matching heat pump and air handler
I have a 1 1/2 year old ICP air handler (model EBX4800A2) and now have to replace my 4 ton Heil heat pump. I've been told that it's important to match the heat pump and the air handler, but have gotten different proposals about how to do this.
The company I was using for service recommended a Bryant. They aren't a dealer for residential Bryant or Carrier units but said they can get me a Carrier unit by ordering it for a commercial job then installing it at my house (XXXX). They are normally a Trane dealer. Despite assurances from the Service Manager, I'm worried that this would leave me with no no real Carrier warranty. A Carrier contractor said it was important to match the coil area of the compressor unit and the air handler and they are recommending a Tempstar ($2950). A Bryant contractor is offering to put in a Carrier unit, either the Comfort Series ($XXXX) or Base Model (XXXX).
This leaves me unsure about the matching process. Trane dealer says go Bryant (but offers a back-door Carrier). Carrier rep says Tempstar (because it's the best coil size match). Bryant rep says says Carrier (but I got the feeling he was just selling me what he sells).
Can anyone give me suggestions about how to proceed? I believe Carrier and Bryant are good names but I'm not sure about Tempstar. What about the basic process of matching?
Last edited by ARPA; 02-18-2007 at 08:17 PM.
Carrier, Bryant & Tempstar would all work. Heck, they all use the very same air handler.
Thanks, Special Ed. Is Tempstar as reliable as Carrier or Bryant?
What about the idea of matching the coil areas of the air handler and heat pump? Is that just bull?
The KEY is an ARI match. www.aridirectory.org and you won't find it with different brands. If someone who KNOWS and isn't guessing can tell you 100% than an EBX48 is the exact same air handler as a Bryant/Carrier XXXX, then you OK with a Bryant or Carrier outdoor unit. But when I was in the factory recently, the ICP line was building the ICP model #s so I would question that they are the identical product.
And also just because you have the same brand equipment, doesn't mean it was meant to work together. That's why it is critical to install what the mfr says is a match. You will find that on the mfrs' website or on ARI's.
I'd suggest an ICP H2H348 Quiet Comfort heat pump. It is certified to be a match to your indoor unit. It is as good or better than comparable Bryant or Carrier equipment. Copeland scroll compressor under cover, high & low pressure protection, 2 speed fan motor, Comfort Alert diagnostics module, 1 year unit replacement warranty if the comp dies. Sold under 4 brands so shouldn't be hard to find a good dealer to install it.
Yeah, okay, Bald One....
They look the same, the coils look the same, the TXV says Carrier on it.... It's the same!!
They just say ARI match to try to make you think they're somehow different. I don't buy into all that propaganda.
I looked on the ARI site you suggested and found the COMFORTMAKER* C2H348GKA1 heat pump as a match for my air handler. This looks very close to - but not exactly - what you recommended (ICP H2H348 Quiet Comfort heat pump). Are these the same units? What are the 4 brands it's sold under? How can I check the reputation or reliability of this unit?
ICP is 4 (5) brands. Arcoaire, Comfortmaker, Heil & Tempstar. Keeprite is the 5th though normally found in Canada. All are identical. United Technologies bought them a few years ago . Commerically their stuff is Carrier products. Residentially they are built in the same plants but in their own area. I'd avoid the builder units, model # starts with N, really cheap stuff. What Carrier & Bryant used to sell. The premium units like the Comfortmaker you mentioned and the Heil I did are very nice. They would compete well with any high end units out there. Find the best dealer selling one of the 4 (or 5) brands.
Thanks again, Bald Loonie. You've really helped me out.
There's one thing I'm still not clear about, probably because I don't know a whole lot about this stuff. You say all the brands are identical but then say "The premium units like the Comfortmaker you mentioned and the Heil I did are very nice. They would compete well with any high end units out there." That makes it sound like the others (Arcoaire and Tempstar) are inferior -therefore not really identical with the Heil and Comfortmaker.
Part of the reason I'm asking is because only one of the contractors I've spoken with so far has mentioned any of these brands, and that one was a Tempstar. Should I be looking for the Heil or Comfortmaker instead?
I don't know the exact nomenclature ICP uses for each brand, but each brand has the same units. The differences are the series within the line. An example is the GMC Jimmy vs Chevrolet Blazer. Each has the same base model, mid level trim pkg(GMC-SLE ; Chev-LE) and high end trim pkg (GMC-SLT ; Chev-LT). The only way they are different is if someone adds options. What Baldloonie said was within the 5 brand names ICP uses avoid any model that starts with 'N'. They are the builder models. He further says in his experience the mid to upper level models are as good or better than the more popularly known national brands. Each of the 5 likely uses different letters deignating the models of each brand. Heil might be HHTP48-ABCD, while Arcoaire might be AHTP48-ABCD (not actual models just letters to make the example). Same unit just different nemenclature. I hope that's clear as mud for you .
Originally Posted by bob40
My advice is to have heat load calcs performed if they have not been already. HVAC-Calc sold through a link on this site is easy enough for someone inexperienced to use and get an acurate idea of the structures needs. Then you can choose the heat-pump that wil serve you best. It seems you are looking at a 4 ton unit. Would be nice to know before you spend the money that it is the correct size.
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ARPA you missed the Tempstar price.
But 3 out of 4 ain't bad.
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Location: Lancaster PA
I seem to be a little slow on the uptake but I think I'm getting it. The Jimmy-Blazer comparisons are clearer for me but that's probably because I've driven and bought lots of cars. But this is the first heat pump I've ever bought so I'm not sure how the models runs within brands. The Jimmy and the Blazer might be the same but that wouldn't mean that KIA or YUGO (if they had a comparable vehicle) would be the same.
I'm taking it that each of those brands (Heil, Comfortmaker, Arcoaire and Tempstar) has its own different lines and that a top line Tempstar is as good as a top line Heil. Up until now that's not what I was hearing. The contractors I've talked to have said that Tempstar was actually a cheaper line under the Heil brand, and that under Carrier it went Carrier/Bryant/Payne in order of how good the products were.
I'll make sure I avoid any model that starts with N.
I'm assuming that a 4 ton model is what I need because that's what I 've had and it was doing the job just fine before it started spring leaks. I'll look into that a little more.