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Tim H.
Tim H., HVAC Professional
Category: HVAC
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Experience:  Experienced in all aspects of HVAC, both residential and commercial.
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Our Whisper Heat G20Q5/6E-150-1 (installed 1991) is starting

This answer was rated:

Our Whisper Heat G20Q5/6E-150-1 (installed 1991) is starting to show it's age - noisy fan, reduced blower output. Service tech's have questioned the need for a 150,000 BTU furnace in our 1900m sq ft 2 story house.

- What is the expected service life of this unit?
- What would you recommend as a replacement?

Tim H. :

Please do not rate me until we have finished our dialog and you can rate me as "excellent" service. Thanks for the opportunity to help.

Tim H. :

Good morning.

Customer:

Hi

Tim H. :

Typically a furnace life expectancy is between 15-20 years.

Tim H. :

You are over that now at almost 23 years

Customer:

Thought so. Can you give me an idea what we should look for as a replacement?

Tim H. :

Weel, if you want to go with a comparable replacement, the Lennox ML180 would fit the bill. See here.

Customer:

How do we decide if 150K Btu is properly sized for our house?

Tim H. :

It sounds really high. Years ago furnaces were oversized and since then the thinking has changed. Now we are replacing many of the oversized units with a lower BTU rating with no issues. The best way is to have your contractor do what's called a heat loss calculation. This is done on software and takes into account windows, doors, insulation, climate, etc. Takes the guess work out of it.

Customer:

Should we consider upgrading to a hi-efficiency unit? We will likely own this place for at least another 10 years before we down-size.

Tim H. :

If you are only going to be in here 10 years, you may not get the full benefit of a higher eff unit. But, on the other hand, there are utility company rebates available which make upgrading more enticing.

Customer:

I understand we may be required by our utility to upgrade in our area (Manitoba, Canada). Can you give me an idea what to expect as an istalled cost?

Tim H. :

For mid efficiency or high efficiency?

Customer:

I would say hi-eff.

Tim H. :

These units sell for about $1800 wholesale and with markup, labor, and so forth, I would plan on around $4200-4800 installed. Of course this cost varies shop by shop and by location.

Tim H. :

This is the Lennox EL296V unit

Customer:

How about mid-eff?

Tim H. :

Much less, perhaps $3200-3600

Customer:

Ok, thanks for the advice - much appreciated.

Tim H. :

No problem. Thanks for using Just Answer and please don't forget to rate my service. If you have additional questions, feel free to post back.

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