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New Furnace (need advice)
Old 05-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #1
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New Furnace (need advice)

I live in a 27 year old 2 story 2300 sq. ft. house in Ontario Canada. I've been noticing that several people in my neighborhood have already replaced there natural gas furnace and figure it's time I do mine. I replaced my natural gas hot water tank (myself) several years ago and also installed a natural gas line for the bbq couple years ago and it didn't seem that difficult. I'm thinking of replacing the furnace myself since the couple quotes I got were outrageous. Iíve seen furnaces advertised online and the same $1000.00 furnace is quoted to me for $1900.00 plus another $1900.00 for installation. Of course I can haggleÖ but no where near what Iím willing to pay. My problem is that I can't get anyone to sell me one since I'm not in the field. Has anyone ever encountered this problem? Getting the natural gas hot water tank was so easy; I didn't realize that purchasing a furnace was totally different.

I'm still going to keep trying, but I still need to figure out which type and model to get.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:43 PM   #2
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Try looking on Craigslist or Ebay. The HVAC contractor's have a good lock on the market. I think OEM's don't want the liability of selling to happy home owners. The potential for poor installation is just too great, they don't want any lawsuits.

Heck I can't even buy oil burner nozzles from OEM's. But can get them on ebay.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:46 PM   #3
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Canada may be different*, but there are a number of retailers that sell Goodman to the public. Example:

Alpine Home Air Products: Contractor-grade heating, air conditioning and indoor-air quality products at wholesale prices.

I just had a 95% Lennox 2 stage installed to take advantage of the US tax break and I paid $3400, which included an aluminum liner in the chimney, furnace installation, 2 stage programable thermostat and removal of the old furnace.

After viewing their installation, I wouldn't have a problem with doing my own installation. The trickiest part was making a sheet metal adapter to the old plenum and setting the DIP switches for the two stage thermostat. I ended up redoing some of their work anyway because it was not to my standards, though adequate. If you do it in the summer, you can take your time.

*Freight shipments to Canada are subject to a $175 surcharge, in addition to all Canadian taxes and customs brokerage fees.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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Try looking on Craigslist or Ebay. I think OEM's don't want the liability of selling to happy home owners. The potential for poor installation is just too great, they don't want any lawsuits.

I've tried Craigslist and Kijiji with no luck, but Ebay has then for a really good price but shipping really sucks as they are in the US.
As for the lawsuits I can understand that, but I don't understand why Home Depot, Lowes, etc, sell natural gas hot water tanks that are both hard wired (electrical) and natural gas is fitted with black iron gas lines. I found that I can purchase a natural gas hot water tank at Home Depot cheaper then I can purchase the same brand from a contractor. I'm talking much cheaper.

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Canada may be different*, but there are a number of retailers that sell Goodman to the public. Example
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Alpine Home Air Products: Contractor-grade heating, air conditioning and indoor-air quality products at wholesale prices.

I just had a 95% Lennox 2 stage installed to take advantage of the US tax break and I paid $3400, which included an aluminum liner in the chimney, furnace installation, 2 stage programmable thermostat and removal of the old furnace.

After viewing their installation, I wouldn't have a problem with doing my own installation. The trickiest part was making a sheet metal adapter to the old plenum and setting the DIP switches for the two stage thermostat. I ended up redoing some of their work anyway because it was not to my standards, though adequate. If you do it in the summer, you can take your time.

*Freight shipments to Canada are subject to a $175 surcharge, in addition to all Canadian taxes and customs brokerage fees.
That was my thoughts exactly. As for the link you were nice enough to provide, it's for the US which I wish I could take advantage of, but I can't.
I remember when we bought this house I got a quote to install a Trane central A/C unit and the quote was $2800.00. I happen to make friends with a HVAV person at a construction site I was working at and he got me the same unit for $800.00. The lines were precharged with freon and I installed it myself in a weekend. I couldn't believe how much I saved and it wasn't that difficult, just time consuming since I'd never done it before.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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As for the link you were nice enough to provide, it's for the US which I wish I could take advantage of, but I can't.
Are you sure ? It appears that Alpine and this place both ship to Canada:

Goodman Gas Furnaces Heat Pumps Heating Units Central Air Conditioners

Granted, they may add on a premium, but it still would be cheaper than a contractor.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Ilive inthe US and bought my Goodman furnace from Alpine. They shipped it directly to me and I installed it. In order to register for the warranty and (probably) to comply with local regulations, you need to have a licensed contractor sign off on your installation. To get a contractor to do this, you might need to agree to something (e.g. maybe sign a maintemence agrfeement where they will comeout and check on your fiurnace and water heater next year).

