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  1. #92
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    Aug 2012
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    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Here is some info for you. Pay special attention to page four and five.Attachment 300521
    Thank you for this! I'm pretty well on my way to being "sold" on the XL20i, so I appreciate it. Still waffling between 3 or 4 ton as the "right" solution for my situation. I don't have the Manual J load calc yet... contractor won't do it until I commit to him having the job. Not sure I can trust it anyway, since everyone who's been to my house is certain 4 ton would be the "right" 2-stage replacement for my existing 3.5 ton single stage. What I mean is, maybe I can't trust the results because they're predisposed to over-ratng my heat load so it agrees with their best guess. But I'm also not sure I can trust all the pro's on this board who haven't been in my house, but are certain 3 ton would be "right" for my situation.

    Based on your experience with Trane "satisfaction" in Phoenix, at least in those homes that don't still use swamp coolers, how content is your average 2000 sf homeowner with the XL20i in a 3 ton as compared to a 4 ton.... if you happen to have that knowledge firsthand, as an installer or otherwise?

  2. #93
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by budman21901 View Post
    I have worked for a Trane dealer, and have installed a few 20I systems. Love installing them, but hell with working on them. LOL I personally put a 15i in my home and stayed away from anything 2 stage. Yes this advanced technology is great, but put it in 80% of homes duct work, and its useless. It's like putting Mag wheels on a pinto!
    The Trane dealers I've talked to in my area over the past week all say they're installing lots and lots of XL20i's now, not so many 15i's and 16i's, but still quite a few base model XR's and XB's in rental homes. Based on callbacks, they told me... because I asked... that homeowners who've replaced older 3.5 ton units with the 4 ton XL20i in their own homes are really happy.

    I'm guessing ductwork in your 2/3 story homes and townhouses in the northeast (with basements and upstairs/downstairs zoning) is quite a bit different from Florida, where our average home is one story on a cement slab. And I'll bet there are lots of frame homes in the northeast built in the 1800's that are still being occupied. Down here, 1950's cement block is about the oldest you'll find, and many of theose have already been bulldozed and turned into commercial parking lots or CVS drugstores. LOL

  3. #94
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    Aug 2012
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    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Lets see a pic of that outdoor & indoor unit.

  4. #95
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
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    3,495
    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 forget, did the ductwork's insulation get upgraded when it was sealed? R2 or R4 insulation was standard and R8 is now the recommendation... foil jacket for radiant reflection in an attic...
    exactly how many registers are in your house, and what size are the ducts feeding them. from this we can get pretty good idea if it's possible for the ducts to flow the cfm the system needs.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
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    The A/C repairman

  5. #96
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    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 forget, did the ductwork's insulation get upgraded when it was sealed? R2 or R4 insulation was standard and R8 is now the recommendation... foil jacket for radiant reflection in an attic...
    exactly how many registers are in your house, and what size are the ducts feeding them. from this we can get pretty good idea if it's possible for the ducts to flow the cfm the system needs.
    Attic ventilation is poor. Roof line is very strange, as is the floorplan. The roof on the front half of the house tilts up from the front to the center where it stops in mid-air. At the top of that section there are two tiny two-foot off-ridge vents. The back half of the house, for the most part, has a normal roof (IMO) shaped like an upside down V... it tilts up from each side where it meets in the middle at the high point. Under that upside down V at the back of the house is where my open beam family room sits... no attic above, so no insulation. There is a short 8 ft run of ridge vent in the very front part of that back section of roof, which is about in the middle of my attic.

    R30 insulation was added on top of the R7/8 already in the attic, but no insulation was added to the ductwork.

    There are 11 registers, but I've not been in the attic myself, so I don't know the size of the ducts. The contractors told me they were the "right" size, whatever that is.

    The roof is gray asphalt shingles, not Energy Star reflective and not 130 mph hurricane rated. I'll be replacing it in 4 or 5 years most likely, or sooner if mother nature decides to come calling again. LOL

    The back of the house faces the lake to the NE and there are 3 sets of 8 foot wide sliding glass doors across the back of the house so you can see the lake from all but the 2 guest bedrooms at the front of the house.

    On the SE side of the house there is a screened atrium that's actually inside the footprint of the house. On the outside wall there's half screen, half stucco, with screen as the "roof" of the atrium. The three inside "walls" are all sliding glass doors. Two of them are 8 ft wide, the third set facing my entry hall are 12 ft wide.

    If you look at the pix of the air handler, you see it's up on a stand in the corner of my ducted laundry room. The filtered return grill is just on the other side of the wall behind the a/h and feeds from the hallway to the space under the a/h stand.

