First time home owner: Furnace questions. Please help!!

Hi,
The heating/air conditioner system in our new house is about to be installed in the next few days. The heating/air conditioner tech mentioned that the price of our home includes a Maytag 100k BTU furnace and a 14 SEER air conditioner (forget the brand), both with 10/10 warranties.
a) Is the Maytag 100k BTU, 92.5% AFUE efficiency furnace the right capacity furnace for our house? Our house is a three level (Two finished floors and unfinished walk-out basement) 3300 sqft house in Minnesota.
b) As I understand from my builder and heating technician, they will also be extending 6 heating ducts to the basement floor to provide heat runs as an alternative way to heat the basement instead of spending extra money on heated floors. How well does this method of heating the basement compare to the traditional heated floors?
The heating tech suggested adding a couple items: c) A variable speed motor - He mentioned this is an ECM motor (invented by GE when they owned Trane) and said it would be lot more quiet compared to the standard A/C motor, especially in the "continuous mode" and more efficient. He said they already build the ducts in the house big enough to make the most efficient use of the ECM motor. I did some research on the internet, including this site, and his claims about the advantages of ECM motor seem to be valid. A lot of other heating techs on the net seem to highly recommend these, especially for new and replacement furnaces. I wonder, however, what would be a reasonable upgrade price for this motor for our furnace? I've seen prices for new/replacement ECM motors on the Internet of ~$500. The furnace tech has quoted us additional cost $550 to go with the ECM motor - however, if we are "exchanging" the regular A/C motor with the D/C motor, shouldn't we be getting some credit for the cost of the A/C motor? Does the upgrade price for the ECM motor seem reasonable?
d) Finally, the heating tech suggested putting a Trion Media filter system with 5" media filter instead of the standard 1" filter system normally installed by the builder. He said these are quite cost effective compared to the standard filter system and we would recover the additional cost ($295) in a few years by the savings in the replacement filter costs. Does the upgrade price for the filter system seem reasonable?
Would appreciate any feedback on these four questions from experts on this forum.
Thanks, -Topper
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Topper: Are you ready for a good hard fuckin'?
"A fool and his money..."
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Sounds about right, it's ok to oversize a condensing furnace actually runs more efficiently.

Probably much less expensive

No, the "credit" is included already. Yes, mine was $650. If electricity is cheap ECM benefits are only noise and more even temps

No, unless you have allergy problems I would go with a standard washable filter that costs about $5 and last 2 years.
Try posting in http://www.hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdisplay.php?forumid=1 they are much more helpful in there.
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I have a stack of those plastic filters in the trash that I have changed out in the last month..... stick with a MERV 7 or MERV8 disposable, pleated filter.... causes a whole lot less restriction in the air flow. They just have to be changed every month.
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What price is your comfort?
Heated floors put the heat down low, where your extremeties need it instead of up high.
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"HeatMan" wrote:

Ssssshhh Dont tell John or the OP how absolutely fantastic radiant heat is compared to forced air heat, also dont tell them about the additional costs and expense of running a humidifier in the winter months to counter-act all the dryness they're going to be encountering with the forced air heat.
HELL YES the basement floor should have radiant hydronic heating !! Add a few snow-melt loops for the sidewalk, front steps, maybe the driveway, etc. Try doing snow-melt with forced air heating!!
People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building their castles, then want to go cheap on the one system that provides them their comfort 24/7. Then they whine they're not hot enough or cold enough or the system makes noise or bla bla bla.
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hey Fish, did you know there's a RPA chapter in your area?
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"HeatMan" wrote:

J, nope, sure didnt. have ran across whole tracts of homes that do have radiant in slab though, and have heard thru the grapevine more are being built, so yeah the demand is certainly there!
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http://www.radiantpanelassociation.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid 0
That's Berkeley, I thought there was one further south. There may be, just in the 'forming up' stage.
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On Wed, 02 Aug 2006 02:10:26 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@gonefishin.net wrote:

Please pardon a possibly stupid question: How do you handle cooling when using radiant floor systems? Must one revert to window a/c systems since there's no ductwork to handle cool air?
I can't imagine one can run the radiant floor in reverse and pump cold water in..assuming some sort of boiler suystem to heat the water, this ain't gonna happen absent a repeal of the laws of thermodynamics.
I like the idea of radiant heat in the floors but I need good a/c as well.
Thanks for any replies that do not involve vulgar suggestions. :)
Jim P.
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Run ductwork for AC or install ductless splits if your home layout allows for it.
On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 00:19:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

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cooling would be at ceiling level.

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On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 14:18:20 -0400, "HeatMan"

Baderdash. Partial convection can ensue, and stratification can still occur.
A well designed ceiling register can shoot the air down to floor level. Floor registers are generally bad, for several reasons. I won't go into all of them, must furniture placement restrictions, potential blockage by children and/or pets, and pet urine in the ducts, are just three.
Granted, some mixing can occur , but overall circulation is the only cure. Ceiling fans work wonders, for cutting heating and cooling expenses, even though they do use a little bit of electricity.
How long have you been involved in HVAC? Longer than Stormy?
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On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 14:18:20 -0400, "HeatMan"

Great fucking idea, Einstein.
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