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  1. #1

    Complete Energy Star Program or just do heat/air?

    I live in NJ. There is a program called njcleanenergy that gives rebates based on the percentage of energy saving achieved by upgrading the hvac and doing other items. Reducing usage by 20% gets a $4k rebate and by 25% gets a 5k rebate. Also, there is 10 year financing at 0% for up to $10k. Our home would get energy star certification. It sounds like a good deal.

    I have a 16 year old, 2 story, 2800 sq ft house with a 90% heater and standard (80%?) a/c unit. We want to replace the hvac because many neighbors have been having failures, so we thought to do it while the program above exists.

    We had the home energy audit and in order to achieve 20% we would have to go with a hybrid heat/ac system and a power vent hot water heater, along with attic sealing and 6" of insulation. This gets us the 4k rebate. If we do the non-hybrid system with a tankless hot water system and attic work, we get the 5k rebate, and somehow the whole job turns out to be 1k less. We think the tankless option is the best move since it is cheaper.

    We had also considered just doing the hvac and not participating in the program. That would cost us $3k less than the whole energy star package, and no special financing. Our water heater is 8.5 years old.

    My main question is whether it is worth it to spend the extra 3k on the tankless water heater and the attic sealing and insulation?

    The unit quoted is Carrier 59TP5A100E21 and 24ABC648.

    Any thoughts on the warranty of 10 years complete vs 5 yr complete w/10 yr mfg part warranty? Are hvac likely to have issues in year 5-10 or do most show up early, and then at the end of life span (sort of like cars). I also read that many of these warranties require you to get them serviced every year. I'm thinking the warranty cost for those additional 5 years, plus the mandatory service fees (rather than getting a friend etc to do it) might pay for any out of warranty repairs.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Keokuk, IA
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    Personally I like Combi hot water systems, but only if it's a Combi boiler. Can you give us more info on the water heater, brand, model, etc? What air handler are they using? Ranni is pushing their combi systems pretty hard. Keep in ming tankless units are just as complicated as modulating furnaces. Heat pumps don't last quite as long as AC system since they see more use. If I remember right ,NJ has fairly high electric rates and moderate NG rates, so I don't see much benefit other than to the utility to get more winter loads.

    0% financing isn't really a bad thing.

    My only concern is that many local contractors due to higher demand and all the utility rebates may have higher than normal pricign throgu hthis program, especially if they have ot fil out all sorts of paperwork and do extra certifications.

    Can you choose ot use any contractor, or only certain "qualified" contractors. There's been discussions abotu this. That only larger companies are getting qualified, and they may not rpovide hte best quality installation and you'll never know if the pricing is fair sicne you are limted to certain contractors. Odds are good that you will pay more and negate much of the savings.

    The diffrence between a good quality and poor quality installation could mean equipment that lasts 12-15 years vs. 6-8 years... or less. Thats a prety big difference.

    Tankless heater REQUIRE annual maintance to clean the heat exchanger. Possbily even more often on a combi unit, especailly if you have harder water.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Missouri
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    Does your electric company give you a reduced rate if you have a heat pump? That would make it more interesting if they did.

  4. #4
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    May 2004
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    south louisiana
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    it would depend on what type and how much attic to living space leakage you have.
    did you get detail of where leakage sites are located?
    or just a number of measurement of leakage..some like the equiv leakage area
    3'x3' hole for example.

    knowing where the leakage is, and how to seal it is half the job.
    the sealing of these leakage sites and re-testing to assure
    that the sites were properly addressed is the other half.

    was ductwork tested for duct leakage? returns tested for leakage?

    air sealing is always a good investment. always. low cost and good
    roi and immediate benefit. once air sealing is completed and re-tested
    then add more insulation. so that is a solid yes on air sealing & insulation

    to seal ducts where all of the air is entering the house is a no brainer.
    energy star allows 5% ductleakage. its hard to get this low in an
    existing home without specific testing & verification.

    you now have a gas furnace..is this what you would go back with?
    tankless water heater..is this also gas?
    is this equipment located in the attic?

    did the company who did the testing bid the work?

    not sure how utility provider audits work.

    zero intrest for 10 years is also a good deal.

    I'm sure tipsrfine will be along, this is his neck of the woods
    if I remember correctly. there are also some other bpi folks here
    that might reply.
    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    it would depend on what type and how much attic to living space leakage you have.
    did you get detail of where leakage sites are located?
    or just a number of measurement of leakage..some like the equiv leakage area
    3'x3' hole for example.

    knowing where the leakage is, and how to seal it is half the job.
    the sealing of these leakage sites and re-testing to assure
    that the sites were properly addressed is the other half.

