Home & Garden

Getting new furnace - advice needed

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 20th, 2018 1:38 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 12, 2008
126 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto

Getting new furnace - advice needed

Hi,

I am planning to convert the heating in my house from baseboard to forced air. I have to get the duct-work done and a new furnace.
It's a two-story detached house with a basement. The total area is 2,200 sf ( 1,600 sf living area + 800 sf of basement).

I wish to know which furnace (model and capacity) I should go with. Also what are some key points I should keep in mind when deciding on a furnace?

Thanks.
---------------------------------
Almost all problems in our lives can be traced back to a lack of knowledge.
9 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
6716 posts
4914 upvotes
Oakville
You need to have a professional evaluate your house for the BTU requirements. It depends on the size, and how well insulated and air sealed your home is.
Make sure you apply for any rebates you can get.

Have you considered radiant water heat? Might be cheaper and easier to install then duct work.
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
1706 posts
379 upvotes
Markham
You know, Craig from FourSeason is being praised by RDF members every week.
Can't you find the thread?
Member
Jul 11, 2017
390 posts
350 upvotes
I'd take advantage of the green energy fund and install either a mini split or a heat pump.
Member
Apr 6, 2008
471 posts
160 upvotes
Bella125 wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 2:14 pm
I'd take advantage of the green energy fund and install either a mini split or a heat pump.
Good suggestion but gas may be cheaper in the long run (if available).
Member
Oct 23, 2017
345 posts
155 upvotes
GTA West
musicgold wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 10:11 am
Hi,

I am planning to convert the heating in my house from baseboard to forced air. I have to get the duct-work done and a new furnace.
It's a two-story detached house with a basement. The total area is 2,200 sf ( 1,600 sf living area + 800 sf of basement).

I wish to know which furnace (model and capacity) I should go with. Also what are some key points I should keep in mind when deciding on a furnace?

Thanks.
I've had to replace a furnace before and I have quotes to replace the furnace in my current house. I have also bought 3 air conditioners for different houses.

Regarding capacity, this pretty important in my experience, and you don't want to oversize which results in short running times and reduces efficiency and causes other problems. Like having a clammy cold house because your house has cooled down before the moisture has been extracted. But there are contractors who will just pick a unit based on their experience or what they have in stock, since the detailed calculation requires measurements and time to input all the data to a computer program. Or they will try to use the same capacity you have in the existing equipment, thereby perpetuating any errors made in the original installation. In fact, I have never had a contractor tell me he needed to do a formal heat loss/gain calculation.

I have done these calculations myself a couple of times as a sanity check on the contractor recommendations. I had the contractor reduce his proposed size for an aircon unit in my second house, and I was happy with the outcome. You can find reasonably priced software for this purpose if you search with Google. It is a little tedious but not rocket science. Or you can ask the contractor to provide his detailed report. You just have to check he is not way off, since there will never be an exact match, the programs have a margin of error as well, and equipment does not come in an infinite number of sizes. If you are planning any major energy retrofits you will want to take that into account.

There are proponents for all the major makes. Consumers' Reports did a reliability survey of HVAC equipment a few years ago, if you are a subscriber. All the companies make a range of furnaces. I would go for a "modulating" furnace and 2-stage or multistage air conditioner, which are supposed to give you better efficiency and quieter operation since the fan will be running at lower speeds for a longer time. Costs more but it will be in your house for a long time.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 12, 2008
126 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks Dealmaker1945,

I am going to have the heat loss calculation done by a professional.
Dealmaker1945 wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 8:41 pm
You can find reasonably priced software for this purpose if you search with Google.
Is this an appropriate calculator?
https://hvacdirect.com/furnaces-and-hea ... ontal.html
Dealmaker1945 wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 8:41 pm
Consumers' Reports did a reliability survey of HVAC equipment a few years ago, if you are a subscriber.
I am not a subscriber. Who were the top three, off the top of your head?
---------------------------------
Almost all problems in our lives can be traced back to a lack of knowledge.
Member
Oct 23, 2017
345 posts
155 upvotes
GTA West
musicgold wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 9:12 pm
Thanks Dealmaker1945,

I am going to have the heat loss calculation done by a professional.



Is this an appropriate calculator?
https://hvacdirect.com/furnaces-and-hea ... ontal.html



I am not a subscriber. Who were the top three, off the top of your head?
This is the last one I used. When I did mine the guy answered a couple of questions for me as well. $49 for a homeowner.
https://www.hvaccomputer.com

I see that Consumer Reports has free access today.
https://www.consumerreports.org/product ... lity-only/

There is not much different statistically although I would probably avoid York based on the numbers when there are so many other choices.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 22, 2005
2432 posts
1179 upvotes
Ottawa
musicgold wrote:
Feb 13th, 2018 9:12 pm
I am not a subscriber. Who were the top three, off the top of your head?
Toronto Public Library seems to have access to CR online like mine in Ottawa. OP is in Toronto so check out your library for access as a resident.

Top