When considering a new furnace and A/C unit... Type of contractor to call

Some of you probably saw my other post about the oil smell in the new house. Well, we are definitely switching over to NG and installing ducts to the rooms (there are only 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a combined kitchen/DR which opens to the main room (Family/living room). Can I calculate the amount of heat and air required?
Should I have tests done that I've heard people mention? We're basically starting from scratch as this (http://tinyurl.com/9hzgb ) is not efficient or effective.
Basically, I want to know how much I can determine on my own, and then when to call in the right person (What should I look for in the phone book?). I live in Towson, MD.
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Don't know about tests. For ductwork and a replacement furnace, etc, you want an HVAC contractor (heating ventilation air conditioning).
Do you have gas supply already, coming into the house ? If not then that is the first thing to look into, since if you can't get NG then you're sort of stuck.
I use a consumer ratings thing called angies list, it's a bit pricey ($45 a year or so) but it lets you look up ratings on companies that do work on houses - plumbers, painters, hvac, you name it, also other general services. The url is
http://www.angieslist.com/AngiesList/Cities.asp?id ltimore
I get nothing from recommending them. You can look up things for your friends and neighbors too.
You might also want to consider heat pump as Baltimore does not get super cold like it does up here. Esp if you don't already have NG run to the house.
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http://www.buildingscience.com/resources /
http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/mold/Read_This_Before_You_Design_Build_or_Renovate.pdf
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I'd look on the web, find the big makes like Trane, Carrier and the like, and find authorized dealers that cover your area.
Get a quote from two different local HVAC contractors, since most will carry one brand or another, and compare their offers.
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Probably the first would a consultant to conduct an energy-loss analysis. Your local utility may even provide such a service or subsidize it.
Purpose: to determine costs/benefits of sealing, insulating, upgrading windows, etc., etc.
Then, on to the energy sources and conversion units, if not covered in the above.
Given the age of the house (did you say 75-yrs?) you can safely assume that sealing, insulation, windows et al. are on the table.
You can probably see net efficiencies well over 50%- and the payback will only get better. Not to mention occupant comfort and resale value.
J
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