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Old 04-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


Hey folks,

Installing a new furnace in a house i just bought, has forced hot air. lookign for an opinion on these furnaces.

Currently I have a choice between a Ruud ROPF-130RBJA or a Century ODHA95-D3. the ruud would be about $200 cheaper because the supplier isn't carrying them anymore. both would be horizontal downflow furnaces as the heat ducts are below the floor boards. anyone familiar with these units and have any feeling about them one way or the other?

Now, after getting these quotes.. I've been having the debate of if I should switch to propane (Natural gas isn't available) I will also be installing central air with a heatpump to help offset what fuel I'll need. is switching to propane a good idea? My local propane company will give me the tank for free if I'm using them as a provider (but I presume I'll have to pay at least a few hundred bucks to get it installed/hooked up)

My thoughts are that oil will keep going up in price (I assume propane will as well, but I don't see it rising as quickly as oil, am I wrong in this thinking?) I know that propane/gas furnaces burn much more efficiently then oil but each gallon of propane will give out less BTU's then a gallon of oil, so I assume I'll use slightly more propane then i will oil... but propane is cheaper.

Any Suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 04-04-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


Propane will be least problematic regarding maintenance and overall cleaner. What is horizontal downflow....seems like a contradiction. Where is the furnace located, in the crawlspace?

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Old 04-04-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


Sorry, its a downflow heater... the site described it as a horizontal downflow (I think it means the furnace lays across the floor as opposed to standing upright, but im not sure... I guess that doesn't really matter that much for these purposes)

Propane is less maintenance? I'd assume with everything being new I shouldn't have issues for at least a few years (but I guess you never know)
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:39 PM   #4
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


So the furnace you have now.....where is it? Does it stand up or lay down? Not sure what you have or where you have it. If it lays down it is horizontal. If it stands up it is either downflow or upflow. Are you in an area which could benefit from a heat pump? Propane will burn cleaner, and equipment needs less maintenance as a result of that.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:47 PM   #5
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


the burner that was in there was a standup, but it was in poor condition so its been ripped out. The room has been entirely demolished as it was pretty much rotted. so i can put just about anything in there I want as im building the room to suit it. because of the ducts being below the floor im looking for a downflow as it will be easier to hookup to the ducts.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


here is a link to one of the furnace i'm looking at
http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewpro...ctID=453056534


the brand i was told is century.. but this model on google pulled up a comfort-aire.. so i assume they are the same company (from what I read, a lot of renaming happens in this industry.)

Also, about the heat pump, a friend of mine installed one 2 years ago and said its really saved him on his fuel bill. I live in Rhode Island, so we can have some cold winters but also have a pretty long fall and early spring/late winter where its cold but not below freezing. My friend has his set so he uses the heat pump when its above a certain temp but when it gets really cold he still uses his oil furnace. with this mild winter he said he only used his oil furnace a few times.

Last edited by drnick5; 04-04-2012 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


I understand. The reason the furnaces you mentioned were horizontal / downflow is that they can be used either way. I'd consider converting to LP. Perhaps get a few estimates to see where you stand.....is a heat pump an option...are you planning to install it yourself?
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #8
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


ohh I see what you mean, it can be used either standing up as a downflow or laid on its side. (that makes sense!) i'll be using it standing up as a downflow. A guy who works for my father is a trained and certified HVAC tech so he will be doing the install (he also has access to furnaces at wholesale prices because of this)

Any things to look for on a heatpump? (obviously high SEER ratings) any thoughts about the brands ruud and century that I've mentioned?
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


Warranty and professional installation are the only real concerns with any equipment. Heat pumps require more power to operate than gas or oil furnaces so your electrical system needs to be verified for capacity before going that route.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


Thanks for all the advice. I just replaced the very old panel (think it was 75 amps) with a 100 amp panel that has plenty of headroom left on it (the biggest draw will be the electric range, dryer and fridge) so I should be ok in that department.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:23 PM   #11
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


Oil or gas,,,,its your choice really.Even if both fuels cost the same,you would save with gas because you wouldn't need the yearly maintainance that you need with oil.Thats got to be worth something when you factor in 20 years ownership.
The number one thing that you can do to save money on fuel usage is to size the equipment to your house.
There are programs online for like $50 .You will save that much compared to your old equipment in like 2 months.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:39 AM   #12
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


An LP/propane furnace at 95% efficiency will use 11.43 gallons to deliver 1,000,000 BTUs of heat.
An oil furnace at 80% efficiency will use 8.928 gallons to deliver 1,000,000 BTUs of heat.

Lp/propane companies charge a per gallon rental fee when they provide the tank. Find out what that fee is. It may save you money to buy your own tank.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:25 PM   #13
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New heating and cooling system, Ruud vs Century, oil or propane?


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
An LP/propane furnace at 95% efficiency will use 11.43 gallons to deliver 1,000,000 BTUs of heat.
An oil furnace at 80% efficiency will use 8.928 gallons to deliver 1,000,000 BTUs of heat.

Lp/propane companies charge a per gallon rental fee when they provide the tank. Find out what that fee is. It may save you money to buy your own tank.
Here oil is $3.74 per gallon and lp is $2.49 per gallon. ( this is not a contract price on either one )

So per 1,000,000 btu as stated you would save $4.90 per 1,000,000 btu on lp vrs oil.

Less maint on an lp system vrs oil and a cleaner burn. Also don't need a kill switch

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