Trane XL15i vs. Lennox XP17 vs. Rheem RPRL-JEC
Hoping to get some assistance in making a final decision on a replacement heat pump. Today, we have a 30 year old Carrier 2.5 Ton 3 part system that's on it's last legs. During our last cold snap, the outdoor unit was frozen solid which likely means it's low on Freon and frankly it's time.. The old unit is likely a little small as the home has had 2 additions adding about 500 sqft since it was installed.
Choice is between a Trane XL15i and a Lennox XP17 with a 3rd choice of a Rheem RPRL-JEC. I am comfortable with the Lennox/Trane installation companies and the pricing is within $30 of one another. The Rheem is coming in at about $ higher.
Home is roughly 2200sqft located in the Pacific NorthWest. Our primary use of the unit is for heating. We will generally only turn the unit on for 5-10 days a year for cooling maximum as we rarely get evening temperatures above 75F in the summer. We've had 4 quotes thus far, and all have verified that our existing ducting is sufficient without any substantial modification.
Here are the comparision models -- all units come with a 15kw secondary heat option on the air handler:
XL15i Model 'TRA 4TWX5036A1000A
Indoor Unit Model TAM7AOC36H31SA
T-Stat Trane Vision Pro 8000 3H/2C
16.25 SEER (quoted) 9 HSPF
12 Year Parts and Labour Warranty!
Indoor Unit CBX32MV
T-Stat: Comfort Sense 7000
16.2 SEER (quoted) 9 HSPF
10 year parts + 3 year labour warranty
Option C: not quite as comfortable with this installer or price
Rheem RPRL-JEC 4 Ton (model number not provided)
Indoor unit RHPL 4 Ton
T-Stat: Rheem 500 series
16 SEER (quoted) 9 HSPF
Warranty info not provided yet
If I can get some feedback on the pro's con's and fit ir anything else I should consider it would be appreciated.
Pro's - much better warranty
- good reviews here and elsewhere
- poor t-stat option
- no secondary heat lockout (manual only)
Pro's - outdoor sensor with programmable differential lockout
- solar ready
- warranty substantially worse
Last edited by beenthere; 02-07-2012 at 09:11 PM.
The Rheem is a 2 stage outdoor unit which adds to the price. The 500 series control is communicating and it is much higher priced than the Vision Pro 8000 that the Trane dealer is quoting. So the Rheem system should be priced as it is. If you were comparing like products, you'd look at the RQPL and RHKL.
With the warranty on the Trane, you are getting a lot for the buck. Just find out who is backing it. I don't know that Trane has a 12 year extended warranty so it may be the dealer's own which isn't as desirable as one backed by the manufacturer.
I would want to see a load calculation in writing for correct sizing.
I would want a thorough evaluation of ductwork system, size of both supplies and return(s),insulation properties. Any hot/cold spots in home should be addressed.
I would prefer the Trane or Rheem HPs.
And definitely have the 15 KW heat strip staged.
Are you sure that isn't 10-year labor and extra 2-year parts only warranty on compressor?
Yes, it's 12 years on both parts and labour. I believe they take the Trane 10 year and extend it with their own warranty by an extra 2. Given that this company installed the first heat pump 30 years ago, I'm confident they will be around.
Originally Posted by Stamas
Would I be better off dropping the T-stat they have proposed and installing something like an Ecobee? There is some appeal to using an internet accessible T-stat as we do head out a fair amount. The Ecobee also seems to be able to add some intelligence such as locking out the backup heat, and even staging the heat strips -- something that the Trane can't seem to do on it's own.
Is there a simple explanation as to the advantage of a 2-stage HP over a single stage?
Really appreciate the feedback. Trying to get the Rheem guy to flesh out his proposal better as his details were very thin.
I've got a related question. As I've noted above, our primary use for this Heat Pump system is for home heating -- it gets very little use for cooling. I've got a question on how an HVAC installer properly calculates the sizing of a system when the primary use is Heat rather than cooling - let me give you a bit of background on our house first.
Over the past couple of years we did a home reno and at the time upgraded all of our windows to double-pane Low-E and substantially improved the attic, wall and basement insulation and replaced all external doors. End result is that we improved the EnerGuide rating of our home from a 69 to a 77 which is very good for a home built in 1983. Efficiency of the home was tested via the EnerGuide program by an inspector using blower door testing etc...
All that said, we've got a pretty tight home. The existing 1983-vintage Carrier is a 2.5Ton system, and while it is old -- it is able to keep our home comfortable even with the electric strip backups manually turned off (i.e. running heat pump only).
In getting quotes as above I've received 2 quotes for 3 Ton systems, one quote for a 4 Ton system and today received another quote for a 4 Ton Heat Pump with a 5 Ton air handler. I'm not convinced that this last quote was prepared other than with some arbitrary rule of thumb estimate -- and given that it's several thousand dollars higher than the others, I will likely dismiss it. Yet, it raised a question -- as I've read here in this forum, you certainly don't want to oversize the system when it comes to cooling -- I understand that leads to short cycling and poor humidity control. But does the same design guideline apply when sizing the system for heating? Will a system with greater tonnage have the ability to heat the home better without needing to rely on the electric strips?
If the oldie can heat the home without backup, seems to me you are in great shape. So going bigger isn't a good move. We've usually found that the existing duct system is small or marginal for what you have let alone going bigger, or in your last quotes, WAY bigger.
As for the bigger heat pump avoiding strips, you say you already are. But 1/2 ton larger changes the balance point very little.
So as it turns out, I may have been misinformed about the size of the existing system today. The installer who has bid the replacement Carrier indicated that the old Carrier is a 4 Ton unit, not 2.5 Ton.
He has also provided me with the following calculation on how he determined the sizing of his unit:
calculation is produced as follows: Duct runs = 16 x 110cfm (6” supply lines) = 1760 cfm divided by 400 cfm per ton = 4.4 ton. There are also the heat gain/loss factors included. Based on this, I selected the 4 ton/5 ton system.
Seems like both the Trane and Lennox quotes are undersized where the Rheem and Carrier systems have actually done the proper load calculation (opposite of what I thought). The Lennox guy in fact confirmed that he only used a rule-of-thumb estimate and sized the system based upon cooling load of 14 BTU/sqft to arrive at a 3 Ton system.
Where are you located, my company is in Portland OR and can give you a second opinion on both the Rheem as well as the Trane system. The 12 year parts and labor is a full 12 year warranty from Trane standard warranty company. Trane has THE longest warranties on outdoor units and can offer up to a 15 year parts and labor warranty on Trane indoor units.
Also stay away from the Ecobee I will never use that stat again. Upgrade to a Hineywell Prestige HD with redlink gateway if you want Internet access and a "real" thermostat.
Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 01-30-2012 at 07:08 AM.
Reason: Removed Phone #
Phone numbers aren't permitted in open forums.
Thanks SkyHeating: However, I'm in the next country north of you -- located in BC. I've got another service company coming today to do a proper load analysis and quote.
Originally Posted by SkyHeating
Can you explain why you don't like the Ecobee?
The Ecobee does not have the same back end controls that a Prestige HD will have. Try connecting an Ecobee to a HRV or humidifier or advanced airflow settings. I had one of the first ones so maybe they are better now but they would have to be a LOT better to even be close to a Prestige HD. Plus I know my pricing on a Prestige HD is better than an Ecobee.
Originally Posted by tenmile
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