If they'll sell to you in Canada and you feel comfortable that you can do a safe, legal job, then I recommend you give them a call. If they, in fact, don't sell in Canada, they may be able to recomend an outfit that does.

If you have a "conventional" furnace now (you can tell it is "conventional" if it takes it's combustion air from the room and it vents through a metal pipe. If the unit is 27 YO, it is almost surely conventional), then it will be a little trickier to install a "condensing" furnace (that is, one with an efficiency above approx 90%). Read up on it and see if it is something you want to take on.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:52 AM   #7
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Are you sure ? It appears that Alpine and this place both ship to Canada:

Granted, they may add on a premium, but it still would be cheaper than a contractor.
I stand corrected....thanks travelover, I'm also in the market for a natural gas garage heater and came across this one. Modine HD45AS0111 Alpine Home Air wants $729.99 for the unit, with shipping, taxes and exchange, it's over $1000.00.
http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewpro...ctID=453058672 I just found a place in Toronto that will sell me the same unit for $523.00 plus tax Canadian. I bought it and will pick it up either this weekend or next. What a difference in price. I guess I was lucky.


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Ilive inthe US and bought my Goodman furnace from Alpine. They shipped it directly to me and I installed it. In order to register for the warranty and (probably) to comply with local regulations, you need to have a licensed contractor sign off on your installation.
If you have a "conventional" furnace now (you can tell it is "conventional" if it takes it's combustion air from the room and it vents through a metal pipe. If the unit is 27 YO, it is almost surely conventional), then it will be a little trickier to install a "condensing" furnace (that is, one with an efficiency above approx 90%). Read up on it and see if it is something you want to take on.
I do have the conventional furnace now and was looking at the Carrier Infinity 96 Model: 58MVB or something similar.
The search is still on.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:13 AM   #8
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Might be worth a road trip down south... even with import duties, you should be able to pick something up cash and carry here in the US, then hire a gypsyqualified local HVAC contractor to install it for you, as Sam suggests.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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I stand corrected....thanks travelover, I'm also in the market for a natural gas garage heater and came across this one. Modine HD45AS0111 Alpine Home Air wants $729.99 for the unit, with shipping, taxes and exchange, it's over $1000.00.
Modine HD45AS0111 45,000 BTU, Power Vented, Hanging Furnace I just found a place in Toronto that will sell me the same unit for $523.00 plus tax Canadian. I bought it and will pick it up either this weekend or next. What a difference in price. I guess I was lucky.
I was looking for a garage heater for my detached workshop (approx 650 sq feet, 60 sq Meters Canadian). Rather than pay the premium for a garage heater, i ended up buying a used furnace from the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Lots of folks are getting rid of perfectly good 80% efficient furnaces (probably more folks will do this with the current tax creduts in the US), and I paid just $100 for a 45K BTU furnace. It works fine, and i helped support Habitat for Humanity and did my part to recycle an energy-intensive product. Oh, and saved about $500. If you go this route, be sure to give the heat exchanger a good inspection with a flashlight and look for any pinhole leaks before you buy it (look throught he vent and shine the bright flashlight on the exchanger from the outside. May particular attention to and welded points). Also, no matter what you buy, invest $50 on a good CO detector and don't waste money on a unit without a digital readout.

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I do have the conventional furnace now and was looking at the Carrier Infinity 96 Model: 58MVB or something similar.
The search is still on.
That unit is a condensing furnace, so you'll need to route two PVC vent pipes (one for intake, one for exhaust) out of your house. They can go through the roof or the wal, and you can buy a "concentric pipe kit" that allows you to route them both through a single larger pipe where they poke through the roof/wall. Some folks run both pipes up the chimney, which is fine, but the PVC pipe has to go all the way out of the house (you can't just dump the exhaust into the chimney flue--it's not hot enough to keep the water vapor as a gas, ad you'll wind up with a soggy mess at the bottom of your chimney and likely destroy your flue due to the water/acidity in the vapor). You'll also need to find a place to dump the condensation. This is not the same stuff that comes out of your AC evaporator, it is somewhat acidic and can damage vegetation and some iron pipes or concrete. I ran mine through a homemade neutralizer (PVC pipe filled with marble rocks) and then into a nearby floor drain. It is working fine.
It can be a fun project. Be safe out there.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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Might be worth a road trip down south... even with import duties, you should be able to pick something up cash and carry here in the US, then hire a gypsyqualified local HVAC contractor to install it for you, as Sam suggests.
I'm finding out that the Carrier model I suggested is more expensive then I thought and tends to work more efficient when installed with the A/C unit. I may have to rethink this process. As for the US purchase, if I can't find one in Canada, then a trip may be needed.

