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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5

    Confused Help with Carrier Heat Pump system

    I have a 20-year old 2.5 ton GE Wethertron heat pump that I am finally going to replace. I live in Sacramento and have a challenge with the way my house is built with high vaulted ceilings. I already received 2 quotes with another 2 on the way. I am having a very difficult time figuring out which contractor to believe and who offered me the best matched unit for my house. I have kept it less complicated by only looking at one brand, Carrier.

    I live in the Sacramento,CA area and have a 1500 sq ft house. Half the house, the 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms have normal ceilings. The other half composed of one huge great room that has the living area with fireplace, dinning area and kitchen. This half has high volted ceilings with only three vent registers. The other side doesn't have any registers because of the high ceilings. Thus the bedrooms get nicely heated, but I am always cold in the living area. I get cold very easily and can't tolerate the cold. So the heating part is very important to me. I believe I already have 8 inch ducts. Below is what the contractors proposed:

    Contractor A is an authorized Carrier dealer with NATE certification. He walked thru the house, listened to my problems and said that I need to replace all my ducts and that this is better for these new Carrier systems otherwise it would shorten their lifecycle. He is going to re-design the airflow into the living area and install new supply outlets to blow the air more distance into the room to cover the areas that don't have vents. He was also going to install a small air return in the master bedroom. He gave the following three options:

    a) Carrier two stage 2 ton condenser 25HNA924, with 3 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF003 and Infinity night set back thermostat. 18.3 SEER,13.5 EER,8.5 HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip)

    b)Carrier Performance one stage 2.5 ton condensor 25HPA430, with 4 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF005, standard night set back thermostat. 15.5 SEER, 12EER, 9HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts,(no mention of any heat strip) .

    c) Carrier Infinity two stage 3 ton condensor 25HNA936, with 5 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANB006, Infinity Night Set Back thermostat. 18.2 SEER, 13.5 EER, 9.5 HSPF. Installing 10 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip) .

    He was pushing me towards option c) saying that I would be the most comfortable with that for my house. Do I really need new ducts??

    Contractor B is also an authorized Carrier dealer with NATE certifcations. He also just walked through the house and said I didn't need to go to new ducts. They would repair anything that needed repairing and sealing. He also said I didn't need a second air return if I am comfortable in the bedrooms. He is going to enlarge one of the supply vents openings in the great room with new duct to 8 inches to blow more air horizontally to reach the other side of the great room and replace the 3 great room vent registers. Alter return duct system, size to optimize manufacturers cubic foot per minute w/grill. He mailed me the one option below:

    Carrier Infinity "S" two-speed 3 ton condensor 25HNA936A003, Infinity variable speed fan coil FE4ANF003, Carrier backup heat strip 5 KW # KFCEH0501N05, and Infinity TrueSense digital thermostat. 17.2 SEER, 12.6 EER and 8.9 HSPF.

    I still have two more quotes coming in from 2 contractors that are Carrier Dealers but not NATE.

    Please any advise on need of changing ducts, the above equipment, sizing of equipment for my situation, etc would be very much appreciated.

    Also is it better to have scroll compressor vs reciprocating.
    Is the 5 KW heat strip big enough
    Should the fan coil be more in tonnage than the condensor?
    Is it important to have a contractor that is authozied Carrier dealer with NATE? or any Carrier dealer will do?

    Sorry for such a long note. But this is such an expensive investment and I don't want to wind up with the wrong system. Please hellllllllllllllllllp.

    Thank you
    Demi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,337
    First. They should have done a load calc. Since contractor A, is giving you 3 choices on size, forget him.

    Contracto B atleast is only one size, but apparantly didn't do a Manual J either.
    So much for NATE.

    NATE cert does not guarranty you get a good contractor.
    You can limit your self to Carrier, if you only like Carrier.

    Ask the contractors that were already there, why they didn't do load calcs. If they say because they know by experience. Thats not a good sign.

    2 stage will help even out the temps, by giving you longer run time.
    The 2 stage recip compressor will give you longer run times then the scroll 2 stage.

