Heat pump advice for the south
I currently have a 19 year old 5 ton Heil HP that needs replacing. I live about 40 minutes from Atlanta and it can get very humid. I have had several company's give estimates (with more to come) and am deliberating between a Trane lxi19, Lennox xp19, or a Carrier Infinity.
The house is around 3500 sf and the downstairs gets very musty, like the laundry and the bathroom, where mold is a problem. The current heat pump runs all the time so its not oversized for the house.
What I was looking for was a system that could work well together to provide good filtration (MERV 10 minimum), a dehumidifier and maybe a heat recovery ventilator. I have looked at both the Lennox and the aprilaire dehumidifiers, but I'm not sure if the aprilaire is overkill (90 pints). As far as the whole house filter system and ventilator goes I don't really care as long as it works properly with the whole system.
I need good advice since as of this writing I have not had any, from any of the companies that have come out and given estimates. For instance, none of them have even looked at the duct work or showed a concern for the way the current plumbing is run to the airhandler until I made a point about them. And yes I have even used Natex.org and BBB in my search. I will post some pictures of the current system.
So to summarize my question, which system and components would be able to tie in all of my needs and provide the best solution in performance/thermostat control, combining filtration and dehumidification? Also, do I even need a heat recovery ventilator?
Last edited by optomos; 05-05-2008 at 02:25 AM.
Infinity 16 HP system with Infinity controller to handle the auxilliary equipment you are considering. And based on your sq footage, I would look into zoning your home.
The line set and electric both could be redone cleaner looking.
Bad looking trap set up going into that 4" pipe.
Pic 0560, looks like the tape is holding the pipe to the boot, or has a seperation under the tape. The drain line to the condensate should have a trap. They may be relying on the water level in the condensate pump to cover the pipe and provide the trap. In that case the pipe should not have an open vent. It defeats the purpose of a trap.
The return duct at the air handler, looks like it may have a lot of leak problems with all that tape having been put on. Need to have that checked.
A 90 pint whole house dehumidifier may sound big at first, its not. Thats 90 pints at one rating only. The lower you set your stat, the less it can remove. On mild OD temp days with high humidity, you need that kind of capacity when the A/C isn't running.
if your having humidity problems in the summer, good chance you don't need an ERV or HRV. Unless you like a lot of fresh air.
The Infinty line has a 16 or 17 SEER line that has a 50/100% compressor, and I belive the Trane 19i also has that rating. The Lennox has 70/100%.
The Infinity control can control the add ons you mentioned, and the 19i should be able to also. The Lennox with using a IAQ stat can be set up to control those add ons also.
nothing wrong with using any of the brands you mentioned.
As far as your current 5 ton struggling to handle the load, that could be duct issues. The duct system should be checked before changing out the system. That can be done by checking the existing units static pressure.
The Infinty zoning system is a modulating zoning system, and no one has a system that beats it in residential at this time. How ever, if you have static problems with your existing duct system. The Infinity system will shut the system down to protect the unit. leaving you with no heat or cooling depending on the season.
Don't just have it zoned without having the duct system checked.
Also, zoning may be more expensive then you realize, depending on duct configuration.
the unit seems undersized for 3500 sq ft. you definitely need a load calculation done.
A load is always good. But just because his is coming out to 700 sq on the ton, doesn't mean its undersized. i'm not in his area either, but there are some houses around here that size that 4 tons cools them fine.
always do a load on a 19yr old house in hotlanta.
humidity, humidity, humidity
I get 2133sf using 10,000btu/h!
harvest rainwater,make SHADE,R75/50/30= roof/wall/floor, use HVAC mastic,caulk all wall seams!
I'm not sure what you mean, but the windows on the house are only 3 years old and they were not cheap quality.
Originally Posted by cem-bsee
beenthere, you are right about the ptrap. It has flooded the downstairs so many times and unfortunately I had AHS and the techs would come out, suction the water out and fill the unit with Freon until one day the compressor blew up. They just never wanted to fix the problem permanently I guess. I even pointed out that duct from Pic 0560 to the tech and he just slapped some tape on it in 40 seconds and walked away without fixing it properly. I finally dropped AHS because all the good techs left them. Good point about the dehumidifier also. I believe it has optional outdoor ventilation?
I have some more companies coming out this week to give estimates and will ask them about zoning, but I have a feeling that it’s not going to be cost effective as compared to actually fixing the duct work; I will see.
Thanks for everyone’s great advice; just keeping my fingers crossed that I find a good company. Can anyone give a recommendation for someone near Conyers GA?
Whole house dehumidifiers usually have fresh air ability.
