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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    HVAC from a clean slate

    Howdy knowledgeable folks,

    First off apologies if I'm in the wrong forum. Homeowner = Yes. Equipment owner = Not yet. So, I'm looking for a little advice on HVAC for our little-mega-project in progress: 100-plus year-old house (almost original parts...), will be stripped completely, foundation redone, basement plus extension added, HVAC redone completely. Basically it's like starting with a (nearly) clean slate. House located in Montreal, Canada, will end up with roughly 2500sqft on three floors. I'm trying to make it as air-tight and insulated as reasonably possible.

    I read through a lot of posts on a few forums (including this one) and I understand that brand doesn't really matter (other than maybe the warranty period offered... :P) and installation is key. I received three evaluations for new systems/installations from three different dealers: Trane, York and Lennox. The usual suspects around these parts... The roughly break down as follows (from most to least expensive):

    Trane: X15i HP, 4TEE handler, Venmar Constructo 1.5V HRV
    York: Affinity YZF HP air handler, Fantech passive HRV (not sure which model at this point...), Epurair filter unit
    Lennox: XP14 HP, CBX26UH furnace, HRV3-150, HC10 filters

    The tonnage, SEER, HSPF and general specs are pretty much the same. All rigid ducts planned, I even want to turn down main trunk insulation... My questions pertain to some of the technology offered. The HP's being pretty much the same, the difference is in the ventilation/heating units and HRVs. So the two general areas of interest are:

    1. Variable speed vs regular blowers?
    2. Active vs Passive HRVs?

    ...and how these two integrate together? Ex, will a VS blower combined with a passive HRV be less eficient than a regular blower with an active HRV? Will the "active" HRV be interfering with the main blower and throw the balance out of whack or just use more power? How do these systems behave during swing seasons when equipment is not used as much (but hey, you can open a window and it's nice outside!)?

    Please enlighten me on the concepts and if you have an opinion on the equipment itself, well, I'm all eyes too!

    Also, one dealer costed me a Zuba system (which a friend of mine has installed). Any opinions on those?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
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    Three floors...........does that mean you have a basement (that you're counting as 1 floor?)

    A variable-speed blower is a must have. I don't know what a passive HRV is. I would tie the HRV into the duct system and have it run with the blower on the furnace or air handler.

    Does a heat pump make sense in Canada? If I were to get a heat pump, it would be the new Carrier/Bryant Greenspeed variable speed model. Carrier/Bryant will have rebates and other specials in March

    Or if money is no problem, get a "split" geo-thermal system. We have awesome rebates in the states on those.

    Why are you using a air handler and not a furnace?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Thread Starter
    Yes, the third floor is the basement... Roughly 500-600sqft to heat/cool.

    A passive HRV (from what I understand) is one without an integrated blower, so using the main blower for exchange like you suggest George. An active one is presumably one that has it's own fan, like the Venmar listed.

    The system is going to be all-electrical, so aditional heating coil in the air handler. There is no gas on the street and having my heat delivered by truck is sooooooo last century...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Greenwood Indiana (Indianapolis)
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    Thumbs up

    try looking at the Lennox CBx27 air handler. It has the x13 motor and makes the unit more efficient. Heat pump is a good one. Hspf # is important. The Rheem will get you a 10.0 hspf (heating seasonal performance factor)

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