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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Leawood, KS
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    3

    2-Stage AC worth it in Kansas City?

    I'm considering replacing my existing 2-stage Lennox HS21-060-1P with a 2-stage Lennox XC16. The HS21 came with the house. I'm not sure how common it is in the Kansas City area for contractors to install 2-stage systems. Anyone have an idea of how common this may be?

    I'm wondering if I would even notice the difference in comfort and lower humidity. I have a 2yr old Lennox SLP98V furnace, so I'm sure that will help with humidity removal over a standard furnace. If I don't purchase the XC16 I'll go with the XC14. Any opinions on of a two-stage system is worth the extra money in my geographic area?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    78
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary or ask questions of the OP here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 09-26-2012 at 06:01 AM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    78
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary or ask questions of the OP here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 09-26-2012 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,446
    Look on the contractor locator map on this site to find a contractor, check some of their posts to see how knowledgable they seem

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    78
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary or ask questions of the OP here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 09-26-2012 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,446
    Quote Originally Posted by KSUWildcat View Post
    I'm considering replacing my existing 2-stage Lennox HS21-060-1P with a 2-stage Lennox XC16. The HS21 came with the house. I'm not sure how common it is in the Kansas City area for contractors to install 2-stage systems. Anyone have an idea of how common this may be?

    I'm wondering if I would even notice the difference in comfort and lower humidity. I have a 2yr old Lennox SLP98V furnace, so I'm sure that will help with humidity removal over a standard furnace. If I don't purchase the XC16 I'll go with the XC14. Any opinions on of a two-stage system is worth the extra money in my geographic area?
    How old is your current system? Why do you want to replace? Sq footage of house? Insulation values? Unless its a huge house with sub par insulation 5 tons is probably oversized

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Not sure about KC. Im not to far, IL, Ky IN intersection. 2 stage is popular and effective here. I have the Trane version, 2 stage 18 SEER heat pump setup. 2 zones on 2300sqft. Been worth the investment for me. Better overall control and comfort.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,301
    Just remember that most of today's 2 stage units don't have much difference between high & low. The unloading scroll can have low as much as 80% of high, though most are closer to 75%. If you want the ultimate, go for it. In terms of a good investment and payback in energy savings, probably not there in KC. Usually you can put money elsewhere in the house, say insulation, and get a fast ROI.

    OR, you might be better off spending a few extra bucks for a heat pump and you'll likely get that premium back much faster in heating savings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Leawood, KS
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    How old is your current system? Why do you want to replace? Sq footage of house? Insulation values? Unless its a huge house with sub par insulation 5 tons is probably oversized
    2 years for SLP98V. AC is 11 years. Replacing because the condenser died. 3500 sq ft. R-13 for walls and not sure about ceiling.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,534
    Quote Originally Posted by KSUWildcat View Post
    I'm considering replacing my existing 2-stage Lennox HS21-060-1P with a 2-stage Lennox XC16. The HS21 came with the house. I'm not sure how common it is in the Kansas City area for contractors to install 2-stage systems. Anyone have an idea of how common this may be?

    I'm wondering if I would even notice the difference in comfort and lower humidity. I have a 2yr old Lennox SLP98V furnace, so I'm sure that will help with humidity removal over a standard furnace. If I don't purchase the XC16 I'll go with the XC14. Any opinions on of a two-stage system is worth the extra money in my geographic area?
    Define comfort. To me, comfort is setting the desire temp/%RH and that is the last you think about it. It is provided wihout notice. For me during the warm months , it's 75^F,50%RH during routine time of occupancy, as high as 78^F, 50%RH when not occupied.
    YOur cooling system must be unable to maintain 75^F, 50%RH during low/no cooling load conditions with outdoor dew points above 50^F and the moisture from the occuppants. Two speed is better than single speed. Variable speed is better than two speed. Add a whole house dehumidifier to any of these properly setup a/cs including the simple single speed and you will have the perfect 75^F, <50%RH. You also can include the need for a minimal fresh air ventilation change that the whole house dehumidifier can provide and you have perfect comfort. The cost of single speed plus whole house dehu is competitive with the two speed and less cost that inverter VS a/c. Also consider the cost of maintainence, the single sp a/c/whole house dehu is much less and simpler.
    I have monitored all of these systems and am willing to share. Check my past posts.
    Regards TB
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    I live in a similar climate just a little North and a ways East, and I have a 2 stage system on my upstairs and like how it load matches a litlte bit better and runs longer than a 2 stage system would which keeps temrpatures more even, makes it more efficient, and removes humidity a little better. Proper sizing still makes hte biggest difference. Never, ever oversize just because it's 2 stage. You will have bad results. That do only come in full sizes, so you have to "round up" sometimes. IF you are between a ful and 1/2 size, so lets say you load calc says you need a 2.2 Ton AC, I would not get a 3 ton 2 stage system. You won't get the same bensfits. A single stage 2.5 ton will be better choice IMO in that situation. You'd actually be better with a 2 ton 2 stage and figuring out how to reduce your heat load by better shading, stopping air leaks or insulation or if a 2 story home, considering zoning to divide the load so a slightly undersize AC will work well.

    Yes, I do think it's worth it in terms of comfort. But there may be other imrpovements that would have a greater impact such as zoning or having 2 systems in a 2 story home instead of one. Also, installing a thermostat that can control the equipment and slow the airflow based on humidity it even more improtant thatn 2 stage. Ac in a home is about maintaining comfort, not hitting a certain temeprature. IF you ignore humidity, you are ignoring 1/2 the equation that affects your comfort.

    You can take 2 identical homes that are both reading 72F and one feels warm and the other is cool. THe RH is the first might be 60%RH. In the 2nd is' 40%RH. If you had it at 48-50%RH, it would feel just right.

    On cooler cloudy days in April, May, Sept and October, you will still have difficulty maintining ideal humidity in any home in a humid climate.... as mentioned above by Teddybear. Larger homes with properly sized systems will have fewer issues since they have comparatively longer run times than smaller homes as will homes with a lot of thermal mass. I have a lot of both and as such don't have too much trouble staying under 50%RH.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,737
    Quote Originally Posted by KSUWildcat View Post
    2 years for SLP98V. AC is 11 years. Replacing because the condenser died. 3500 sq ft. R-13 for walls and not sure about ceiling.
    I would recommend a 2-stage H/P for your area. It would be a good investment.

    I would make sure that you have enough return air and filter area. These are areas that are commonly overlooked and effect the efficiency.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Posts
    476
    I dont live far from you..the furnace you said is 2 years old with an 11 year ac and the compressor is out of it? most contractors around here will give you a credit of some sort for newer equipment like that if you opt for a full system replacement. depending on your airflow needs and ductwork, it all depends if the 2 stage air conditioner is really needed or not. I say just go to a single stage air conditoner or even a heatpump with a new 95%+ efficient furnace. I can discuss more in length with you in PM since I am close by, but I do recommend a second opinion and then assessing the situation from there.
    Thomas aka...spymoocow
    Quote Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
    Ah, sorry I thought that's what he meant. An inch shouldn't make that much difference (at least that's what I always tell my wife).

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