    THEY SHOWED ME THAT THERE IS LEAKAGE WHERE THE SECOND FLOOR WALLS MEET THE ATTIC AND AROUND ALL THE AREAS WHERE THERE ARE GAPS ENTERING THE ATTIC, SUCH AS ELECTRICAL BOXES FROM CEILING FANS AND STUFF. I COULD SEE THE DIRTY INSUALTION IN THOSE AREAS. THEY DIDN'T GIVE A MEASUREMENT. ATTIC ABOUT 1200 SQ FEET.

    was ductwork tested for duct leakage? returns tested for leakage?

    I DON'T THINK IT WAS TESTED.

    air sealing is always a good investment. always. low cost and good
    roi and immediate benefit. once air sealing is completed and re-tested
    then add more insulation. so that is a solid yes on air sealing & insulation

    to seal ducts where all of the air is entering the house is a no brainer.
    energy star allows 5% ductleakage. its hard to get this low in an
    existing home without specific testing & verification.

    you now have a gas furnace..is this what you would go back with?
    tankless water heater..is this also gas?
    is this equipment located in the attic?

    THEY ARE BOTH GAS AND I WILL KEEP GAS. THE EQUIP IS IN THE UNFINISHED BASEMENT

    did the company who did the testing bid the work?

    THE COMPANY WHO TESTED IS GIVING ME THE PRICES. I HAVE A PRICE FROM ONE WHO TESTED, GETTING ANOTHER TONIGHT FROM ONE WHO TESTED AND HAVE A PRICE FROM ONE WHO BASICALLY USED THE EQUIP FROM THE FIRST ESTIMATE, AND WILL DO THE AUDIT IF I THINK I'LL GO WITH THEM. THEY ARE $ CHEAPER THAN THE PRICE I HAVE ALREADY.

    not sure how utility provider audits work.

    THE UTILITY DOESN'T DO THE AUDIT, THEY HAVE APPROVED CONTRACTORS WHO MUST BE BPI CERTIFIED. THEY STATE DOES INSPECT ABOUT 10% OF THE JOBS.

    zero intrest for 10 years is also a good deal.

    YES IT IS! MY HOME EQUITY IS ABOUT 3.50 RIGHT NOW, BUT THAT IS VARIABLE...

    I'm sure tipsrfine will be along, this is his neck of the woods
    if I remember correctly. there are also some other bpi folks here
    that might reply.
    best of luck.
    RIGHT NOW LEANING TOWARD 2 STAGE 96.7 EFF HEAT AND SINGLE STAGE 16 SEER EITHER CARRIER COMFORT OR PERFORMANCE. I DON'T REALLY SEE THAT I NEED THE INFINITY A/C FOR THE EXTRA $. IT'S STILL ABOUT $ MORE. I WISH I KNEW WHAT REASONABLE COSTS WERE FOR 6" BLOWN IN INSULATION FOR MY ATTIC, AND THE AIR SEALING. I THINK THAT'S WHERE THEY FLUFF UP THE ESTIMATES. THE AIR SEALING IS THE MAIN REQUIREMENT OF THE CLEAN ENERGY. THE AIR SEALING PLUS OTHER MEASURES (SUCH AS HEAT/AC/WATER/INSUL) TO GET YOU TO 20-25% ENERGY USE REDUCTION. ALREADY HAVING 90% FURNACE MAKES IT HARDER FOR ME TO GET THE REDUCTION, SO I NEED THE TANKLESS OR HYBRID.

    I'LL POST BACK WITH MORE INFO. SORRY FOR THE CAPS, IT WAS HOW I COULD RESPOND WITHIN YOUR POST SINCE I DIDN'T KNOW HOW ELSE TO DO IT!
    Last edited by beenthere; 06-27-2012 at 04:56 PM. Reason: prices

  6. #6
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    south louisiana
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    and I thought you were yelling @ me. (just kidding)

    post back with the bids.

    the air sealing is important. duct sealing is too, but I don't know
    much about basements. any ducts in the attic should be sealed.
    that I do know!

    there are tankless water heaters like Rainni, Bosch, Rheem/Ruud
    is the one they propose the only one that qualifies?
    look at the energy factors. these units should have ef's of .80 & higher
    as compared to .65 for top of the line standard gas tanks.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  7. #7
    I will post back. Apparently basement ducts don't need sealing but attic would.

    2 companies proposed the Navien, and my neighbor who is a plumber put one in his home. He loves it. We have NG

    This is from the Navien website..

    NR-240A / NR-240
    Input 20,000~199,000 BTU/h
    EF (Natural Gas) 0.95
    EF (Propane Gas) 0.97
    Flow Rate At 35˚F Rise : 11 GPM
    At 45˚F Rise : 8.6 GPM
    At 77˚F Rise : 5.1 GPM

  8. #8

    small update

    Am I allowed to post prices? For just this part of the quote it is 5 digits...about 20% above when you first get to 5 digits.... It seems like they are charging a LOT for this, considering my old ductwork and pvc chimney for the furnace will be used. The prices for the tankless, air sealing and insulation are "ok". They will "seal all areas of air communication between exterior and living areas as specified by BPI air sealing guidelines.""add R-19 blown in (8") (944 sq feet).

