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  1. #1

    Heat Pump Advice needed

    I am glad i found this forum. I live in south central Virginia, and recently our Bard Heat Pump, installed 1986 expired. I am pricing different brands of HP's for a 1400 sf home , the existing unit was a 3 ton unit.

    So far I have had quotes from a Heil distributor for a Seer 14 and 17 unit , two stage compressor , and Sears quoted me the Carrier Infinity SEER 16 model today.

    I am waiting on a quote for a distributor/contractor on a GMC unit, this particular contractor was the only one to measure my existing duct work, and told me my existing ductwork wasnt adequate enough,and took the time to explain much of the mechanics about "SEER" and the maintenance required on the higher end units. He is going to quote me a SEER 16 also.

    None of the other contractors that quoted me suggested any ductwork changes, Sears quote was by far the highest, I didn't like their policy of signing the date of visit in order to receive a 10% discount, and didn't go with them, because I wanted the 3 quotes in hand before I committed myself. High pressure sales is what I thought when the salesman told me that.

    The Heil dealer offers financing, and the GMC also. Heils is based if you get a higher efficiency model, your interest rates are lower. Sears has 12 months interest free, but at a much higher cost so far.

    I am wanting to go with a 3 ton / 16 SEER two stage unit, to qualify for the better financing and tax writeoffs. Do any of the forum readers have any advice I have overlooked? And will I really save lots on my electric bill, compared to using that old Bard unit I had?

    Thanks to all that may post replies,and I will try to answer any questions you may need to ask me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    WYO
    Posts
    2,019
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunset_Va View Post
    I am glad i found this forum. I live in south central Virginia, and recently our Bard Heat Pump, installed 1986 expired. I am pricing different brands of HP's for a 1400 sf home , the existing unit was a 3 ton unit.

    So far I have had quotes from a Heil distributor for a Seer 14 and 17 unit , two stage compressor , and Sears quoted me the Carrier Infinity SEER 16 model today.

    I am waiting on a quote for a distributor/contractor on a GMC unit, this particular contractor was the only one to measure my existing duct work, and told me my existing ductwork wasnt adequate enough,and took the time to explain much of the mechanics about "SEER" and the maintenance required on the higher end units. He is going to quote me a SEER 16 also.

    None of the other contractors that quoted me suggested any ductwork changes, Sears quote was by far the highest, I didn't like their policy of signing the date of visit in order to receive a 10% discount, and didn't go with them, because I wanted the 3 quotes in hand before I committed myself. High pressure sales is what I thought when the salesman told me that.

    The Heil dealer offers financing, and the GMC also. Heils is based if you get a higher efficiency model, your interest rates are lower. Sears has 12 months interest free, but at a much higher cost so far.

    I am wanting to go with a 3 ton / 16 SEER two stage unit, to qualify for the better financing and tax writeoffs. Do any of the forum readers have any advice I have overlooked? And will I really save lots on my electric bill, compared to using that old Bard unit I had?

    Thanks to all that may post replies,and I will try to answer any questions you may need to ask me.
    You did your homework well. You will save a lot on your bill if properly installed. Go with contractor that investigates duct issues generally, especially if you had problems in the past w/ airflow. Your bank/credit union or mortgage Co may have better interest rates yet.
    Don't go w/ Sears. If you like Carrier, get a quote from a dealer.
    You'll see why after you do.
    never say never

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    I'd suggest getting a couple more quotes, then you'll know what the "real" going rate for something like this is.

    Did any of the dealers bother to do a heat load calc? So far, the guy who looked at the ductwork sounds like a good start. Also, beware of SEER ratings, mainly the marketed ones. The Carrier "16 SEER" heat pump is actually UP TO 16 SEER, but the sun, the moon, and the stars have to be aligned to make that happen...and it'll only happen with ONE particular fan-coil.

  4. #4

    Thanks

    Thanks to the two forum members who answered so far.

