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What do you guys recommend for an efficientcy rating for a replacement furnace for a rental property? I was told by the contractor that the 80% ones would be about $1000 less than the 90%+ ones. The tenant pays utilities so thats not a huge concern of mine. He also told me the 80% are much nosier, which would be a concern, if thats the case. Are both systems equally reliabe and trouble-free? I dont have any drains nearby, so I dont know if thats a problem with the condensation pump on the more efficent models. Thanks for any advice.
 

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I agree with guy above that you should go with the 95% and market the place accordingly.

If you want to save money, the only way I've found to do it is by providing the labor myself, whether we're talking about painting or landscaping and everything in between.
 

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Drainage on condensing furnace can be an issue (can pump condensate to the nearest washer box).

From a landlord's point of view, you want something that is easy peasy should something go amiss. Not that Condensing furnaces are difficult, but, they aren't built with taking service-ing into consideration. Should there be a no-heat scenario, you want the tech in and out with minimal drama. If existing flue is setup for 80%, keep it that way.
 

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How long will it take for a 10 or 15% gas bill savings to cover the extra $1000?
That will depend on the area, and if its installed right or not.

First, it should be sized right. Next, it should be piped that it gets its combustion air from outside.

Getting the combustion air from outside means it doesn't dry the house out as much as an 80%er does, which often means the thermostat can be set lower.

What that means for a landlord, is that with lower heating bills, better chance of the rent not being late, and the tenant being able to pay both the heating bill and rent.

On paper a 95% may only be 15% more efficient. but with the use of outdoor air for combustion, it can save 20%. If someone has a $1,000.00 a year heating bill and then gets a 95%. Even at only 15%, thats a $150.00 a year savings. So less then a 7 year payback on a $1,000.00 increase cost to upgrade.
 
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