    I think it is this main hvac portion that is inflated because of the rebate program. I like this system with the tankless water heater. The hybrid was also suggested, but with a power vent water. That would be a couple hundred less, but if I'm paying for either hybrid or tankless I like having a little perk of unlimited hot water. AND it's 96% efficient and a future selling point. I won't live here long enough to worry about the savings from heat pump or for it to pay back. This way I get a new "toy" and still get efficiency. What do you think of this system and shouldn't it be be closer to barely 5 digits, even in NJ????

    Remove and dispose of existing furnace, coil, line set, and plenum located in basement.
    Clean duct system.
    Install new 2-stage, 80,000 BTU Carrier 96% gas furnace. (Model 59TP5A080E2120)
    Install new 4-ton Carrier 16, 1-speed A/C condenser on legs. (Puron) (Model (24ABC648C)
    Install new matching Carrier evaporator coil. (CNPVP4821A)
    Install new properly sized disconnect/ whip.
    Install new media cabinet and filter. (MERV 10)
    Install new Carrier Edge programmable thermostat control.
    Install new plenum and duct adaptation to existing supply and return duct.
    Install new copper line set to connect units between indoor and outdoor equipment.
    Install new condensation removal system.
    Connect to existing intake and exhaust piping to exterior.
    Includes Carrier Lifetime warranty on heat exchanger and compressor.
    Includes Carrier 10-year parts warranty and 10-year labor warranty.
    Includes 1-year maintenance agreement. (Fall 2012 and Spring 2013)
    All UCC required permit fees included.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2009
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    You migth want ot ask abotu going ot a Infinity Furnace, controller and a 2 stage Infinity 17 AC unit. You can still have nearly the same humidity control with the edge, but the Inifinity is even better. I just had one installed, and with my local contractor at least, the increase in price after Carrier's rebates was very small over the Performance Series equipment you are looking it. It's still great equiipment. Actually that particular condenser is the quietest unit Carrier makes, only matched by the Infinity 21 and the Greenspeed on low speed is probably quieter.

    With the tankless, go for the "A" model with the 1/2 gallon buffer tank. As you have money, you can add recirculation loops and get instant hot water. Just a matter of typing in 1/2" pex as clsoe as possible to the fixture. I absolutely love mine. Hot water in about 1 second to the kitchen sink and 2-3 seconds to the others that I had access to. Just make sure you insulate all the water pipes. I have mine set ot 112F> Hot enough to dissolve grease off of hand washed dishes, but won't burn you and maximumized flwo throuh the unit (helps reduce deposits on the HE)

    Pricing varies a lot by region. Thsi si a busiest time of the year, so don't expect any discounts. I will say I have a plumber that is very very reasonable and I got a pretty good deal on my Infinity System... but the cost of livign and standard rate of the contractors in my area is way, way lower than NJ. I'll put it this way, a single family home that costs $100k where you are, is probably about $50k where I am... and it's still 20-30% larger. But there's also very little new construction.

  10. #10
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    Oh...BTW - with 200k BTU's and the current 60+F water temps, I found I can't even get enough flow in my house to max it out. I ended up setting it to 140F to push it as hard as I could to make sure the venting and gas flow was adequate. I think it might have maxed it out and it's control valve will pinch back overall flow to maintain the setpoint.

  11. #11
    The heat pump is a nice idea, but somehow this guy is managing to charge $ more for this system than the one I first posted. Of course after i get back an extra 1000 from the state and 650 from carrier it comes close...but i can't believe it needs to be that much more to start with. As it works out I can afford EITHER the hybrid /infinity OR the tankless. They come out very close in price. I don't think I'll make it by June 30 for the Carrier rebate. If the price had been closer before the rebates then it would have been my choice. Of course this was the "recommended" option.

    This is the hybrid/heat pump that cost too much more....

    • Remove and dispose of existing furnace, coil, line set, and plenum located in basement
    • Clean duct system.
    • Install new 2-stage, 80,000 BTU Carrier 96% gas furnace. (Model 59TP5A080E2120)
    • Install new 4-ton Carrier Infinity 16, 2-stage heat pump condenser on legs. (Puron) (Model (25HNB636B)
    • Install new matching Carrier evaporator coil. (CNPVP4821A)
    Last edited by beenthere; 06-27-2012 at 04:57 PM. Reason: price

  12. #12
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    I didn't mean dual fuel, just the Infinity AC, Infinity Controller/thermostat & Infinity 2 stage furnace. The SEER rating will only be slightly higher, but in terms of comfort, the 2 stage AC and superior Humidity control of the Infinity may be worth it... especially if you like toys. I think the infinity controller is a way cooler toy than the Navien. Lost more button, lights, data and settings. Now if the Navien gave you real time % the burner was running at, the incomming water flow rate and temperature... now that would be super cool!

  13. #13
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    Prices are not allowed.
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