Furnace options for 2 story Scarborough - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-13, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Furnace options for 2 story Scarborough

Existing gas furnace is 23 years old. "Ignitors" glow then go dark without ignition. Called repairman who recommended a new furnace, coincidentally (?) the fuse on the circuit board blew when he was here. He says the circuit board is corroded and the fuse will just blow again.

Existing furnace says "THE DEPENDABLE NINETY-TWO" on the front.

I told him if he supplied brand/model & cost for furnace & installation I'd shop around.

Any advise on either;
- reputable service companies/people?
- brands/models of furnaces if I do replace?

House is 2 story + heated basement where the basement is always too cold in both winter and summer.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-13, 12:35 PM
 
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bb_c: For starters you're looking at a high-efficiency furnace, venting outside through a side wall. Existing furnace owes you nothing, and you will save operating $$ on new model. Two-stage worth considering.
However, you may want to consider your existing water heater at the same time and go for a "hydronic" setup, with water heater providing heat and airhandler circulating it via heat exchanger. May make sense if there are constraints on venting (eg condo). Pricier solution, but long term benefits.
And you or your contractor should do a heat-loss calculation to determine the size of furnace required - back of envelope would be existing furnace @ 60% vs new furnace at 90% efficiencies. (eg 100*0.6=x*0.9; suggests 65K Btu, if original 100K Btu).

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-13, 12:40 PM
 
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Since you are in the GTA I recommend using the Homestars website to find a reputable dealer if you don't have one in mind.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-13, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Existing gas furnace is 23 years old. "Ignitors" glow then go dark without ignition. Called repairman who recommended a new furnace, coincidentally (?) the fuse on the circuit board blew when he was here. He says the circuit board is corroded and the fuse will just blow again.
This problem can be fixed by a competent technician and you shouldn't have to replace for this.

Sure, it may make sense to replace, but you shouldn't have to do it right away rather than being able to shop around.

Quote:
- brands/models of furnaces if I do replace?
Doesn't matter as long as it's properly matched to the house and properly sized, installed, setup.

It's not like buying a fridge.

Search this board for old threads on this topic, a wealth of info is there.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-13, 06:17 PM
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agree with user_ 100%...
When we replaced our furnace in the middle of that record cold winter couple years ago (it absolutely had to go...)
I just went with the same BTUH that was there originally, and opted out of the high efficiency nonsense, just to keep it simple. Fewer parts / components to break down/worry about in the future since it's a simpler system. Cheaper installation / setup.

The more you add to something, the more there is to break down.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-13, 06:36 PM
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My furnace was 30 years old and was on the verge of going. I replaced it 6 months ago because I did not want it to break down in the cold winter. The best thing to do is to call a few HVAC companies and get some estimates. They usually give you the estimate for free.

I got 3 free estimates from different companys. They will be able to tell you which size and spec furnace u need for ur house.

Once u determine the spec all u gotta do is confirm which brand u want. Note. The more expensive does not necessarily mean better. And a lot of these companies charge more for round the clock suport and stuff like providing heaters during an emergency. Its totally up to if u want these. But ya I went with Hi Effic New furnace and air conditioner and got a $2100 rebate from Consumers Gas for doing a energy audit.

Good luck

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-13, 10:49 PM
 
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Quote:
When we replaced our furnace in the middle of that record cold winter couple years ago (it absolutely had to go...)
I just went with the same BTUH that was there originally, and opted out of the high efficiency nonsense, just to keep it simple. Fewer parts / components to break down/worry about in the future since it's a simpler system. Cheaper installation / setup.
Not really, the only real difference is the high efficiency has a secondary heat exchanger and drainage components.

You can get into 2-stage or modulating, usually with ecm motor - higher purchase and repair costs but longer cycles, improved comfort, lower electricity consumption. If done correctly should be equally reliable, but beware of the repair bills.

But you can get up to 96% these days, single stage for those who want to keep it simple.

canada has done away with 80% 'ers so you have no choice.

Putting the same btu output can actually get a lot of people in real trouble due to the higher airflow requirements of today's units.

