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  1. #1
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    Compare Heat Pumps - Broan FT4BI iQ Drive vs.Trane XL20i

    Any comments? Which is more efficient, reliable, comfortable, less prone to malfunction or mfg. defects?

    Reference my other threads regarding Manual J and sizing a replacement heat pump for my 1827sf Florida home with too many windows. LOL

    jtrammel sent me to the Comfort Institute website and the Maytag/Broan dealer actually came out and did a whole house evaluation, including blower door test, flow hood evaluation, house and window measurements, insulation R-value, and load calc. He didn't ask or care about the size of my old system, and said it didn't matter because the load calc (which he did on his computer after he got the test results and took measurements) would determine the correct size for the replacement. He's working up a quote on two equipment options that he'll email me in a few days. He did leave the infiltration and duct leakage reports with me, but of course, he didn't leave me with a copy of the Manual J results (I guess so it can't be used by someone else). However, he discussed his Manual J results with me and compared them with the Manual J printout I received from the Lennox dealer. Both load calc's were very close and both recommended a single stage system capable of 42000 BTU.

    When we got into the discussion of dual stage and/or multi-stage options, he explained very clearly the differences in cooling performance between dual stage and/or dual compressor units and the IQ Drive multi-stage compressor. At design conditions, both dual stage and dual compressor units max out at the rated tonnage, i.e., the most cooling you'll get from a 3 ton is 36000 BTU. With the multi-stage operation of the IQ Drive compressor, it maxes out at 118% of rated tonnage. That is, a 3 ton IQ Drive will provide up to 42480 BTU (3.5 ton)

    Based on Manual J load calculation he recommends either the 3 ton 21 SEER Broan FT4BI iQ Drive, or the 4 ton 16 SEER Broan FT4BF.

    The best part is that Broan is an RE Michel brand and this dealer can get the equipment through RE Michel for me practically wholesale using my son's employee discount (he manages the Orlando RE Michel). I'm hoping this brings the overall cost into my price range, but we'll see.

    What do you all think?

  2. #2
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    http://www.ahridirectory.org/ahridir...ultSearch.aspx

    I would really check that claim out.......
    Always here

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    http://www.ahridirectory.org/ahridir...ultSearch.aspx

    I would really check that claim out.......
    I'm pretty sure the AHRi site reflects nominal BTU ratings only, not actual equipment performance data for various ODDB/IDWB and t-stat setpoints. I believe the latter data is proprietary and not readily accessible by laymen on the Broan website.

    I could be wrong.... it's happened before. LOL

  4. #4
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    Jul 2006
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    Broan is a nordyne product , the install of the iq drive unit is very important to acheive operation .it does sound like they are addressing your sizing concerns properly .make sure you get a 10 year part and labor warranty on the unit and go with it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    The 3 ton Broan rates at 21.00 SEER, 13 EER and 9.60 HSPF. Cooling capacity is 35,000 so I don't know why a 3 ton would work for the IQ drive but you need a 4 ton for the BF which is rated at 36,000 BTU.

    The XL20i 3 ton with TAM8 is 18.50 SEER, 13 EER and 9.50 HSPF.

    Hard to beat a system with son's discount though. The Broan Quality Pledge replaces the whole outdoor unit if you lose the comp in 10 years (registered.) We have a guy with an A-S 2 compressor heat pump that lost its small compressor twice now. A-S says takes 3 failures to get help besides a new compressor.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    The 3 ton Broan rates at 21.00 SEER, 13 EER and 9.60 HSPF. Cooling capacity is 35,000 so I don't know why a 3 ton would work for the IQ drive but you need a 4 ton for the BF which is rated at 36,000 BTU.

    The XL20i 3 ton with TAM8 is 18.50 SEER, 13 EER and 9.50 HSPF.

    Hard to beat a system with son's discount though. The Broan Quality Pledge replaces the whole outdoor unit if you lose the comp in 10 years (registered.) We have a guy with an A-S 2 compressor heat pump that lost its small compressor twice now. A-S says takes 3 failures to get help besides a new compressor.
    Didn't you mean 48,000 BTU for the 4 ton? If I went with the Trane XL20i, it would have to be the 4 ton, SEER 17.75.

