Nutone vs. Trane
I'm new to this site, looking for some info as I replace my 24 year old Weathertron. I contacted a Trane dealer who suggested a 2 1/2 ton 13 SEER unit with standard air handler or upgrade to a 14 SEER unit with variable speed. Another dealer priced me 2 1/2 ton Nutone 14 SEER and a 15 SEER units, both with variable speed air handlers. The 15 SEER Nutone has a two stage scroll compressor and costs about the same as the 13 SEER Trane. From what I've found, looks like the Nutone is the same as the Westinghouse units, both by Nordyne. Any comments on the Nordyne as compared to the trane? Both are reputable dealers, though the Trane dealers are larger and do a lot of commercial work. Any advice would be appreciated.
What are the model numbers the dealers provided you with?
Why are they suggesting a 2.5 ton unit? Guess? Base it off the old unit's size? A true load calculation?
If the 15 SEER Nutone has a dual-stage compressor, it's probably not a 2.5 ton unit.
NuTone is a private label Nordyne product distributed to contractors by Noland Company. As long as the features and benefits are comparable, the quality of the contractor should be your main concern.
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The Trane dealer didn't list a model number, just the size and that they both used the new freon. He did specify a Honeywell thromstat on both. The Nutone units are FT4BD-030 (14 SEER unit) with an electronic Honeywell Pro 5000 thromostat and the FT4FD-030 (15 SEER unit) with electronic Honeywell Pro 8000 thermostat, both with Nutone variable speed air handlers. Nutone has the 10 year warranty and quality pledge by Nordyne.
Thanks Robo Teq. Ryan, I missed part of your question when I replied. The Trane dealer went by the old unit. The Nutone dealer priced me a comparable unit at my request. Why would the two stage unit not be a 2 1/2 ton unit?
Nordyne doesn't make a 2.5 ton 2 stage.
Your 2 stage will either be a 2 ton, or a 3 ton.
Yes, Nutone is the same as Westinghorse, Tappan & Frigidaire, toward the top of the Nordyne line. Had decent results from them lately.
The FT4BF-036 gets 15 SEER, 8.2 HSPF (low) and 37,000 BTU heating
The 16i 4TWX6036 gets 17 SEER, 9.20 HSPF but wimpy on heating at 33,200 BTU
If you went single stage Nutone, FT4BD-030 and MB5VM & CE series coil, you'd have 15.00 SEER, 9.00 HSFP for a lot less money than the 2 stage unit. If you put it with a Vision Pro IAQ, you'd have quite the system. Single stage but can do dehumifiy on demand. With the C5BA coil and VS blower, it's 14 SEER, 8.50 HSPF. Both get full heating capacity.
2 stage units are full ton sizes as beenthere said. Except Trane makes their XL19i (dual compressors) in a 2.5 ton size. I can't find the "FT4FD" model number anywhere.
The Trane dealer really should have given you some model numbers. Did he give you the type of unit from Trane, like "XR13" or "XB13?"
The best thing to do would be to have a load calculation done to determine size. Was the old 2.5 ton sufficient?
Thanks for all this info. I called a service tech at Noland (Nordyne) and he confirmed that my model number for the two stage unit was incorrect and that the two stage unit does only come in the 2 and 3 ton, not 2 1/2. I know I need to have a load calculation, and may figure out how to do one myself. This is an older home with a big addition I did some years ago, so I know the R values in all the walls, ceilings floors, etc. The 2 1/2 ton Weathertron was plenty big enough. It would heat well down to 32 or below before the strips kicked in, and would freeze you in the summer if you wanted. I really think I could probably go with 2 ton, particularly with a little more insulation in a few weak spots. It's only a 1900 square foot house, part one floor, part two. I live in the foothills of NC so it never gets much over a 100 degrees and that's rare, usually in the lower 90's during the hottest parts of the year. Humidity can be high. Winter temps can dip below 0, but that's also rare with single digits being considered damned cold here. I don't want to do overkill here, just want a good unit that is efficient.
the westingfrigitone odu's are nice air handlers are ok furnaces are a little loud warranty's are better than std trane as a former TRANE dealer I would not recommend them to anyone I cared about. Overpriced bad business practices in my area they will sell to anyone and keep selling to them after they prove to be hacks. You at least have to be a dealer to sell westingfrigitone. Try ONE HOUR h&a/c if you want to be completely satisfied. They are a national franchise with extremely high quality and ethics.
2.5 ton heat pump with Higher HSPF
Selection should be based on higher ( 8.5 minimum) HSPF, 2.5 Ton minimum
Originally Posted by clifford file
Summer run time is calculated as ~50%,
so the humidity control might not be sufficient at temperature > 76' .. < ~ 83'F.
However, with Maximum daily dewpoint > 65'F for < 70 days,
I am not sure that humidity would be a significant concern
when using a Variable Speed air handler
Asheville NC (mountains)
Heating Degree Days 3971
Cooling Degree Days 992
Hickory NC (foothills)
Heating Degree Days 3,369
Cooling Degree Days 1,696
5,900 kwH for heating with Greensboro NC temperature bin data
6,700 kwH ..................... Bristol TN
(likely somewhere in-between)
based on XL14i 2.5 ton with 8.5 HSPF
and generic 1,900 SF residence with 190 square feet of windows.
2TWX4030B / TWE040E13
Summer ~ 2100 kWH
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( see my profile)
Last edited by dan sw fl; 03-29-2008 at 11:19 AM.
Reason: Add weather data reference
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Thanks for all the info. Dan, your data is very relevant, as I live 20 miles west of Hickory and 50 miles east of Asheville. Easy to see why I need to pay a lot more attention to the HSPF rating as well as overall BTU's the unit produces. Looking on the at info from the EEC site, it appears that there are only a few companies that get a tier 3 rating with HSPF ratings of 10 and above and if I understand their model numbers, these are all 3 ton units which would heat my house down to about 17 degrees F. (I do have a bit more insulation than the typical home you listed, with R 30-36 overhead and R 15-20 in the walls, but I still have a few single small pane windows and I'm sure a spot here and there where blown insulation has either settled or never got into the walls due to bracing. I'd guess the Greensboro data is closer for winter temps than Bristol.) You are correct, that humidity has never been a great problem at my house, just goes up a little in the spring and fall when neither heat nor AC are being used much.
I'm wondering if oversizing the unit to 3 tons with a high HSPF would save enough money during the heating season to offset the additional cost during the summer and/or the additional upfront cost to purchase. I've seen electric bills up to $350 during real cold winter months, but never over $175 for a hot summer month. At least $75 is for stuff other than heat or AC and I'm sure that's up in the winter regardless of temp. Any comments from anyone?
One thing to consider: most duct systems we find are barely sized for what you have and in newer homes, probably undersized. If you are going larger and want high efficiency, somebody better look carefully at your ducts to be sure it can handle the extra airflow. To get rated SEER, you tend to need at least 400 CFM/ton and if you aren't getting that, you aren't getting the SEER you think you are.
As I mentioned, the FT4BD-030 with CE36D44 coil and MB5VM air handler is rated at 15 SEER and a healthy 9 HSPF (13 EER I think) and this is a "13 SEER" unit so far less bucks than most units with those kind of ratings. Also the heating capacity is at least 30,000 BTU. Remember the heating capacity of the XL16i 3 ton was only 33,000 BTU and only .2 better HSPF so you aren't gaining much for LOTS of more bucks!