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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9

    Smile Need help with a/c vs heat pump decision with new home

    Hi All,
    I'm brand new to this forum and was wondering if anyone could provide some perspective for my situation. I am building a new home in Cincinnati, OH and the builder has offered several choices for my HVAC. The house comes standard with a Carrier Infinity 96 Gas furnace and Infinity Thermostat but with a Carrier Base 24ABA3 model (SEER=13) for the A/C. The house is big enough that the builder will be putting in two HVAC systems. I want to know if a Hybrid system makes sense here.

    My choices for heat pump are the Carrier 25HCA3, 25HPA3, and the 25HNA6

    My only goal is to get a heat pump/hybrid if it makes sense financially and I have no idea what to do. I know you can't talk prices here so I won't quote them exactly, but hopefully I can talk about a price range.

    In reading other posts, there is a lot of information that is provided regarding heat loss, space, utility cost,etc. Given the house is not built and I don't live there yet (currently residing on the East Coast), I'm sort of limited on what data I can provide. All I know is that my house is approximately 6000 sq ft with very good insulation, and a dual HVAC system.

    Questions:
    1. The 25HPA3 and the 25HNA6 are significantly more expensive, more than $10K for either option which was sticker shock for me. Would any of you seriously consider going this route, expecially since the winter will mainly run on gas since Cincinnati can be on the colder side during winter.

    2. The 25HCA3 is much more reasonable at a few thousand dollars extra but, the SEER value is identical to the A/C unit, will the heat pump aspect pay itself out given this climate?

    3. Should I inquire about a higher effeciency A/C unit instead, like the Infinity series Carrier or can I expect a $10K similar price increase over the standard as well?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know there may not be a "right" answer here but any perspective would help as I just "don't have a clue."


    Hata

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,895
    Cincy would be a great place for dual fuel. Sad thing is, ugrades in a new home can be outrageously expensive. Your option of "a few thousand" for a same SEER heat pump over base A/C is horrible. Might as well take the base A/C then contact a Carrier dealer after you're in and swap it out then for less. I have a price list from a local builder that I was e-mailed by someone moving here and buying a new home. He wanted to know about dual fuel. This builder bundles their heat pump with a variable speed furnace for thousands more. I told him if he could get them to swap out the builder outdoor unit for a builder heat pump and controls for a reasonable amount, do it.

    I understand the HVAC sub makes peanuts for the base work and has to make a buck somehow but some of these upgrades are robbery. I know I'll hear it from the new home dealers now

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9
    Baldloonie,
    Thanks for the reply. I was leaning towards taking the standard unit. Just to make sure, does your opinion of pricing take into account that I'm essentially buying two heat pumps? Thanks!

    Warren

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,570
    I would absolutely go dual fuel from the start. Many of the higher seer units cast alot, but a heat pump should only cost half of what you said.

    I would go infinity and dual fuel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9
    Freezeking 2000,
    Thanks for the reply. So are you saying TWO infinity heat pumps should cost less than 10K?

    A few people I know in the area have 1 year or newer homes with similar sq. ft. and have bills ranging from 300-500 depending on season. I have no idea how much I could save on my bill vs. the reg A/C unit, but based on SEER rating (which I know won't account for heating energy that the heat pump will be saving me during the 40F-60F months), the infinity heat pump (SEER=19) only saves me $400 a YEAR over a standard A/C unit with SEER=13 (taken from carrier website). Unless the amount of heating energy savings is HUGE during the fall and spring (which I can't imagine it would be), I don't see how this will pay out in less than 20 years........ what am I doing wrong?

    Currently electricity for me is 0.137 kwh, and I used equations to convert SEER to get to an approximate annual cost.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,895
    "A few thousand" for 2 unit upgrades is better but still steep. Your electric rates are pretty steep too. Come 2 hours northwest and we run between 5 and 6 cents so you see why dual fuel is so desirable here. Still be a long payback if at all considering those electric rates.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9
    Baldloonie,
    5-6 cents, wow, pretty nice. Of course, my 0.137 is for the East Coast, so I'm not sure what Cincinnati's is, just using my current as an estimate. You're reply makes it seem that A/C standard is the way to go, which my wife is pushing for given the sticker shock of the Infinity systems which again, are over 10K for two units.

    I still am so clueless as to what to do. Is it a true statement that a heat pump with same SEER value as the A/C unit will not generate much in savings in from an cooling standpoint? In which case, the only savings come from the heating portion, which saves costs on natural gas? With my furnace being an Infinity 96, I'm not sure if the savings from a heating standpoint is that drastic vs. electricity.......