    If I have time tomorrow, I'll put up some pictures of the outside of my house, if you think you need them.

  6. #97
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    If I have time tomorrow, I'll put up some pictures of the outside of my house, if you think you need them.
    This is the builder's diagram of my house that's on file with the county clerk's office. What originally was an enclosed screen room at the top left has been remodeled as conditioned space with an air duct in the ceiling, so add this 150sf room to the 1677sf to determine the current total conditioned space. The back of the room is pretty much wall to wall sliding glass and the other exterior wall is mostly sliding windows, approximately 10 ft wide by 5 ft tall. Each of the interior walls in this room is separated from the main house by 8 ft wide sliding glass doors. So much sliding glass in this house, you can see the lake from almost any room in the house. I love letting the outside in, but it does add a lot to the heat load on my A/C.

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  7. #98
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    4,423
    Joy, do you know if your return air chase is sealed? How many RA's do you have and are they high or low? Will there be any duct leakage testing done with a duct blaster or blower door?
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  8. #99
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    Aug 2012
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    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Joy, do you know if your return air chase is sealed? How many RA's do you have and are they high or low? Will there be any duct leakage testing done with a duct blaster or blower door?
    Power company came and did the blower door test and recommended sealing all 11 ducts to the outlet boots, as well as sealing the return air space between the filtered grille and the air handler. All the recommended sealing has been completed. There is currently only one 20 x 20 return just above the baseboard in the hallway that backs up to the fabricated stand in the laundry room that holds the air handler. Return air has not far to go to get sucked into the air handler! All but two of the 11 supply ducts are in the ceiling. The two in the family room with the open beam ceiling are in the wall about 10 ft from the floor.

  9. #100
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    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    I'm not a fan of duct testing using a blower door and the subtraction method, but thats my problem! Was a test out done after duct sealing? Your RA, is it just a grill or is it a return air FILTER GRILL? Or is your filter located in the base of the AH? Was your 3 1/2 ton system able to keep up before the duct seal? Where you there when the duct sealing was done?
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  10. #101
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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    I'm not a fan of duct testing using a blower door and the subtraction method, but thats my problem! Was a test out done after duct sealing? Your RA, is it just a grill or is it a return air FILTER GRILL? Or is your filter located in the base of the AH? Was your 3 1/2 ton system able to keep up before the duct seal? Where you there when the duct sealing was done?
    No test done after the sealing. I suppose I could call them back and pay the small amount required to do the test over again, but I'm satisfied that the outflow from the ducts is so much better than before. I was there watching the guy seal each duct and he appeared to be quite thorough. Only one thing he messed up on, and the contractors quoting a replacement system caught it... the return was sealed with the duct board inside out. Not sure it's a big deal... the contractor will replace it during installation of new air handler.

    The return air is a FILTER GRILL. I thought that's what I said in my previous post. There is no filter in the base of the a/h.

    The 3.5 ton has really been struggling to cool the house for the 2.5 years I've lived here (maybe longer)... until last Wednesday when the copper leaks were sealed in the outside unit and the leaking/corroded accumulator was replaced. The old system is working better now than ever, but all the repairs happened within a couple of days so I'm not sure how much the duct sealing and additional R30 insulation in the attic contributed to the improvements in airflow and cooling. All I know is that I'm relatively comfortable now. It's holding at 75 degrees day and night and the RH is holding at 40% or lower, even though the outside temp has been just over 90 degrees and the RH outside is 75% or higher. The system has been running almost constantly during the heat of the day, but now it cycles off for long periods in the evening and in the morning before noon. I can't wait to see what impact all this has on my next electric bill.

  11. #102
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    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    Are there going to be RA duct improvements? Or are they staying with the 400 sq inches of RAFG area?
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  12. #103
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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    It's holding at 75 degrees day and night and the RH is holding at 40% or lower, even though the outside temp has been just over 90 degrees and the RH outside is 75% or higher.
    I should qualify the "75 degrees" by saying that's what the thermostat reads. The small electronic thermometer I bought at Lowes to measure and record temps and humidity actually reads 77 degrees at the thermostat. I used it to check each room, too, and found that all rooms were within 1 degree of that 77 degree setting and very close in RH. The front bedroom stays at 76 degrees and occasionally the master bath gets up to 78 degrees, which is not surprising.

  13. #104
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Are there going to be RA duct improvements? Or are they staying with the 400 sq inches of RAFG area?
    Yes, the plan is to add another 400 sq inch FILTER GRILL directly under the a/h stand by cutting a hole in the wall around the corner in the entry hall. Depending on stud locations, this grill may end up being smaller and/or a different shape.

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