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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
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    Harmony 3 compared to Infinity Control for Zoning

    Seems the questions never end to a degree though I've tried using the search function to avoid duplicate answers, just didn't see anything that answered this easily, so here goes...

    I currently have 2 quotes ( actually one quote and 1 forthcoming quote ) involving zoned systems for my upstairs. One uses a Lennox system and their Harmony 3 controller. Am assuming one of their touchscreen stats. The other is a Carrier Infinity Control system.

    Neglecing the differences between the other hardware ( both using 2 stage 80% gas furnaces with variable speed blower fans and 16 SEER 2 stage AC unit ), how similar/dis-similar are the 2 zoning systems. Both contractors have spoken very highly of thier respective zoning systems, and of course said why thiers was better than everyone elses but I wanted at least a semi unbiased answer. Thx in advance

    PS I will only have 2 zones upstairs, separate system downstairs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    The Infinity has direct control of the fan motor,it will control the cfms(air flow) and staging ,based on the requirements of zones calling ,outdoor temp,how far from indoor set points of temp. and humidity.

    Actually more useful when you have several zones and some are much smaller than others.If you two zone are near the same duct size,it's not as important .

    I heard Harmony has some of same ability,but not the same direct control of the fan motor,not positive so wait for what others have to say.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post
    The Infinity has direct control of the fan motor,it will control the cfms(air flow) and staging ,based on the requirements of zones calling ,outdoor temp,how far from indoor set points of temp. and humidity.

    Actually more useful when you have several zones and some are much smaller than others.If you two zone are near the same duct size,it's not as important .

    I heard Harmony has some of same ability,but not the same direct control of the fan motor,not positive so wait for what others have to say.
    Thanks Dash I really like the Lennox based contractor though he was very favorable for the Harmony 3 as being the best ( he also sells Bryant ) and that the Carrier Infinity had shortcomings as compared to the Lennox. If both are roughly equal in their capabilities, then it ins't a huge deal.

    I have not yet been given final vent duct sizing but I am estimating one side wiil be either 10 or 12 inch for the zone ( probably 12 ) and the other more than likely 14 inches.

    Depends on pricing and what we feel most comfortable with in the end but I may go with the ventilation set up to allow for future zoning and going unzoned at first, but that depends on the price tag and which contractor I feel better about. The contractor who said he will do a system in this manner has said it won't cost me any extra to start unzoned and then adding it later versus doing it all upfront ( in a way is almost a nice way of trying it out to see if I can save a considerable amount of money without any risk ).

    We are still in sticker shock Hades right now over the system price given we'll have to do the donwstairs in a year or 2!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
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    4,509
    i think the carrier gives you a little better option

    the hamaony works off the board and other controls installed into the ductwork. It doesnt work off outside temp and the stat doesnt control the fan like the carrier.

    the harmony will give you the same comfort and will work just as good but it does have a differant setup.

    I like the lennox harmony3 but then again i am a lennox tech

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinknocker service tech View Post
    i think the carrier gives you a little better option

    the hamaony works off the board and other controls installed into the ductwork. It doesnt work off outside temp and the stat doesnt control the fan like the carrier.

    the harmony will give you the same comfort and will work just as good but it does have a differant setup.

    I like the lennox harmony3 but then again i am a lennox tech
    Thx Tin Means a lot coming form a Lennox person. I'm not brand loyal at all though at one time had heard some bad things about Carrier from some local support techs but had no way to verify it. I haven't heard much bad about Lennox at all except from one unreliable salesperson who was pushy with York and Comfortmaker!

    Sounds like a toMAYto versus toMAHto thing to some degree and perhaps shouldnt be used as a factor between the 2 systems.

    Once i get the Lennox quote, with and without zoning with the capability of easily adding zoning later iif I desire, I'll be able to make my decision! All you guys have been a ton ( pun intended ) of help!

  6. #6
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    May 2007
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    Naples, Fl
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    889
    We have crafted zone systems with both Harmony3 and Infinity. The customers love'm both. They both require proper installation and attention to the nuances that make them unique to one another.

    We have a local Trane dealer that says "someday all zoning will be like the Carrier Infinity".

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianf View Post
    We have crafted zone systems with both Harmony3 and Infinity. The customers love'm both. They both require proper installation and attention to the nuances that make them unique to one another.