Atlanta, +3000 sqft, and fresh air ventilation plus occupants indicate the need for minimum of 90 pints per day of dehumidification. Under most conditions, ERVs do not provide significant benefit. The better ventilating, whole house dehumidifiers will introduce filter fresh air when the home is occupied. Ultra-Aire has a occupancy controller that will bring fresh air in a routine daily schedule. Avoiding fresh air when the home is unoccupied reduces energy usage. Maintaining <50%RH without operating the a/c also saves energy. There are different efficiency levels with the different brands of dehumidifiers. Regards TB
Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"
I found out that my air handler is a 5 ton while the heat pump is a 4 ton. One person said I need to stay with a 4 ton while another person that came after him counted up the registers and said there was sufficient ductwork for a 5 ton.
I also looked into aeroseal to seal up the ductwork and the pricing is definitely cheaper than replacing the ducts. Well, this is what has come in so far:
To replace existing system with new Amana 18 seer 410A Heat Pump system with variable speed air handler and 20 KW heat strips. Replace refrigerant tubing and T-Stat. Add Spaceguard type filter.
Add whole house dehumidifier-------- $x,xxx.xx
Infinity 16 SEER option:
Airhandler - FE4ANB006 Variable Speed
Heat Strip - KFCEH1501F15
Heat Pump - 25HNA648A003
Base Price: $xx,xxx.xx
Infinity 19 SEER option:
Airhandler - FE4ANB006 Variable Speed
Heat Strip - KFCEH1501F15
Heat Pump - 25HNA948A003
Base Price: $xx,xxx.xx
April Aire High effecient air filter - ADD $xxx.xx
April Aire dehumidifier - ADD $xxxx.xx
UV germicidal lamp - $xxx.xx
Infinity air filter - $xxxx.xx
Please let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to call me or email me.
Thank you for this opportunity to offer our price to replace the heat pump system for your home. We propose to furnish and install:
1. Amana #ASZ16060 five ton heat pump and #CAPF4961 coil and #MBE2000 variable speed air handler with 15 kw electric heater (system efficiency 16.0; 9.75 HSPF). This uses the environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant.
2. Remove and haul away existing equipment. Set new equipment in place and reconnect ductwork, electrical, control wiring, and condensate drain piping. New refrigerant piping will be installed. The air handler will be set in an emergency drain pan with safety float switch.
3. We will also install a Honeywell TH8321U1006 Vision Pro 8000 thermostat. This thermostat will allow the heat pump system to control dehumidication (this is a feature which can be turned off if you choose to do so).
4. Our normal installation includes a Merv 11 media air cleaner which is built into the return box on which the air handler is installed. This filter will remove up to 97% of particles down to 3 microns in size. The filter needs to be replaced only one time per year.
5. We will also install a 6” outside air intake with a manual shut off damper.
Total Installed Price $x,xxx.xx
Option (1) Aprilaire 2200 Media Air Cleaner-add $xxx.xx
Option (2) Aprilaire 1700 Central Dehumidifier-add $xxxx.xx
Amana provides a TEN YEAR PARTS & LABOR warranty. We guarantee all workmanship and material for one year.
Please call with any questions or to schedule the work.
There were more estimates, but these emailed quotes are similar to what the written ones are, with the exception of the last one posted here which was the most detailed. Also, the aprilaire whole house dehumidifiers were typically marked up 100% with the exception of two installers.
Is a 15kw heat strip large enough? Also, what is the difference between a Multi-Speed Blower and a variable-speed Blower Motor?
VS blower, will speed up to move teh CFM its set for. if your duct is slightly undersized, noy a problem
If your duct is more then slightly undersized, you end up with a loud system.
Multi speed blower, is a satandard PSC motro. If your duct is dlightly undesized, it loses a little air flow. if its more then slightly, you loses a lot of air flow, and you lose capacity and efficiency.
If the guy coiuunted youor number of supplies and decided it can handle 5 tons. You need to use another guy.
I totally agree yet no one here does a manual j and seems to go by a rule of thumb. I am though more inclined to believe that the installers who recommended a 4 ton unit over a 5 ton are correct. With all the home improvements done (new windows, entry doors, garage doors, and extra insulation in attic) the 19 year old heat pump did a good job after the updates.
Originally Posted by beenthere
I have pretty much decided to go with the Amana installer and am waiting for him to rewrite the proposal for a 4 ton unit. With this setup:
Amana ASZ16 or ASZ18 4 ton
MBE2000 variable speed air handler
Would you recommend the YTH9421 or the TH8321?
Any other suggestions or comments?