Thread Number: 78310  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Furnace replacement
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Post# 1023332   2/1/2019 at 20:43 by Wvkenmore (Wv)        

Hey guys, has anyone done a total replacement lately? I have a boiler that the pump tripped breaker. So few radiators froze. Got estimate $6800 for boiler. New forced heat and air and duct work $9000. Does this week to be fair price? Thanks for any imput..... Charlie

Post# 1023337 , Reply# 1   2/1/2019 at 22:26 by RP2813 (West Coast)        

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I guess that figure depends on the size of the system.  Whatever you do, steer clear of Bryant.  Our Bryant HVAC was installed about two years ago before we bought this house, and it constantly cuts out during heating.  This is a common complaint about Bryants and replacing the high limit sensor/switch is the default repair, but it's not the solution.  The fan is also very noisy.

Post# 1023339 , Reply# 2   2/1/2019 at 22:31 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Package unit or split system?  My Amana (built by Goodman) package system is 18 years old and needed only 1 repair (a wire in the ignition had shorted to ground so it wouldn't light...I fixed it myself with some black tape). 

Post# 1023358 , Reply# 3   2/2/2019 at 07:45 by Wvkenmore (Wv)        

Thanks for warning on Bryant, this is for American standard. The system will be 100,000 btu not sure about a.c size.

Post# 1023362 , Reply# 4   2/2/2019 at 08:58 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
American Standard and Trane are the same

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And probably the two best choices, My 15 YO TOL 2 stage ECM fan AS furnace has never had a problem and it is comfortable and as even as hot water heat.

John L.

Post# 1023366 , Reply# 5   2/2/2019 at 10:07 by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        

philcobendixduo's profile picture one of the top-rated brands in consumer publications and surveys. It's essentially the same as Carrier (also made by United Technologies)
My 96.5% efficiency gas furnace and A/C installed in May 2014 has worked flawlessly thus far. No complaints.
Noise of the blower is a function of ductwork and unit location.
I give a thumbs UP for Bryant (Carrier).

Post# 1023367 , Reply# 6   2/2/2019 at 10:15 by Wvkenmore (Wv)        

Thanks for info on both brands. I'm just in shock at prices.

Post# 1023372 , Reply# 7   2/2/2019 at 11:12 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Carrier and Bryant

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Are good brands, Bryant is the economy line from Carrier, The major problem I have with Carrier products is they are very restrictive with parts and service help, unless you are a dealer for them good luck getting parts and help.

If you have a C-B dealer you really like it may be a good choice.

I do agree that Ralph's noise and overheating problems are likely related to inadequate duct work, I know that Bryant furnaces can and do work very well.

John L.

Post# 1023404 , Reply# 8   2/2/2019 at 15:56 by imperial70 (******)        
American Standard/Trane

I have to agree with John L. My Trane I purchased in spring of '03 has been running great. Only one repair 2 years ago for an igniter. The only other thing that has gone bad is the condensate discharge pump (which is NOT a Trane) product. I also have the Trane AC as part of this unit an it's been great. I will be a repeat customer.

Just want to add this unit is installed in the Northeast and we've had some tough winters over the years since I had this unit installed.

Post# 1023419 , Reply# 9   2/2/2019 at 19:29 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Put the boiler back

Nothing compares to hydronic heat.

Post# 1023433 , Reply# 10   2/2/2019 at 21:04 by jmm63 (Denville, NJ)        

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I second that opinion. Nothing compares to hot water systems for heat. My last 2 houses had them, this one does not and I miss them.

I replaced my furnace 2 years ago and it was around $4000 and that was just swapping it out.

Post# 1023489 , Reply# 11   2/3/2019 at 13:03 by Wvkenmore (Wv)        

I grew up with boiler heat. My current house ( bought by parents in 63) has the original boiler. It is coal converted to has and is from 1928. Still works but has to much preasure. I use ventless gas heater. The houseplants o moving to pump went out and froze radiators and might have to replace the pipes.

Post# 1023506 , Reply# 12   2/3/2019 at 15:46 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
I'll 3rd Hans...

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of the 7 houses we've had, we specified Hydronic hot water baseboard in the 3 new ones that we built, and we'd do it again, we miss it. Our current Nat Gas hot air 1960s Williamson furnace still works great (knock on wood) and is cheap to run, but we hate the dry-out effect. I'd go for hot water baseboards in a micro-second.

Post# 1023514 , Reply# 13   2/3/2019 at 17:44 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Best Heating Systems For Homes

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My 15 YO American Standard Hi efficiency Gas Forced Air Furnace is so quiet and even in heating the house you almost never know is on, the house always stays at an even 70F, it never overheats or has trouble keeping up. With the power humidifier electrostatic air cleaner the house stays clean and comfortable, I have not cleaned drapes or repainted in over 30 years.