    We have a local Trane dealer that says "someday all zoning will be like the Carrier Infinity".
    Thanks Adrian Course it points back to the obvious,.. the installer an dinstallation and knowing what one is doing ( that of course totally eliminates me! ). Does sound like the Infinity system is a good system. I have high faith in the Lennox installer and not yet sure about the Carrier system installer ( not negative about him, just feeling things out at the moment ). I haven't gotten both quotes yet to do a more detailed comparison, but is good to know that either zoning system has the potential to work very well. Thanks again

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    Near Charlotte NC
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    After reading a few posts regarding the Harmony controller, am curious to know complicated it is for an installer to properly set up. I'm waiting on 2 bids to come back in before deciding which system to buy. The Carrier installer acted as if the Infinity zoning wa svery easy to set up an dthe Lennox installer only told me how well desinged the Lennox zoning was. Realizing that either system will probably work well, I am curious to know , in relative terms, the complexities involved. The more complex a system , often the more problems one may have obviously. And is there an advantage to a zoning system which will allow dampers to be partially open versus one which is either open or closed? Thx again. Everyone here has been very helpful and I'm starting to enjoy my conversations with the installers/contractors, and their reactions that an HVAC idiot like myself can actually discuss things they aren't expecting

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lehighton, Pa.
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    Can't speak for the Carrier, but I am totally familiar with the Harmony and the problems with a lousy install.

    Moved into my new home one year ago next week. Since then, I have not had either the a/c nor the heat working properly. I am now on the fourth HVAC company who have been trying to fix all of the problems. As far as knowledge with the Harmony, from what I can see there is very little in the industry, including Lennox personnel. I had one guy come out who I met through this board who seemed thoroughly versed about the system and made numerous recommendations and corrections to rectify my problems. He spent about four hours here and gave me a laundry list of things that had to be done. So far, he has been the only one who knows what's going on. He commented about the terrible wiring job that was done and spent a lot of his time just trying to trace the wires. Unfortunately, my developer will not let him come and complete the analysis, and subsequent corrections.

    Now, I am only a homeowner, not in the business, and just from me reading the intallation manuals, I have had to correct the techs on some of the settings on the board.. All they had to do was read the manual. I also had to correct them in other aspects of how the system works verses a single stage system along with all the bells and whistles that this system should provide.

    Now before anyone starts to ctriticize me, I didn't make any changes myself. I just pointed out to the techs when they were here what the manual stated, and they agreed with me.

    Now maybe the Harmony could be the best in the business, but the bigger issue is for you to find someone with the competancy to install it correctly.

    Don't hold your breath.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
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    [QUOTE=jeepgrady;1792743]Can't speak for the Carrier, but I am totally familiar with the Harmony and the problems with a lousy install.

    Moved into my new home one year ago next week. Since then, I have not had either the a/c nor the heat working properly. I am now on the fourth HVAC company who have been trying to fix all of the problems. As far as knowledge with the Harmony, from what I can see there is very little in the industry, including Lennox personnel. I had one guy come out who I met through this board who seemed thoroughly versed about the system and made numerous recommendations and corrections to rectify my problems. He spent about four hours here and gave me a laundry list of things that had to be done. So far, he has been the only one who knows what's going on. He commented about the terrible wiring job that was done and spent a lot of his time just trying to trace the wires. Unfortunately, my developer will not let him come and complete the analysis, and subsequent corrections.

    Now, I am only a homeowner, not in the business, and just from me reading the intallation manuals, I have had to correct the techs on some of the settings on the board.. All they had to do was read the manual. I also had to correct them in other aspects of how the system works verses a single stage system along with all the bells and whistles that this system should provide.

    Now before anyone starts to ctriticize me, I didn't make any changes myself. I just pointed out to the techs when they were here what the manual stated, and they agreed with me.

    Now maybe the Harmony could be the best in the business, but the bigger issue is for you to find someone with the competancy to install it correctly.