    The 10 year Quality Pledge does sound good.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2009
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    Portland OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    The 3 ton Broan rates at 21.00 SEER, 13 EER and 9.60 HSPF. Cooling capacity is 35,000 so I don't know why a 3 ton would work for the IQ drive but you need a 4 ton for the BF which is rated at 36,000 BTU.

    The XL20i 3 ton with TAM8 is 18.50 SEER, 13 EER and 9.50 HSPF.

    Hard to beat a system with son's discount though. The Broan Quality Pledge replaces the whole outdoor unit if you lose the comp in 10 years (registered.) We have a guy with an A-S 2 compressor heat pump that lost its small compressor twice now. A-S says takes 3 failures to get help besides a new compressor.
    They rate them at 100% of capacity for AHRI numbers so they can get higher efficienies but they actually have a capacity that as stated is 118% of rated so it does give a 3.5 ton cooling capacity on a 3 ton unit. The efficiency drops below the 21 SEER rated at any point above 100% so it would work in this homeowners case.

    I have installed the Frigidair iQ drive heat pump with their modulating gas furnace and the quality of it is NOWHERE near Trane but its a great product overall. Its been on the market longer than the other variable drive options and we installed the frigidaire system 2 or 3 years ago and have not had a problem at all with it.
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
    Like us on FACEBOOK if you like our advice here!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyHeating View Post
    They rate them at 100% of capacity for AHRI numbers so they can get higher efficienies but they actually have a capacity that as stated is 118% of rated so it does give a 3.5 ton cooling capacity on a 3 ton unit. The efficiency drops below the 21 SEER rated at any point above 100% so it would work in this homeowners case.

    I have installed the Frigidair iQ drive heat pump with their modulating gas furnace and the quality of it is NOWHERE near Trane but its a great product overall. Its been on the market longer than the other variable drive options and we installed the frigidaire system 2 or 3 years ago and have not had a problem at all with it.
    Thanks! Since I joined this forum, I've really appreciated your input... not only on my issues, but your comments throughout the AOP Residential group. And I think I've seen all your youtube videos on the Trane systems.

    Can you tell me some of the important differences you've observed between the Hyperion a/h and the one supplied with the Broan equipment? I don't have the specs or p/n of the Broan, but I'm told they're not near as tall as the Hyperion, so I could accomodate a media filter with the Broan without modifying my a/h stand. Also, with the Hyperion, the wiring is squeezed between the front and side panels, which could cause chafing. Is it that way with the Broan? I'm not an engineer, but it sure looks like Trane forget to include wire grommets when they designed the cabinet, to me, anyway. And with the sheer size of the Hyperion, I'm afraid all the piping coming out the front of the a/h may get in the way of my utility room door opening up against the a/h stand. It currently opens a full 90 degrees and I would be upset if I had to squeeze through a 75 degree opening between the door and my laundry equipment (dryer). Any comments on the a/h setup?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyHeating View Post
    They rate them at 100% of capacity for AHRI numbers so they can get higher efficienies but they actually have a capacity that as stated is 118% of rated so it does give a 3.5 ton cooling capacity on a 3 ton unit. The efficiency drops below the 21 SEER rated at any point above 100% so it would work in this homeowners case.

    I have installed the Frigidair iQ drive heat pump with their modulating gas furnace and the quality of it is NOWHERE near Trane but its a great product overall. Its been on the market longer than the other variable drive options and we installed the frigidaire system 2 or 3 years ago and have not had a problem at all with it.
    Keep in mind the "21 SEER" rating is at 82 degree outside and 80 degree inside temperatures. Yes a TWO degree difference between outside and inside temperatures. The EER rating is VERY different at a more typical 95 outside/80 inside 15 degree difference. If it's 95F outside and the system is running continuously on high speed (which it should be in most areas) the EER number is closer to what you are going to see in the real world. I didn't see EER published for either unit you are comparing but very few air to air units are capable of EER of over 14. A 14-15 SEER unit gets and EER of about 13. Not much real world improvement for the high end units when the temps start climbing. 16+ SEER units get their higher rating by "downsizing" during part load conditions to reduce cycling losses. Cycling looses can also be reduced by selecting smaller equipment if you're OK with house not meeting setpoint when temperature are over 95 outside. You can move heat generating activities to off peak times to help keep cool.

