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It is that time.


Wilbur
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HVAC will be replaced this year.  I may go to on-demand hot water as well.  I am just exploring brands now.  Carrier gets a lot of good reviews and people like Trane but service guys do not.  Anyone upgraded recently? 

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1 hour ago, Philander Seabury said:

Yes. Our service guy said Trane is the most reliable. Johnson Controls/Coleman was awful. Only lasted 7 years. That was horrendous. 

Same.  His complaint was that you had to remove excess components to get to the high failure items.  "It wasn't designed for maintenance guys".  :) 

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We had a Carrier Infinity system installed about 5 years ago and it has been very reliable and reduced both eletrictical and natural gas consumption. The thermostat did die under warranty.

However there is one issue: the smart phone app sucks. At least on Android, it's about impossible to log in as the password box covers up the button to proceed. There is a way if you go deep into the Android phone settings but that messes with the rest of the phone. If you google "Carrier MyInfinity app not working" you will see lots of complaints. If you don't plan on using the app, then I would recommend Carrier Infinity.

We still have an old-fashion gas water heater.

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I have a Lennox variable capacity gas furnace with a efficiency rating up to 99%. A Noritz tankless water heater that's supposed to 96% effect and I have a Lennox LF24 in the garage. 

I keep the heat on in the garage all winter long and heating a 1,300 square foot house our gas bill on the budget plan is around $60 a month. 

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42 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

Same.  His complaint was that you had to remove excess components to get to the high failure items.  "It wasn't designed for maintenance guys".  :) 

That's the same problem with most new high efficiency furnaces and water heaters. 

A couple of months ago the furnace repair guy had to take half my furnace apart to get to a sensor that went bad. The sensor cost $25 but the labor was $125.

I could fix my old furnace with a screw driver and a ohm meter but not the new one. 

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9 hours ago, Wilbur said:

HVAC will be replaced this year.  I may go to on-demand hot water as well.  I am just exploring brands now.  Carrier gets a lot of good reviews and people like Trane but service guys do not.  Anyone upgraded recently? 

I got all new appliances this year and am thrilled at how much better they are than the old stuff I had.  Maybe when I have to have them serviced by someone, I won't be as thrilled with the bill, but hopefully not much will happen while I still live in the house for maybe a decade and a half until I start hitting my later 80's.

For furnace heat, hot water, stove, and clothes dryer I use natural gas.

The appliances I got were NOT the real expensive, high efficiency stuff, but are so much more efficient than my older stuff - including the electric central air conditioning unit I didn't have before - that I have cut my use of natural gas to 60% of what it was and my electric bills about the same even though I only window-air-conditioned two rooms before.  Of course, my house is much better insulated now, but I'm heating and cooling my 2nd floor and enclosed 10' x 12' back porch, which I didn't do before.

My not-the-highest-efficiency furnace is still so efficient (92%) I can't use the chimney for exhaust fumes or else the water vapor in it will condense and run back down into the furnace - there's a horizontal pvc line that comes out through the cinderblock foundation a little over a foot off the ground - it drips a little water.  It barely even melts snow - the output below from the furnace barely put a dent in 6 inches of snow over a 12 hr. period.

20220103_161904_900p.thumb.jpg.bba9091387a882d36d13cfcb02dbe3b7.jpg

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If you're thinking tankless, check the requirements for the branch circuit or the gas quantity/pipe size needed.  Tankless heaters work because they use a comparatively large amount of energy for a short period of time, rather than heating a large amount of water more slowly like the traditional system.

This means a larger branch circuit for an electric heater.  If you have a small house panel, then the panel itself may not have the capacity to support the larger current draw of the tankless heater.  We've had customers who wanted to be 'green' and convert to electric tankless, and the increased current needs would have overwhelmed their electrical system and the connection to the utility.

Likewise with gas, whether natural gas or propane.  The high flow required means the piping from the street to your house has to be able to delivery large quantities of gas without excessive pressure drop.  Same with propane with the pipe from the tank to your house.  Don't forget in winter, for an above ground propane tank, it won't deliver as much vapor as in the summer and your tankless heater could starve.  Options would be to add more parallel tanks or bury the tank.

Tankless is good as they save space and don't expend energy maintaining water temperature of a reservoir.  They are 'bad' because - whether run by gas or electricity - they increase the size of the distribution system.  That in of itself adds costs and creates an indirect  impact on the environment.

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I did Trane in our old house about 15 years ago. We had only had 1 motor switch fail in that time despite the fact we had water in the basement 2 or 3 different times. 
Our 12 year water heater was on year 12 when we sold the house!

New house has old school gas water heater. Our climate should be ideal for tankless. I need to figure how the pipes are routed because it takes a ridiculous amount of time for hot water to reach any faucet! Are the under sink heaters still a thing? I haven’t looked yet, but I want to reduce water waste. 
Our HVAC appears to be original to the house (2005). I was really hoping it was a dual zone system since it’s 2 stories, but no. Something I will be requesting when the time comes. Which may not be long from what I’m told by neighbors. 

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11 hours ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

If you're thinking tankless, check the requirements for the branch circuit or the gas quantity/pipe size needed.  Tankless heaters work because they use a comparatively large amount of energy for a short period of time, rather than heating a large amount of water more slowly like the traditional system.

This means a larger branch circuit for an electric heater.  If you have a small house panel, then the panel itself may not have the capacity to support the larger current draw of the tankless heater.  We've had customers who wanted to be 'green' and convert to electric tankless, and the increased current needs would have overwhelmed their electrical system and the connection to the utility.

Likewise with gas, whether natural gas or propane.  The high flow required means the piping from the street to your house has to be able to delivery large quantities of gas without excessive pressure drop.  Same with propane with the pipe from the tank to your house.  Don't forget in winter, for an above ground propane tank, it won't deliver as much vapor as in the summer and your tankless heater could starve.  Options would be to add more parallel tanks or bury the tank.

Tankless is good as they save space and don't expend energy maintaining water temperature of a reservoir.  They are 'bad' because - whether run by gas or electricity - they increase the size of the distribution system.  That in of itself adds costs and creates an indirect  impact on the environment.

Excellent info. Thanks for this.

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