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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    20

    Need advice on Armstrong furnace/heat pump

    Hi Everybody, first post here so go easy on me

    I am in the process of replacing 12 year old Rheem furnace (80% efficiency) with 96% furnace/heat pump -- one of the contractors I really liked installs Armstrong furnace/heat pumps with Honeywell humidifier -- I've never heard of Armstrong brand before so I am very interested to find out how does it compare to the competition (Carrier, etc) as far as reliability is concerned.

    Thank you very much for your help !

    Davie.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,970
    We do a lot of Armstrong stuff. They're good units. I believe some here have had problems with older Armstrong heat pump units rubbing a hole in the refrigerant line from vibration. I've never seen that particular problem, but I've not been in service work very long.
    One problem we have encountered with variable speed furnace matched to a heat pump is that the slow blower speed at start-up can cause high pressure problems. I haven't seen that one personally, but have heard about it.
    If you're going with a heat pump and 2 stage furnace, make sure you go with a Honeywell IAQ to control the system. Very nice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    389
    I'm sure more will chime in on this one but IMO installation has a lot more to do with system operation and longevity than a name. A properly installed system SHOULD be trouble free if maintained.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by eclipse98 View Post
    Hi Everybody, first post here so go easy on me

    I am in the process of replacing 12 year old Rheem furnace (80% efficiency) with 96% furnace/heat pump -- one of the contractors I really liked installs Armstrong furnace/heat pumps with Honeywell humidifier -- I've never heard of Armstrong brand before so I am very interested to find out how does it compare to the competition (Carrier, etc) as far as reliability is concerned.

    Thank you very much for your help !

    Davie.
    Armstrong is owned by Lennox. They don't advertise as much and so don't cost quite as much, and are favoured by some higher-end builders.

    I have an Armstrong 95+ gas furnace and 10 SEER A/C in the in-law apartment, for four years they have done a good job. Had one minor problem related to installation, got the original company out here 4 years later and got them to fix it.

    I also have a Honeywell humidifier on my dual fuel Rheem gas/heat pump in the main house. I set it on 45 in the Winter and it keeps the relative humidity between 43 to 48%.

    Make sure you get the scroll compressor and I'd say you have no worries about the equipment. Focus on company reputation and proper sizing. Don't fall for the bigger-is-better sales pitch.

    Ask about how much more to get R410A instead of R-22. Eventually R-22 will get phased out, but R-22 can still be a good choice now if the price is right.

    -HF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by EverettsHVAC View Post
    I'm sure more will chime in on this one but IMO installation has a lot more to do with system operation and longevity than a name. A properly installed system SHOULD be trouble free if maintained.

    EverettsHVAC, Thanks for the good advice ! How would I go about finding a reliable and knowlegeable instaler ? Any good websites with reviews ?

    2old2rock, The system we are talking about is Armstrong 416LT 2-stage heat pump with 95V 2-stage furnace, Honeywell IAQ, TrueSteam Humidifier (a must here in Colorado). You mentioned problems with older Armstrong heat pumps, did you ever hear about problems with newer units (which I assunme 416LT is) ?

    Thanks, Davie.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,970
    Eclipse - I've got the 95V 2stage also - very good unit. Keep in mind, the 2 stage feature on the furnace is not so much an energy saver, but more a comfort feature.
    Think of it as putting out less btu's in 1st stage, but still needing the same amount of btu's to heat your space. It will run longer heat cycles, and won't recover from set back temps quickly. With a heat-pump as your main source of heat, the furnace may never hit 2nd stage, unless you're using setback settings, which you may find are not a big energy saver, (especially with a heatpump). The variable speed blower is a very nice feature, and a must for a 2 stage heatpump. It is a big energy saver over a standard PSC motor.
    I don't have the heat pump, but I believe I've seen a few posts on this forum about older Armstrong heatpumps having a problem with the refrigerant line rubbing in the condensing unit and leaking. Do a search here, and see if you can find the thread. It may have been a different brand.
    A good installation is the most important factor, espcially with a complex system like that. Go with 410A refrigerant. Talk to your niehbors and co-workers, or anyone else, and find someone with a good reputation. Also, do a search here on finding a good contractor. Lots of good info.
    Good luck.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    I have an Armstrong I have an Armstrong!!

    Quote Originally Posted by eclipse98 View Post
    Hi Everybody, first post here so go easy on me

    I am in the process of replacing 12 year old Rheem furnace (80% efficiency) with 96% furnace/heat pump -- one of the contractors I really liked installs Armstrong furnace/heat pumps with Honeywell humidifier -- I've never heard of Armstrong brand before so I am very interested to find out how does it compare to the competition (Carrier, etc) as far as reliability is concerned.

    Thank you very much for your help !

    Davie.
    Pretty much bulletproof even though a semi-hack installed it.
    15 Y/O never had an issue in the nice MS summers, well except for our month in hell-August 2000-the unit shut down. Wasn't the unit's fault-it was only 109*

    One caveat, it loud as heck. Both the compressor/condenser and my air handler is noisy. Lennox products seem like their OK, but I'm goin w/another brand b/c of lack of parts and lack dealers/service around here in Elvis' hometown.
    Last edited by RomulanSpy; 07-12-2008 at 08:33 PM. Reason: left out words

  8. #8

    Aprilaire 8870

    does this unit work well with the aprilaire 8870 thermostat?

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