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Access Heating & Air
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are your thoughts on cost of ownership between base and high efficiency and how it affects any month to month savings?

We have a company here who states that high efficiency will pay for itself in a matter of years, which the homeowner is always shocked to hear... We mention if that was the case then we should be installing new furnaces every few years! Which might their plan...

We try to have the conversation of cost of ownership- higher efficiency needs more frequent maintenance where as low efficiency is not as critical...

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

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In my opinion, the gas savings isn't that critical, the v.s. ecm motor is where the savings come in play. Blower motor is going almost every day of the year. But, v.s. does have it's setback as well.

I Just think if one wants to go the energy savings route, around here, a v.s. 80% coupled with a higher seer h.p. would be my first choice. But, there are several variables that determine what is best for the customer.

In general, an 80%, 13 S.E.E.R. is fine for the majority of our customers.
 

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What are your thoughts on cost of ownership between base and high efficiency and how it affects any month to month savings?

We have a company here who states that high efficiency will pay for itself in a matter of years, which the homeowner is always shocked to hear... We mention if that was the case then we should be installing new furnaces every few years! Which might their plan...

We try to have the conversation of cost of ownership- higher efficiency needs more frequent maintenance where as low efficiency is not as critical...

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Gas furnaces?
 

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Access Heating & Air
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Inner10 said:
What extra maintenance do they need? I didn't even know people still bought anything but high efficiency.
Homeowners are incredibly grateful to know about the additional maintenance required for higher efficiency equipment.

<><><><><><><><><>
Like a Prius- save all your money buying less gas only to end buying a $4000-$6000 battery every 5-6 years. Where's the savings now??
 

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Yeah it pours down the drain...where's the maintenance?
Around here you're supposed to refill your de-acidifying filter every year. Run a small sump pump if the heater's in a location without gravity flow to the drain. Installing the drain plumbing and pump isn't free, either.

Edit: That reminds me to check our filter.
 

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Access Heating & Air
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Inner10 said:
Yeah it pours down the drain...where's the maintenance?
1. Clean secondary heat exchanger
2. Clear all drain lines that easily build up slime and gunk
3. Verify all seals are still working and not eaten away by the corrosive acidity off the natural gas.

Any others?
 

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Around here you're supposed to refill your de-acidifying filter every year. Run a small sump pump if the heater's in a location without gravity flow to the drain. Installing the drain plumbing and pump isn't free, either.

Edit: That reminds me to check our filter.
What's a condensate pump a hundred bucks? A roll of vinyl tubing $20?

How often do you clean the drain lines?

I've had mine 5 years and I only change the filter. :whistling
 

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Access Heating & Air
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Carry a union (my preference) or coupling for exhaust vent in case you need to pull the blower. Check out how the drain line is run. Lots of poorly run condensate drains.
Yeah! We feel like their is a lot of required maintenance just to fix the other companies shoddy work...
 

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Access Heating & Air
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What's a condensate pump a hundred bucks? A roll of vinyl tubing $20?

How often do you clean the drain lines?

I've had mine 5 years and I only change the filter. :whistling
We have a lot of systems around here that really need to be cleaned more often than every couple of years. And most homeowners are reluctant to do this type of work on their own...
 

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What's a condensate pump a hundred bucks? A roll of vinyl tubing $20?

How often do you clean the drain lines?

I've had mine 5 years and I only change the filter. :whistling
You're right, it's not the end of the world. It could be $2000 extra to install the pump and drain or sump pump, depending, plus a hundred or so per year to have a plumber come out and mess with the filter. Around here, even with the filter, you may be required to drain into the washing machine drain (some distance away), and depending, open up some sheet rock, etc.

My experience is that people make the decision based on the additional remodeling cost and mess rather than on the maintenance costs.
 

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I replaced an old dog of a gas furnace (25 years old) with a suspicious looking heat exchanger. It was a bout 65% efficiency.

I wanted to go high efficiency, but since I lived in a townhouse with finished areas the installation, there was no sense in going to the 90+% units and complications. and pay a lot more. I went with an 80% with a ecm motor. Even in MN, I have not seen over $90/mo for gas (cold water heating and home heating) and the temperature is very uniform(even at -30 wind chill), despite open stairs and facing NNW with a couple of oversize sliding doors.
 
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Access Heating & Air
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
concretemasonry said:
I replaced an old dog of a gas furnace (25 years old) with a suspicious looking heat exchanger. It was a bout 65% efficiency. I wanted to go high efficiency, but since I lived in a townhouse with finished areas the installation, there was no sense in going to the 90+% units and complications. and pay a lot more. I went with an 80% with a ecm motor. Even in MN, I have not seen over $90/mo for gas (cold water heating and home heating) and the temperature is very uniform(even at -30 wind chill), despite open stairs and facing NNW with a couple of oversize sliding doors.
Yeah, this is one of many issues with the DOE regulating and requiring high efficiency to be installed on new homes and retrofits.

The increase install cost and the maintenance issues- it seems a hard case to build...
 

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Dr Heat
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What's a condensate pump a hundred bucks? A roll of vinyl tubing $20?

How often do you clean the drain lines?

I've had mine 5 years and I only change the filter. :whistling
There is none so blind as he who will not see.

The maintenance on a condensing furnace or boiler is much more critical and costly. The real costs are in repairs. With this recent cold spell we have seen how cold has a negative effect, in fact it reveals all the bad work done by Contractors who don't know the difference.

We have a lot of propane in our area so 90+ is the way to go but for my natural gas clients 80% ECM is the ticket.
 
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There is none so blind as he who will not see.

The maintenance on a condensing furnace or boiler is much more critical and costly.

Not really. Some people around here don't do anything but change their air filters on the 90%+ furnaces. Only time they have anything one to them is if it breaks down.

The real costs are in repairs. With this recent cold spell we have seen how cold has a negative effect, in fact it reveals all the bad work done by Contractors who don't know the difference.

We have a lot of propane in our area so 90+ is the way to go but for my natural gas clients 80% ECM is the ticket.
An ECM blower motor on an 80% cost as much as a ECM on a 90%.

Main problem on 90% furnaces, is many contractors put in the same BTU input 90% as the old 80% was. And the duct work isn't big enough for the increased air flow the 90% needs. So they cycle on the high limit and wear it out. Short cycling does cause problems with increased wear and tear. The same as it does on an 80%.
 
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