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  1. #1

    Need Your HELP PLEASE.

    Man there is so much information to learn about Furnaces and Air Conditioners. With that said, I am a 22 year Army Aviation Soldier who has mainly lived on post and didn't need to worry about A/C units or furnaces.

    Recently we bought a 2200sqft, 2 story with an unfinished basement (additional 800sqft), in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The house is 6 years old and has a central heat system and no A/C.

    Current System:
    Rheem Corsaire Series Model 90RJ06EES01, 60,000btu, 92.5 AFUE High efficiency natural gas heater.

    Before summer hits we would like to have an air conditioner installed. We had a contractor that specializes in Lennox and quoted us $$$$ for Lennox XC16 two stage. He didn't say much on how this would match with our Rheem but said he could do the install. The price seems alittle pricey but I would like to get more information from you all.

    1. Can we get any brand outside air conditioner to install as a split system?
    2. If we buy for instance the Lennox XC16 will we achieve a seer rating or 17.2 with our split system?
    3. What should I be asking the contractors?

    So glad I found this site. Thank you all for your input and I look forward to future correspondence with you professionals.
    Jim
    Last edited by Armystrong; 02-04-2012 at 06:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    930
    The price you have listed (that will no doubt be removed, as pricing is not supposed to be discussed) seems high for an install that does not include the furnace in my area. This is the reason that pricing is not discussed here, pricing is regional.

    As for the original question, if there is nothing wrong with the furnace, 6 years is a really short life for a furnace and replacement is not something I would recommend. Contact a Rheem dealer in the area, possibly the original installer, and have them quote adding an AC or heat pump to the system. The brand of AC added should not matter as long as the duct system is designed and sized appropriately to handle it.

    SEER rating will not be can not be stated without replacing the furnace, as motor current draw is part of the manufacturer SEER calculations. That being said, a "13 SEER " ac unit added to this furnace will still cost more to operate than a "15 SEER" system.
    "Customer Service" is not a department, it's an attitude!
    ???

  3. #3
    Sitting here reading all the posts....my apologies for posting a price. I have edited the posting, thank you.
    There is nothing wrong with the furnace what so ever. You say have the quote adding an AC or heat pump. Just curious, why a heat pump if the furnace works perfectly?

    With my Rheem natural gas furnace would you recommend a single stage outside unit or a two stage unit?
    Thank You

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Paul, minnesota
    Posts
    1,255

    Hmm

    If you're planning to live in that home for 10+ years then I'd go with the higher seer unit as it will take at least that long for payback of the added costs of the higher seer unit. Otherwise get a standard 13 seer unit installed. I live in the Minneapolis area and I'm assuming that your weather is similar to mine in the summer months. Unless you have extreme heat you probably don't need the higher seer. If you still want to pursue the higher seer unit then I would highly recommend the 2 stage unit for comfort.

    On another subject a heat pump is a good Idea and worth the extra costs. The efficiency of even a 13 seer heat pump is about double of the furnace that you have, although you can only effectively run it down to about 30 degrees.

    Just my 2 cents worth

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,776
    If your not going to get a VS blower furnace, 2 stage A/c won't give you the comfort you pay for.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Paul, minnesota
    Posts
    1,255

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    If your not going to get a VS blower furnace, 2 stage A/c won't give you the comfort you pay for.
    Not trying to make a sales pitch as I'm not in anyway affiliated, but I have installed a 2 stage a/c and installed a fanhandler control (from fanhandler.com) to make the furnace fan variable speed and it worked great, without the cost of upgrading their furnace.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    930
    Quote Originally Posted by Armystrong View Post
    Sitting here reading all the posts....my apologies for posting a price. I have edited the posting, thank you.
    There is nothing wrong with the furnace what so ever. You say have the quote adding an AC or heat pump. Just curious, why a heat pump if the furnace works perfectly?

    With my Rheem natural gas furnace would you recommend a single stage outside unit or a two stage unit?
    Thank You
    Again keep in mind pricing is regional, but in my area where heat pumps are normal equipment, the installed cost difference between an ac unit and a heat pump unit is minimal. When adding a heat pump to a gas furnace, a "dual fuel" system is created. The heat pump part works until it can't keep up any more, then it shuts off and the gas furnace takes over. Heat pumps work great for heating when the outdoor temperature is mild. Our rates are such that heat pump systems produce heat more heat for the money than natural gas most days. Since we already have to have ac, heat pumps are logical. Most conventional heat pump systems use electric resistance heat to back them up, but a dual fuel uses gas.

