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Old 01-25-2012, 02:55 AM   #1
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Which is best for proven long term reliability please?

I have a 2400 sf 2 level house which I want to get a new hi eff 95%+ furnace for. It is poorly insulated now and sound carries throughout the house so I would opt for a quiet unit

I am going to add more insulation and do the windows soon too

Don't really know much about the differences so trying to figure if these are marketing gimmicks or would I benefit from the latest technology in furnaces ie modulating?

Amy advice please?

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Old 01-25-2012, 05:43 AM   #2
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


non of them have long term being proven including the Rheem which can have problems and be expensive to fix. the Lennox SLP is so quiet you cannot hear it run. you get what you pay for sound wise. the less expensive units get louder due to thinner metal cabinets, less insulation in them and thinner metal blowers and wheels which vibrate. one brand is held together with cheap 1/4 inch sheet metal screws.

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:13 AM   #3
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Speaking as an educated consumer, I think the comments re: the Rheem Mod furnace are overblown.

Like many (most?) 2 stage furnaces, it has 3 safeties, a high and low pressure switch, an ECM blower motor, an integrated control board. A modulating gas valve may offer some challenges, but not insurmountable. On the plus side, it has all steel heat exchangers (no plastic coating).

It's been around for about 15 years (or more) and is very dependable. It also comes equipped with a comprehensive installation manual (mine is 84 pages). My mod is currently in its fourth heating season and hasn't missed a beat.

The various White-Rodgers modulating thermostats have had issues, more like minor flukes. It is more expensive than most, but I think that has to do with the pricing issue (check Ebay).

With regard to service costs, I'll leave that to the PROs to discuss the whys or wherefores.

Comfort-wise, it is hard to beat.

V
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberator View Post
Which is best for proven long term reliability please?
I have a 2400 sf 2 level house...
Do you have a regular (gravity) flue available? If so, then you could use a "standard" combustion gas furnace (even with standard t-couple ignition).. the same basic item as been getting manufactured using the same basic commonly available controls for 80 years or more... and will provide you as close to 100% "proven long term reliability" as can be had.

Balance the incremental difference in equipment cost for the newer high efficiency furnaces plus any other costs for changes the install needs (venting etc)...
divided by the therm rate you pay for the gas saved by efficiency... and you get the "pay back" period (to make back the extra upfront costs) and get you to a theoretical zero.

Later on (5-7 years), you get into what the expenses will be to keep what you already have in place (repairs) for the remaining 12-20 years of useful life.

Getting back to that increment and pay back calculation you did... how many subsequent years of additional trouble free use will you need to have in order to get back to zero again... after you replace one of those $300 control boards?
If you have to pay for labor then add that amount to the $300.

Where are you?

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-25-2012 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:00 PM   #5
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Hi

I am in the pacific northwest (canada actually) similar weather to Seattle. I currently have a lennox G16Q75 up flow furnace but in Canada there are govt grants if we go to 95% hi eff furnace so will likely go this route

I am trying to educate myself on which model type is best and if I can justify a mod furnace based upon the price and added benefit it may offer over a basic single or dual stage furnace

Thx

Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Do you have a regular (gravity) flue available? If so, then you could use a "standard" combustion gas furnace (even with standard t-couple ignition).. the same basic item as been getting manufactured using the same basic commonly available controls for 80 years or more... and will provide you as close to 100% "proven long term reliability" as can be had.

Balance the incremental difference in equipment cost for the newer high efficiency furnaces plus any other costs for changes the install needs (venting etc)...
divided by the therm rate you pay for the gas saved by efficiency... and you get the "pay back" period (to make back the extra upfront costs) and get you to a theoretical zero.

Later on (5-7 years), you get into what the expenses will be to keep what you already have in place (repairs) for the remaining 12-20 years of useful life.

Getting back to that increment and pay back calculation you did... how many subsequent years of additional trouble free use will you need to have in order to get back to zero again... after you replace one of those $300 control boards?
If you have to pay for labor then add that amount to the $300.

Where are you?
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberator View Post
Hi
in Canada there are govt grants if we go to 95% hi eff furnace so will likely go this route
In the US too.

I am trying to educate myself on which model type is best and if I can justify a mod furnace based upon the price and added benefit it may offer over a basic single or dual stage furnace
This is an entirely different set of criteria than what you started this thread asking about.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by veesubotee View Post
Speaking as an educated consumer, I think the comments re: the Rheem Mod furnace are overblown.

Like many (most?) 2 stage furnaces, it has 3 safeties, a high and low pressure switch, an ECM blower motor, an integrated control board. A modulating gas valve may offer some challenges, but not insurmountable. On the plus side, it has all steel heat exchangers (no plastic coating).

It's been around for about 15 years (or more) and is very dependable. It also comes equipped with a comprehensive installation manual (mine is 84 pages). My mod is currently in its fourth heating season and hasn't missed a beat.

The various White-Rodgers modulating thermostats have had issues, more like minor flukes. It is more expensive than most, but I think that has to do with the pricing issue (check Ebay).

With regard to service costs, I'll leave that to the PROs to discuss the whys or wherefores.

Comfort-wise, it is hard to beat.

V
I am going to send all my Rheem Mod work to you...along with the 250 page factory ref manual.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Do you have a regular (gravity) flue available? If so, then you could use a "standard" combustion gas furnace (even with standard t-couple ignition).. the same basic item as been getting manufactured using the same basic commonly available controls for 80 years or more... and will provide you as close to 100% "proven long term reliability" as can be had.


Where are you?
you do know that atmospheric burners(standard efficiency as u call them)

below 75% efficiency were discontinuedin 1992 by government law, don't you?
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:54 PM   #9
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvac5646 View Post
You do know that atmospheric burners below 75% efficiency were discontinued in 1992...
Has it been that long?

I know that I bought one (for a flip I was doing) in 1999...
that was the last time I went through all this.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvac5646 View Post
I am going to send all my Rheem Mod work to you...along with the 250 page factory ref manual.
Great, I always enjoy a good read.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:46 PM   #11
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberator View Post
Hi

I am in the pacific northwest (canada actually) similar weather to Seattle. I currently have a lennox G16Q75 up flow furnace but in Canada there are govt grants if we go to 95% hi eff furnace so will likely go this route

I am trying to educate myself on which model type is best and if I can justify a mod furnace based upon the price and added benefit it may offer over a basic single or dual stage furnace

Thx
go withthe lennox SLP, you will not regret it............
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Has it been that long?

I know that I bought one (for a flip I was doing) in 1999...
that was the last time I went through all this.
There was a lot of mfg who built up a stock pile of old standard furnaces.
We were able to get them in ,
'99 too, but we or the industry didn't want them.
We had looked forward to the switch to 80 and 90%.

I am sure that some mom and pop wholesaler has a few left collecting dust in a warehouse corner.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:23 AM   #13
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Good luck trying to get an Canadian inspecter to approve a new install of a standard or mid efficiency today. It's high efficiency only up here now!
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:25 PM   #14
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Single stage, dual or modulating new furnace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
non of them have long term being proven including the Rheem which can have problems and be expensive to fix. the Lennox SLP is so quiet you cannot hear it run. you get what you pay for sound wise. the less expensive units get louder due to thinner metal cabinets, less insulation in them and thinner metal blowers and wheels which vibrate. one brand is held together with cheap 1/4 inch sheet metal screws.

Rheem/Ruud has had their mod out for 15 to 17 years now, and has proven very reliable. And when used with the Mod thermostat, it maintains a very close temp band.

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