need.. 2- units attic and basement
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