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Archive for the ‘thermostat’ Category

Replacing furnace and adding A/C

Alright, so I’m a bum and we didn’t go to the Union Park Neighborhood Association meeting Tuesday.  Just too much going on this week and Brandon and I needed a dinner and evening at home together. 

Part of what’s got us so busy this week is that we’re gathering quotes to replace our furnace and add A/C. We were planning to wait until the weather warmed up to replace our furnace.  No, I lie.  We were putting off replacing our furnace indefinitely.  But an ad we received in the mail for a local company reminded us that it’s the off season for purchasing a new furnace, so we’d probably get a better deal doing it sooner than later. 

We called the company in the ad, Leechman Heating and Cooling, a Service Master company, to come over and give us a “comfort assessment.”  He had a worksheet to fill out that asked about what’s comfortable about our house, what’s uncomfortable, and what we’re looking for as solutions.  He measured all the rooms, walked through the house recommending new supplies and changing around returns in most of the rooms, checked out our existing unit for us, and took all this information back with him to his company.  We scheduled a time for him to come back this week and discuss what he put together for us, so he came back last night. 

He came back with two options.  One with a heat pump, a 92% Amana Distinction furnace, a builder’s model humidifier, and added duct-work in our house is $7891.  The other with a 92% Amana Distinction furnace, a 14 SEER A/C and a builder’s model humidifier (plus additional duct-work) is $6824.00. 

 Both options include a really good warranty, and their own company’s service warranty is included with the installation.  Also, they provide a digital, programmable thermostat.

We’re getting two other quotes from two other smaller, more independent companies later this week/early next week. 

 One of the big questions I have for the other two people coming to look at our house is whether the additional duct-work and supplies/returns are really necessary or all that beneficial.  Another is about heat pumps vs. air conditioners. 

I’d welcome any advice, links, or wisdom from my readers on this topic (as always!)  Leave me a comment or email me at kelli@ournewoldhouse.com.

[tags]Amana, furnace, air conditioner, air conditioning, thermostat, budget, future plans, duct, heating, HVAC[/tags]

Some like it hot

That October chill is in the air and that means it’s time to light the furnace. When I went through the house with the home inspector, he made sure to light the furnace and check for carbon monoxide. However, when we took the thermostat off to remove the paneling around it, we disconnected the wires and haphazardly reconnected them wrong. It was August and it was hot and we didn’t think about bothering to test it. The old Honeywell thermostat looks like it’s from the 60s or 70s anyway, so today Brandon bought a new one. It’s also a Honeywell brand.

When we read the instructions and took the old thermostat off the wall, however, we ran into a problem. The instructions are written for thermostats with wires that are already labeled with letters, or are at least connected to the plate that’s labeled. Our thermostat plate and wires were not labeled. In fact, when I stripped back some of the insulation cloth to give us some more slack to work with, I discovered a third wire that had been purposely left unattached. Anyway, rather than try to hook these things up and test them the Tim the Tool Man way (flip the switch and see if it sparks) I looked around at some other people’s blogs to see what they’d encountered.

I found Kevin Freitas’ blog in which he explained that he’d had the exact same problem with the exact same old thermostat as ours! Unfortunately, our wires didn’t really look like his wires, but with the information he provided, we made an educated guess and nobody got zapped!

Here’s our old thermostat.
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Here are the wires we weren’t sure how to match up. We have a red, a white, and a black.
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Here’s the plate they were originally connected to. Only the red and black wires were connected. The white wire was buried inside the outer insulation.
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Brandon hooked up the red one to the screw labeled “R” and the black one to “W.”
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Zoot looked on, secretly hoping Brandon would get zapped.
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We kept Kevin’s blog close at hand to refer to (it’s up on the screen of Brandon’s laptop.)
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Getting the screws nice and tight:
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When it was all hooked up, we set the temperature, flipped the circuit back on, and turned the thermostat on to “heat” and guess what? It did!!! The lovely blue glow you see in this picture is the furnace flame!
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Now we can be toasty warm.

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