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Dettson furnace and air conditioner

Reid Baldwin | Posted in Mechanicals on

Does anyone on this forum have experience with Dettson furnaces or air conditioners? They offer a line of furnaces, called Chinook, starting from 15K btu/hr. They also have central air conditioning compressors, called Alize, starting from 9K btu/hr. The Alize literature also quotes a heating range, so apparently they are actually heat pumps. The furnaces modulate from 40-100% of rated capacity and the air conditioning compressor modulates down to 25% of rated capacity. These units would appear to provide an option for a traditional HVAC system that isn’t way oversized for a high performance home. They are from Canada. I haven’t found any cost data yet.

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  1. stk | | #1

    I know this is an older post, but I am likewise interested if any individuals in the US have installed one of these Chinook smaller furnaces.

    I recently noticed that Carrier/Bryant have a 26000 BTU single stage condensing furnace, so maybe the market is responding to demand for smaller capacities?

  2. Reid Baldwin | | #2

    I was hoping that a response to my old post meant that someone was finally going to answer it. I guess another person asking is a step in the right direction.

    I eventually gave up on the Dettson alternative out of concern about getting a local contractor to do the work. I would have had to procure the equipment myself and rely on the contractor to follow installation instructions (not a strong point of local contractors). Then, if anything went wrong, there would be issues sorting out who was responsible for it. I ended up with a two stage 40K gas furnace, the first stage of which is basically the same as the single stage 26K unit you mention.

    It still seems like something that HVAC contractors would want to offer if they have customers with small homes and/or energy efficient homes. Maybe they feel the market is limited to knowledgeable customers and that market is too small.

  3. lance_p | | #3

    Seven years after the initial question... anyone out there have experience to share about Dettson's Chinook and/or Alize products? I'm considering their 30k BTU modulating furnace and either the 18k or 24k heat pump.

  4. bedelman | | #4

    I too am considering a Dettson Chinook. Properly sized to the requirements of a portion of my home. I'm in Seattle, near enough to Dettson's distributor in Portland... but I can't find a contractor who has installed even one of these or is willing to try. What a shame.

  5. MartinHolladay | | #5

    In 2018, I wrote an article on the Dettson furnace: "Finally, a Right-Sized Furnace."

  6. lance_p | | #6

    Dettson now offers a much more compelling cold climate heat pump option to team up with their small furnaces. The name escapes me, but it’s a rebrand of a very popular model with decent reviews and good cold weather performance.

    I’m still considering their 30k btu gas furnace, but with a very capable 2-ton HP the gas would mainly be used for just the cold nighttime lows and power outages. I’m liking it more now than ever, but still no reviews on their Chinook furnaces…

  7. aunsafe2015 | | #7

    On the topic of Dettson furnaces, anybody know what's up with their airflow numbers?

    I'm seeing that the 30k BTU modulating unit has a "heating high" CFM rating of 480? It then says that "MAX" is 1200. The 1200 cfm on 30k btu is what I would expect. What does the 480 mean?

    1. lance_p | | #8

      That’s the model I’m interested in. 480 cfm does seem a touch low for 30k btu, but not terribly so. My 48k btu single-stage furnace is rated at 800 cfm, or 16.7 cfm/k btu vs 16 for the Dettson.

      The 1200 cfm max is 400 cfm/ton if using the max 3 ton AC recommended for that furnace.

      I wonder if it can be set up to run at 1200 cfm on a 2 ton AC/HP? This would/could/should improve SEER in climates that don’t need as much dehumidification, or for a house that’s built very airtight. A drawback would be a duct system that’s oversized for the heating season.

  8. jberks | | #9

    I have a couple chinook 15k systems with the Alize heat pumps. Great in theory, but have had many problems in practice. Just my experience.

    I like the redundancy they provide, and high static blowers. but with cold weather heat pumps and mid static AHU's more common now, I wouldn't take the risk again.

    1. lance_p | | #10

      Thanks for the information! Can you go into more detail regarding the issues you had? Is it related to the heat pumps, the air handlers, mixing the two, or all the above?

      Did you install two 15k systems as redundancy, or to share the load? Is it their tiny apartment size 15k furnace or the standard format 15k furnace?

      Are you using traditional ductwork or their small tube Smart-Duct system? What climate zone are you in?

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