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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
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    4,722
    The 20i is great at keeping the humidity level low in the house due to the long run time on 1 st stage ,they are great for comfort .

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,739
    Quote Originally Posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
    You're not really expecting HVAC Contractors to encourage you to...spend less?
    Actually I see this all the time. It's a closing trick. "you don't need all that, sign here, save some money."

    Its only later that homeowners realize saving a few hundred dollars on a fifteen year decision can be really stupid.

    Extra money spent on better is shortly forgotten just as money saved on cheaper is. Missing critical features are painfully remembered for the life of the decision.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Central Va.
    Posts
    1,058
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    Actually I see this all the time. It's a closing trick. "you don't need all that, sign here, save some money."

    Its only later that homeowners realize saving a few hundred dollars on a fifteen year decision can be really stupid.

    Extra money spent on better is shortly forgotten just as money saved on cheaper is. Missing critical features are painfully remembered for the life of the decision.
    It might be helpful for you to advise as to why XL20i is better.

    S.T.
    Last edited by S.T.Ranger; 08-12-2012 at 09:13 AM.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    The 20i is great at keeping the humidity level low in the house due to the long run time on 1 st stage ,they are great for comfort .
    I've read many complaints about the XL16i having problems maintaining low humidity and I was hoping the Xl20i wouldn't have similar issues. Granted, those complaints may be due to improper installation/setup, but I'm glad to hear your comments on the XL20i. Thanks!

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    Actually I see this all the time. It's a closing trick. "you don't need all that, sign here, save some money."

    Its only later that homeowners realize saving a few hundred dollars on a fifteen year decision can be really stupid.

    Extra money spent on better is shortly forgotten just as money saved on cheaper is. Missing critical features are painfully remembered for the life of the decision.
    The cheapo, quick-sign-here contractors that tried to sell me their bottom of the line Comfortmakers and Tempstars were dismissed in my mind before they were out the door, along with the Carrier guy who tried to sell me a Performance Series p/n combo that turned out to be a Comfort Series per the Carrier website. The two remaining bidders have made it clear it's up to me to decide between the various basic/good/better/best Trane options, since I've settled on Trane as the most durable/reliable/cost effective brand for my heat pump needs.

    However, they both pointed out that the fall factory rebates make it easier to choose the "best" Trane (XL20i), if my budget will allow. Neither is pressuring me to buy one or the other. But...a $ difference between the basic 3.5 ton XB 14 (15 SEER) and the best 4 ton XL20i (17.75 SEER) is substantial and makes me wonder if there's any difference in comfort that would justify the extra expense.... or if the difference in energy consumption would pay back the extra investment over the 10-12 year lifespan of the equipment.

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-12-2012 at 12:20 PM. Reason: price

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    3,298
    The 20 gives you two advantages. one, the 2 ton compressor will handle middle loads, and the 4 will only come on once the 2 reaches it's switch out point. so, the 4 NEVER sees massive loads that will overtax itself. so the compressor has substantially less work to do. sensible or HUMIDITY is the bane of a compressor load. heavy humidity causes massive heat input to the refrigerant, without the cooling effect of chilled refrigerant, so the standard compressor has to fight all the humidity to lower the temp in your home. the low stage compressor will run to maintain humidity and light cooling loads, and the 4 will have a much easier time lowering the temp and raising the comfort in your home.

    this all boils down to low energy bills, long system life, and increased comfort. $ sounds like a lot. and I do not know if the energy savings will pay out over the install life, but the system will last, and the comfort will be impressive (assuming quality installation of course) and you will certainly have much lower energy bills! also, the 4 ton compressor will be able to handle those not so rare days that are well above the design temp!
    I vote for the 20
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-12-2012 at 12:21 PM. Reason: price
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
    The three big summer hearththrobs...
    Mel Gibson
    Dwane Johnson
    The A/C repairman

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
    It might be helpful for you to advise as to why XL20i is better.