    Your rates, According to your utility company are a lot cheaper than in my area. If you know your rates, you can use this calculator to see weather a heat pump dual fuel system is justified.

    As for single or 2 speed ac, that depends on rates, cost to operate, and AC requirements. In your area, there are not a lot of warm days to spread the cost of an ac system across. You are in an area that AC is a nice thing to have, not required. (really, is ac required anywhere?) The more expensive systems will really need to have some comfort benefits in order to justify the cost premiums. I'm not saying the benefits are not worth the cost, just that they need to be justified.

    In my region, 2 speed units are great due to the fact that they run in low speed most of the time. An AC unit dehumidifies while it is running, but is has to be running to do so. We have high humidity here, so running longer is a good thing.
    "Customer Service" is not a department, it's an attitude!
    ???

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by superfittertech View Post
    On another subject a heat pump is a good Idea and worth the extra costs. The efficiency of even a 13 seer heat pump is about double of the furnace that you have, although you can only effectively run it down to about 30 degrees.Just my 2 cents worth
    I value your 2 cents since its more than I will probably ever have. So I would have an AC/heat pump unit and retain my Furnace and hot water heater?

    So when I ask for a quote you are recommending me ask for an AC/heat pump to be integrate into my current Furnace duct system. Can you please explain how this is all connected, i am kind of confused?

    Let me give it a shot.... the new AC/heat pump unit will be outside with power being supplied by my main breaker box, then the AC/Heat pump is plumbed into our current furnace where it will blow the hot or cold air out through existing central ducting system. Do I need an Air handler or does my furnace perform that function?
    Much Appreciated

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Altmar, New York, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by superfittertech View Post
    Not trying to make a sales pitch as I'm not in anyway affiliated, but I have installed a 2 stage a/c and installed a fanhandler control (from fanhandler.com) to make the furnace fan variable speed and it worked great, without the cost of upgrading their furnace.
    will this have any affect on the longevity of the motor?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    930
    Quote Originally Posted by Armystrong View Post
    I value your 2 cents since its more than I will probably ever have. So I would have an AC/heat pump unit and retain my Furnace and hot water heater?

    So when I ask for a quote you are recommending me ask for an AC/heat pump to be integrate into my current Furnace duct system. Can you please explain how this is all connected, i am kind of confused?

    Let me give it a shot.... the new AC/heat pump unit will be outside with power being supplied by my main breaker box, then the AC/Heat pump is plumbed into our current furnace where it will blow the hot or cold air out through existing central ducting system. Do I need an Air handler or does my furnace perform that function?
    Much Appreciated

    The AC/HP coil will be placed in the duct after the furnace. The air will still be moved using the furnace blower through the AC coil and into the duct system.

    An air handler, or electric furnace is used when a gas furnace is not used. They are not used together, as only one blower is used in a system.
    "Customer Service" is not a department, it's an attitude!
    ???

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cartercrew View Post
    Since we already have to have ac, heat pumps are logical. Most conventional heat pump systems use electric resistance heat to back them up, but a dual fuel uses gas.
    Being educated on these systems does help me make an informed decision. With your response it does seem logical to get an AC/Heat pump. When you say duel fuel does that mean the natural gas we currently run plus another source of fuel for the heat pump? Why wouldn't it operate off of the electricity that the AC unit runs off of? What would I have to ask the contractor to install for this type of system?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by superfittertech View Post
    Not trying to make a sales pitch as I'm not in anyway affiliated, but I have installed a 2 stage a/c and installed a fanhandler control (from fanhandler.com) to make the furnace fan variable speed and it worked great, without the cost of upgrading their furnace.
    That might be a viable option but not knowing if we are going to be in this house longer than 3 years, constantly moving in the Army (15 times in 22years), would it be cost effective to purchase the 2 stage and fan handler?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    930
    The most important question to ask the potential contractor: How will you determine the correct equipment size? Answer: ACCA approved manual J calculation.

    Research your area and find a contractor that does energy audits. Have a blower door test performed, either by the potential installing contractor or by another company. Make sure the results are incorporated into the heat load calculations.

    Plugging the leaks in your house is often a lot more cost effective than a high efficiency air conditioner. Combine them for even better results.

    3 years is a really short pay-back time, 13 SEER basic system is probably your best bet for the money. A decent system, installed correctly.
    "Customer Service" is not a department, it's an attitude!
    ???

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