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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    Hard time choosing condenser/furnace

    Hello everyone. I live in Philadelphia, PA in a 1200 square foot "twin" brick house (meaning the house in connected to another house on one side but not the other, heh). It is a 2 story home with an underground basement.

    I am currently attempting to choose a new condenser and furnace as my current 12 year old Goodman system has kicked the bucket. I am having some trouble with this for a few reasons.

    (1) I am fairly certain I would like a Trane unit in my house, but I cannot find a way to to find the difference in price between different Trane lines short of having a contractor give me 20 different quotes, lol. I suspect that a 2.5 ton XR14 would be nice, but can anyone tell me how much more the XL14i and XL16i units are? (and yes...the load calc on the house specs a 2.5 ton unit...or actually 2.7 tons rounded up a bit).

    (2) I cannot seem to find which Trane models use scroll compressors. I wish to have one and even Trane's website does not mention this *sigh*

    (3) I have been told that any SEER over 14, in a house as small as mine, is hard to justify. Does this contain any truth?

    (4) I'm also having trouble picking a furnace for this home. As I'm not rolling in money, and my current furnace works fine, I'm only picking one for the efficiency. Are the current 90+ VS furnaces very pricey? What units would y'all recommend?

    Most HVAC contractors are not willing to sit down with me and let me handpick my units. At least not in this city. I'm a masonry contractor myself, and as such, I can't really blame them . But I research everything extensively. Maybe I have too much time on my hands!

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,117
    1. Price difference will be up to your contractor.

    3. Depends how much you use your A/C. And how cheap you electric rate is. In 2010, PA electric companies will be raising their rates 30 to 40%.

    4. pricey is a percieved opinion. VS blowers can help remove more moisture from your home in the summer. And even out room temps, if you have some uneven heating or cooling.

    With only 3 exposed walls. You either have a lot of windows, poor insulation, or a lot of fresh air leakage for your house to come out to 2.7 tons.
    What size furnace did it say you need.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    1. Price difference will be up to your contractor.
    This is true in a roundabout way, lol....but I assume that Trane charges him more for higher end unit and he just passes along the extra cost to me, no? It's the difference in material cost inbetween the different lines of Trane that I am curious to.

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    3. Depends how much you use your A/C. And how cheap you electric rate is. In 2010, PA electric companies will be raising their rates 30 to 40%.
    I use it quite a bit as I like the house about 70 degrees. Of course I may be quite happy with 75 degrees if the air were sufficiently dehumidified.

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    4. pricey is a percieved opinion. VS blowers can help remove more moisture from your home in the summer. And even out room temps, if you have some uneven heating or cooling.
    Pricey isn't perceived when your broke ! *chuckles* But the removal of moisture from the air is exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for the tip

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    With only 3 exposed walls. You either have a lot of windows, poor insulation, or a lot of fresh air leakage for your house to come out to 2.7 tons.
    What size furnace did it say you need.
    The side wall of my home (the one that is exposed obviously) is nearly 75 feet long and has 11 windows....one of them which is a large single pane (its a decorative window...all others are new double). It also bakes in the sun nearly all day long. There are no trees, structures, or anything of that nature to shade it whatsoever The insulation is new, the windows are new, and the wall is freshly pointed.

    I do not have the rec. BTU of the furnace, but if you'd like I can pull the numbers off the current furnace. If it matters, the old 2.5 A/C (before it blew up, heh) cooled the house perfectly.


    Thanks for all your advice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5
    Almost forgot....I can't seem to figure out the difference between the XB90, XR90, and XT90 line of furnaces. Even when I use the "compare" feature of Trane's website, there is absolutely no difference (although I assume there is substantial difference in cost...heh)


    Does anyone know? Or have a recommendation?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,188
    The XB90 uses the old silicon carbide ignitor, no blower compartment insulation, 20 year HX warranty.

    The XR90 uses the new Intellignition with silicon nitride ignitor, blower compartment insulation, lifetime HX warranty.

    The XT90 is like the XR90 except it has GE's X13 motor which uses much less juice than a standard fixed speed motor. Increases SEER of the outdoor unit about 1 point.

    As for scrolls, in A/C units the 13 SEER 3 & 5 ton have them, the 14 SEER 2.5 to 5 ton have them. All of the 16i units have the 2 stage scroll.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,552

    What part of the City? I'm right across the bridge.