The ducts could be marginally sized for what's there and with the new unit it cycles on high temp limit. Causes damage, premature failure.

plus the smaller units provide more consistent heat, not short noisy blasts of hot air.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-14, 01:20 PM
 
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I have a Carrier Furnace which is from 1997. I get it cleaned and inspected every year now. This fall during cleaning and inspection fuse blew. Furnace guy replaced small fuse at no additional cost. In December furnace quit it just blew cold air and stopped. Called furnace guy next morning he came within an hour and replaced the ignitor. Part and Labor came to $120.00.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-14, 06:38 PM
 
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byebye_cable, replace the fuse to determine whether the fuse blew again. If the furnace behaves the same after putting a new fuse, the gas control valve may be the problem. After the igniter glowing read hot, use the handle of a screwdriver to tap on the gas control valve. If you get flame, your gas control valve is the problem. This worth a try while you are shopping around.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-17, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone

When the igniters come on, tapping the gas control valve does nothing & a meter attached to it does not detect the 24V needed to trigger the gas valve to open. I had a 2nd tech come over and he thinks is the circuit board. Given there is some corrosion etc he also recommended a new furnace, given 2 techs think so, new furnace it is.

Any thoughts on the following brand/quote? Furnace, taxes & labor included, it will be necessary to put a new exhaust pipe to the outside since the old one doesn't need existing code.

Single stage with inverter motor.

A951E Gas Furnace | Armstrong Air | Home HVAC

A95UH1E070B12S

$2800 plus hst $364

Total $3164

Qualifies for $250 save on energy with ECM motor (inverter)

10 year parts, lifetime heat exchanger, 1 year labour

EDIT: The larger rebate over $2000 noted by @Paolo above requires
- a min 15% improvement in the energy efficiency of your home
- two different areas improved (2nd area can be calking)

My existing furnace is 90% efficient so it's not possible to make a 15% improvement. The ONLY option would be to replace the air conditioner at the same time which is also ~23 years old an even then I don't know this would total up to 15%.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-17, 02:35 PM
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An energy audit will look at insulation and test air leakage as well. That's where things like caulking come in. Spray foam in a basement can help a lot with insulation and air leakage. Blown in insulation in the attic is another possibility. An audit would be needed to see what could be done. They cost $250+.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-18, 02:13 AM
 
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Spend a little more and get the 2-stage version of the same thing.

http://www.armstrongair.com/products...urnaces/a962e/

You're already getting a x13 ecm motor so repairs won't be much more. that's the big ticket item.

More comfortable and quieter.

But if u do that insist on thermostat controlled staging -> they normally use timed staging, after x minutes it's on high until end of cycle. Vs. cycling between low and high, never shutting off when it's below -15 to -20. Get full benefit of 2-stage.

need to pull thermostat wire with extra conductor to do it though.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-18, 09:43 AM
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I have the 2 stage furnace but a single stage thermostat, but only 5 conductor wire, so not enough to control the 2 stages from the t-stat but the furnace guys set the dip switches so it engages the 2nd stage at pre-determined settings from the furnace mfgr from the user manual, so it works on time intervals.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-18, 09:50 AM
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That's the point -- it's more efficient/comfortable to use a two-stage t-stat, so that a call for heat when ambient is more than a few degrees below the set-point will engage the second stage immediately.

I had this on my original Honeywell mechanical thermostat with two mercury switches, but when I got my new air conditioner installed, the installer insisted on using a single stage thermostat with the the second stage controlled by the control-board's timer.
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Last edited by tvlurker; 2018-01-18 at 03:33 PM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 2018-01-18, 12:58 PM
 
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The 2-stage stat delivers better comfort, being able to drop down rather than cycle off.

The 1-stage will result in a lot of unnecessary calls for high heat, shortening cycles. The timer will bring high on in 10 minutes when running on low continuously is enough.

It's like a heater in a car, where instead of finding a comfortable setting and leaving it alone, you run it on low for the first few minutes and be cold, set it to maximum until you get too hot, and turn it off.

Then get cold and repeat.

The whole idea of 2-stage is to get consistent heat delivered rather than cycling on and off, especially in colder weather.

The properly sized one in souther ontario will run continuous on low around -10 to -15 and start cycling between high and low. If oversized, that may start at -20c or below.

Furnaces are sized for extremes, the type of weather we may get one morning every other year. Should not be cycling to maximum output unless needed but a "dumb" timer will do that.
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