Thursday, March 09, 2006

(Non political) I share my hunt for a new furance!

The saga of the new furnace is over; here are the results.

Lennox is busy protecting proprietary rights so very little useful technical information is available from them. Carrier and Trane are the remaining choices and the dealers are not pushing Carrier as the best bet for nebulous reasons. Because of this, I didn’t look into them.

Trane seems to have an open door policy on technical data that would enable you to make a knowledgeable choice. That is a plus.

The variable speed motor option in conjunction with the dual (hi-low) gas burn is a must in my thought and, I reason only if you have a constant run application on your furnace as in air condition or heat sink units. Or, if you have elected a high efficiency unit in which case the motor has to run all the time! In an all the time application, the variable speed DC motor is the best. It can move as little air as a kitchen vent fan or more than the capacitor start motors. This element is essential to achieve high efficiency (94%+)

For mid efficiency which I picked, (80%) the furnace is not going to be running in the summer. We will probably run the circulating fan occasionally to change the air in the house.

My old 1/3 HP furnace motor drew 7.8 amps when it ran. That figures liked this;
7.8 amp X 110 volts = 858 watts per hour of use X 24 hours is 20582 watts per day X 365 days is 7,516,080 watts divide by 1000 is 7516 kw/h per year. My electricity is .11 cents per kw/h including distribution.. Therefore my older 1/3 HP motor would cost me $826.76 per year on top of the gas bill. (Typically your distribution costs .02.2 cents per KWh)

My old furnace served the house from too cool, to nice to too warm. Much more at either end than then middle! Not what one could call a comfortable heating system. It was 150,000 BTU and a 1260 sq foot home. Overkill so the heat when up the chimney and the overkill caused the extremes.

Trane. when viewed was more noisy than was the Lennox but the Trane open door on motors will I think proved to be a cost saver over the years. The proprietary comes in on the design and function. A Trane motor will not work in a Lennox furnace and the Lennox motors are more expensive. Gotta love proprietary rights! That’s why Lennox hangs onto its informantion.

My new Lennox furnace is called Moderate efficiency furnace at 80% efficiency. The direct drive AC motor in it draws 4.5 amps when running all the time and 5.75 amps when running on high which, it seldom does. It has a 90,000 BTU output max; more suited to my square footage. Heat stays in the house rather than up the chimney which, one can now hold their hand on without burning.

Using the same scale this new unit will cost me 477.00 per year to run full time. That’s close to a 50% savings in electricity not counting the other 60,000 BTU that was going up the chimney!

On the plus side, my humidity is now at a nice 40% in the house rather than the old 20%

The full time evening run the temperature in the house changed ¼ of 1 degree over the course of the evening! There is no difference in temperature upstairs or down, front bedroom or back, living room or work shop. It’s great! The best move is getting good advise pertinent to your own home!

The installers did superb job. Because of this I’m giving up the name of the company who worked with me on this project and put up with my seemingly endless questions. Much information was gained from the electric motor repair companies.

Arpi’s Industries Ltd. Ask for Mervin Opper
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