    S.T.
    Yes, I'd like to know if the extra $ for the XL20i (17.75 SEER) 4 ton over the XB14 (15 SEER) 3.5 ton is worth it. Energy consumption (electric bill) and equipment lifespan are both very important. I would expect comfort levels to be similar with either. But what do I know about comfort? I've lived with leaky, inefficient, poorly designed equipment throughout the past 40 years of moving all over the US, Central America and the Far East, so anything that "maintains" 75 degrees and 50% or less RH would keep me comfortable!
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-12-2012 at 12:21 PM. Reason: price

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    3,298
    bump. to make sure you notice my post above, since we posted at the same time!
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
    The three big summer hearththrobs...
    Mel Gibson
    Dwane Johnson
    The A/C repairman

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    1800 lb gorilla- what's duct ESP at 1600 cfm.

    Also, can't maintain or can't recover? You set n forget, or jerk throttle around like an epillectic bus driver? Seems a small distinction but is a BIG difference.
    Sorry, but I don't follow your comment about 1800 lb gorilla. What are you trying to say?

    I do not know what the ESP is for my ductwork. I do know the existing 20x20 air return is inadequate for my existing 3.5 ton Rheem condenser with the existing 4 ton Rheem single speed air handler. I know it tries to suck the air filter into the air handler even when it's fresh and clean.

    My t-stat is an older model and the only user adjustment is temperature. I set it and forget it at 75. Until last Wednesday when they fixed the leaks in the outside copper and replaced the accumulator, and I also had the ducts sealed and R30 blown in, the existing unit ran constantly and would not "maintain" the 75 degree t-stat setting.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,373
    Keep in mind that it's seriously doubtful that the current system is actually delivering 3.5 tons. A bad installation can cut capacity by HALF. The 3 ton XB14 is what I'd go with, properly installed it should do the job. That's about 600sq ft per ton which isn't unreasonable if your house is decently insulated. If 3 tons isn't enough at first then fix the house to the point that 3 tons will do the job.

    Manual J calculations are great if they are done right. However some contractors tend to fudge input numbers to get the result they want. It's not a coincidence they are all ending up with 3.5 ton like you currently have.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    bump. to make sure you notice my post above, since we posted at the same time!
    Thank you. Yes, I did see your post.

    Between yesterday and today, I've noticed something with my existing system that may help me decide to wait awhile before investing in a replacement.

    On Monday, I had the ducts sealed ($125 after FPL rebate). On Wednesday, I had R30 blown in ($300 after FPL rebate). Wednesday afternoon my home warranty company had a repair tech replace the leaking accumulator (he'd repaired the leaking copper the week prior, but had to order the accumulator). The A/C repairs cost me $75 total (my home warranty deductible). On Friday I had my irrigation/pump guy cap off the sprinkler head that was 2 inches from the condenser. Yesterday I went to Lowes and bought a small digital thermometer that also measures humidity, and keeps track of min/max readings over time.

    What I've discovered is that the temp at the t-stat is actually 77, not 75, when the unit cycles on/off. Also, the unit is now cycling on/off as it should, all day long... even when it's 88 degrees outside with 75% humidity, like it is right now! I'm pretty comfortable right now and the actual temp/RH throughout the house is holding at 77 degrees/40% RH.

    I think I'll keep a watch on the electric and see if it comes down to a reasonable level. I do understand my 12 y/o Rheem has the bottom falling out, and I might have to put out another $75 now and then for repairs, but I may be better off just keeping the old system another year or two until my 401k recovers enough to pay for a new XL20i.

    What do you think?

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,320
    Prices are not allowed. Not even price differences.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Keep in mind that it's seriously doubtful that the current system is actually delivering 3.5 tons. A bad installation can cut capacity by HALF. The 3 ton XB14 is what I'd go with, properly installed it should do the job. That's about 600sq ft per ton which isn't unreasonable if your house is decently insulated. If 3 tons isn't enough at first then fix the house to the point that 3 tons will do the job.

    Manual J calculations are great if they are done right. However some contractors tend to fudge input numbers to get the result they want. It's not a coincidence they are all ending up with 3.5 ton like you currently have.
    I understand how contractors might fudge to "sell" to a homeowner's expectations... current system 3.5 ton... going to 3 ton might be perceived as reducing comfort or increasing runtime (i.e., energy consumption). However, when you take into account the square footage of my sliding glass windows (364 sf) plus the 350 sf of living space that's uninsulated (open beam ceilings, 14 ft high), I don't think 3.5 ton is oversized.

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