Having spent time in homes with hot water heating systems while they often feel warm they are always too dry, too dusty and each bedroom and bathroom take on their own odor, basements stay musty. Hot water heating systems do not adjust well to changes in outdoor temperatures, they often overheat the home. They also do not recover quickly if you turn down the heat at night or when you go away and want to turn down the heat.


Hot water heating systems always cost more to run than forced air systems for several reasons, the boilers are usually a little less efficient, you can not turn off extra rooms as effectively or completely, and they often overheat the house causing people to open windows and doors.


John L.

Post# 1023983 , Reply# 14   2/8/2019 at 11:32 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Sounds like you are talking about hot water heating from the seventies. Since then they have become much more modern and efficient.

It was always possible to turn individual radiators on and off but later the individual thermostats for every single radiator was introduced. It started with simple thermostats, later thermosats with clocks were introduced so you could set several temperatures for every individual radiators. Nowadays there are Wifi thermostats available so you can set the temperature for every room in the house from where ever you are. The room thermostat can be replaced by a sensor outside that sets the max. water temperature in the system, depending on the temperature difference between inside and outside. So when it is cold, the water is heated to a higher temperature than when the weather is milder.

Boilers have become very efficient too. By regaining heat from the condensation water, efficiency is above 100%. A regular HR boiler/water heater combo has an efficiency of 107% nowadays. Only heatpumps are more efficient.

Overhere most people who had hot air heating have gotten rid of those systems, after converting to hot water heating their bill was almost half of what they paid before. The change to heatpump heating in new houses often goes together with the installation of low temperature under floor heating. Unfortunately that is not possible in older houses, or at least very expensive.

There are a lot of interesting developments going on at the moment but hot water heating is still very competitive.

Post# 1023987 , Reply# 15   2/8/2019 at 12:05 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I agree with you about hot water heating. I got rid of my electric baseboard heat in 2009 and replaced it with hot water radiant baseboards. It works great - silent, efficient, clean and keeps the house more than comfortable on both levels even when the temperature is -35 C outside. I have the house divided into 5 zones whereby I can control the temperature of each zone indiviually. I have programmable thermostats so the temperature is raised & lowered automatically. Yes the air becomes a little dry but that is easily overcome by using a separate humidifier. New built homes require air recovery ventilation systems which eliminates the dry air issue. The only issue with hot air heating is that a separate system is required in order to have central air.


Post# 1024069 , Reply# 16   2/9/2019 at 02:52 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My biggest gripe with forced air is the temperature change.  It gets cold, the heat kicks on, it gets stuffy and it kicks off.  Repeat.  I wish it were more even  like hydronic would be.  If I ever build a house it will have the hydronic tubes in the floor.

Post# 1024131 , Reply# 17   2/9/2019 at 19:29 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Heat pumps have a lower output temperature and higher airflow rate so tend to generate less of a perceptible temperature swing.

Post# 1024141 , Reply# 18   2/9/2019 at 22:17 by Wvkenmore (Wv)        

Well looks like I'm doing gas furnace with a.c. Unit. I am afraid some pipes are damaged to. .

Post# 1024145 , Reply# 19   2/9/2019 at 22:42 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
New Heating-Cooling System

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Since you are essentially starting from scratch be sure the furnace and A/C are not over sized and duct-work is designed and installed properly. All duct-work carefully sealed unless it is in a heated-cooled part of the home.


A 2 stage gas furnace gives much greater comfort and lower running cost, also consider a really good air-filter         [ not a 1" thick one ]     and a power humidifier, if properly done a year from now you will be amazed how comfortable your home is while costing much less than ever before to heat.


John L.

Post# 1024146 , Reply# 20   2/9/2019 at 22:44 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Seems that most home heating systems in this area are natural gas fueled, usually forced or passive air. Smaller older homes may rely upon passive floor or wall heaters.

The heating in this 1941 home is gas forced air. From the looks of the crawl space, it replaced an older passive air system. When I moved in, it was a lot noisier than it is now. The solution was to wrap the return duct - which runs about 30 feet under the house, with thick fiberglass insulation. My aim was to conserve energy, but a bonus was that it seemed to quiet everything down as well as eliminate some tin-can banging when the system cycled on and off. Also, insulating all the heating ductwork (it was mostly just with old asbestos tape wrapping) with 1" thick foil backed fiberglass insulation also helped conserve energy and keep things quiet.

The best energy conservation came from sealing off air leaks to the attic and great outdoors, and putting at least R30 insulation up there above the single floor ceiling. Before that the furnace was on almost all the time on cold winter nights. Afterwards, it's on for much less time, and insulating the return duct reduces that blast of cold air when it does cycle on.

The furnace is at least 30 years old. Can't remember the name; I think it's Republic but I'd have to find the manual that came with it. No way am I going down under the house to check!

Post# 1024187 , Reply# 21   2/10/2019 at 07:46 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

If you decide to go with forced air, go with the highest efficiency you can get/afford. We have a 25+ year old Amana 91% efficient and it vents through a pvc pipe.. Very little wasted heat. Also better to slightly undersize your a/c unit or the house may feel damp.

