badly need input re: replacing ancient gas furnace with newer one
Greetings! My name is Samantha and I live with my elderly father in a 3-story house built in the 20s or 30s. We currently have no heat other than our kitchen oven. Our ancient gas furnace, which is large and round and has round ducts coming off of its top like an octopus, quit working a year ago, and we had the gas company come look at it, and were strongly advised to replace it. We live off of very little money, and were extremely pleased when our neighbors upgraded to a system that heats the floors with hot water and gave us their "old" furnace, which cannot be more than 15 years old.
The project seems quite daunting.
The new furnace is much smaller. It is also rectangular instead of round. We will need to somehow connect it to the old, round ducts, or to the ports where those ducts connect in the ceiling of our basement.
I was prepared to tear out the old furnace myself, but I am told I should be very concerned about asbestos exposure. Even if my father and I had it out, and the new furnace positioned and the gas and thermostat connected (needless to say, the gas connection must be performed by a professional and inspected in advance of activation), it seems we cannot get anybody to come do the ductwork without buying a new furnace from them.
I can be quite handy, and my brother can help out to some extent if necessary, so it is entirely possible that I could do the duct work without too much trouble, so long as I have some guidance.
I'm just not sure where to start at this point.
Any input would be highly appreciated!