    Will 5 KW of heat be enough. I don't know, I didn't do a load calc on your house.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    Benthere, thank you for your response.
    All three contractors that came to the house would not do a load calc even though I asked them about it. The third one hasn't sent me his paperwork yet, so I do not know what system(s) he will propose. They all said they've been in tons of houses like these and know exactly what is needed. Those were the only 2 Carrier and NATE contractors in Sacramento.

    The fourth contractor is coming out on Monday and I will try and force the issue with the load calc. They are a Carrier dealer but no NATE. I was looking for NATE thinking that they would thoroughly examine my house and do the Manual J load calculations. Wish me luck for Monday's contractor.

    I just want the correctly matched components, size for my home and a reliable contractor. I thought it was going to be easy by chosing only Carrier/Nate authorized dealers. Maybe I should start getting bids from the smaller companies that deal with all brands.

    Thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,337
    Brand name doesn't mean anything. And NATE cert doesn't mean what NATE wants it too either.

    Screen contractors over the phone, you bouond to find one that will do a manual J.

    Good chance one of us is close to you, or can recomend someone close to you.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    That's a good idea Beenthere. I didn't think to do it the first time when I made the appointment because i thought they all did that.
    I'm going to make more calls on Monday and only give appointments to contractors that will do the Manual J.

    Anyone out there know any HVAC contractors in Sacramento that will do the Manul J calculations?

    Thank you Beenthere

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Speaking of brands,do you prefer a Ford,Chevy,Lexus,or Kia??

    Did you buy your last car based on the dealer or the brand?

    As for Carrier's Infinity ,use the search function on this site and see what other home owners think about their Infinity.

    Call the first to companies back,ask for the owner/manager ,and ask about that load calculation,the may have a different take on then the salesman did.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,076
    Quote Originally Posted by Demi25 View Post

    Contractor A is an authorized Carrier dealer with NATE certification.
    Well then looks like Contractor A was Jesus Christ Jr. he sure had all the credentials.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    Good idea, I'll search the site for information on the Infinity. I'm also going to schedule more appointments with smaller contractors (smaller companies..lol) and also insist on the Manual J calc. No calc, no appointment.

    As for cars....I like Toyotas, Hondas and Subarus. I look for reliability, quality built and safety. In the HVAC I just picked Carrier cause I heard it was one of three good brands that being Trane, Carrier and Lennox. I wanted to keep things simple by just getting quotes on one brand so I can compare the component sizing and price. I'm already having a dilema with just one brand, I couldn't imagine the complexity of throwing in other brands into the mix.

    The most important aspects for me are a knowledgable, honest, reliable contractor and getting the right sized equipment for my house.

    By the way, all the contractors kept impressing on the $1000 Carrier rebate which ends on June 30th. Because of the rebate they said it would cost me almost the same for the Infinity line as the Performance. So I have to make the decision before June 30th.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    19
    "They all said they've been in tons of houses like these and know exactly what is needed."

    a) Carrier two stage 2 ton condenser 25HNA924, with 3 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF003 and Infinity night set back thermostat. 18.3 SEER,13.5 EER,8.5 HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip)

    b)Carrier Performance one stage 2.5 ton condensor 25HPA430, with 4 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF005, standard night set back thermostat. 15.5 SEER, 12EER, 9HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts,(no mention of any heat strip) .

    c) Carrier Infinity two stage 3 ton condensor 25HNA936, with 5 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANB006, Infinity Night Set Back thermostat. 18.2 SEER, 13.5 EER, 9.5 HSPF. Installing 10 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip) .

    Know what is needed but you as the homeowner should decide what size system would be best????????????
    Get a contractor that will do a Manual J load calculation and stand behind their work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,337
    You might find that other brands have rebates also.
    You have time to decide, the 30th is 3 weeks away.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    yeah, isn't that something acbobburk, the contractor is expecting me to make the choice between the options..... I'm hoping I'll have better luck with the next set of contractors i contact.


    Thanks beenthere, I'll make sure to ask about other rebates.

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