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  1. #157
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    5,663
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    So, in my mind's eye, I'm seeing a tech in the attic installing a fixed mechanical damper at the "junction box" (or whatever it's called) where the ducting to the front bedroom originates. It would be a "set it and forget it" damper.

    Is my mind's eye seeing the solution clearly, or does it need glasses? LOL
    You got it

  2. #158
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    503
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    You got it

  3. #159
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    503
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    So, in my mind's eye, I'm seeing a tech in the attic installing a fixed mechanical damper at the "junction box" (or whatever it's called) where the ducting to the front bedroom originates. It would be a "set it and forget it" damper.
    While I intend to request an airflow/ESP evaluation and get a replacement estimate from a contractor on the Comfort Institute website, I also intend to go back to the contractor that is, at this point, #1 on my list of Trane Comfort Specialsts and ask him questions as to whether airflow evaluation and duct dampering would be included at no additional cost if he gets the job. I'm guessing he'll say "Yes", based on the fact that he annotated the quote (AFTER he came up with the price) to include "correcting the airflow in the office space" by running new ductwork directly to the "junction box" (or whatever it's called). I brought that issue up after he provided the quote because another contractor (#2 on my list) had told me it needed to be done and I wanted to be sure I was comparing quotes apples to apples. #1 contractor said that would be something he'd do anyway, but since he knew I wanted to see it in writing, he added a notation in the quote.

    In selecting a contractor, I'm also considering their service record "after installation". The companies on the Comfort Institute site don't seem to have BBB ratings or be on Angie's list and information about their customer satisfaction is sketchy.

    My #1 and #2 contractors have a 100% satisfaction rating on the Trane website, A+ ratings on BBB, and ratings on Angie's list average out to A for both. Both have been in business for over 25 years, but the #1 contractor is relatively new to Angie's list and has about 1/5th the number of ratings, but all are A ratings. Based on Angie's list comments, #1 seems to come out on top for "after the sale" service and maintenance.... #2 seems to be busy gettng new work and may not be so concerned about pleasing folks with timely "after the sale" availability. For example, he promised to have one of his electricians call me to quote another electrical job I need done. Over a week has passed with no callback.

    Both own their locally reputable HVAC companies and seemed to be quite thorough in "walking the property" and dealing with my concerns. They spent a lot of time with me while they were here for the estimate (trying to make the sale). While #2 had a lower bid, I'm a bit concerned about service after the sale, and am leaning towards #1 right now.

    Why is this so hard? It's worse than deciding which replacement coffeemaker to buy! Did that 2-1/2 years ago. Love the coffee made by the unit I chose, but it's become tempermental and you have to "lean on" the brew switch until it clicks or the hotplate will turn off prematurely. It has a 3-year warranty, but I'll live with it... not ready to pay the shipping charge for returning it for warranty service and then having to buy a cheap replacement to ":get by" in the meantime.

    Life in the age of electronics is so frustrating, sometimes I'd rather live in a grass hut on the beach! LOL
    Last edited by Florida Joy; 08-19-2012 at 04:53 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #160
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    5,663
    Both of these contractors should be able to take static pressure measurements and balance airflow to your satisfaction. Call them and ask them and if they want the job they will figure out how to do it if they don't already know.

  5. #161
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    5,663
    I would definitely go with the contractor you feel will be there if you have a problem and not the one who won't return your calls

  6. #162
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    503
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    2000sq ft on a slab. how's your attic ventilated? what color are the shingles? do you have any shade on the roof? your a/c and stucco look identical to my aunt's house in lakeland. got pics of the house itself? in most parts of FL, humidity is the biggest load on a house, I'd be surprised if your place needs 4 tons. I'd be surprised if your place needs 3.5. 3tons sounds a tad high actually. the way you have it insulated now, along with the sealed ductwork really makes me think the calcs are going to say around 32-34Kbtuh heat load.
    I thank you all for your concerns regarding "oversizing" the replacement for my 3.5 ton Rheem. I've discussed this concern with the contractor who is currently #1 on my list. He will do Manual J if and when I commit to have him do the install. He'll install whatever the load calc calls for and has given me quotes on both 3 and 4 ton XL20i.