    Don't hold your breath.[/Quote

    Industrialized home building and the absence of competence and responsibility play a part in what you are experiencing. The owner of the A/C company and the general contractor developer are who really control this situation. And if the contractor/developer won't pay then the a/c company should hire someone to solve the problems.
    I don't have the answer to the problem because on the surface its hard to tell the difference from one company to the other. It's hard to put quality into a sound byte. The home owner really isn't qualified to determine what they will actually get until it's too late and sometimes they never know what the errors cost them over the life cycle of the installation. But I can assure you there are some very dedicated and qualified people in this industry you just have to ferret them out.

  11. #11
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    May 2007
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    Naples, Fl
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdavis37 View Post
    After reading a few posts regarding the Harmony controller, am curious to know complicated it is for an installer to properly set up. I'm waiting on 2 bids to come back in before deciding which system to buy. The Carrier installer acted as if the Infinity zoning wa svery easy to set up an dthe Lennox installer only told me how well desinged the Lennox zoning was. Realizing that either system will probably work well, I am curious to know , in relative terms, the complexities involved. The more complex a system , often the more problems one may have obviously. And is there an advantage to a zoning system which will allow dampers to be partially open versus one which is either open or closed? Thx again. Everyone here has been very helpful and I'm starting to enjoy my conversations with the installers/contractors, and their reactions that an HVAC idiot like myself can actually discuss things they aren't expecting
    One question that might be telling is ask how they will set the PIAB(S) for the different zones. They really need a heatload for this part. Do your due diligence and you will make the right choice. HTH

    Also note you can not tell what the quality of the job will be by the price.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
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    889
    We have a local Trane dealer that says "someday all zoning will be like the Carrier Infinity".

    And is there an advantage to a zoning system which will allow dampers to be partially open versus one which is either open or closed? Thx again. Everyone here has been very helpful and I'm starting to enjoy my conversations with the installers/contractors, and their reactions that an HVAC idiot like myself can actually discuss things they aren't expecting.


    But it'll be along time before you are shown the secret handshake.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2008
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    Near Charlotte NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianf View Post
    One question that might be telling is ask how they will set the PIAB(S) for the different zones. They really need a heatload for this part. Do your due diligence and you will make the right choice. HTH

    Also note you can not tell what the quality of the job will be by the price.
    Thanks Adrian and Jeep..

    Jeep, you war story sounds familiar and isn't obviously restricted to HVAC.. the developer and contractor interface certainly complicates things and I hope in time they get things fixed for you. I guess like anything else, if not proeprly done headaches will follow and when the homeowner gets stuck in the middle it is't good. During a few of the "interviews" as I've referred to them about picking a contractor for my work, I've discovered some are reall good, some are semi knowledgable and others are true wingnuts ( no tto say they can't install mind you but I'd never trust them with a zoned system, etc ).

    Adrian, thanks again. And pricing is certainly NOT our primary focus in terms of cheapest will not get the bid becuase it is cheapest. We have already eliminated 3 lower priced bids.

    That said, we are keenly aware we have left the realm of the fairly simple 1 stage Ac , 1 stage non zoned system realm and stepped up into what I call at least the Lexus realm. If it ocmes down to where we simply are not willing to fork over that amount of money, or can't fork it over, I may have to step back and re-evaluate. I know the Lennox installer will allow me to back out of the zoning and then later add it back in without a huge price penalty, and that might end up being the best of both worlds.. try the non zoned setup first to see if it is good enough remembering that my current system is truly AWFUL.. a bad system would be an improvement.

    My ventilation is hosed up ( my bonus room MAY be getting as little as 240 cfm at present time neglecting the friction losses associated with 40+ feet of main duct line followed by another 10-12 feet of smaller duct line. The current plenum is ghastly, and it gets worse from there. I realize changing duct and sizing properly will only make things much better.

    I was curious about the complexity of the install mostly because the Carrier guy seemed to think the Infinity zoning was VERY EASY, and I wanted to see if others felt it was that much simpler than the Harmony. If not, it would lead me strongly with the Lennox installer because he has been honest about the complexities and is in the process of doing a detailed load analysis of my home.

    The Carrier installer is not planning on doing a detailed load analysis, though he has broken each room down into rough loading for the planned duct size. If the Infinity controls are more forgiving and/or simpler then I won't weigh this quite as heavily. If, however, it is just as copmplex to set up properly, then I may already have my answer on which of the 2 I'll choose and from there price will only determine whether or not we zone now or not. Thx

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