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Discussion Starter #1
So i think with the new house we are buying we are going ot have a force air system installed. We are gutting the entire home so installing ducts will be a little easier. THere is currently a boiler with baseboard heating. We don;t like the baseboards everywhere and want central A/C so we will be removing the baseboards. A few questions. We wil be hiring a professional( just to install the forced air system) but would like some feedback/advice as to make sure they are being honest and fair.

1. If removing the baseboard heat we will still need to keeo the boiler for our water system?
2. We will need to buy a furnace when getting the forced air system installed?
3. We will need to buy A/C equipment that ties into the furnace which is condensor and evaporator coils?
4. Is there a concensus on best brand furnaces and A/C equipment?
5. I would like to have separate heat/AC control in some rooms. I think that is zoning and would require separate t-stats??? I'm think about 5-6 seprate zones. Would that add huge cost to system?

Thank you very much for any feedback.
 

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For that many zones, you're better off keeping the baseboards. It it's working, I'd keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For that many zones, you're better off keeping the baseboards. It it's working, I'd keep it.
Really don't want to keep them and the baseboards are not zoned so why would the baseboards be better for zoning? I thik the baseboards are zoned up stairts and down and that's it.

They are in crappy condition but work. House is a short sale:surprise:..lol
 

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I figured it would be zoned a little better than just a basic up/down.

OK, it's your choice. You will need to scale back the number of zones you can control unless you're willing to install a very inefficient bypass system. The general idea for providing for zone control is to have someone that is very familiar with duct sizing to design the system since zoning a system that doesn't have oversized ducting would risk doing damage to the equipment. It generally takes a combination of oversized runs and adding more runs than normal. Getting the right person to design it is key. Experience in doing that and references would be nice.

Of course there are two stage ac units and furnaces so that's another consideration but it can get expensive and sometimes less reliable than going with controlled dampers.
 

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If you want the ultimate in comfort AND efficiency you may want to look at a high end Lennox Harmony III zoning system coupled to a SLP gas modulating furnace.

The furnace is 98% efficient and can modulate down to 30% of it full blast firing rate. You do not need a in-efficient bypass damper system as the furnace modulates with the zoning system demand and adjusts the furnace fan speed to suit.

Unless you live in Texas and have very expensive AC costs you can use a cheaper 2 stage AC and get good results.

There are very high end modulating ACs also but I doubt AC is as important in New York vs Florida and Texas.

The only concern I have with some of these non name brand, not been in biz a long time other zoning systems is whether they will be in biz 15-20 yrs down the road.

If they go out of biz you have a huge problem.

Lennox and Carrier both have high end zoning systems and will never go out of biz as they are HUGE wealthy old school companies.

For hot water you can use a electric tank or thru the wall gas hot water heater or tankless heater.

https://www.lennox.com/products/comfort-controls/zoning/harmonyiii
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you want the ultimate in comfort AND efficiency you may want to look at a high end Lennox Harmony III zoning system coupled to a SLP gas modulating furnace.

The furnace is 98% efficient and can modulate down to 30% of it full blast firing rate. You do not need a in-efficient bypass damper system as the furnace modulates with the zoning system demand and adjusts the furnace fan speed to suit.

Unless you live in Texas and have very expensive AC costs you can use a cheaper 2 stage AC and get good results.

There are very high end modulating ACs also but I doubt AC is as important in New York vs Florida and Texas.

The only concern I have with some of these non name brand, not been in biz a long time other zoning systems is whether they will be in biz 15-20 yrs down the road.

If they go out of biz you have a huge problem.

Lennox and Carrier both have high end zoning systems and will never go out of biz as they are HUGE wealthy old school companies.

For hot water you can use a electric tank or thru the wall gas hot water heater or tankless heater.

https://www.lennox.com/products/comfort-controls/zoning/harmonyiii

Thank you trying to install budget friendly( to a degree) system...lol. What is two stage AC? I just watched this video about brands. Looked to get good feedback.

 

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I think York got a bit of a bum rap as they are actually pretty good units. They have been around for over 35 yrs.

A 2 stage AC will run at 66% of its full blast power on 1st stage and then 100% on 2nd stage. That way it runs longer and de-humidifys your air better which is very important in Florida. I doubt you need that in NY.

