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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    6

    Confused Is this a no brainer? Carrier Infinity 16 (and lower bid) versus Trane XB14

    I have some bids in for two new A/C systems. The first system is a 2.5-3 tons and is for our house. The second system is for a (2 bedroom + bath) detached apartment at 1.5-2 tons. Apartment isn't used much.

    The first bid is from a Carrier dealer
    House: Carrier Infinity 16 25HNB636 / FE4ANF002 (or a Performance 15 system that's quite a bit less)
    Apartment: Carrier Comfort 13 25HBC18 / FX4DNF19

    The second bid is from a Trane dealer:
    House: Trane 2.5 ton XB14 (4TWB4030G1) + 2009 model (sold new) American Standard airhandler (4TEE3D01B1)
    Apartment: Trane 2.0 ton XB14 (4TWB4024G1) + same AS handler as above
    Note: AS handlers have a built in "Whole House Air Cleaner" filter built in.

    The Carrier systems' bid is cheaper than the Trane contractor's bid (and significantly cheaper than Trane deal if Carrier Performance 15 instead of Infinity 16). I think both the Carrier and Trane dealers are fairly reputable and can both be trusted to do a quality job of installation. After sale service I think just slightly favors the Trane dealer.

    If I were to guess I would think the Apartment models seem to be about equal (at least in Carrier's and Trane's own ranking of their systems). It's the Carrier Infinity 16 versus Trane XB14 system that has me somewhat confused. One seems to be a clear winner, however, the American Standard air handlers may be an upgrade not typically paired with an XB14.

    Is either of these a clear-cut winner or loser? I have a feeling there is but the problem is my heart and my brain are thinking two very different things.

    Thanks,
    CoolNIt in South Florida
    Last edited by CoolNIt; 06-10-2013 at 12:48 AM. Reason: Oops, missed that we can't put any price info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    West Monroe, LA
    Posts
    1,537
    I would suggest look at the small things that will equal the entire system install. On paper or your post it appers that the carrier might be the best system?

    Something to consider if both companies are equal are the install practices, warranty and general feeling you get from either or.

    Get both bids in written stating what the scope of the work to be preformed is. I will say this with all things being equal with either dealer the cost should be very close if truly a apples to apples comparison?

    I can't speak for the carrier system as I'm not a dealer or no what the there model numbers are/mine compaired to the Trane.

    I can say that the Trane bid includes a variable speed air handler? As for the carrier air handler I can't tell by the model numbers. While the XB 14 is considered to be a builders grade unit it can be higher efficent then the standard the 14 seer with a fixed speed air handler. Compaired to the variable speed model you were quoted should achive at least 15 seer? Sorry don't have acces to my Ahri site.

    Ask for Ahri numbers and scope of the work to be preformed by each contractor. Usually the lowest bidder is not always the best based on price alone! There may be more to the install that the Trane dealer plans to do compaired to the carrier dealer?

    Only a detailed estimate with all the work to be preformed along with system specs will tell you which is the best for your homes heating and cooling systems.

    Again without knowing the carrier model numbers could be that it is not a heat pump and or not variable speed air handler like the Trane? Maybe others can shine some more light on this for you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    6
    Thanks Duckman06.

    I am not sure about variable speed on the Carrier FX4DNF19 handler for the apartment. The bid does specifically mention that the Performance 15 or Infinity 16 system are variable speed which makes me believe that the FX4DNF19 is not. I should have mentioned that the AS handlers were variably speed but I didn'r realize that one of the Carriers might not be variable speed. So I am glad you brought that up. I will ask the Carrier dealer about that.

    Do I understand correctly that variable speed handlers do a better job of dehumidification than fixed speed units? Are they significantly better at this? Does this contribute to the fact that the SEER rating can be pushed up a point or two? Lower humidity probably means I can push up the thermostat a couple degrees too, meaning I'll save on electric in the apartment too!

    So my brain was kind of telling me that the Carrier system on paper is a better deal, but for the intangible reasons my heart is telling me to go with the Trane and hoping that total value wise it is a good bet. I should mention that currently we have a Trane system and it is 18 years old, so value wise that speaks pretty strongly for it! In any event, it's nice to have some reassurance that the Carrier system isn't a clearcut better system and I would be crazy to go with a lesser Trane system for more money.

    Again appreciate your input Duckman,
    CoolNIt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    There are 2 "flavors" of high effceincy blwoer motors. There is a true vairable speed which Carrier only offers in the performance series (FV4) and Infinity series (FN4). Then there are multispeed ECM motors (X13 motor), that consume less pwoer than conventional PSC (permenant split capacitor... a type of AC elec. motor), when Carrier does allow a form of dehumidificaiton on demand. Its' not nearly as good as Infinity control with a full VS. But it will still use a lower blwoer speed to remove more moisture. The X13 however, has not proven to be as relaible as the full VS motors in most instances and don't seem to last nearly as long as the PSC motors.

    A Infinity condenser is wasted without a Infinity air handler. It is slightly quieter than the Comfort/Performance series unit, but is otherwise the indentical machine, just without a sound blanket and it a different case. I don't think you get defrost on demand without Infinity Control, but I could be wrong.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    ... The X13 however, has not proven to be as relaible as the full VS motors in most instances and don't seem to last nearly as long as the PSC motors.

    A Infinity condenser is wasted without a Infinity air handler. It is slightly quieter than the Comfort/Performance series unit, but is otherwise the indentical machine, just without a sound blanket and it a different case. I don't think you get defrost on demand without Infinity Control, but I could be wrong.
    Thanks Motoguy128,

    That, interesting. It looks like the Carrier FX4 series uses an X-13. I can't seem to dig up anything on the FE4. Is this not an Infinity series handler? I found a PDF product data sheet and it says it is ECM but no mention whether it is an X-13 or true VS (or is in the Infinity series). Whereas the FX4 data sheet definitely specifies that it is ECM X-13.

    The Carrier bid with the Performance 15 is paired with a FV4CNF002 is a fairly considerable savings over the Infinity 16 with FE4 handler. If that FE4 is going to be a problem it sounds like the Performance 15 represents a much better value in the long run. Also, is it possible to pair a Comfort 13 condenser with an FV4 handler? I wonder if I should have the Carrier dealer price out the apartment system with a more reliable handler.

    Really appreciate these insights,
    CoolNIt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Yes, sorry, FE4 is Infinity... FN4. Probably mixing up furnace model numbers in my mind.

    Performance 15 single stage is an excellent value. Very, very quiet unit too.

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