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(you can't just dump the exhaust into the chimney flue--it's not hot enough to keep the water vapor as a gas, ad you'll wind up with a soggy mess at the bottom of your chimney and likely destroy your flue due to the water/acidity in the vapor). You'll also need to find a place to dump the condensation. This is not the same stuff that comes out of your AC evaporator, it is somewhat acidic and can damage vegetation and some iron pipes or concrete. I ran mine through a homemade neutralizer (PVC pipe filled with marble rocks) and then into a nearby floor drain. It is working fine.
I didn't realize that, thanks, but then again, I haven't taken the time to read the instruction manual since I haven't purchased any unit yet. Thanks so much for giving me some insight. It would appear that the high efficiency units require more install time.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:47 PM   #11
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get a new 95% goodman. They're cheap, effective, and have held up well for the last 6 years I've had mine (3 rentals). I think you can get a 119k btu (or thereabouts) for $1000 or so....ebay.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:48 AM   #12
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Might want to do a heat load calculation and get a right size furnace of whatever brand. Bigger is not necessarily better.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:48 AM   #13
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Might want to do a heat load calculation and get a right size furnace of whatever brand. Bigger is not necessarily better.
Good point. I did my own Manual J calculation and found the recommended furnace (from a contractor) was nearly 3X oversized.
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:46 AM   #14
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get a new 95% goodman. They're cheap, effective, and have held up well for the last 6 years I've had mine (3 rentals). I think you can get a 119k btu (or thereabouts) for $1000 or so....ebay.
As it stands now, nobody will even sell me a home furnace let alone have a choice of brands.
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Might want to do a heat load calculation and get a right size furnace of whatever brand. Bigger is not necessarily better.
I believe the going rate to do this is around $150.00 to $300.00, there must be a way to get the similar calculation elsewhere.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:25 PM   #15
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As it stands now, nobody will even sell me a home furnace let alone have a choice of brands.I believe the going rate to do this is around $150.00 to $300.00, there must be a way to get the similar calculation elsewhere.
Alpine Home Air (the folks who will ship to Canada for extra $$) sells Goodman, it is what i bought and installed in my home a few years ago. It has been working fine. Will the place you found in Toronto not sell you a home furnace?

Heat load calculations: You can do it yourself. Here's a good web site for this. You should do this even if you decide to have a contractor instal a new furnace for you--most HVAC companies won't bother, they'll just install the same size unit you have now, or use some rule of thmb based on square footage. Don't let that happen--iit typicaly rsults in an oversized unit. This is only slightly more expensive to purchase, but it results in lower comfort in the winter (more hot and cold spots since the fan runs less), shorter life for the furnace (more frequent starts and stops=more buildup of corrosion in the heat exchanger) less efficient heating (the unit is at its optimum working temp for only a short period) and if you also have a cental AC system, the unit won't sufficiently dehumidify the air in your home.

We've had some good furnace discussions here, CFB was a wealth of knowledge and practical advice, and we have some HVAC pros here as well. Here's one good thread of many.

As you probably already realize, this job will not be as straightforward as your replacement of the water heater proved to be. The venting issues will be more complex, and getting the ductwork to match up is a lot trickier than connecting the in and out water fittings to a water heater (unless the height and supply/return air opening dimensions of your new furnace are precisiely the same as your old one--unlikely). It's not a small job. There's no shame in hiring a pro, but if you do the homework in advance (heat load calc, rsearch the brands, including the warranties, decide whether you want a fancy air cleaner, etc), you'll be an educated consumer who can quickly tell if a ripoff is occuring.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:13 PM   #16
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..........
Heat load calculations: You can do it yourself. Here's a good web site for this....................
You can also back calculate your heat loss if you know your gas bill for last winter and heating degree days. If you PM me I can send you an EXCEL sheet that I used to make this calculation.

Explained here: Replacing Your Furnace | CMHC
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