It works off the thermostat. When it cuts in it runs on 1st stage and if it cannot keep up and the temp rises another 1 deg F then 2nd stage cuts in.

Personally I don't see why people need zoning unless you are very rich and are building a new house and can have the ductwork properly designed for it.

A full blown Harmony III and SLP furnace can be over $10,000 plus more for AC. However there are LOTS of very rich people in the US where money is no object and they want the ultimate in climate control and comfort.

For the average person a good basic 1 or 2 stage high efficiency furnace w/o a expensive ECM variable speed fan plus a good quality AC is all you need.

Unless you are very fussy and want your temp control within 1 deg F all the time and are willing to pay a lot for zoning then I don't see the need.

We all have to go outside and to work and don't have that level of comfort at work so what is the big deal. Like I said if you want to spend lots of $$ then go ahead.

Like the Dude in the video said, the more complicated you make it the more the repairs cost.

Lennox, Carrier, Trane are probably the 3 top dogs.

York is good and so is Goodman. I put a 2 stage Rheem high efficiency furnace in my Sister's house and have no problems and I don't want to aggravate her.:vs_OMG::vs_mad:

Rheem is good also. As the price goes down then the sound of the units go up as they are not as heavy built so if sound is a issue then the 3 big dogs are the quietest IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think York got a bit of a bum rap as they are actually pretty good units. They have been around for over 35 yrs.

A 2 stage AC will run at 66% of its full blast power on 1st stage and then 100% on 2nd stage. That way it runs longer and de-humidifys your air better which is very important in Florida. I doubt you need that in NY.

It works off the thermostat. When it cuts in it runs on 1st stage and if it cannot keep up and the temp rises another 1 deg F then 2nd stage cuts in.

Personally I don't see why people need zoning unless you are very rich and are building a new house and can have the ductwork properly designed for it.

A full blown Harmony III and SLP furnace can be over $10,000 plus more for AC. However there are LOTS of very rich people in the US where money is no object and they want the ultimate in climate control and comfort.

For the average person a good basic 1 or 2 stage high efficiency furnace w/o a expensive ECM variable speed fan plus a good quality AC is all you need.

Unless you are very fussy and want your temp control within 1 deg F all the time and are willing to pay a lot for zoning then I don't see the need.

We all have to go outside and to work and don't have that level of comfort at work so what is the big deal. Like I said if you want to spend lots of $$ then go ahead.

Like the Dude in the video said, the more complicated you make it the more the repairs cost.

Lennox, Carrier, Trane are probably the 3 top dogs.

York is good and so is Goodman. I put a 2 stage Rheem high efficiency furnace in my Sister's house and have no problems and I don't want to aggravate her.:vs_OMG::vs_mad:

Rheem is good also. As the price goes down then the sound of the units go up as they are not as heavy built so if sound is a issue then the 3 big dogs are the quietest IMO.
Makes sense, really does. So I'd want three zones as we have a full basement, 1st floor with LR, Dining, Kitchen and 1BR and upstairs with 4 BR. I think 3 zones makes sense.

Are you saying all furnaces will hav an ECM variabe speed fan but not to get an expensive one or you have the option not to have one at all? Thanks for the help.
 

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Never completely discount separate a/c systems, one for top floor and other for 1st floor and basement. That's the traditional method around here. Upstairs areas have a way of staying warm enough year around without any help so heating isn't a consideration but cooling certainly is.

That way also has something to say for having somewhat of a backup system when if/when one goes down.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Never completely discount separate a/c systems, one for top floor and other for 1st floor and basement. That's the traditional method around here. Upstairs areas have a way of staying warm enough year around without any help so heating isn't a consideration but cooling certainly is.

That way also has something to say for having somewhat of a backup system when if/when one goes down.
That seems like it woud be more costly. Two condensing units?
 

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It could probably cost less, depending on the equipment you are considering for a well designed zone controlled installation versus two separate systems. Bounce that off the man giving you an estimate on your system, you may be surprised.
 

