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  1. #1

    Heat pump system options - what to do?

    I am getting estimates on replacing my 9 yr old 10 SEER York heat pump system. York, Trane and Lennox contractors have provided me estimates on 17 SEER heat pumps. The pricing on the heat pumps and air handlers are very close, what differentiates the estimates are the humidifier and air filter options. And I am no expert in these areas. Can someone help me with these questions?
    1) For a heat pump system, is a steam humidifier required? Can an evaporative humidifier work with a heat pump?
    2) Each salesman seemed to have a different opinion on the usefulness of air cleaner systems. Compared to just the 1 inch furnace filters - does the HEPA filter system really clean the air much more (worth the hundreds more in cost)? No one in the household has allergy issues, but we have cats and some visitors have allergies. Will having a HEPA system be good for the heat pump air handler?
    3) One air return in an upstairs room - furtherest from the air handler in duct-distance - performs poorly; the room is hotter than all others. Is it reasonable to expect the new installer to fix that existing problem as part of the new installation? In the two stage speed process - will this air return do even worse than before?
    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by HokieJosh View Post
    1) For a heat pump system, is a steam humidifier required? Can an evaporative humidifier work with a heat pump?
    I just had one installed, and it works fine with my heat pump, and keeps the humidity just right in heat pump heating mode. All the evaporation occurs with return air (bypass humidifier) so the temperature of the heated air is not a performance issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieJosh View Post
    2) Each salesman seemed to have a different opinion on the usefulness of air cleaner systems. Compared to just the 1 inch furnace filters - does the HEPA filter system really clean the air much more (worth the hundreds more in cost)? No one in the household has allergy issues, but we have cats and some visitors have allergies. Will having a HEPA system be good for the heat pump air handler?
    If there are no health issues, get a 2 to 5 inch 11MERV filter system simply because it is lower restricition for the new system than trying to run a higher MERV 1 inch filter. Or, just get a 1 inch filter and run blue fibreglas filters in it. Otherwise, don't sweat it. You get more unfiltered air intrusion every time you run the clothes drier or bathroom fan, unless you have a filtered powered fresh air system, so why bother with Hepa?


    Quote Originally Posted by HokieJosh View Post
    3) One air return in an upstairs room - furtherest from the air handler in duct-distance - performs poorly; the room is hotter than all others. Is it reasonable to expect the new installer to fix that existing problem as part of the new installation?
    Sure- for a price.

    -HF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,760
    Depends how much fresh air you have coming into your house.
    If not much, then a bypass will work. If you have a lot of fresh air then it won't, and a steamer is needed, if you don't do something to reduce the amount of fresh air coing in.

    A standard 4" is usually enough for the average house.

    Is it the return that performs poorly, or the supply.
    The VS blower may help, can't say from here.
    In first stage(low) the rooms will all get less air, this should help that room. Because the air won't be forced out to the closer rooms.
    All duct repairs to individual rooms are extra. Did any of them say they included that fix in the price.
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