    I guess all in all, it sounds like I'm going to go with the standars. I'd hate to pay an exorbitant amount of money and find out I'm only saving 50 bucks a month.......

    sigh...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,234
    Quote Originally Posted by hata View Post
    Baldloonie, 5-6 cents, wow, pretty nice. Of course, my 0.137 is for the East Coast, so I'm not sure what Cincinnati's is, just using my current as an estimate.

    You're reply makes it seem that A/C standard is the way to go, which my wife is pushing for given the sticker shock of the Infinity systems which again, are over 10K for two units.

    I still am so clueless as to what to do. Is it a true statement that a heat pump with same SEER value as the A/C unit will not generate much in savings in from an cooling standpoint?

    In which case, the only savings come from the heating portion, which saves costs on natural gas? With my furnace being an Infinity 96, I'm not sure if the savings from a heating standpoint is that drastic vs. electricity.......

    I guess all in all, it sounds like I'm going to go with the standars. I'd hate to pay an exorbitant amount of money and find out I'm only saving 50 bucks a month.
    Load Analysis
    Equipment Selection
    Operating Cost

    The design process to follow in order to make a factual judgment
    on real pay-back. Cooling savings will be minimal. Use of heat pump down to 34'F will provide significant savings where the electric rates are < $0.08/ kWhr.

    Send drawing and window schedule if you wish to have the specific operating costs for your new residence.
    _______________________________

    http://www.duke-energy.com/ohio/understand/rates.asp
    Electric rate is about $0.10 / kwHr

    http://www.duke-energy.com/ohio/natu...st-changes.asp
    Gas ... $1.35 / therm
    _________

    Duke Energy Ohio (formerly Cincinnati Gas & Electric) distributes electricity and natural gas in Cincinnati and surrounding areas (including portions of Indiana and Kentucky). The subsidiary of energy holding company Duke Energy has 680,000 power and 420,000 gas customers. It also operates fossil-fueled power plants with more than 5,200 MW of generating capacity. In Ohio's deregulated power market, Duke Energy Ohio is a provider of last resort for customers who don't choose an alternative supplier.
    Last edited by dan sw fl; 05-19-2007 at 07:34 PM.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9
    Hi Dan, when you say drawing and window schedule, will the floorplan of the home suffice? If not, what exactly is a window schedule. Sorry, I'm pretty new at this. I really appreciate your help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,234
    Quote Originally Posted by hata View Post

    Hi Dan, when you say drawing and window schedule, will the floorplan of the home suffice? If not, what exactly is a window schedule.
    Sorry, I'm pretty new at this. I really appreciate your help.
    Plan for each floor is sufficient.
    Architect may be able to send .DWG via e-mail.

    Window Schedule indicates:
    1. Window size
    2. Manufacturer (Anderson, Pella, Marvin, Weathershield, PGT, other ...)
    3. Product Model (casement, fixed, double hung, skylight, ...
    4. Glass Type (i.e, Double pane, insulated, argon filled, tinting)

    U-value and S.H.G.C. need to be determined
    http://cpd.nfrc.org/pubsearch/psMain.asp
    Note: ~ 350 manufacturers

    Size of sliding glass doors ( 8'x8' 12'x8' ) ... also need to be indicated on the floor plan.

    Total glass area is likely in the range of ~15% of 6,000 or 900 square feet. Heat loss or gain due to windows and sliding glass doors is normally in the range of 30% to 50% of the total heating or cooling load.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9
    Hi Dan! I have PDF of the basic floor plan and also the more detailed architectural plans. Can you provide an email to my address (hata@comcast.net) and I can send to you privately? Or if you really don't need the detailed one, I'll attach the basic "brochure" here.

    What I know for now is

    -The windows are Low-E insulated, double pane vinyl windows (don't know Manufacturer, I'll try to find out)
    -Most of the windows are your typical sliding windows (one way)
    -All winows are vinyl with wood jambs
    -All basement windows ar 2x3 ft. vinyl sliders.

    Is this enough for an estimate? If not, I can try to find out more from my sales guy.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,134
    Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,234
    Quote Originally Posted by hata View Post
    In reading other posts, there is a lot of information that is provided regarding heat loss, space, utility cost, etc. Given the house is not built and I don't live there yet (currently residing on the East Coast), I'm sort of limited on what data I can provide. All I know is that my house is approximately 6000 sq ft with very good insulation, and a dual HVAC system.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Hata
    3,863 square feet as stated on the floor plan is not close to
    "approximately 6,000 sq. ft". No mention of a basement is given in the floor plan.

    Overall dimensions are not provided but width can be determined (64 ft) roughly from 1/16" = 1 foot

    Front of house faces North, South, East or West?

    Plan information as provided is adequate for a study of equipment sizing
    and comparison of energy costs. based on my equipment selections and Duke Energy Ohio rates.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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