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If the air duct system is designed right and everything is properly commissioned, you won't need zoning in most cases. Especially in heating mode.
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Doing a separate system for each floor drives up costs and increases the likelihood of having oversizing equipment. Most furnaces start at 40k btu/hr and a/cs start at 1.5 tons -> so looking at 3 tons and 80k btu minimum which is a lot for most houses not in extreme climates.

A separate system for the second floor is likely to be installed in the attic with ceiling vents. Attic ducts lose a lot of heat - heat from the ceiling is not very comfortable.

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You should know that the typical forced air isn't as comfortable as hot water and you should seriously look at just replacing the baseboard rads and using mini-splits for cooling.

It takes a really skilled contractor (among other things) putting in a really good duct system and the smallest 2-stage or modulating furnace that will do the job to get forced air right.

Most systems are terrible - they provide short noisy blasts of hot air and the heat isn't distributed evenly.

Zoning is much easier on hydronic than forced air.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
If the air duct system is designed right and everything is properly commissioned, you won't need zoning in most cases. Especially in heating mode.
-----------------------
Doing a separate system for each floor drives up costs and increases the likelihood of having oversizing equipment. Most furnaces start at 40k btu/hr and a/cs start at 1.5 tons -> so looking at 3 tons and 80k btu minimum which is a lot for most houses not in extreme climates.

A separate system for the second floor is likely to be installed in the attic with ceiling vents. Attic ducts lose a lot of heat - heat from the ceiling is not very comfortable.

-------------------

You should know that the typical forced air isn't as comfortable as hot water and you should seriously look at just replacing the baseboard rads and using mini-splits for cooling.

It takes a really skilled contractor (among other things) putting in a really good duct system and the smallest 2-stage or modulating furnace that will do the job to get forced air right.

Most systems are terrible - they provide short noisy blasts of hot air and the heat isn't distributed evenly.

Zoning is much easier on hydronic than forced air.
Thank you very much!!!!! So maybe we will keep the baseboards for heat and figure out whether we want a ducted AC or mini split system for the AC. When you have a split AC sytem is it a 1to1 where you can only have one head unit( that you mount on the wall) to one compressor or one compressor will can take care of a few wall mounted units? Thank you.
 

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A multihead mini can do multiple indoor units off of one outdoor. Either ducted or other types of indoor head.
A conventional split is just one to one.
First step you’ll have after deciding on what type of system you want is determining proper size via a manual J calculation.
 

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You can have an outdoor unit installed that can be hooked to multiple heads.

If you want ducted a/c, can look at a high velocity system to reduce or eliminate the need for bulkheads.

In this, you should get the boiler looked at because if it needs to be replaced.

New rads + boiler + mini-split or duct system all together could be very expensive.

It may make sense to go forced air after all - especially if you end up with ducted a/c.

Not anti-forced air, was just bringing up different options.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You can have an outdoor unit installed that can be hooked to multiple heads.

If you want ducted a/c, can look at a high velocity system to reduce or eliminate the need for bulkheads.

In this, you should get the boiler looked at because if it needs to be replaced.

New rads + boiler + mini-split or duct system all together could be very expensive.

It may make sense to go forced air after all - especially if you end up with ducted a/c.

Not anti-forced air, was just bringing up different options.
Thank you very much. Need this type of help..:smile::smile:

Trying to be informed/smart consumer.
 

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Here is what I would do:
Get rid of the baseboard units.
Get rid of the boiler. If it heats your domestic hot water, buy a water heater.
Buy a furnace, connect it to the new ductwork, and have them install an A coil. It will cost about $300 and you can add on AC easily later.
Buy no better than a 2 stage furnace. Anything more will cost more for a slight efficiency improvement. Also, getting the latest tech means expensive proprietary parts that won’t be in a repairman’s truck.
If you really like the Lennox dealer, their stuff is good. The problem with Lennox is parts availability for repairmen who don’t sell Lennox. Any HVAC guy can get parts for most brands except Lennox the same day. If he is not a Lennox dealer you wait weeks for Lennox parts. It sounds crazy until Christmas Eve when your heat is out and the Lennox dealer can’t get to you.
Have dampers put in every supply duct so you can adjust it to your comfort level. Zoning can be done if you want to spend a lot.
 
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