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finding the best forced air system

Bob_31 Member Posts: 7
We are building a 2500sqft colonial, Thought about doing ULTRA FIN myself and also had prices to have radiant 1st floor and baseboard on the 2nd floor do to carpet. Ultra fin is not totally out but we need A/C with it so do to the cost we are thinking about going to forced air w/AC. What type of system is the best to put in for forced air if we are to keep our budget in check. #2 Is there a better choice,Armstrong Ultra V G1D91u100 91%efficient/or a Ruud 90,000 BTU w/AC sorry no model#. Any help appreciated. Thanks in Advance


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,719
    I wouldn't go with forced air

    I'd consider radiant on both floors.... with the second choice being cast-iron baseboard, the third choice fin-tube baseboard, and a mini-duct hi-velocity system for a/c.

    For winter comfort, efficiency and long life, you can't beat hydronics. And the pipes and mini-ducts will save much space over a standard duct system.

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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • harvey
    harvey Member Posts: 153
    equipment is 1/2 the job

    The duct system is what makes or breaks a comfortable forced air system. As with hydronics if you are shopping price you WILL lose. The Rheem/Ruud modulating furnace will give you the best comfort and savings next to hydronics
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Harvey's right

    The duct system is what makes or breaks a forced air job. That being said..... I have NEVER been involved in a new construction project where the duct system was not compromised in order to accomodate construction details. There is always something that comes up which causes the integrity of a standard steel duct system to be put in the back seat, so to speak.

    It is much easier to maintain proper air flow with a mini-tube hi velocity A/C system due to minimal space requirements. Go that way along with a radiator system of some kind. You'll never regret it. Put your money where it counts....your comfort and long term economy. Studies have shown that something less than 50% of new home owners are satisfied with the comfort level in their house. Don't be one of them. Do it right! You'll likely not get another chance.

  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    With the price of sheet metal going up as fast as it is...

    it won't be too much longer before hydronics is competetive with forced air. Our sheetmetal goods have taken about a 40% jump in the last year.

    If someone would have asked me if I ever thought that forced air systems would be discussed on this web site 5 years ago, I'd have said NO WAY JOSE!

    Age does funny things to a mans perspective:-)


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  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Forced air has it's place

    You need to move air to clean it, humidify it, dehumidify it and so on. Looked at from a purely heating perspective however, nothing can touch a well designed properly installed hydronic system for comfort, economy of operation and long term reliability. Heat pumps may be hyped by some as the ultimate in efficiency but the maintenance and repair costs quickly eat up any savings that may be possible compared to hydronic heating. Moving heat with water, especially low temperature water, is currently king on all counts.

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,092
    90% hot air

    For direct vent 90 % hot air units chk out byrant unit there units give you left ,right out let venting instead of top and one side i've installed many bryant residental systems and found there unit to be very good have no promblems with any of there 90 units .I also like there condensing units they come with real refregerant service valves unlike many others there furnaces are made with a half way good cabinet so if your cutting a side return in the unit doesn't buckle .I've found the rheem and ruud furnaces a little on the fleamsey side and have seen there secondary exchanger rot out in less then 10 years.the main thing is make sure you find your self a good tin knocker who going to take the time to size your duct work correctly and give you enough returns to enable your a/c to work right .I found that g.c. go with hot air with a/c to make it more attractive to home owners but to tell the truth if all the duct work is done correctly external wrapped with seperate supplies and returns like they used to do 50 years ago it,s not cheaper then a good standard hot water system with baseboard convectors.also remenber to zone a hot air and balance it correctly is some added money and usally is not the most effecent system but zoning hydronics systems is alot easier and in most cases doesn't effect the overall effecieny of the system good luck and peace
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • John Mills_3
    John Mills_3 Member Posts: 221
    Right on Harvey

    The Rheem/Ruud Modulator is the closest to hydronic comfort you can get from forced air. It has 13 stages of heat and its the only furnace that uses the variable speed blower in heating mode to increase comfort. The blower varies to maintain a hot 65 degree temp rise in all firing rates. If it is cold out, chances are the furnace will be running constantly at the lowest rate, inaudible but comfy, just like hydronic heat. With this you can have filtration & humidification plus your cooling.
  • Robert O'Connor_3
    Robert O'Connor_3 Member Posts: 272
    Hot air zoning on a 2 story colonial

    is difficult to balance. You may want to look at a hydro-air system. Put 2 VS air handlers in: basement and attic with a boiler to make hot water for the coils and your domestic HW. You could throw in some radiant just for tiled floors in bath and kitchen. You'll be able to vary the coil temps and air flow for the most comfort.
  • Glenn Harrison_2
    Glenn Harrison_2 Member Posts: 845
    Armstrong details

    If your looking at a 90% efficeincy furnace, forget the G1D91, lok at the G2D93, which has a better warranty, and is a two stage burner, so it only produces the amount of heated needed to keep the house at temperature, or better yet, look at the G2D95V which is 2 stage operation, and has a variable speed blower motor which runs at just the right speed to achive needed air flow, runs quieter, and uses less electricity than a standard blower.

    Check out the differences at the Armstrong website http://www.aac-inc.com/
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