How to determine efficient & reliable hvac
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  1. #1

    How to determine efficient & reliable hvac

    We live in central Florida and have to replace our 11 year old 4 ton Rheem 10 seer heat pump and air handler. We have gotten a few estimates that range from $XXXX for an Amana ASZ 16 seer heat pump compressor & air handler system to $XXXX for a 16 seer Carrier 25HNA9 compressor & FE4 air handler system. That is a huge difference for what appears on the surface as comparable systems. We have not gotten estimates on other brands yet such as Trane & Rheem etc. because we wanted to see if we could get recommendations on who provides efficient and reliable systems. We also have been told different things regarding new system installation. One guy states that the best place to put the new air handler is on the floor of the garage below where the current one is (suspended from the ceiling in a cut out area), one recommends putting it in the attic, and one states the new one can go in the same place but extend it through the wall and go partially into the attic. All state the new air handlers are too large to fit within the ceiling cut out area where the current one is. But what is truly the best, most efficient location? Also is there a big difference (worth the cost difference) between a 2 speed and variable speed, and scroll and reciprocating compressors. I know these guys have to try and sell the system that will currently provide them with the best markup & profit, and that could change with the wind, but we need to truly know what is in reality a good, efficient, and reliable system and brand to consider? Thanks, Susan
    Last edited by Admin; 03-24-2008 at 01:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PTmac View Post
    We live in central Florida and have to replace our 11 year old 4 ton Rheem 10 seer heat pump and air handler. We have gotten a few estimates that range from $XXXX for an Amana ASZ 16 seer heat pump compressor & air handler system to $XXXXX for a 16 seer Carrier 25HNA9 compressor & FE4 air handler system. That is a huge difference for what appears on the surface as comparable systems. We have not gotten estimates on other brands yet such as Trane & Rheem etc. because we wanted to see if we could get recommendations on who provides efficient and reliable systems. We also have been told different things regarding new system installation. One guy states that the best place to put the new air handler is on the floor of the garage below where the current one is (suspended from the ceiling in a cut out area), one recommends putting it in the attic, and one states the new one can go in the same place but extend it through the wall and go partially into the attic. All state the new air handlers are too large to fit within the ceiling cut out area where the current one is. But what is truly the best, most efficient location? Also is there a big difference (worth the cost difference) between a 2 speed and variable speed, and scroll and reciprocating compressors. I know these guys have to try and sell the system that will currently provide them with the best markup & profit, and that could change with the wind, but we need to truly know what is in reality a good, efficient, and reliable system and brand to consider? Thanks, Susan
    The "no-pricing" police will remove your pricing info shortly.

    The Amana should be a good system for the price. It has a Copeland scroll compressor. The AEPF series air handlers are variable speed. I would avoid an attic installation for the air handler if all possible - too darn hot in the summertime and could affect cooling. Amana does make modular air handlers that will fit thru an attic opening.

    If you go with Amana (made by Goodman), get the optional TXV for the indoor coil. All Amana indoor units are ARI-rated with a thermostatic expansion valve. A TXV regulates the flow of refrigerant to the indoor coil much better than the check flowrater device supplied with the unit. Also, the 1 inch filter rack in the air handler is poorly designed. Get a separate media filter cabinet to avoid the aggravation of changing a 1" filter in that air handler.

    If cost is not an issue, the Carrier Infinity would be a solid choice.

    A good installation, regardless of brand name, makes or breaks the system.

    Good luck.

    www.Amana-HAC.com
    Last edited by Admin; 03-24-2008 at 01:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Good advice from Gary - It all comes down to the installation - oh and yes, ideally you want to keep it out of the attic if possible - this location just adds more heat to the system that you will pay to remove every month.

  4. #4
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    PTMac

    I suggest the following minimum performance metrics:
    15 SEER, 12 EER, 9 HSPF, matching var speed air handler plus full BTUs for the size you are considering both in cooling and heating.

    Prefer R-410 frig and scroll compressor over recip compressor

    You also want a stat that controls blower speed for good dehumidification in cooling mode.

    I recommend you read the following thread. SEE link below.

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=165745

    IMO

  5. #5
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    We are not supposed to discuss $$$ in this forum, but look for the intangibles between your lowball $$$ and highball $$$ -- company reputation, appearance, attitude, references etc. As far as the best, most efficient location for the unit -- it is in the middle of the house -- in a mechanical room or closet -- with all duct runs at approximately the same length from the unit -- and enough room around the unit for proper servicing and maintenance -- but this happens less and less these days. Both systems are variable speed air handlers and 2 stage/variable speed compressors.

  6. #6
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    Both of those units are R410A, and both of them are Scroll Compressors.
    I belive it would be the 25HNA9 in Carrier is the Bristol TS recip compressor.

    The advantage of the Carrier is the Infinity control, it has better blower control during high humidity days.

    Other wise either unit is fine.
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  7. #7
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    What's in the air in you garage?

    Like the others have stated it's the installation. As far as attic, alcove or vertical in garage. They all have their trade offs. Extending unit through ends of alcove may create service issues and technically unit is in garage which means any little return leak (duct-cabinet) will draw garage air into the home.(IAQ) Vertical in garage may/will add equivalent duct length which may negate themal gains of not installing unit in attic and still can draw air from garage. The attic may actually be a viable location when all the pieces of the puzzle are considered.

