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Old 02-01-2009, 08:09 AM   #1
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Recommendation on a furnace

Looking to replace 2 furnaces
Mother's house is an old gas (baseboard water) furnace. This is a 1200 sq foot ranch style house. No central air

My house is a gas forced hot air cape cod style 1200 sq ft as well. This house does have central air.
Can anyone recommend a furnace or brand that would be the best as far as reliable and effieciency.


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Old 02-01-2009, 08:29 AM   #2
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They are all good units but the install is the important part. The best unit can be a piece of crap if improperly installed. Pick a good install company. The most important step in efficiency is proper sizing. The sizing is where the future fuel bills and maintenance problems all start. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO SIZE OFF THE OLD HEATING APPLIANCE!!! Do a heat loss unless it's steam than measure the radiators.
See link for FAQ about the importance of a heat loss. They must measure the home, windows, doors etc. Some of the contractors will do these for free or a small fee, either way it needs to be done before the furnace can be chosen.


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Old 02-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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Thanks much for the advise. I will check into this.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:41 AM   #4
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IMO. They are NOT all so good. If installed properly most units will work well. There is a real difference in the quality and materials used in some furnaces. "Good is not cheap and Cheap is not Good". I find the less expensive brands to use thinner cabinets/not all stainless steel secondary heat exchangers etc. The major brands, I prefer Lennox tend to use better metals and overall heavier construction which makes them quieter. Just like tires, you don't buy the cheapest pair and expect them to go as far as the premium ones.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
There is a real difference in the quality and materials used in some furnaces. "Good is not cheap and Cheap is not Good". I find the less expensive brands to use thinner cabinets/not all stainless steel secondary heat exchangers etc.
+1 What Yuri Said.

Cheap is the sound a bird makes as it flies over and drops its gift of love on you. I do believe that there is no "Bad" equipment on the market these days (couldn't say that a few years ago). There are just some brands that are better then others, and as much as components are important, structure is very important as well and this is where road to quality often splits.

If you think about it, you have a box (structure) that goes through temperature extremes constantly and has the torque of motors and blower wheels spinning all the time. One of the reasons furnaces used to last 25 years was structure (that and they only had to fire around 60%)

I am partial to Lennox, Whirlpool/Armstrong products for all the same reasons as Yuri, but out of respect to the other lead brands, you may want to consider those as well. When you think about quality, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Just because a furnace has the name brand, does not mean it is not a builder grade of its own and of lower quality within its own family. Confused now

Good luck
Settle down! If you were that important, the city would give you lights and a siren for your car
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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I just had a Carrier installed and love it but the short list came down to 3 Lennox, Carrier and York...I was very impressed with Lennox but knew the owner of the Carrier dealership and my neighbour knew the lead servce man... we bought two furnaces.
Private contactor was 15 % less on the identical product and promised a response time for emergencey service where SEARS was vague and seemd to me the SEARS sales rep and his manager were more focussed on Xmas vacation than selling $10,000 worth of product.
In our case we knew the contractor as well as his lead service man and the company had also done previous work for several satisfied neighbours.
Looking back, after 4 days I am 100% happy with the furnace 90% pleased with the install . The install was clean and tidy by a young technician but plenum is slightly out of level and the transition isnt angled and reduced the way I envisioned it.
If I did it again would insist on a metal man measuring for the new plenum and hopefully forming on site if not at least providing pictures and a tidy sketch in advance for whoever forms the final sheet metal. Get written details of the metal changes in advance.
There are installers, tradesmen and craftsmen. A craftsmans signature is found in his workmanship. Given their comments and the nature of their advice I suspect there are at least 3 in that category on this site very frequently.
I was called away to work before the sheet metal was fitted and arrived home 6 hours after completion. Do I call back the young guy who didnt pick up on the out of level or fix it myself . It isnt major so I think its me, myself and I on this one.

Theres a saying to the effect that you can pick any 2 out of 3 , quality product, low price, good service


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