Post# 1024226 , Reply# 22   2/10/2019 at 15:43 by mayguy (Minnesota)        

100k BTU!? Wow, must be a very large house!!? Be SURE they do the Manual-J to get the correct size system.

We went from 115k down to 60k, and still kinda oversized for 50 year old 1,300 sq ft home when we were -30˚ a couple of weeks ago.

I have a 15 years old Trane Two stage furnace, and been the best heat comfort I've had in awhile, and paired up with a two stage stat. when it was -20's it ran steady in 1st stage the whole time .

I would perfer hot water heat but our house isn't set up with it.

Post# 1024228 , Reply# 23   2/10/2019 at 15:59 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Good luck converting an old house to forced air. Unless youíve gone through replacing every window, adding insulation and sealing every crack and crevice to the outside, youíll probably end up regretting converting to forced air. ESPECIALLY if itís oversized, youíll be sweating and freezing all within the hour all day long.

Post# 1024262 , Reply# 24   2/11/2019 at 00:19 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

I'd stay with the hot water, but if that's not an option...

- FFS make sure the a/c unit is undersized!!! Newer units don't dehumidify as much as older ones. This is to get a higher EER. I can't handle heat & humidity and with window units I've always been comfortable with 1/2 to 2/3 of the the BTU's I supposedly need.

- Make sure the basement is included in the heated/cooled area with at least one return vent and one output. That will help keep the basement humidity down.

- If you have ducts running along the ceiling of the basement there's no need to insulate. "Waste" heat will warm the basement but more importantly the floor above so it's not actually wasted.

- Make sure you have a multi speed fan that lingers a good while after the furnace turns off; it reduces on & off cycling.

- Very important: Make sure you can manually turn the fan on so it can run continuously in both heat and cooling cycles AND WHEN THE SYSTEM IS OTHERWISE OFF.

- Make sure there's a return duct at the highest point in the house. This will help reduce temperature stratification during cooling season: First floor freezing second floor roasting

- Oversize your dehumdidifier in the basement and use it to dry out the air on high humidity days. You'll reduce your cooling load when temps are in the low 80's and you heating load on dank days in the 50's

That's all I can think of for now.


Post# 1024286 , Reply# 25   2/11/2019 at 06:16 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

All this talk of undersized a/c units. I have heard this for many years also. Well I did the opposite when I built my house 10 years ago. I oversized my a/c by 1 ton instead of 3 tons I went to 4 tons. I wanted to be sure my house would cool to whatever I wanted no matter how hot it gets outside. My findings have been my house stays very comfortable and my house is drier with the oversized units. Humidity stays in the mid to upper 30's and lower 40% humidity on the worst days. Better than any other house I have lived in with central a/c. It does not run as often or long run times. Also with bigger units you have bigger blowers which move more air quickly and removes moisture faster.


Post# 1024292 , Reply# 26   2/11/2019 at 08:09 by Wvkenmore (Wv)        

Thanks for all the helpfull info. I knew I'd get some good answers here. The house is well insulated for its age and half Windows are replacement and the other one were completely ripped out and new construction windows. The basement is finished and is on 3 sides above grade (walkout). So I have 3 levels to heat.

Current boiler is 150,000 btu and only main floor was warm. I'm afraid the pipes are damaged from heat being off do to pump failure.

Post# 1024310 , Reply# 27   2/11/2019 at 14:10 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Im old fashioned,,,hot water

heat is still the most comfortable, its clean because the hot air blows dust all over, this house has the baseboard in place but he took the oil boiler out years ago and hooked it up to a wood fired water stove, when he got physically unable to get wood, he installed a 90 plus propane furnace and Carrier ac, which works fine, but if I ever find a Iron Fireman vortex oil boiler it will be hooked up in my basement!

Post# 1024328 , Reply# 28   2/11/2019 at 18:41 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Oh, forced air isn't that bad. Of course, if the home is already plumbed for hot water or steam heat, I'd stick with that. This here house was built in 1941, and from the looks of the crawl space it was either a single floor heater ion the living room/dining room area, or passive air through ductwork. The unit in there now was installed around 1980, and is 100,000 BTU. Of course it's an 80-85% efficient unit, being that old. I did insulate the attic, under most of the flooring, and seal off air leaks (like install an automatic damper in the kitchen range hood and make sure the bath vent fan dampers work). I didn't replace the 60's era windows (sliding horizontal aluminum, I know) but I observed the felt was worn thin so they would rattle in the wind, so I took them all apart and replaced the felt (really a sort of fuzzy strip). That seemed to help.

I researched the subject quite a bit, and while double pane windows are great, you have to consider that windows comprise a very small area of the total envelope. Far more important is reducing drafts, and attic insulation. For what remains, I have heavy curtains and/or window shades that help to reduce heat losses.

The home is 1650 sq ft, single story. You can tell when the 100,000 BTU furnace turns on and off, but it's not like a Baked Alaska. Actually fairly comfortable.

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