Choosing Furnace Efficiency

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There's a good reason I don't live in the shit-hole Northeast, anymore. I pay about $500/yr for heat now (and another $500-$700) for AC.

You're KILLING CHILDREN with all that CO2!
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On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 8:41:26 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

And I'm sure there are plenty of us here that are very happy with your decision to leave.
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On Wed, 4 Dec 2013 01:19:43 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Perhaps Malformed is one of your sockpuppets, Trader? The two of you are sounding more and more alike.
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On 12/3/2013 4:34 AM, morty wrote:

Many have said this. I think there's a lot of truth, here. And now I know that I didn't charge myself any where near enough.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 12/3/2013 3:34 AM, morty wrote:

OTOH, my next door neighbor had a high-efficiency model installed in her home way back when they were fairly new on the market (80s? early 90s?). So far, only one service call. In fact, she's dead, but the furnace has kept on through two additional owners.
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On 12/3/2013 8:40 AM, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

Gee, that's encouraging. Furnace save her five bucks, and kills her to boot. Not me, thanks. I don't want a furnace to kill me.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Tue, 03 Dec 2013 08:45:21 -0500, Stormin Mormon

I've seen too many high eff furnaces fail eithin 5 years. My brother's had a circuit board replaced at $400+ a shot 3 times? bedore the furnace contractor offered him a real deal on a different manufacturer's replacement - and after it was replaced he found there was an $80 generic replacement board that would have fixed it - and didn't suffer from premature death syndrome
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wrote:

Your brother doesn't appear to be too bright. And to think, he's the smart one of you two.
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You've met him, have you?? A genius at his feild of expertise - setting up condominium plans. Not terribly bright about a lot of other things.
And I bet in comparison to either of us you are dumber than a sack of rocks.
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Efficiency:

How do you know that? Do they report to you when the make a service call, or do you sit at your window all day watching for service trucks?
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On 12/3/2013 9:07 AM, VinnyB wrote:

Don't be silly, of course he's not sitting and watching for service trucks. That's his wife's job.
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Furnace Efficiency:

Ok, that makes sense now.
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On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 1:19:40 PM UTC-8, VinnyB wrote:

Because he has hired a cleaner, cook, nanny, etc. to do what the wife would be doing if not stationed at the window watching for service trucks. I hope he lets her at least listen to radio or do puzzles during the long truck-free intervals.
HB
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On 12/3/2013 8:07 AM, VinnyB wrote:

Why, we're neighborly, y'know? We talk, we even visit each other. Hell, we even take turns mowing each other's lawns and blowing out each other's driveways. Every autumn I'm the most popular person in the neighborhood. I make the rounds on my tractor and people wave me over to their yard to make their leaves disappear. Folks love not having to rake.
I had an inexpensive no-frills (I have a small house) high-efficiency furnace installed nine years ago. So far, no problems.
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morty wrote:

Hi, Our urnace has 10 yr P&L warranty. After that I fix it myself if something goes wrong. Easy to get parts for Carrier furnace. I chose X13 blower motor with speed selection taps, not the VS type which has frequent controller problems.
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You can usually get a Service Contract-mine is through the Gas Co--and it covers all the components that you mentioned. My only problem with a 6 yr 92% was the flame sensor. Other than the contract cost my out pocket $$$$ was Zero. Actually, you saved money if these were the first costs you've had in 9 yrs vs paying for a contract over that time frame. Gas company periodically sends a flyer on how you're doing relative to the average users and to neighbors. My fuel costs are only 4% higher than the most efficient and way better (lower) than all the others. So fuel cost savings is a major factor. MLD
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On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 1:27:39 AM UTC-5, Big Giant Head wrote:

I'd look at pricing of Rheem/Ruud vs the brands that are perceived as being better. I had a Ruud that I replaced a few years ago that was 25 years old and still running. I don't know the whole history, but it was 10 years old when I bought the house and except for putting a hard-start kit on the AC, I didn't have any repair bills for my 15 years. I replaced it with a Rheem, they are made by the same company. When I looked at reviews a few years ago, according to Consumer Reports, the repair/problem history of all the brands was about the same. In fact, I recall Rheem was actually a little better than some of the brands that spend a lot of $$$ on advertising. I'd rather have a Ruud installed by the best installer, instead of a higher price system installed by a crappy installer.
I'm curious what tax credits still exist? Back in 2010, you could get a 30% fed tax credit up to $1500, but I thought that was all gone now. State?
How much you save each year in operating costs is unknown, because only you know where you live and how much gas you use. GA and MN are going to be very different. In a cold climate 80% vs 93% for 20 years is going to add up and the cost of the eqpt difference isn't that great. Install of a new one however is typically going to cost more. Also, what else is on the chimney for the existing furnace? If there is a water heater sharing the same chimney, you'll likely need to install a chimney liner for that. It's not a big deal, but does add to the cost. The other option is to go with a new direct vent water heater, if the WH is near it's EOL too.
There is truth that high efficiency units are more complex, so there are more things that can go wrong. On the other hand, I now have a cumulative 13 years of experience with 3 of them and haven't had a problem yet. And if you have reasonable diagnostic skills, no reason you can't fix them yourself. They do have wiring diagrams and if you understand the theory of how they work, etc, they are certainly a lot easier to diagnose and fix than many systems on a modern car.
I would also recommend putting in a whole house surge protector if you don't already have one. Unlike an old furnace, these have electronics, including in many cases an ECM motor.
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The WH shares the same pipe. The proposal for the super high efficiency furnace calls for a new PVC tube through the roof, some sort of coaxial thing that also brings down combustion air. It's a ranch with the roof only maybe 6 feet or so above the ceiling level at that point.
BTW, the old unit is 90,000 BTH/H input. The proposals match that for regular furnaces including two stage burner/fan but 80,000 BTU/H for the super HE.
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On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 3:36:09 PM UTC-5, Big Giant Head wrote:





As others have pointed out it's really pretty simple. Try to make an estim ate of your annual heating costs. Since you have a gas hw heater and proba bly some other gas appliances to do that you will need to calculate your av erage monthly summer gas cost and subtract that from your average monthly w inter gas costs. Then multiple the results by the typical number of months you heat and again by 16%. That will be your estimated annual savings. D ivide that into the cost difference between replacing with another 80% unit verses the 96% unit. That will give you the recovery years to break even.
The complexity is another issue that's completely unpredictable. Millions of people have many years of uninterrupted service from a high efficiency u nit. But occasionally they have problems. And they do tend to be more exp ensive to fix.
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BTW, should I even ask about replacing the HX or is that completely ridiculous on a 26 year old unit? Actually, over the years I replaced a gas valve, inducer motor, and inducer control board (new one has the time delay) myself. So aside from the blower and a small circuit board, it's just a box to hold these components, right?
I'm hoping someone is offering one with spark ignition. The more I learn about hot surface ignitors the less I want one since I know it's going to fail.
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