    For the money you are talking about with the high end systems you may want to look at geothermal. EER on Geo units can exceed 20, a substantial improvement over air cooled units.

    http://www.lacool.ws/SEER%20Tutorial.htm
    Last edited by 54regcab; 09-02-2012 at 09:46 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    For the money you are talking about with the high end systems you may want to look at geothermal.

    http://www.lacool.ws/SEER%20Tutorial.htm
    In layman's terms, isn't geothermal really "water-to-air" cooling from buried piping filled with water? Not an option in my Florida neighborhood. Besides being impractical for my house built on a lakefront slab at just a little above sea level, water-to-air is not allowed by my HOA.

    With all the utility company rebates and instant cash from the mfg., the price difference between the "Cadillac" and the "Kia" models in the Trane lineup is just a little over three figures, so I'm not sure the benefit of going with a lower SEER at this time.

    BTW, thanks for the link! Very informative!

  11. #11
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    Jun 2001
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    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    In layman's terms, isn't geothermal really "water-to-air" cooling from buried piping filled with water? Not an option in my Florida neighborhood. Besides being impractical for my house built on a lakefront slab at just a little above sea level, water-to-air is not allowed by my HOA.

    With all the utility company rebates and instant cash from the mfg., the price difference between the "Cadillac" and the "Kia" models in the Trane lineup is just a little over three figures, so I'm not sure the benefit of going with a lower SEER at this time.

    BTW, thanks for the link! Very informative!
    If you are on the water geo makes even more sense if code allows it. Geo can use the water from a lake to cool the condenser w/o having to drill/dig expensive loops. Your utility may even offer big rebates for geo systems because the EER so much more than any air cooled condenser can do. 18+ EER's are common (some go into the 30's) with geo, air cooled units top out at about 14 EER.

    How is the rebate structured with your utility company? At what SEER level do the big rebates come in? Once you get over 16 SEER definitely get the extended warranty. The parts for these units are considerably more expensive than standard units.

  12. #12
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    SEER/EER Cooling Standard

    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Keep in mind the "21 SEER" rating is at 82 degree outside and 80 degree inside temperatures. Yes a TWO degree difference between outside and inside temperatures. The EER rating is VERY different at a more typical 95 outside/80 inside 15 degree difference. If it's 95F outside and the system is running continuously on high speed (which it should be in most areas) the EER number is closer to what you are going to see in the real world. I didn't see EER published for either unit you are comparing but very few air to air units are capable of EER of over 14. A 14-15 SEER unit gets and EER of about 13. Not much real world improvement for the high end units when the temps start climbing. 16+ SEER units get their higher rating by "downsizing" during part load conditions to reduce cycling losses. Cycling looses can also be reduced by selecting smaller equipment if you're OK with house not meeting setpoint when temperature are over 95 outside. You can move heat generating activities to off peak times to help keep cool.

    For the money you are talking about with the high end systems you may want to look at geothermal. EER on Geo units can exceed 20, a substantial improvement over air cooled units.
    As you all know, I chose the 3 ton, 20,5 SEER, 14.5 EER Carrier Greenspeed, which was installed on 11/08/2012. But I've had your comment about SEER being based on testing at 80*F indoor and 82*F outdoor rolling around in my head, so I decided to check the 25VNA product data for the equipment I chose. Here's what I found regarding published ratings:

    Cooling Standard: 80_F (27_C) db 67_F (19_C) wb indoor entering air temperature and 95_F (35_C) db air entering outdoor unit.

    25VNA Infinity Variable Speed Heat Pump with Greenspeed Product Data (25VNA-03PD).pdf

  13. #13
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