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Old 07-24-2012, 09:57 AM  
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Default Home reno from basement up - Furnace ???

I have a 2600 sq ft house that I need to renovate. The house has issues, and I'm starting in the basement. The house has had two additions. The newer addition has a gas furnace, the original house has electric baseboard heat. In redoing the basement I want to make the heating/air efficient. My electric bills are out of this world. I've had two heating/air guys in and they both tell me something different. I'm a single mom taking care of an 89 year old mother, with no construction experience. I've been taken advantage of by contractors in the past. I would like some help on the furnace dilemma. The existing gas furnace is located in the garage, next to the basement...not in the center of the house (3rd) and towards the back. (main house sits over the garage and basement...on a hill) One guy said I need a second furnace and is locating it towards the back/end of the basement (back, left side of house). This will heat/cool one end of the house. A second guy also said I need to have a 2nd furnace but he is locating it in the middle of the basement, which will supply the main trunk lines through the center of the original house. The existing furnace will just heat and cool 1/4 of the house...the newer addition. So....I'll need two furnaces, 2 air conditioners. Where should a furnace be located? How do I really know if I need two furnaces? If the furnace is located towards the back 1/4 of the house will the air make it to the front of the house? The width of the house is about 36 ft. Oh, and My mother keeps her bedroom at about 85 in the winter. I appreciate any thoughts!!!!

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Old 07-24-2012, 01:14 PM  
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First, I am very glad to see you here. You need outside input to prevent more ripoffs. There are a lot of good people here with a lot of experience. Let the opinions develop for a while -- you'll eventually get a great outcome.

Second, some details on the house would help. How large is the footprint of the house, the basement? A 2nd story? The numbers you give suggests a 36x72 house . . . With only 2600 sq ft, a single furnace/AC unit should work unless there are structural issues with air distribution and returns. I had a house that size in VA and one unit worked just fine despite humidity and cold. While I am not a HVAC guy, I am beginning to wonder . . .

Third, how did you find those two HVAC contractors? When the 2nd guy came, did you volunteer the information about adding a 2nd HVAC unit or did he just come up with that idea by himself? The less you say, the better. The calculation should be based on the load requirements of the house . . . not the conrtactor's desire for a new boat.

Fourth, maybe Mom needs a space heater so you don't design a whole house system around her need for heat?

Fifth, does solar electric work in your area? In our area, if your electricity bill exceeds $80 a month, they can provide a system that sends power BACK ONTO THE GRID, so your bill averages $5.00 a month . . . yess, five dollars a month.

Be patient . . . Help is on the way.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:14 PM  
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Up here we are not allowed to have the furnace in the garage for two reasons, off gasses from cars and the fact that you can't insulate around the ducts good enough.
So it would have to have walls built around it with insulation a drywall and exterior door fron the garage.
Depending on how old the furnace is, it may be more worth while to go with one bigger one in the house. The old one may have a resale value.
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