Ok, current situation, >50 years old oil furnace, and large air
handler >30 years old, and new 5 ton compressor outside for air.
(installed hoping to increase air flow, which it didn't)
Looking at upgrading either to new oil furnace, or just converting and
getting natural gas furnace. Problems now in winter and summer are
there isn't enough air coming out of vents, which I assume is due to
inefficiency or just plain old equipment. With new oil furnace or gas
furnace can I expect more airflow....also keep in mind I need an new
air handler too, does this go with new furnace or is it a seperate
Any recommendations to a 25 yr old new homeowner?
The compressor may not be wasted. It depends on what you got there.
Conversion is expensive, but the price of natural gas vs oil in your area
(dunno where that is or prices) will determine if that is a good idea.
Sample economics on this: made up numbers.
Say gas is cheaper where you are than the same equal of cost for heating
than oil. If the difference is 100$ a month in heating and you need heat 5
months of the year, then you get a 500$ a year 'savings'. A 2,000$ new unit
install will pay off in 4 years. It isnt likely a new unit would be just
2,000$ or the cost savings would be 100$ a month, but thats the idea of how
to look at it.
A frill on that: If you have to use a credit card for the install, check
the interest amount and add that to the 'cheaper heat (gas vs oil) and see
if it makes a savings worthwhile. Thats a critcal one they dont teach much
on and can get you in trouble fast. If you get cheaper heat bills by 100$
but you have to pay 150$ a month to get the system changed, you just paid
50$ more a month than you were.
Or not enough vents for modern desires. I'd actually look here first. We
had some slab damage (older house) so had to remove the subfloor vents after
fixing the cause of the problem. As part of that, we had to have the attic
run with extra ceiling vents.
Sideline, I live in a hot area so got a net 'gain of money in my pocket' on
bills here that way by extra insulating the attic and the runs up there but
with the floor level being a little colder than it used to be in winter.
I have the 'all in one' system, gas heat, Electric A/C and compressor.
1. Get as many estimates as you can. 5 would not be 'wierd'.
2. Check the guarentees of the units. The 'cheap guy' may go out of
business in 4 months and with him, goes your 'lifelong guarentee'.
3. Check your local friends. Terminex for example has a wonderful
reputation most places but in my little area, is a badly run franchise.
4. Tell them upfront you are getting estimates from several places. If
they try to high pressure you to decide 'right now' or bug you daily til you
decide, you do not want them. A good company isnt afraid of many estimates
and will not high pressure you.
5. Don't be afraid to check with Sears and such places (whatever applies to
your area in companies that have over100 years in business). They may cost
as much as double the rate of a fly-by-night place but see #2 above.
6. If you have AC needs, your freon type may be the old stuff and you will
have to replace that too which often is more cost effective to do as a whole
thing 'central AC/HEAT' so as you look at your heat, look there too if you
have a hot climate. (You have to upgrade the hardware, not just the freon to
the new stuff as it wont work).
Hope I have helped and not been too 'simple' but i dont know what you know
or don't so felt it best to cover all I could think of, especially the
pitfalls I have made!
Sure, Find a good contractor and let them lead you in deciding what
would be best. We can't see it they can.
Ask friends neighbors and co workers for recommendations. Get two or
three estimates, but remember the lowest bidder may not be the best or most
economical. The best system will be the cheapest in the long run. The most
expensive unit is not always the best. What is best is what will work best
for you. It is likely not what would work best for me. That is why you
need the pro. The contractor is far more important than the brand.
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