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Granby vs Thermo Pride

EAK Member Posts: 4
We live in New England in an area without natural gas available and we're getting quotes from two companies for a replacement oil furnace - a Williamson over 20 years old. It's actually still working but the AC has failed and the companies suggest that we do both at once. The first co. gave us the quote for a thermo pride Spirit, didn't explain anything about, just gave us a number. The second company is suggesting a Conforto by Granby with an ECM blower, we don't have the numbers yet. Any thoughts on these two brands/models?


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    Meh. Probably Thermo Pride.
    As always a full analysis of heat loss should be performed to properly size the equipment.
    Spending money on building envelope upgrades is money well spent.
    And with a furnace, consider the existing duct work. Is it properly sized for the heating/cooling design? Properly installed for best comfort/air flow? No sense in new equipment attached to poor duct design.
  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    I would also say look into or see what the price difference is on doing a duel fuel system. Heat pump with oil back up since you are doing your AC unit aswell. It will can and will save you money on oil especially when prices go back up.
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    Did either do a load calculation or just look at the old one and size it that way? Every home should be re measured and re calculated, this involves measuring all walls, doors, windows, estimating insulation in the walls and attic and coming up with a new btu requirement which should be smaller than you currently have.

    Smaller systems cost less to buy and operate.
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    Also after looking at the Conforto I'd say stay away. I have had experience with other brands that went with a SS combustion chamber with oil flame retention and it doesn't work well, it takes too much heat away from the flame and the result is like burning green wood, Carrier and others had a real nice unit years ago with a great refractory chamber that burned real clean, they went to a SS chamber to save money and increase profit, they never kept a good clean flame throughout the year.

    Thermo Pride has always made a superior furnace.
  • 776v63
    776v63 Member Posts: 61
    Thermo Prides are very common in my area. From a service standpoint, they are great. I would go TP if it were my house.
  • EAK
    EAK Member Posts: 4
    Neither did a load calculation that I can tell, and I would not say we have ideal ductwork but neither do we want to tear up our home (1961 Cape, but fixed up nicely) The Granby guy says that it's a heavier furnace, stainless steel, best quality he knows of, they've been putting them in for a few years and that the Spirit has only been out a month and does not have the same quality of thermo prides in the past. He was generally more thorough, looked over the whole house and gave an option (for additional money) to redirect three ducts downstairs to create a 2-zone system that might help us keep the bedrooms cooler if we still feel we need that. Currently the AC has to be high to help the upstairs. He suggested that first adding insulation to our non-insulated ducts in a crawlspace that lead to two bedrooms may be enough of a difference on the comfort issue, as well as using an ECM burner. The Spirit guy did not look inside the house at all, only at the units we already have, which did not impress me I must say. They apparently only did one Granby and it had to be vented out the side of the house and something melted and they prefer Spirits and have put lots in, which doesn't make sense if it's only a month old. He told me that the Granby can't go through the chimney, which is clearly not true from the documentation and the other guy's work description. But their quote is $3,000 less.
    I asked both about heat pumps, neither was encouraging to the benefit being worth the additional cost in our case.
  • EAK
    EAK Member Posts: 4
    The re-direction would only be in the basement and minimal disruption.
  • GreenGene
    GreenGene Member Posts: 290
    Time for a 3rd opinion.

    These days a hybrid set up with a heat pump heating the house when the temps are mild is a good way to go, today's heat pumps will keep heating to or below zero but there is a point where fossil fuel is cheaper to run, this depends on your area and electric costs and current fuel costs, some refer to the fossil fuel as the back up or emergency heat. If you're in Ct with the highest electric rates thanks to ENRON you may want to limit the heat pump for higher temps like 45 and up, if not you can run lower.

    Here's two links with food for thought, it's early June, you have time to research and make your best choice.


  • EAK
    EAK Member Posts: 4
    @GreenGene I've finally gotten a third company out that was a little different, not being an oil company, and the owner does think we could benefit from adding ductless air heat pumps and using the oil furnace as our back-up heat, in part because our duct-work has some issues. On the second floor, where the cooling and heating performance isn't great, there are no returns at all, and a leaky uninsulated section in a crawlspace area. I'm pretty much sold that this would improve our comfort level but I'm not as clear about the financial benefit. I will try to do the calculations when I get the actual estimate and am able to pull together energy costs and details. He said he thought we'd be saving 25%-30% of our energy costs.

    I read the first article you mention and clicked through to another one http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/35270/Heat-Pumps-and-Hydronics-A-Great-Team-for-High-Performance-Homes (not that I think we have a High Performance Home) and a quote was: " In cold climates without access to natural gas AND high electric rates, you're up the creek without a paddle."