    But... he's been in business since 1983 and as a certified Trane Comfort Specialist, he's installed hundreds of the 4 ton XL20i as replacements when Manual J called for 3.5 ton..... with nary a complaint! He's been inside so many homes similar to mine over the years, and he's certain my house will require the 4 ton in a dual stage or two compressor system.

    Just to ease my mind I'm taking everyone's advice regarding up-front test and evaluation and have contacted a local contractor listed on the Comfort Institute website. He's only been in business since 2006 and there's no "rating" data on Angie's list or elsewhere to help me judge their customer satisfaction, BUT.... he's offering a special FREE "Home Comfort Inspection", which includes a blower door test, ESP measurement, air balancing, etc. He said these services are valued at $, but they're free until Dec 31st, along with a free estimate on a replacement system.... Amana top-of-the-line dual stage 18 SEER with the Lifetime replacement warranty.

    He would do the Manual J load calc as part of the install contract, or I could pay him $ to do it now without an install contract. Not gonna do that!

    The appointment has yet to be scheduled, but I described my 1800+sf home with the sliding glass doors and the open beamed family room and he said he's confident the Manual J would mandate either 3.5 ton single stage, or 4 ton dual stage. I asked about chosing between 3 and 4 ton dual stage. His response was, "You can choose a 3 ton, if you want, but you'll have to get some else to install it.... I WON'T DO IT! Your house would be at the high end of 3.5 ton and anything less would NOT make you happy."

    I discussed the advice I'd been getting in this forum suggesting that 3.5 tons is TOO BIG for my house and smaller is better. He said that's crap and the internet is not a reliable place to seek HVAC advice.

    Buyer beware.... still my motto!
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-20-2012 at 05:03 PM. Reason: prices

  7. #163
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,823
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    I discussed the advice I'd been getting in this forum suggesting that 3.5 tons is TOO BIG for my house and smaller is better. He said that's crap and the internet is not a reliable place to seek HVAC advice.
    Why thank you!

    Why don't just get your "#1" contractor thats going to do the job, pay him $ bucks to do the manual J and stop all the guessing about what size you need? Then deduct that from his installation quote. Simple.
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-20-2012 at 05:04 PM. Reason: price
    Always here

  8. #164
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville,Fl
    Posts
    123
    4 ton dual stage sounds like a winner to me as well. I like your contractor!

  9. #165
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    -We know your weatherization work has lowered the worst case load, likely to about 2.5 tons (still a high number for house size imo).

    -3 ton 2 stage will put you right smack where you need to be to efficiently carry your meat of the season load with little to no cycling losses.

    So the question becomes, how much further you go to get comfortable that the 3 ton 2 stage is the right decision?
    I'm keeping in mind everyone's opinion here, including yours, regarding downsizing the 2 stage replacement for my 3.5 ton Rheem instead of upsizing to 4 ton. However, I've yet to find ANY local installer who's been in business over 5 years that agrees with your assessment of my needs.

    Before signing any contract, I will specify that the installed capacity will conform to Manual J load calculations, as required by state code, and will have both the 3-ton and 4-ton quotes referenced in the contract.

    I finally found a contractor listed on the Comfort Institute website who will determine the CFMs of my existing ductwork and perform additional tesing as part of their FREE ESTIMATE. They're an Amana dealer, in business since 2006, so I'll be comparing their quote on Amana with the Trane quotes I have now. I've started a new thread asking for advice and comparison of the high end heat pumps for each brand.

    Thanks for your patience with me as I go through the decision process!

  10. #166
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    503
    Quote Originally Posted by Krzyd View Post
    4 ton dual stage sounds like a winner to me as well. I like your contractor!
    Thanks! I see you're in Jacksonville, so you have a better idea what the contractors in my neck of the woods are getting at with the 4 ton recommendations. Extreme heat and humidity 6 or more months out of the year.

