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oba97 09-21-2012 06:02 PM

what furnace to pick?
I'll try to keep this somewhat short. I have had 3 quotes for a new furnace for a 2100sq ft house in mid-michigan.

1. 70k btu amana 96%, 2 stage with variable speed. for $3680
2. 80k btu York 96%, 2 stage with variable speed. for $3950
3. 80k btu Bryan preferred 95t, 2 speed with ecm motor for $2950

Is one model superior to another? I live in a split level, would I benifit a lot from the variable speed vrs. the 2 speed?

I'm leaning towards the amana or the bryant but am concerned with the 70k btu (however the amana installer took the most time sizing the house)


Doc Holliday 09-21-2012 06:06 PM

What size btu was your last furnace, the one that's being replaced? Did it hold up in the middle of your normal (harsh) Winter?

Other than size they're all the same.

oba97 09-21-2012 06:29 PM

The current furnace is original 76 vintage 165kbtu. Im not sure about how it does in the winter because we just moved in this summer but want to replace it prior to winter.

Doc Holliday 09-21-2012 06:33 PM

And you said they all performed heat load calculations?

oba97 09-21-2012 06:43 PM

the person selling the amana went in every room, looked at my insulation attic. (gave me the quote right away)

the York person went in all rooms. (gave me a quote 2 days later)

The Bryant person just asked how many square feet my house was (he did ask a few times if I was sure on the house size). (gave my a quote by end of same day)

All three said they had to do some calculations to see how large of a unit I needed.

None specifically said they were doing load calculations.

The company with the Bryant I have had good experience with them in the past, but they seemed the least professional and took the least time.

Missouri Bound 09-21-2012 06:49 PM

That's quite a cut in output. I ask also...did they do Manual J's? Is it still working? I'd be curious to see how the old furnace did throughout the winter. The old furnace could be at 75% efficiency maybe a bit more....but still going from 165k to 80k is extreme even with todays efficient units. I'm sure there will be many more answers here to advise. All three units are good, a good installation will give you many years of service and use. It's a shame you don't have a history with the house to know what the 165K did in the winter.:yes:

Doc Holliday 09-21-2012 07:01 PM

What do your neighbors have? I'm assuming there are homes very similar in design and construction close to you? I'd ask them to get a good feel for what you may be needing. Technically though a heat load analysis (calculation) needs to be performed to figure the size out. When the home was built it was determined that a 165k btu output furnace was needed and it's worked for over 40 years.

As MB just said, something is wrong going from 165k to 80k, that's less than half. You'd do that on a whim if you divided your home in half, put a wall in the middle and put the new furnace on and for one side only.

oba97 09-21-2012 07:12 PM

The way I understand it is that 165 workes but Im loosing a lot of it out the chimney. And with high eff. furnaces you dont need the high btu's. The most expensive company is a family business that has been around town for decades. They have a great reputation so I have to believe that they know what they are doing. I would love to go with them but they are the most expensive (he admitted that if I was price shopping he would loose out on the job)

Missouri Bound 09-21-2012 07:19 PM

Take a look at your existing furnace and tell us what info is on the name plate. You may be able to determine the efficience there. Rest assured it's not going to be anywhere near the new furnaces that are being offered. That being said...a proper load calculation would determine what size furnace you should install. And I usually don't expound on the values of load calculations but in this case, with no knowledge of the previous years performance and the huge difference in sizing between the new and old I think it's a very good idea to do the research..

oba97 09-21-2012 07:51 PM

Im not sure of the manufacturer but it says its model is GSU165TF series NAJSE
Input BTU 165 000 and Bonnet Cap BTU 132 000

Missouri Bound 09-21-2012 08:05 PM

That makes your existing furnace 80% efficient. (20% of the energy used goes up the flue) I'm having a real issue understanding how a furnace with 132k capacity can be replaced with one of nearly half that. Doc has a very good idea about talking to your neighbors. See what furnace size is working for them.:yes:

Missouri Bound 09-21-2012 08:13 PM


Originally Posted by oba97 (Post 1014765)
The current furnace is original 76 vintage 165kbtu. Im not sure about how it does in the winter because we just moved in this summer but want to replace it prior to winter.

Forgot to ask, where do you live? There are 5 zones used for BTU calculations which may help to advise you about sizing the furnace.

oba97 09-21-2012 08:23 PM

mid michigan

creeper 09-21-2012 08:24 PM

I'm not sure if this is going to help or not (don't laugh Doc) but I have a similar sized backsplit home with similar climate if not a little worse than the op's.

Last Sept I had a Bryant plus 95 preferred installed. It was a great choice. Heats the house up in no time. Gas bill is very reasonable.
I keep the fan running all summer and it barely is reflected on the hydro bill. It was so effective at keeping the house cool that I only turned the ac on once the entire summer

oba97 09-21-2012 08:33 PM

creeper, what size did you have installed? Did you have a variable speed or multi speed? Where abouts in ontartio?

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