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I've recently been told that my furnace, which is about 20 years old, is on it's last stretch and that I should consider replacing it now rather than waiting for it to fail - potentially at a very inconvenient time.

That said, it seems rather hard to find useful comparative information online about furnaces (with prices) since most of it is just advertising and marketing. So, what should I look for when choosing the furnace? And where can I get educated on the different brands available (perhaps with tier information)?

My place is a 2 bedroom coach-house (i.e. single floor unit in a 4-unit condominium building) and about 1200 sqft.

The HVAC system is forced-air, natural gas and is blowing-down.

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    I got mine from alpinehomeair.com. It was a good experience.
    – Edwin
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 7:36
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    This type of open ended question is not answerable under TOS. Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 8:29
  • If you specified fuel type, if you needed domestic hot water, type of system, ie forced hot water, hot air, etc. We might have a question on specifics. We don't like to recommend brands, but pros/cons of a type of new technology may be a good question. Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 12:15
  • @shirlockhomes - I've editted the question a bit. I understand that you can't recommend a specific brand. That's not what I'm looking for. Ideally, I'd like guidance as to where to find this information. Obviously, asking an HAVC technician is not an option because they tend to recommend whatever brand they happen to be working with.. Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 13:37
  • @Edwin - thanks for the tip. The site is pretty cool. What did you do about the installation? Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 12:25

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From a payback standpoint, its might be hard to justify much above 90%.

One feature I really liked was a variable speed fan direct drive and two stage burner.

Having the variable speed blower means you can leave the fan on and it will circulate at low speed. This helps equalize temp and humidity, plus there is less dust, as the filter cleans continuously.

The two stage burner means most times, the gas fires slowly and the system recovers the most heat.

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