Need advice on a new furnace

Hi all. We are looking to replace our old furnace. We have had a few estimates and now we are trying to decide between an 80% and 90% efficient heaters and 1 stage / 2 stage / variable models. The price difference between 80% and 90% seems to be about 600-800 for Trane. The price difference between different stages is also several hundred $$$. How do we make a decision whether it is worth money to go with a more expansive model. I'm looking for a dummy-oriented advice as my knowledge here is pretty mich zero
Thank you
Gene
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gene, you are a cheap piece of shit.
Now go away before Jake finds out you have posted this crap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hey, Oscar,
Takes one to know one. Oscar_Lives wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oscar_Lives wrote:

Why do some of you push this 'cheap' stuff on people? There's something called a "budget" and most people have one. There are many expenses for a growing family; to spend top dollar on everything would quickly lead to bankrupcy. There's also a learning curve: the guy isn't sure, so he's asking. Of course there are situations where you should spend big bucks without question--but with all of the marketing hype that surrounds us, it is difficult to discern the real priorities compared to the BS ones.
I wonder, do you drive the most expensive car? Why not? They're usually "safer" with all the technologies... do you live in the most expensive neighborhood? Why not? Studies suggest that kids have a better chance of good education etc. etc. Do you buy the most expensive shirts possible? Why not? The fibers in those shirts are less likely to cause allergic reactions... Do you eat nothing but expensive organic foods? Why not? They are less likely to cause cancer..
The cheap guy is the one who holds a wedding with a cash bar--not the guy who is asking questions about something that costs thousands of dollars.
Peace, Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The real priorities are to get the best quality and installation that you can afford. Spend a few bucks more and get a good system that will last 20 years with minimal problems and failures. You don't have to spend more on the system than what your home cost, but you can get a system that will be energy efficient and will pay for itself in just a few short years in reduced power bills.

I don't drive a $50,000 service truck, I don't live in the most expensive neighborhood in my city, etc.... I do drive a new truck that is good on gas, comfortable, and does the job I need it to do, I do live in a nice home in a good neighborhood, and I do eat healthy. Its not because its "cheap", but because its the best value for my dollar, and piece of mind. Note that last sentence......"the best value for my dollar, and piece of mind". I learned many years ago that you can buy the cheapest crap around and keep paying for it, and paying for it, and paying for it, then having to replace it long before the end of its "normal" lifecycle. Spend a few bucks more on something that will give you a long, efficient, service life without the problems. You can do what you want, its your money... you can throw it away on all cheap stuff you want.

and??
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oscar_Lives wrote:

Why do some of you push this 'cheap' stuff on people? There's something called a "budget" and most people have one. There are many expenses for a growing family; to spend top dollar on everything would quickly lead to bankrupcy. There's also a learning curve: the guy isn't sure, so he's asking. Of course there are situations where you should spend big bucks without question--but with all of the marketing hype that surrounds us, it is difficult to discern the real priorities compared to the BS ones.
I wonder, do you drive the most expensive car? Why not? They're usually "safer" with all the technologies... do you live in the most expensive neighborhood? Why not? Studies suggest that kids have a better chance of good education etc. etc. Do you buy the most expensive shirts possible? Why not? The fibers in those shirts are less likely to cause allergic reactions... Do you eat nothing but expensive organic foods? Why not? They are less likely to cause cancer..
The cheap guy is the one who holds a wedding with a cash bar--not the guy who is asking questions about something that costs thousands of dollars.
Peace, Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hey Gene,
First, I'll pull this homeowner question into alt.home.repair and set followups to it. I suppose you'll see why soon enough when some of the regulars go into Lord of the Flies mode. Yes, it's odd that a clearly hvac question is not welcome in such a named group, but what can ya do?
First, where do ya live, that helps focus how much heating this furnace is going to be doing. How long do you plan to stay in the home is another factor, as it determines whether the payback period for additional efficiency will every be enjoyed by you.
The best I can divine from a variety of resources as I was through similar decisions, 2 stage and variable speed are mostly comfort benefits. 2 stage is relatively simple--it's just that the gas valve has two settings. You run mostly on the lower setting until it gets damned cold or you're trying to heat the house from a set back temperature. This prevents the furnace from short cycling, and gives you less dips in temperature, may prolong the life of the heat exchanger and blower. It doesn't seem to come at much risk of adding to maintenance later as the mechanism seems to boil down to a gas valve that has Off, low and high settings, and some control logic that dictates when to kick it into high.
Variable speed seems to be contentious. It too is to afford you more comfort and better ddistribution of heating and cooling by keeping air cirulating in the house without having to have the noise and electricity use of running a single speed fan full bore all the time. Whether the energy savings translates into $ savings is subject to some debate since some point out that variable speed motors are very expensive and have a lot more stuff to break on them, while single speed motors have a long history and are pretty simple and relatively inexpensive. Others say variable speed is the cat's ass and makes a huge comfort difference. Other benefits include that you can keep your air moving and achieve better filtration as such, and supposedly you get some added dehumidification benefits as a variable speed's continuous air flow will keep things less humid in the AC season as air is circulated over the cold coil in the periodcs the A/C is off.
80 vs 90%. Take a look at your gas bills. Try to divine how much you use each winter for heating. Figure out how long it'd take to get your money back if your gas usage was 12% lower for the heating portion. Also factor in that for the installation they'll need to run some PVC pipe to vent outside out house as the 90% won't use your existing flue, but are so efficient they vent out PVC. There is some concern that higher efficiency furnaces are less reliable and may cost more in repairs down the road. I haven't yet determined if that's a real concern or not myself. Finally, take your crystal ball and divine whether you see current natural gas prices staying relatively flat, or increasing in the future. This also plays into the packback scenario.
All that said, I've also been told yo're better off energy wise with a 2-stage 80% than a 1 stage 90% at least in my situation, since the 2 stage will achieve comfort perhaps at a lower thermostat setting due to the longer cycle and better heat distribution to the extremities of your duct system that will result.
I'm sure I managed to utter some misconception or errors in all this info that will be mercilessly shredded by folks less interested in helping you and more interested in being able to be right by pointing out something that's wrong, but I hope you found some of this helpful in figuring out what's best for your situation.
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"xanuda" wrote:

go for the most comfortable & efficient furnace you can afford.
in my area, trane dealers are offering up to $1000 rebates on variable speed high efficiency equipment.
shop for the best installation, not the price.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gene;
Do your homework. Ask your neighbors what they did? Ask your relatives what / who they went with. Seek 3 bids.....
--
Zyp
< snipped-for-privacy@gonefishin.net> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
xanuda wrote:

Pretty simple,
figure furnace life of 20 years, take last years furance energy cost, is 10% of that times 20 less then the additional cost of a 80 to 90% furnance? There is your answer (usually it is no, the 80% is cheaper)....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Simple if you look at it that way. Let's say it costs $2000 more to go to a 90+ unit and that you would reduce your current energy usage by 12% (10/80 = 12.5%, not 10% savings) which amounts to $100 based on last year's bill. So your $2000 investment generated an after tax ROI of 5% at LAST year's fuel prices. Is it a good investment?
On 19 Sep 2006 09:59:09 -0700, bungalow snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

--
Be suspicious of all native-born
Esperanto speakers.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Scott wrote:

type of investment won't
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You could argue the ever rising cost of fuel will act as compounding.
On 19 Sep 2006 16:10:11 -0700, bungalow snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

--
Be suspicious of all native-born
Esperanto speakers.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Scott wrote:

last few years and will stay steady or decline in the next decade, people tend to always exaggerate trends into the future (whether it's increasing fuel cost, stock market prices, or hurricane activity )
anyway, since I haven't met anyone who can accurately predict the future, using current fuel costs are as good as guess as any for furnace selection
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bungalow snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

10 years ago I could of (and should of) bought my next door neighbors house for $169,000. Today homes in the tract go for $600,000.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
xanuda wrote:

I thought I was cool and bought a more expensive furnace (Carrier) but only single stage instead of a cheaper 2 stage. Mistake. I put in an air-exchanger--which needs the fan to be on in my installation--and now I wish I had bought the 2-stage. (My solution is something called the "FanHandler"--advice from Jake (thanks)).
I went with high-effeciency though: I like the fact that the burners burn very clean and pure air from outside and the PVC seems pretty safe (my old flue is suspect).
Besides, effeciency is something we should all strive for if only to burn less harmful fuels... the 'feel-good' factor I guess...
Peace, Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.