System Replacement Imminent -- Advice Needed
Newbie here about to replace my original 27 year old furnace and AC. Due to various rebates I am going Hi Efficiency and have interviewed about 7 companies so far.
My house in Toronto is a 2 storey 2200 s.f., not including a recently finished basement with 2 bedrooms down there. The existing furnace is 78000 btu and AC is 2.5 tons. Most of the reps say I need a similar size for both. None are willing to do a complete load calc.
Only one rep made the case for a 58000 btu, because my old furnace did a fine job of heating even at <55%, compared to the new 95%. That seems to be more in line with what I have read here. Should the size of the blower be a concern as well? Heating wasn't a problem too much, but the AC never cooled well upstairs.
I've also been advised by a couple reps that a 2 ton AC would make more sense since it would run longer and allow the humidity to drop.
In terms of brand, I've been pretty much sold on going with the American Standard Freedom 95 for the furnace. However, the reps pushing the KeepRite -- besides a lower price -- argue that the stainless steel heat exchanger is superior to the aluminum.
For the AC, I'm between the AS Allegiance 14 and the KeepRite C4A4 SX2400.Again, the AS costs more and the KeepRite has a 2-speed fan.
In any case, I am absolutely going for a 10 year P&L, no matter what.
I am trying to get them to supply a Honeywell IAQ tStat as has been strongly suggested here. Most of them are pushing for the Visionpro 5000 or 8000 instead, which they will include at almost no cost. I have a feeling that pushing for the IAQ will cost me dearly.
FInally, because of some dust allergies in our house, I am going to get a mechanical media air purifier. This will either be AS or Honeywell. Does the brand matter here?
To summarize my questions:
1. Should I go out and pay for an independent load calc to determine if I should go 60k or 80k btu, and 2 or 2.5 ton? Or should I just err on the side of ....?
1A. Will there be a bigger blower in the 80K?
2. Is the Freedom 95 a good choice and worth 20% more than the Keeprite?
3. Is there an advantage to going with the Keeprite AC due to the 2 speed fan or is it better to stick with an AS to keep the equipment consistent outside and in?
4. Should I shell out for the IAQ tStat?
5. Are all mechanical air handlers around the same?
Any advice from you experienced pros would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.
Pretty sad you can't get anyone to do a load calc. You can do your own if you download and register as a consumer HVAC Calc - see the blue menu bar above.
1a: could be a bigger blower but if not, still would need to move more air which can mean more noise. Also bigger isn't better, it lowers AFUE.
2. It's a good furnace, is it worth 20% over an ICP 95? Not to me.
3. Stay with same brand. The ICP deluxe line is very nice stuff, more bells & whistles than A-S. All Copeland scroll. The 2 ton Allegiance 14 is the old Mexican made recip compressor. The 2.5 ton is a scroll.
4. Biggest thing it will do is humidification/dehumidification. If you don't use those features, no reason to go above the 8320. Make sure you get a 2 stage stat regardless.
5. I'm confused on this question.
Thanks for your input Bald Loonie. Okay, I will check out doing my own load calc.
The KeepRite is 92% vs. the AS 96.7%. Bells and whistles seem similar. But any opinion on the stainless steel vs. aluminum primary?
The AS Allegiance 14 has the same Duration compressor as the 15. Are you saying these are recip types in the 2 ton, but scroll in the 2.5?
I see that you are essentially saying that the KeepRite would be the better choice, especially given the price advantage. Is that a consensus out there?
Most likely, your contractor doesn't have any experience with the IAQ.
Google YTH9421. You'll see some prices for the IAQ stat. It's certainly not excessively expensive. In addition, it only requires 3 wires to the thermostat, which means that the contractor won't have to fish any wire.
What is required of the contractor is to understand how to hook it up and program it. And the installation manuals show it. I would think that the effort would be similar to a 5000 or 8000.
Every A-S compressor is called a Duration. The 14 has recip in 1.5 and 2 ton. The 15 has scroll in all. Personally I'm a scroll fan.
Keeprite has a 95 as well but unless there's a financial incentive like the US tax credits, no real big deal between 92 & 95.
Ok, just to throw in another alternative, the latest one pushed for a Goodman system ... same basic specs, but another 10% lower than even the Keeprite. The Goodman has the scroll and a Lifetime warranty on it. Now I'm really confused.
I have asked him to look into the IAQ, but wonder if it will be useful with this system?
I must make a decision fast ...
Any pro can comment on this?
I need to decide between the:
1. Goodman GMV95 and SSX14
2. Keeprite/Tempstar VS90 and SX2400(TX5300)
(previous advice seems to be not to go for the A.S. Freedom 95 for 20% $ more)
And should I insist on the IAQ tstat (quite pricey) ... will it work well with these systems or is the (included) Visionpro 6000 good enough?
My house would get the Keeprite/Tempstar.
The 6000 is a "Focus Pro". Make sure they put in the 2 stage model. The IAQ will also do dehumidification but unless you are in a steamy climate, not that big of a deal.
The contractor who would do the Keeprite(Tempstar) VS90 is adamant that a one stage tstat is perfectly adequate. On everything else he, and his company, seems very competent and in line with what I have read on this forum.
However, I am troubled that he is insistent that an IAQ (which he is unfamiliar with) or indeed any 2 stage t-stat is a total waste of money.
Should I be worried?
If someone insists you don't need a 2 stage stat for best control of a 2 stage furnace, insist on another dealer That's my view of things now.
One other question:
Replacing the original 82000 btu Clare in the house built in 1981. I'm going with a Hi-Eff 2-stage Keeprite/Tempstar. It comes either as a 75000 btu or a 50000 btu.
House is in Toronto, 2100 sqft on two floors, plus recently finished basement, with newly replaced insulated windows throughout, and is pretty air-tight. Couldn't find a contractor to do a full heat load and because we need furnace immediately, have no time. Also, this house is very typical suburban mass produced in area, so contractors all insist no need for a more detailed calc, as they have all done "many, many similar". (I know this is faulty, but I'm desperate here).
All but one said to go with the 75k to replace the old inefficient 82k. However, one is strongly arguing for the 50k since at 92% it will produce 46k output, compared to previous output which he puts at 50% of 82k = 41k. That together with new windows and improved attic insulation (which we plan to do soon), should be more than sufficient by his reasoning.
I've read here about the error of going oversized. (We are also replacing the old a/c with a 2 Ton). If you can forgive the lack of ManJ etc.... which would you go with -- 75000 or 50000???