Well, I decided to bite the bullet and get our really old, inefficient gas furnace yanked out in favor of a new-tech furnace. We are redoing our basement and it's a great time to remove the old clunker (literally) and move into the 21st century. I'm excited! I decided to make this a project for my blog (are you REALLY surprised?) and will report on the changes in my bills and air quality.
I settled on letting a highly reputable company handle the install - UGI, our regional gas provider, who does sales and service of gas heating and AC systems. The estimator, a Margaret Wenger, came out yesterday to price my replacement. The price came in at $3,320 for a new furnace, AC coil and related work (which is fairly heavy as old as my system is). I was happy knowing what I know about system prices, but to get a second opinion I called my friend Steve Iseman, who is an analyst for Metropolitan Edison over in York County. He agreed that the price was good, so away we went!
The unit I am getting is an EnergiAir GMH95, which is made by Goodman Manufacturing for UGI, who renames it. It's a 95% AFUE efficient unit (wow!) with 2 stage operation and multispeed functionality. Pretty cool (pardon the pun). The 2 stage feature is neat - the blower slows down as the load on the unit decreases, to save energy.
One interesting thing came up that I hadn't planned for - UGI offers the "Keystone Help" financing program for it's energy-efficient upgrades. The 95% efficiency units qualify. The program is an up-to-10 year financing term for only 8.99%. It can go to 6.99% in certain cases of reduced income. As an example, a $2,500 loan would be $32 per month for 10 years. There is no prepayment penalty. All this is underwritten by the PA Treasury Department.
I was interested. I'm going to do the financing so I can write about how it works for the benefit of my readers who are considering an energy-efficient upgrade and can't pay in full. This could be great for the bigger-ticket items like PV solar or Geothermal.
The install date is the 18th, so I'll give an update then!