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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    17

    Carrier Performance 16 vs. Infinity series 17

    Is it worth 18% more to get the Infinity series 17 over the Carrier Performance 16 for a 3 ton a/c unit?

    It will be matched with a Carrier Infinity 80. I'm getting the a/c and furnace all replaced.

    I'm looking for something that is efficient, minimum repairs needed, as well as comfort. From these 3 aspects, wondering how much you will see the difference between the 2 types. Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    352
    A 17 SEER AC is 5.88% more efficient than a 16 SEER, assuming both are installed properly. Assume that during peak cooling months that cooling accounts for 30-45% of your summertime power bill depending on where you live. Calculate your savings per year and total it out over a 15 year period and see if it is worth the difference... Here's an example... For the purposes of this example forget the fact that you currently have a system that is probably 10 SEER and you are upgrading to 16 or 17... Just work off these numbers going from 16-17

    Avg summer power bill: $200.00
    I will use 40% (easy math): $80.00 per month for cooling peak season
    5 months of peak cooling per year (at least here... adjust for your climate)
    You will save about $4.70 per month going from a 16-17. Over a season that equals $23.52. Over the life of the equipment (15 years) that equals $352.80. So, if the 17 SEER costs more than $352.80 more than the 16 SEER than it is not sound strictly from a financial perspective.

    Keep in mind that financials may not be the only factor to consider. There may be a very tangible comfort return if it is 2-stage equipment on the 17 and single stage equipment on the 16. Additionally, you may get far better warranty coverage depending on the manufacturer. So, in short make sure to evaluate all the relevant factors when doing your value analysis...
    It's not rocket-science...

    It's electromechanical thermodynamic engineering

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    17
    Thanks. That helps me from efficiency/financial perspective. From that point alone, the answer would be "not worth it". So now from a comfort level, does anyone know if there would be a difference that someone can actually feel between the 2 stage and 1 stage? For example, if you were to spend a day in a home with the Performance (1 stage) and then another day with the Infinity (2 stage), could you tell?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    352
    There are two primary comfort advantages to two stage equipment.

    First, there are smaller temperature swings and less deviation from setpoint. On single stage equipment you set the thermostat to say 72 and when the equipment comes on it comes on at 100% capacity until the home is cooled to below setpoint (71.5) and then shuts off. Once the temperature rises to above setpoint (72.5) it comes on again and repeats the process. This causes constant temperature swings. Two stage equipment addresses this by running the condenser on reduced capacity (typically 50-60% of full capacity) on low stage with the variable speed blower running at lower CFMs to produce a gentler, more consistent stream of conditioned air to the home. Thus, the equipment runs for longer periods of time, but at lower energy consumption, and achieves more stable temperature.

    The second big advantage is humidity control. A byproduct of the same process discussed above is superior dehumidification. Longer run cycles means better dehumidification as a one stage system may run for 15-20 minutes during an hour where a two stage system might run 30-45 minutes during that hour. By slowing the airflow down and extending run times it greatly increases humidity control If you are in an area where high humidity during the cooling season is a concern then you may want to consider two stage equipment.

    If you do decide to look at two stage equipment please make sure that your duct system and the line set are properly sized for the equipment. Improper duct sizing and restrictive line set sizing kills the efficiency gains of high efficiency equipment and shortens the life of the equipment as the compressor works harder to push refrigerant through tubing that is too small and the blower works harder to push air through duct work that is too small...

    Hope this helps, and good luck with your choice.
    It's not rocket-science...

    It's electromechanical thermodynamic engineering

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    17
    Thank you! Tomorrow is decision day and although I haven't made the decision yet, I know I'll be happy with the decision because it was thought out.

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