  8. #8

    How to determine efficient & reliable hvac

    Sorry for the pricing, I did not intend to offend anyone, I was just trying to show an example of the big differences I am getting. I am sitting on $12,000 in medical bills and I can not afford to spend a couple extra thousand for the same basic system, because I really do not care what the Jone's have, a name slapped on a cabinet is not worth anything extra to us. Can I edit the original message and take that out?
    Thank you so much for the information provided, it really does help. In reading some other threads and looking at manufacturer web sites am I correct in assuming that a Carrier is also a Bryant which is also a Temptstar, kind of like cars where Chevy, Pontiac and Buick are from the same mold?
    If that is so then the suggestion of getting a good contractor / installer is more the key than picking Carrier, Bryant or Temptstar, and I will just have to trust in the local company recomendation.
    The garage is hot in the summer, but no where near as hot as the attic gets, so that does make sense to put it there as I have no space in the house for it. Again, thanks to all, I will keep checking back for your input. Susan

  9. #9
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    If you can see a edit tab, you can edit your post.
    Carrier/bryant are the same.
    Tempstar not exactly. Atleast not on their top of the line end.

    The Amana will be a big improvement over your old system. And if they install a Honeywell IAQ thermostat, you will get very close to the performance of the Carrier with the Infinity control.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    If you can see a edit tab, you can edit your post.
    Carrier/bryant are the same.
    Tempstar not exactly. Atleast not on their top of the line end.

    The Amana will be a big improvement over your old system. And if they install a Honeywell IAQ thermostat, you will get very close to the performance of the Carrier with the Infinity control.
    I have to disagree on the last part; the Amana does not have the 2.5 or 3.0 ECM motor and without that no thermostat can provide near the control of the infinity.

    Having said that and being an Amana and a Bryant dealer I will say that given equal quality of installation and the price given go with the Amana. Given the cost of the equipment and they price difference I suspect the Amana dealer is giving an inferior install to the Carrier. What you need to do is compare the nuts and bolts of the install and not the brand.

    Ask for a detailed written explanation of how they will install the systems and what their guarantees are.

    For instance this is what is on all of my proposals:
    Performance Guarantee: We guarantee your new system will heat your house to 72 degrees on a 31 degree day and cool to 75 degrees on a 97 degree day, or we will correct it at no cost to you. All work must be performed as stated in options one thru three.

    Satisfaction Guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied with your new system anytime during the first 12 months, we will make any changes necessary or REPLACE it with a system of equal value, at no cost to you.

    System Assurance Guarantee: Read the fine print on agreements from other companies and you’ll see there is no comparison to ours. Our Full Coverage Guarantee covers EVERY component of the installation, not just the equipment.

    No Quibble Guarantee: When we tell you that everything is included for the correct installation of your new system is included, we mean it. AND if we forget something that is a necessary component, we include it at our expense.

    No Lemon Guarantee: If the unexpected happens, and your unit has a compressor failure during the term of the System Assurance Guarantee, we will replace the entire condensing unit. If the heat exchanger fails in the guarantee period we will replace the entire furnace. This removes your risk and gives you peace of mind on your decision.

    Listed below are three Bryant systems; we can create any number of different designs at your request. We will be glad to provide Amana or Goodman designs at you request.

    Homeowners’ are responsible for the safety of the access ladders.

    If any company other than Aire Serv of West Houston works on the equipment, our warranty is immediately void; however, the equipment manufacturer warranties remain in effect.

    Aire Serv of West Houston’s policy is we will match pricing, plus a 5% discount, if the first written proposal on any complete system from any licensed competitor with a physical address on their proposal proof is equal in quality and installed to the same descriptive specifications as Aire Serv of West Houston.



    Aire Serv of West Houston’s installation standards:

    Anytime the refrigeration circuit is opened (condenser or coil install) we use nitrogen (N2) purge when brazing copper to avoid scale build up inside the copper. This prevents contamination of the refrigerant that prolongs compressor life.

    Anytime the refrigeration circuit is opened (condenser or coil install) we use a digital micron gauge to verify a clean and dry refrigerant circuit. Per manufactures specification we evacuate system to 400 MICRONS. This prevents contamination of the refrigerant, which prolongs compressor life.

    All plenums and transitions are custom-built to match system components with heavy-duty sheet metal with R-8 or R-6 insulation duct liner per code requirements. We do not manufacture duct pieces in your attic from duct board or scraps of existing plenums and transitions to accommodate new components.

    When installing new components (furnaces & coils) we connect to new components with materials matching existing. If existing ductwork is flex we reconnect with flex. If existing ductwork is metal we reconnect with metal duct properly sealed and insulated to current code requirements.

    We remove all old equipment and refuse from the jobsite and properly dispose of it.

    Installation of condensing units include setting 5 cement blocks and new condenser support pad raising the unit at least 7 inches above grade. Installation of a service disconnect is also included.

  11. #11
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    The Amana uses the ver 2.3 motor, like most othe brands( excluding carier and Bryant )

    Since it will not slow down as much as the 2.5, 3.0, I said his performace will be close to the Infinity.
    If it isn't then he has other issues with his homes insulation, and infiltration. (Shouldn't have to slow to 280 CFM per ton) How many houses need units to drop to SHR's of .6
    280 CFM used as an example only.

    He's not talking about zoning, so Infinity zoning advantages don't have to be consider for his house.





    I like your proposals. but, he may be hard pressed to find a company near him that will list all the break downs, and give him teh same guaranties.
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  12. #12
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    Classical;

    Thanks for the great example of your service. You have also solved the foundation
    question for the outdoor unit I was trying to solve...

    [The pad for the outdoor units is on a slope that is having more dirt put in place
    to cover the foundation more. I'm going to have them use your concrete block
    and 7" above surface idea.]


    Thanks.

    Adam

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