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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7
    Heat pump just died.
    I have a Comfortmaker system -- forced air NG furnace 100,000 btu 80%eff. and 10 SEER heat pump. New in 1993. I live in Pittsburgh. I have a low kw rate for heat pump .04/kwh. and High NG rate of 11.39/mcfm. My house was new in 93 and is 2 story 2900 sf, not counting basement which is half underground. My gas bill last year was 200/mo avg and my electric was 100/mo avg. I had $400 gas bills in winter mos. Jan Feb. One contractor recommends changing system to 96% eff var spd blowwer 100,000 btu furnace and electic a/c 13 seer single stage r22 -- Amana brand. The Trane guy recommends 93% eff furnace 100,000btu with var spd blower.. and 13 SEER single stage heat pump. I think the heat pump has saved me some money over the years. Which set up should be the most efficient to operate? Do the new heat pumps operate at colder temps than my old one? Also should I consider a higher SEER rating and a 2 stage heat pump if a heap pump is the way I decide to go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,184
    With an electric rate that low, do NOT dump the pump! Chances are the super SEER heat pumps will not have an economic payback so 13 SEER would be fine. Our rates are similar and calculations say that over 13 SEER probably won't pay back in the life of the equipment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7
    Baldi thanks for the input.
    If I but a new heat pump what brands will be the most efficient? I saw a nyle heat pump for cold climates but I am wary of a small brand. From what I gather about what you say about the SEER rating, a SEER rating of 13 on a new heat pump will be adequate for good efficiency. If I also elect to get a new Hi eff 96 gas back up I est savings of $300 or so a year? Does that seem right? That will give a 12 year payback on equipment cost. It seems it would be better just to maintain the older back up furnace and just get a new heat pump? Am I right?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    155
    It will probably cost less to do both at the same time than at seperate times. if you have that good of a payback why not bite the bullet and start off with all new equipment. i would recommend the heat pump over the air conditioner. 13 SEER is fine, but do not get a builders model. Upgrade to a 13 SEER heat pump with a manufacture's limited ten year compressor warranty.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7

    Heat load calculations

    Thanks for all the input. I do have a question on heat loading. I have received 2 estimates and no one has done any manual heat load calculations. Should I expect this as part of the quote process? They basically went with the SF calculation. should this concern me that this was not done?

    I have decided to replace the heat pump.

    Two systems currently recommneded/quoted by salesmen:
    What are the pros cons of each system?
    Which will do better in the Pennsylvania winter?

    Trane
    13SEER Heat Pump 22
    XL16i 4TTX6048 Gas Furnace

    Amana
    4T Heat Pump 13 SEER
    Var Spd 96% eff Furnace
    Prices are within $ of each other.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    468

    heating and cooling loads should be done

    Load calcs, often referred to as Manual J should be done. Done correctly, though, they take some time. Contractors may be reluctant to do them up front and then provide them for free to the homeowner because then the homeowner can take the load calcs to a less-well-qualified cheaper up front contractor. That's unfair to the professional doing the calculation.

    Two ways around this: 1)Pay for the load calcs up front with the understanding that the results are your property and thus able to be used to seek other bids. Try to negotiate that the upfront money paid for the calc be credited to the job if the calculating contractor is awarded the job. 2)Let contractors propose estimated equipment capacities but promise in writing to run the load calcs if awarded the job and adjust equipment sizes as needed to match the calculated loads. A problem with #2 is that the calcs can be massaged to match whatever equipment the contractor wants to install.

    If you were fairly comfortanble with present equipment and understand the basics of how HVAC equipment should be sized (in a nutshell - long runtimes in extreme weather are GOOD)then present sizes are a good starting point.

    If your electricity really only costs 4 cents per klick (beware of fuel adjustment charges, don't just read the base rate and assume that's what you pay) you absolutely should keep using a heat pump. Your economic balance point (the temperature below which it is cheaper to burn gas) is probably quite low. To answer one of you questions: yes, generally speaking newer heat pumps work better in colder weather than the 1993 models.

    2 stage equipment probably won't pay in pure economic terms, but can be quieter (lower speed operation most of the time) and more comfortable (better summer dehumidification). Figure out what that is worth to you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7
    Thanks Water cop.
    I have decided to get the Amana unit. I wanted to get your opinion on Amana proposal.
    The HVAC Tech recommends Amana ASH 13 Heat Pump and 95 % furnace AMS950905DXA.

    Current furnace is 100,000 btu. The proposed Amana furnace is 92000 BTU. I questioned him about this but he said that it would be more than adequate as it had a much better and efficient blower. I Know Amana did the engineering on the matching of the units, but would this work as stated. He said the next unit is 115,000 and is over kill. Do you think the proposed unit is adeqate? Thanks for the input

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    A 96% 100 k system is going to put out more heat than the 80% 100 k system. I'd ask for a manual J done, or do your own home by downloading the HVAC Calc above for $50. As water said, on your coldest day, the furnace should run steady.. not cycle on and off. I'd never go by what was there before.

  9. #9
    gto boy Guest
    In PA can let you know if guy has good rep.keep heat pump,we took out alot of the early ones. People bought 17 SEER 2 stage a/c and 2 stage variable speed heaters,but when PECO chopped the RH rate the saved NO $$$ on bills.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    468

    I 2nd

    what Mayguy said

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Memphis, TN.
    Posts
    823
    You said you live in P.Burg Pa. correct?

    If so I would go with a 410A system in stead of the r22, you get more heat in the home with the 410a and can use it at a lower outdoor temp which translates into a lower utility bill.

    Just my .02!


    CW.

    "I don't care what you could get it off the net for, they wont warranty it and neither will I"!

    And if you don't like my "flat rate up front pricing" try and negotiate the price on that big mac you just bought pricing is exactly the same method!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7

    r22 vs. 410

    City wide service. The heat pump quoted was for a r22 unit. I think the 410A may not yet be available. Can any of you guys confirm. The Heat pump is the ASH 13 with R22 quoted by the HVAC Tech. The new furnace would be a 95 efficiency model the AMS 95 series which is a 92000 btu to 89000 btu unit. If I understand mayguy, this unit would be better that the current 100000 btu unit since it would run more. Is that correct? Thanks for the great advice.

  13. #13
    i would jump up to the 14 seer heat pump i sell amana and we have only a 150 upgrade cost you rget a more efficent unit and a better warranty

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