12:29PM | 10/06/98
I just purchased a house with two gas furnaces serving two separate ventilation systems (the second serves additions on each end of my ranch 1820 sq. ft) with one central a/c unit connected to both systems with flow control units. All of the equipment is very old (approx. 25 years) The main lennox furnace is in excellent condition, but the second furnace a baby boy carrier and the carrier a/c is not very efficient.

Contractors are giving me different recommendations:

1.) Keep the full size lennox and replace the baby boy furnace with a new one, remove the flow controls (which they say is complicated), replace the a/c and let the new a/c flow freely into the two ventilation systems.
2.) The second contractor wants to remove both furnaces and replace them with one new high efficiency furnace connected to both ventilation systems (the farther one will have a bend to connect it), and a new a/c. I will then need to use the dampers to deal with the uneven flow between the two vent systems.

Ps. Any advice I would truly appreciate.


Jim O

09:13AM | 10/07/98

I was in a similar situation. I had additions that had separate HVAC systems too.

What I did and recommend you do is to replace it all with one unified unit. A single unit will be much easier to do maintenance on and less costly in the long run. It sounds as if you will need to have some duct work done too but it should be worth the time and money in the long run. It also sounds from your description that one unit serves both far ends og the home so the majority of duct work that is likely to need to be done is just joining it all together. The size of your home is pretty small. My ranch is about 1723 sq. feet. I have a 3ton heat pump with a "dual fuel" kit utilizing the gas furnace as back-up or emergency heat rather than the expensive electric resistance heat typically used in the past with a heat pump system. My local utility company offers energy audits in which they will come out and audit your home. They offered several ideas on areas that I could improve the energy efficiency of my home. The good part about this was that they also offered grants or incentives to do the work too! My heat pump system cost about $700 more to install that a separate a/c and gas furnace system but my utility company paid me $550 for having the work done. I got $550 to insulate my attic. It cost me $400 to do have it done so I made a little bit. The crawl space needed more insulation too. They paid $250 for that. All in all the extra expense I incurred in my install was offset by the audit and grant money. Call your local utility (GAS too!) and see what they'll do.

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