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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17

    Zoned System Ducting Advice

    I am looking to build a house next spring just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I wish to put in a zoning system to allow for more efficient use of heating and cooling energy and to keep the house consistently heated over varying heat loads. The problem is when I talk to local contractors most do not want to deal with this kind of system or are giving me conflicting feed back.

    The systems I would like to install is(and I have yet to get a price on either):

    Trane:
    -ComfortLink 2
    -10 zones
    -XR16 heat pump
    -Electric Air Handler with 15kW of backup heat

    Carrier:
    -SYSTXCCUIZ01-V
    -8 zones(need to combine 2 basement bedrooms, and storage and basement play room)
    -25VNA heat pump
    -Electric Air Handler with 15kW of backup heat

    with both systems only main thermastat, master bedroom and basement play room will have displays.

    The biggest discrepancy I seem to be getting is how they would plan to run the duct work.

    1) Some contractors say each zone needs to have a home run back to the air handler. If this is the case I need to rethink my plans as it would likely be to expensive.
    2) Some contractors have said I can put the air handler in the middle of the house have 2 damper motors on either side of it then run truncs down the house splitting off for each zone. This would be ideal but reading through the literature and wiring diagrams of these systems makes me think this is not natively possible with either system and not possible at all with the carrier system. I am pretty sure I could use a small PLC to make it possible with the Trane system(I am an Electrician)
    3) None have suggested this but I wounder if it is possible. Same as (2) but remove the damper motors. Assuming everything was sealed well would not back pressure from all the closed dampers prevent air from flowing down the side not calling for air.

    The trane system is a lot nicer looking and has a lot more options but Carriers heat pump is much more efficient a HSPF of 13 vs Tranes HSPF of 9.5

    I would love any advice and/or quotes on installing the system. I am an electrician and can handle all the wiring of the systems but I don't want to deal with installing of the ducts or heat pump and to what I have read sizing of ducts can be very critical.

    Let me know if there is anymore information anyone needs. And thanks for any advice/quotes people can give me.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    677
    why so many zones? will every room be zoned seperatly? how will you be handleing capacity reduction? i really only see four realistic zones.
    I am the "Wally". All others are meer imitations of the original.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17
    5 on main floor: 1 per bedroom plus main area
    5 in basement: 2 bedrooms, media room, play room, storage

    Reason for splitting is to be able to set areas as unoccupied. Bedroom walls are all insulated and there are 3 extra bedrooms then I currently have kids.(guests and planned 3rd kid)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,661
    Quote Originally Posted by wally01 View Post
    why so many zones? will every room be zoned seperatly? how will you be handleing capacity reduction? i really only see four realistic zones.
    I agree with Waldo, why so many zones? You said you were worried about cost? Reduce the zones = reducing the cost. But each to his own.

    That said, Carrier has a sweet modulating zone system. I'm not fimiliar with Trane. There are different ways to reduce costs. Either reduce the number of expensive dampers which means more ductwork/labor (it also reduces the long term service needs) or use less ductwork and more dampers. Personally, I think you could reduce the number of zones by consolidating some areas. Example: The three bedrooms on the main level could be on one zone. I'm just saying. Good luck. Most contractor do not like, know or want to know about zoning. I worked with one salesman that had a bad experiance with zoning (I'm sure it was his fault, he was dumb as a box of rocks) and never tried to sell it again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,935
    yes, you can have your main trunk lines ran without dampers, and then have the individual dampers in the branch supply lines. Carrier Infinity modulating zoning system will work well for this.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    I agree with Waldo, why so many zones? You said you were worried about cost? Reduce the zones = reducing the cost. But each to his own.

    That said, Carrier has a sweet modulating zone system. I'm not fimiliar with Trane. There are different ways to reduce costs. Either reduce the number of expensive dampers which means more ductwork/labor (it also reduces the long term service needs) or use less ductwork and more dampers. Personally, I think you could reduce the number of zones by consolidating some areas. Example: The three bedrooms on the main level could be on one zone. I'm just saying. Good luck. Most contractor do not like, know or want to know about zoning. I worked with one salesman that had a bad experiance with zoning (I'm sure it was his fault, he was dumb as a box of rocks) and never tried to sell it again.
    The trane dampers are only $ at the wholesaler and thermistors are only $ so ducts and Labour are the expensive part. Most contractors I have talked to said I would have to do all the controls once they found I am an electrician and doing all the electrical for the house. I do a lot of comercial hvac control work for a living
    Last edited by beenthere; 12-09-2012 at 02:44 PM. Reason: prices

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    yes, you can have your main trunk lines ran without dampers, and then have the individual dampers in the branch supply lines. Carrier Infinity modulating zoning system will work well for this.
    Thanks that is a good thing to know. George the purpose is to save money on heating bills not upfront cost. Combining the 3 rooms would save me $ but give me less control on bedroom temps. Admittedly I will never likely save the money back on heating bills but I like the control gained by having seperate zones. That said if it ends up it will be an extra $ in duct work I will definetly combine them to 1 zone.
    Last edited by beenthere; 12-09-2012 at 02:45 PM. Reason: price

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,935
    Prices aren't allowed here.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17
    Sorry. Well without prices(even hypothetical ones) there is no point discussing the zone arrangements other than to say I am willing to reduce zone count to keep project economical.

    Thank you for letting me know option (3) will work as this is the cheapest install method. Will it work well is an interesting question which I believe you said it will with carrier.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,661
    Quote Originally Posted by Mctrivia View Post
    Thanks that is a good thing to know. George the purpose is to save money on heating bills not upfront cost. Combining the 3 rooms would save me $ but give me less control on bedroom temps. Admittedly I will never likely save the money back on heating bills but I like the control gained by having seperate zones. That said if it ends up it will be an extra $ in duct work I will definetly combine them to 1 zone.
    Okay, gotcha regarding saving long term not worried about the up front costs.

    As B.L. said #5, have them run the ductwork as normal and install the Carrier modulating dampers. The expense will be in all of the thermostats needed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,109
    The Trane isn't a good option. On low, it is 75-80% of high so when 1 or 2 zones calling, you'll be short cycling something fierce trying to keep from freezing up or tripping high head in heating with the 16i. If you must go Trane, the 20i is a much better option.

    The modulating Carrier makes so much more sense assuming the Infinity control will drop it down to the lowest rate with low load.

    I think if I were building a nice joint in a cold climate, I'd have hydronic heat.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17
    I will install the pexs in the basement and garage slabs for future hydronic heating. For now though I want to focus on ducted heat as that can cool also(we have very hot summers also no middle temps though)

    If you mean geothermal that would be ideal but the payback period for my house design is 25 to 50 years which I very well may live but can't justify paying up front to my wife.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    Okay, gotcha regarding saving long term not worried about the up front costs.

    As B.L. said #5, have them run the ductwork as normal and install the Carrier modulating dampers. The expense will be in all of the thermostats needed.
    So any extra volume in duct pre dampers will not deteriate the efficency of the system? I am definetly thinking the career system is the better system. It is just to bad that trane's main thermostat looks so much nicer and is more configurable.

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