Carrier 25HBC5 versus Trane XR16 - sorry for another 'which one' post
My 16 year old Trane heat pump died (XE1000).
I've narrowed it down to a Carrier 25HBC5 5 ton, 12.5/15 unit or a Trane XR16.
I know there is always the Ford versus Chevy discussions (for the record, I own a Honda :-) but I'm torn with which unit has the best value and longevity. I've heard the sales pitch from Trane about their wonderful and superior coils. Given that the carrier is not two stages and I didn't have that before, will I really notice it gone?
Which unit, Carrier or Trane, would you purchase?
I live in Austin, Texas.
HeatPumpHeck (only because it is difficult to "know" which one to choose!)
The Best unit is the one installed correctly and sized properly. Both will impact relaibility far more than brand. Both are midrange equipment for the 2 largest brands with similar specifications. Except the XR16 I think is 2 stage, while the HBC5 is single stage, but is one of the quietest units on the market at that price range.
Is your unit a 5 ton unit now? How do you know it's sized correctly? 5 tons, even in Texas can cool a very large home and frequnetly ductwork is undersized for the airflow required for that large of a unit.
Hi - sorry, yes, the current unit is a 5 ton. It is approximately 2,800 sqft, two story.
Other than the grounding of the current unit's compressor, we haven't had any cooling issues. The 5 ton was installed when the house was built.
I believe both contractors will install it correctly - they'll stand behind a labor warranty even for two years - but I just don't know the "better" of the two.
I did notice that the Carrier was single staged versus 2 stage on the Trane - how much will that actually help if I've never had it before? Worth an extra bucks for the two stage?
Thank you for your reply! This is driving me a bit batty so I'm hoping to come to a conclusion and make a final decision today.
Also, just noticed additional info in the Carrier model number being proposed:
I'd much prefer the XR16/TAM7 combination myself. All aluminum coils indoor/out (Carrier hasn't released their air handler with an aluminum coil yet), electronic expansion valves indoor/out, variable speed fan motors indoor/out, quieter operation, list goes on. You're also comparing a premium 2-stage unit with a base grade single stage unit.
Yes, you should notice a difference when going from single stage to two stage in comfort (lower humidity)/even temperatures. I know I did. Prices and price differences aren't allowed so your figure will be removed soon. As mentioned, getting a proper installation is the most important thing, but if you're comfortable with both dealers, I would lean toward the XR16.
Thanks Ryan. I removed my $ amount from my post. Sorry about that.
If I were to go with a two-stage Carrier as well, so that both would be "the same", would you still consider the Trane a better option considering the aluminum coil, electronic expansion valves (whatever THAT means...will have to google it) ?
Yes, I would. The equivalent Carrier would be 25HCB660 with FV4CNB006T indoor unit.
Originally Posted by HeatPumpHeck
I agree, the Trane is a better overall. You might price for a better comparison, quote a the Carrier as mentioned. With some of the rebates Carrier has right now, the price difference may be relatively small to upgrade.
A couple more comments:
I would get a quote on the single stage XR15 to compare to the Carrier with matching TAM7 air handler. Really the equivalent Carrier to compare to the XR15 is the 25HCC5, not the 25HBC5. I would match the 25HCC5 with the FV4C variable speed indoor unit. While I do recommend the 2-stage system, this way you can make a better comparison (25HCC5/FV4C or 25HCB6/FV4C vs. XR15/TAM7 or XR16/TAM7).
Please post all model numbers, indoor/outdoor, you were provided with.
What size heat strip is each dealer including in the proposal? Thermostat? Linesets replaced vs. flushed?
Ductwork checked/measured to ensure it is adequate for a 5 ton system?
I'm told the single speed XR15 is not eligible for any local rebates or the federal tax credit while the Carrier is for both the rebate and the tax credit. That's why I put the two together but you are correct, the other single speed is a better comparison.
I was quoted the XR15 single speed very close to the Carrier price (was told $ are not allowed, so not sure how to say it any other way). I like the idea of a two stage system.
Honestly, if the Trane is a better overall system, I don't even want to waste the contractor's time giving me a quote. I'm the type that loves to research things and compare then to the Nth degree -- but this is driving me completely nuts. I'd almost rather go buy a car (!) or have a root canal (!!) :-)
Thermostat was XL800 for the XR16.
What the heck is a heat strip? No one mentioned that. Lineset is the existing coolant line? Was just advised it would be flushed out.
This will probably be the ultimate stupid question, but why would a building put in a 5 ton system if it WASN'T the best solution for the house?
Again, thanks to everyone for the help. I'll be quite content to escape out of the "which system" process and go back to doing what the customer wants to do: enjoy my comfortable home :-)
Last edited by HeatPumpHeck; 03-21-2013 at 04:51 PM.
Reason: added "non"
Ah - "heat strip" is "emergency heat". No one has even said there was an option.
What should I ask for?
Though it's rare you might need the heat strips for supplementary heat purposes given your location, you should still get them installed in case the heat pump ever goes out and to temper the air during a defrost cycle. Ask your dealer about this. I would not leave them out.
As for system sizing, unfortunately it is not uncommon to see oversized equipment in new construction. Lots of variables (insulation, windows, home orientation, size/floorplan, duct location, and so on) affect heat load/heat loss, but they aren't always accounted for properly. With new construction, load calculations should be performed but they aren't always done (properly), and a lot of times you end up with "rule-of-thumb" sizing which leaves the homeowner less comfortable and with higher utility costs.
Did your previous 5 ton unit keep the home comfortable in the summer (temp and humidity wise)? Did it run constantly during the hottest days or did it cycle on and off? If it ran shorter cycles during the hottest days, then it is oversized. Going to 2-stage helps alleviate this issue somewhat but still isn't an excuse to put in oversized equipment. Longer cycles are ideal for comfort and efficiency, hence the recommendation for 2-stage equipment.
If going with a heat pump in the Trane unit. The XR15 would get 15 seer rating to get tax credit if used with a tam7060 air handler.
My vote would be for Trane XR15 or XR16 for all the below mentioned reasons. 2 stage is nice and is really about comfort over price when looking at 2 stage equipment!
I have installed a lot of XR15 systems and started to install XR16 systems. Great mid line product for the money.
I would suggest a price comparison of apples to apples for not only equipment but add work that will be preformed by both companies that is the only way to make a fair comparison.
Just food for thought as someone mentioned carrier rebates, Trane also has rebates avaiable on this line of equipment or special financing offers. Yet another thing to consider.
With all being equal it is then time to see who done a load cal on the home for proper sizing, reviewed over possiable problems or concerns you have etc... Get it all in writing then make your mind up.
Just for the record I am a toyota man. All I have owned and will always be what I will own. Why realiablity! Same goes for Trane, I trust the product and belive in it as I sale 99% Trane. Not saying carrier is a bad product just not what I install. As long as sized and installed properly either option will work. Ask for referrals of both companies, pics of jobs installed etc...