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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4

    What kind of HVAC system should I use?

    I live in Atlanta and have an unfinished basement which has a noticeable musty odor. I want to finish one room into an office and get rid of the musty odor throughout. The basement is about 1750 sq. ft. and has a walk-out side with 3 windows and a door. The other 3 sides are surrounded by earth. I want air to circulate throughout all areas of the basement.

    I’ve obtained 3 quotes from HVAC contractors which I’ve researched for their integrity. All quoted Lennox systems. All quoted R410A refrigerant.

    The first discussed both heat pump and furnace/AC systems with me and recommended a mid-range quality system consisting of an XC13-024 AC unit, a G61 Furnace and a MERV 16 filter for including electrical, ducting, returns, furnace vent and gas line.

    The second recommended a heat pump system utilizing “builder-grade” units: a 13 HPX-024 heat pump and CBX26-024 air handler including electrical, ducting and returns for a price equal to the first.

    The third recommended a heat pump system utilizing “builder-grade” units: a 13 HPD-024 heat pump and CB26UH-R air handler including electrical, ducting and returns for considerably lower cost. When I looked up the 13 HPD heat pump on the Lennox website the specs did not call out R410A refrigerant. That appears to be the only difference between the 2 recommended heat pumps.

    Cost is certainly a factor to me, but so is quality, reliability and efficiency. Which of these recommendations make the most sense? I’m wondering if I will be satisfied with “builder-grade” units? Any thoughts would be appreciated?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,907
    I don't care for those units. About the cheapest built units out there. If you want Lennox, I'd step up to the Elite series.

    Dual fuel is definitely a wise move in Atlanta.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    2,141
    kARL

    A couple of questions, observations, and opinions.

    First, I think quote #1 while very nice is way overkill for your area/climate and this application.

    Will this basement area be used fulltime?

    Has your electrical service been examined to see if it has the capacity to handle a heat pump with strip heat backup? Your dealer should check your service box and circuits/size availability.

    How is dealer planning to address musty odor issue? I assume the source is because basement is below grade. This odor will not go away just because a new HVAC system is installed.

    I do not like builder grade equipment except for budget reasons or unless I knew I planned on moving in near future.

    If Lennox is the choice of dealers, then I would look at the XP14 minimum heat pump with matching var speed air handler.

    IMO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4

    What kind of HVAC system should I use?

    I appreciate your opinion BaldLoonie. I'm not hung up on any specific manufacturer. The contractors I spoke to recommended Lennox. Why do you recommend dual fuel? Which manufacturers would you recommend?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for your reply Tigerdunes. I will be building an office in the basement and using it every day.
    Each dealer checked the electrical box and I have plenty of expansion capability for heat pump and and strip heater.
    All dealers thought the musty smell is there only because there's no air moving. The guy recommending the furnace/AC system also proposed a MERV 16 filtration component and felt the furnace/HVAC system would cure the musty smell problem.
    I'm concerned about builder grade as well. I already have two builder grade systems for the first and second floor.
    Would you recommend any other manufacturer as well?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4

    What kind of HVAC system should I use? (continued)

    Does anyone else have opinions on Manufacturers, musty odor solutions?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    684
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl L View Post
    Does anyone else have opinions on Manufacturers, musty odor solutions?
    check for moisture coming in through the concrete - tape a piece of plastic to the concrete and let it sit for a few days. If there is water under the plastic, then you need to cure that problem first.

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