  11. #167
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    5,994
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post

    But... he's been in business since 1983 and as a certified Trane Comfort Specialist, he's installed hundreds of the 4 ton XL20i as replacements when Manual J called for 3.5 ton..... with nary a complaint! He's been inside so many homes similar to mine over the years, and he's certain my house will require the 4 ton in a dual stage or two compressor system.

    Just to ease my mind I'm taking everyone's advice regarding up-front test and ...

    The appointment has yet to be scheduled, but I described my 1800+sf home with the sliding glass doors and the open beamed family room and he said he's confident the Manual J would mandate either 3.5 ton single stage, or 4 ton dual stage. I asked about chosing between 3 and 4 ton dual stage. His response was, "You can choose a 3 ton, if you want, but you'll have to get some else to install it.... I WON'T DO IT! Your house would be at the high end of 3.5 ton and anything less would NOT make you happy."

    I discussed the advice I'd been getting in this forum suggesting that 3.5 tons is TOO BIG for my house and smaller is better. He said that's crap and the internet is not a reliable place to seek HVAC advice.

    Buyer beware.... still my motto!
    I think that what you have described as your house 'features' may more closely be attributes of the " grass hut on the beach" than you or many here realize.

    If I were a contractor, I'd probably not take on any residences with cathedral ceiling type structures as an appropriate business opportunity.

    In other words, the higher than usual required capacity, as much as I Hate to say it, seems reasonable.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  12. #168
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,633
    Oooo, open beamed family room!! Better add 12,000 btu to THAT load! Oooo, and those inter webs, caint trus um! Bigger's bettr, mam. (they just don't say for who) Lmao...

    What a bunch of spineless hacks and butchers, with thumb and forefinger on the scale as they weigh your ground beef. Doing the cya dance at your expense. They've never seen an undersized unit in their lives, nor do they have any clue what happens to load as you fix a house. Preying on your fear.

    And those "audits," not giving you your blower door number or duct leakage, what a complete farce! How are you to calculate load without leakage numbers? Typical leakage on 1800 sf could swing load a ton and a half!

    Sounds like you'll be getting a system that runs mostly on low and chokes on high. Well, you are complicit as well, being too cheap to pay for load calc and esp test is like building an addition without an architect or building specifications. Pretty shortsighted when it comes to a long investment. Means a rushed, "get ER dun" job where thoughtful design matters.

    Maybe you won't suffer for the shortcut, or not know that you are suffering for it but I've got p len ty of examples where this approach has led to expensive regret.
    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.

  13. #169
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,948
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    Oooo, open beamed family room!! Better add 12,000 btu to THAT load! Oooo, and those inter webs, caint trus um! Bigger's bettr, mam. (they just don't say for who) Lmao...

    What a bunch of spineless hacks and butchers, with thumb and forefinger on the scale as they weigh your ground beef. Doing the cya dance at your expense. They've never seen an undersized unit in their lives, nor do they have any clue what happens to load as you fix a house. Preying on your fear.

    And those "audits," not giving you your blower door number or duct leakage, what a complete farce! How are you to calculate load without leakage numbers? Typical leakage on 1800 sf could swing load a ton and a half!

    Sounds like you'll be getting a system that runs mostly on low and chokes on high. Well, you are complicit as well, being too cheap to pay for load calc and esp test is like building an addition without an architect or building specifications. Pretty shortsighted when it comes to a long investment. Means a rushed, "get ER dun" job where thoughtful design matters.

    Maybe you won't suffer for the shortcut, or not know that you are suffering for it but I've got p len ty of examples where this approach has led to expensive regret.
    Good one ted.. People are scared to death of breaking the "tried and true 500sqft per ton". Insulation levels on homes have improved over the past 40 years, yet the 500sqft per ton rule remains. They will input the Man J program to get the result they want, which oddly always seems to end up at about 500sqft per ton.

    To add insult to injury the heat ends up being grossly oversized, since it's difficult to find low BTU furnaces with high blower capacities.

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