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Old 09-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #16
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New heating system in old house - needs lots of help


I agree and we'll be working on this for quite some time. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about heating now, especially being in Michigan. Could you or someone fill me in on the questions above, specifically about high R-value vs. tyvek and some fan-fold? I'd really like to know if "air is the best insulator" as my dad keeps saying is correct or not. Also, should insulating the attic be a high priority or a lower return for my investment (shouldn't cost that much, I don't think, but it's money I could use to insulate walls.

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Old 09-12-2012, 05:27 AM   #17
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New heating system in old house - needs lots of help


Air is a great insulator. Fiberglass insulation works because of the air trapped between the fiberglass. But just having an open wall cavity full of air isn't a great insulation. Attic is a big heat loss area. So insulating it should be a big priority.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:37 PM   #18
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Air is a great insulator. Fiberglass insulation works because of the air trapped between the fiberglass. But just having an open wall cavity full of air isn't a great insulation. Attic is a big heat loss area. So insulating it should be a big priority.
Any chance you can point me to a document showing at what point air isn't as good as fiberglass or whatever.

Also, what is my best bet for insulating my attic both efficient and by cost?
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:03 PM   #19
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No document that I know of. Think of it this way. In a wall cavity, the air is constantly moving giving up heat, or absorbing it, and transferring it from one source to another. Air in a fiberglass batt, is trapped so it doesn't move as much, and can't transfer heat as easily.

Cellulose is probably your best bet, its a good insulator, and also tends to seal so fresh air isn't leaking into your house. As for cost, that i don't know.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:30 PM   #20
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New heating system in old house - needs lots of help


Thanks. I'll rent a blower and buy some cellulite and get at least part taken care of. I have to cut a space and put in an attic ladder sometime too. Probably better frame that out before I put in the insulation. Right now it's just a board covering a 16"x24" space between a couple joists. I'll frame attic ladder size in the proper location and blow around it. Never a dull moment with a house like this one.

On the up-side, I started work today as a subcontractor. If I can learn the ropes quickly and prove my value, they want me full-time, permanent. They're paying well as a sub, and we'll see about a long-term offer. Maybe the insulation could all happen this year... Lord willing.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:39 PM   #21
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I have more insulation questions, so I'll post a new thread in the insulation section. Thanks for all the help here. I've called on the furnace, but no answer. I'll keep trying. It's a Janitrol 98% 80,000BTU. Don't know age, but it does come with the plennum and a lot of ducts work, supposedly. Hopefully I can connect tomorrow.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:19 AM   #22
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Good Luck.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:07 PM   #23
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Finally got in touch with that $500 furnace guy. He's not sure what it is and will go look again; came out of a house he had that burned. He says it's a Janitrol about 7 years old. After that, it gets fuzzy. He says it's over 80,000BTU, but not sure what, maybe 100,000. He said he's sure it's over 97% efficient and tried to tell me he thought it was, "100%, or maybe 99.9%". Anyway, he has it in his shed with some ducts and the plenum. What do I look for beyond cracks in the heat exchanger when I look at it tomorrow? I'm calling before I drive over to get the model and actual specs. Any words of wisdom?

I finally found the info for my current furnace. Mind you, a short calculation gave me a needed output of around 60,000BTU, but that sounds small to me. I'll buy that software very soon and get exact numbers. But, back to the furnace.

Crane SH-150 series 4
No date code anywhere I can find
150,000 input BTU
120,000 output BTU
1050-1570 cfm
Approved for temp rise from 70-105f

Math says 80% efficient; much higher than everyone who looked at it assumed.

Anyone have a guess as to date? What does the approved temp rise man? I can't make heads or tails of that. Anyone know about this specific furnace? I can't find any info online at all.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #24
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Want my opinion......stay away from that. You can buy a new furnace for not too much more and fire damage is a b*tch to electronic components. Many online sellers who can get you a furnace close to that price.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:19 PM   #25
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Not sure if the Janitrol name has been used in the last 10 years. So may be older then he told you. Doubt its even 95% efficient, and he obviously doesn't know what it is.

Be best to do a load calc and find out what size you really need. No 90% plus will be rated for over 80 degree temp rise. So if you get too big of a furnace for your uxt system, you'll have troubles.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:22 PM   #26
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Want my opinion......stay away from that. You can buy a new furnace for not too much more and fire damage is a b*tch to electronic components. Many online sellers who can get you a furnace close to that price.
I sort of thought so. What if the fire didn't reach the basement? Better just staying clear no matter what? If I look for a new or other used furnace, anything specific to look for or stay away from? I can't seem to find anything saying the different brands are that differentiated.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:25 PM   #27
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I wouldn't waste any money on a used furnace unless somebody gave it to me. Check here for some pricing. It's your home, be safe.

.Alpine Home Air Products: Contractor-grade furnaces, heaters, air conditioners.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #28
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[quote=imac service;1009582]

the most effiecent way to go is a Navian combo hot water heater boiler combo,air handler,and hot water coils. you could also heat infloor in bath room areas by zoning. The nice thing about the tankless is it can go from around 15,000 BTU's to 200,000 BTU all depending on the temp outside and the load. I to live in mid mich so Im very familer with a lot of unique ways to heat and cool due to the vast climate we have here. If you go zoning make sure you do it right. Use 2 stage equitment if possible. Honeywell hasa great zone board that gives the installer multiple options on staging equitment based on number of zones calling or length of run time on equitment. price is reasonable $225 or so. Honeywell dampers have improved over the last 5 years as well they now have the silent spring damper so you dont hear the unwind of the notor as it releases. hope that helps. theres a lot to it. Try to avoid equiptment from Alpine as well Goodman isnt the best and thier pricey on furnaces and AC's. I have used them for my busness at times for zone boards,air handlers etc.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:52 AM   #29
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New heating system in old house - needs lots of help


Hi, I have bought so far 6 houses in terrible condition, fixed them all and lived in them (I'm fixing this foreclosure where I live too). I remember one from the 1920, no insulation anywhere. It had stucco outside, and we where living and working on the house at the same time, so, 1 room at a time, from the INSIDE we poke holes as high on the wall as I could between the studs, cutting 2 lathe on the top (a hole about 3"x6") so it wasn't to hard to later repair (not so easy to repair if done in the exterior), and by hand, stuck loose fill inside by hand. I remember one day, it was -30C outside (Morrin, AB, Canada) and the walls where extremely cold, then when you put the loose fill and leave your hand on the plaster, count 1 2 and 3 seconds, and voilá! the wall became very warn, just like that.
Me in your place I'll do only the insulation. The furnace and other stuff can wait, you are going to notice tremendous difference.
About prices, just bought last week a Lennox 70K btu (model MH193) 93% AFUE for $950 brand new, it vents outside using normal ABS 2" pipe, and so don't pay too much for an used furnace, that one used you mention should cost $200 may be, and seems an 80% efficient one.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:33 AM   #30
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Pirulo's advice is very sound on all counts.

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