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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6

    Unhappy Wife's Running Out of Patience

    Help! My 12 yr old Carrier unit had a compressor burnout a couple of weeks ago and I'm trying to decide what to do. The cost to repair the existing unit is not cheap so I'm leaning towards replacing both the outdoor unit and the airhandler (which isn't cheap either but it's all relative I guess). I had 4 companies give me qoutes on varies brands and price levels within each band (13-17 SEER, variable speed versus single, 2 stage compressor versus single, etc). Quoted sizes ranged from 3-4 tons. Some of the companies pointed out issues with my existing duct work, some didn't mention it at all. After digesting the various quotes, I think I've settled on one of the companies to do the work based on what I perceive to be the most thorough job of evaluation. There are still 2 areas I'd like help with. 1) The company I've selected is insisting a 4 ton unit is needed based on their calculations but it seems on the high side to me and 2) they've offered 3 options, 2 based on Carrier equipment and 1 based on Lennox (they also carry Trane) and I'm not sure which one to pick.

    Info on current system: 1996 date code
    Carrier 3.5 ton (38YCB042300)
    Carrier 4.0 ton airhandler (p/n FC4BNF048000AEAA)

    House Info:
    Total sq ft = 3200
    Location: Orlando Fl, east west orientation with lots of single pane glass
    This A/C unit services approx 1260 sq ft of the total house and includes kitchen, dining room and large great room with high cathedral ceiling. Current return is too small for the existing 3.5 Ton unit and located in the kitchen. The estimator recommend almost doubling the size and moving it 2/3 up the great room to pull the hot air out of the cathedral ceiling area.

    Options:

    1) 4 ton Carrier Infinity 16 (25HNA648A) with variable speed airhandler (FE4ANB005)

    2) 4 ton Carrier Comfort B (25HCA348A) with variable speed airhandler (FV4BNF005)

    3) 4 ton Lennox (XD-19-048) with variable speed airhandler (CBX32MV-048)

    Both the Infinity and Lennox have a large rebate which makes them very close in cost to the Carrier Comfort B. The Lennox 17 SEER and Carrier Infinity 15.8SEER quoted costs are virtually the same so which is the better value when considering the differences in efficiency and quality / reliability of each brand?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated since the wife is over my analysis paralysis!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    4 tons for 1260 sq. ft.?

    I see that you are in Florida with lots of glass, but 4 tons still sounds like a lot. Only a load calculation will tell. I can tell you that for my house, which has around 3500 sq. ft. of conditioned living space, 3.5 tons does just very well cooling and dehumidifying. I do have shade, though, and I'm not in Florida. Just trying to give you an idea.

    If they did a load calculation, ask to see the results in writing. Looking at ductwork and making proper modifications is important. It looks like this company plans to make some changes for improved performance out of the system. For a 4-ton system, I'd recommend more than 1 return, but that's my opinion.

    With your climate, I think the Carrier Infinity or Lennox Signature Series systems would be the better choices. What thermostat is included with the Lennox? The 60% capacity of the Infinity 16 on low stage makes it an attractive choice for your climate and potential oversize.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6
    Ryan - thanks for the response. I'm somewhat concerned anout the size as well since the current unit is 3.5 tons but the company measured all the windows, sq footage, went up in the attic, noted orientation of house and effect of of the great room cathedral ceiling which peeks around 20 ft. The kitchen and dining room are 8 ft ceilings but everything is essentially one big room. I haven't asked to see the actual calc's. Two of the companies (including the one I think I'm going with) noted the current single return is sized for a 2 ton unit. I don't know if they intend to add another return high up in the great room and keep the existing return in kitchen or simply replace the one in the kitchen with a single return in the great room - I'll ask.

    Thermostat for the Lennox option was a 7000 digital / programmable.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    224
    Down the road be aware that repair costs on a Carrier are probably going to be higher than on a Lennox.

    Barrie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,122
    Quote Originally Posted by barriehie View Post
    Down the road be aware that repair costs on a Carrier are probably going to be higher than on a Lennox.

    Barrie
    Now how on earth do you figure that?
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    Eh ?

    Quote Originally Posted by barriehie View Post
    Down the road be aware that repair costs on a Carrier are probably going to be higher than on a Lennox.

    Barrie
    You are Carrier dealer or installer give him a heads up right?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    jcurry,

    3.5 sound high,how did the old system do,run a lot on hot days ,or not?


    What tonnage is the other system?

    Did they measure the peak of the cathedral?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    TEXAS
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    1,701
    Quote Originally Posted by barriehie View Post
    Down the road be aware that repair costs on a Carrier are probably going to be higher than on a Lennox.

    Barrie
    they must have a lennox parts house on every corner in las vegas!
    "When the people find they can vote themselves money,that will herald the end of the republic" - Benjamin Franklin

    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action"- George Washington

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,663
    Quote Originally Posted by smittyii View Post
    they must have a lennox parts house on every corner in las vegas!

    [/I]

    cant buy lennox parts in Ct
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Oviedo, Florida
    Posts
    2
    JcurryFL,

    I feel your pain. As I live in lovely Central Florida also. I have a pair of older (about 10 years old) Carrier units (SEER 10's). Since my home is a split level they did two units 2.5 ton for upstairs (700 sqft) and 3.5 ton for downstairs (1700 sqft). In our area, they tend to oversize to compensate for the near 100% humidity during the summer that really lowers the heat exchange between the air and the heat pump. But I would recommend that if you are still worried about the oversizing, then ask more questions.

    Jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Quote Originally Posted by jims2321 View Post
    JcurryFL,

    I feel your pain. As I live in lovely Central Florida also. I have a pair of older (about 10 years old) Carrier units (SEER 10's). Since my home is a split level they did two units 2.5 ton for upstairs (700 sqft) and 3.5 ton for downstairs (1700 sqft). In our area, they tend to oversize to compensate for the near 100% humidity during the summer that really lowers the heat exchange between the air and the heat pump. But I would recommend that if you are still worried about the oversizing, then ask more questions.

    Jim
    Oversizing is actually worse for humidity control. The shorter cycles satisfy the thermostat's setpoint before being able to remove enough humidity (latent heat). There are, however, thermostats that are better at controlling humidity and actually have humidity setpoints. Longer run cycles help with humidity removal, and that's where a properly-sized dual-stage unit really helps (running in low stage). That's not to say a properly-sized single-stage unit can't provide adequate humidity control.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    TEXAS
    Posts
    1,701

    Confused

    i can't see the need for a 4 ton, but maybe the contractor knows something we don't. i also don't see why u need to remove the heat from a cathedral ceiling. does someone have a hammock strung across it for sleeping? high ceilings are dead space unless they have windows (heat gain) in fla. you want living space conditioned.
    "When the people find they can vote themselves money,that will herald the end of the republic" - Benjamin Franklin

    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action"- George Washington

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for everyone's inputs. Sounds like I need to have the company run through the load calc's and convince me that 4 tons is the right answer. If I went with the 4 ton Infinity 16 with the 2 - stage compressor, would the unit spend most of the time effectively running as ~ 2 ton unit with the 2nd stage available for peak summer heat loads? Would the Lennox XP-19 operate the same? Still not sure which config is right for my situation.

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