    I agree, the quote Sears gave me was highest, the main selling point was the so called top of the line model -Carrier (Infinity) , but after printing out Heil HP specs and comparing apples to apples, I found Heil to be as good, for lots less , by the quote the dealer gave me.

    My wife thinks the ductwork change is unnecessary, I disagree. The cost of the installation is a factor for sure, but I am willing to pay for the increased efficiency of the higher end units. If the dealer changes out the ductwork, then that would solve one more possible ailment, dust in the existing 21 year old ducts, (main ducts).

    No one did the heat load calculation that I am aware of. I guess I can sweat a little for a longer period without any ac. Better than rushing into a botched choice for systems.

    So basically Sears is a "Middle Man" ,that intial sign on discount was probably already figured into the markup?

    Thanks once again...if anyone else has any suggestions, I would like hearing them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    The knowledge of the installer is more important than the actual equipment in my opinion. They all have to adhere to the same strict standards some add more through being company certified though. I think the tech that looked at the vents would be the best one so far. I personally would get more quotes though and ask about load calcs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Definately get the load calculation done.

    As well half the systems I measure for air flow have 50% or less of required air flow. If you put in a 16 SEER, 3 ton unit with only 600 CFM overall air flow (it should be 1200 CFM), you will get neither 16 SEER nor 3 tons of cooling. If the ducts are too small the system will be under-performing as long as you own it.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunset_Va View Post
    My wife thinks the ductwork change is unnecessary, I disagree. The cost of the installation is a factor for sure, but I am willing to pay for the increased efficiency of the higher end units. If the dealer changes out the ductwork, then that would solve one more possible ailment, dust in the existing 21 year old ducts, (main ducts).
    Done properly, the ductwork will outlast the structure. That said, it's almost never done right, especially in the past 30 or so years. You probably don't need all new ductwork (unless you're blessed with some of the terrible Owl-Flex used in the 1980's), but most duct systems can use a few relatively inexpensive modifications that will make them work far more efficiently. The equipment is only part of the equation. Without the proper ductwork, the best equipment's not going to be able to get the heated/cooled air where it needs to be.

    No one did the heat load calculation that I am aware of. I guess I can sweat a little for a longer period without any ac. Better than rushing into a botched choice for systems.
    Get a few more quotes... If after getting more quotes and NO ONE has given you a heat load calc, talk with the dealer who seemed to be the best and demand that one be done before you go with them. Also, don't forget about "window shakers" a.k.a. window ACs. They're <$100 now. Throw one in your living room or bedroom and live in that room until you've made the decision. That $80-90 will easily pay for itself when you find a GOOD contractor who knows what they're doing and is willing to pay attention to the details.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Plus the window unit can be put in the shed or shop afterwards.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
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    1,634
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
    Plus the window unit can be put in the shed or shop afterwards.
    Or garage or used in times of extended power outages (hurricanes) where powering the central unit doesn't make sense @ $3/gallon.

  10. #10

    Duct Cleaning

    Regardless of any new duct installation, if the older ducts are used, professional duct cleaning will be done.. Has any one had this done prior to installing a new heat pump?

    One contractor I mentioned this to, told me it was one of the best things you could have done, especially in a 20+ yr old home. He said it was approx $600 in cost to have the ducts cleaned. I consider it money well spent.

    Everyone that has answered my questions, I really appreciate it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html

    duct cleaning EPA idea's...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Posts
    4
    Hey TPA-FL. I'm a homeowner in Clearwater looking for a reputable contractor to properly spec and install two complete replacement units. At this point I'm interested in either a Trane w/ProVision IAQ or the Carrier w/Infinity. How's your Carrier installation going? Any tips for finding the right company in our area would be appreciated? Also, check your yahoo email acct when you get a chance.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,000
    Dash is close to there. I would presume he covers Clearwater. He seems to do a pretty good job. Just ask him.
    Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.

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