    As a half-twin you would tend to be lean on windows. (maybe 10% rather than 17%) This would tend towards a lower cooling load.

    If you system is only 12 years old - maybe put a compressor in it and spend the rest of improving the envelope of the structure.
    Insulation, weatherstriping, doors, windows, etc.

    Is your roof flat or peaked?

    PHM
    ---------


    Quote Originally Posted by Dvaren View Post
    Hello everyone. I live in Philadelphia, PA in a 1200 square foot "twin" brick house (meaning the house in connected to another house on one side but not the other, heh). It is a 2 story home with an underground basement.

    I am currently attempting to choose a new condenser and furnace as my current 12 year old Goodman system has kicked the bucket. I am having some trouble with this for a few reasons.

    (1) I am fairly certain I would like a Trane unit in my house, but I cannot find a way to to find the difference in price between different Trane lines short of having a contractor give me 20 different quotes, lol. I suspect that a 2.5 ton XR14 would be nice, but can anyone tell me how much more the XL14i and XL16i units are? (and yes...the load calc on the house specs a 2.5 ton unit...or actually 2.7 tons rounded up a bit).

    (2) I cannot seem to find which Trane models use scroll compressors. I wish to have one and even Trane's website does not mention this *sigh*

    (3) I have been told that any SEER over 14, in a house as small as mine, is hard to justify. Does this contain any truth?

    (4) I'm also having trouble picking a furnace for this home. As I'm not rolling in money, and my current furnace works fine, I'm only picking one for the efficiency. Are the current 90+ VS furnaces very pricey? What units would y'all recommend?

    Most HVAC contractors are not willing to sit down with me and let me handpick my units. At least not in this city. I'm a masonry contractor myself, and as such, I can't really blame them . But I research everything extensively. Maybe I have too much time on my hands!

    Thanks everyone!
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,326
    The variable speed furnaces will help you to provide better dehumidification if applied correctly. With the correct controls you will feel more comfortable at higher temps in the same home. In philly, we get many high humidity days and this feature does seem to work well. A modern, two stage, or modulating gas furnace will help overall comfort, and possibly save you some coin, depending upon what you have now and how you run it. With utility rates being unstable, I personally would look at two things. First, am I going to live here for a while?, and then if yes, what is the best system that I can afford? Don't think for a second that it no longer matters. Energy costs probably will not stabilize for a while, especially with the coming dereg for peco. Right now they are predicting thirty percent increases in costs, but who really knows?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,552

    Well; let's look at that statement again -

    You wrote:

    1. "I use (the AC) quite a bit as I like the house about 70 degrees. Of course I may be quite happy with 75 degrees if the air were sufficiently dehumidified."

    2. "the removal of moisture from the air is exactly what I'm looking for."

    3. "the old 2.5 A/C cooled the house perfectly.


    Ahhhhhh . . . . but if numbers one and two above are true - then number three has to be false. <g>
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    Ahhhhhh . . . . but if numbers one and two above are true - then number three has to be false. <g>
    LOL...I guess ya have me there. Let me just say that the old unit, before it "passed away", kept most of my home at 69 degrees. Humid or not....69 degrees is pretty darn comfortable

    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    As a half-twin you would tend to be lean on windows. (maybe 10% rather than 17%) This would tend towards a lower cooling load.
    So you believe a 2.5 ton system is too large for my home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    If you system is only 12 years old - maybe put a compressor in it and spend the rest of improving the envelope of the structure. Insulation, weatherstriping, doors, windows, etc.
    It is a 12 year old, 9 SEER, Goodman. Let me first say that I will never buy a Goodman. My last two homes had Goodman systems and they constantly broke down. Perhaps it was coincidence. Perhaps it was some other factor. But in my mind, I just want this PoS out of here...lol. Of course I'm also quite concerned with having a more efficient A/C and furnace with the predicted spikes in electricity and gas (and one that works of course!).

    As to the insulation.....All interior walls and insulation are new. Doors and weatherstripping are new"er". I'm a pointer by trade, so all masonry sealing and caulking is done.


    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    Is your roof flat or peaked?
    Flat....rubber roof, white in color.

    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    The XB90 uses the old silicon carbide ignitor, no blower compartment insulation, 20 year HX warranty..........

    ...........13 SEER 3 & 5 ton have them, the 14 SEER 2.5 to 5 ton have them. All of the 16i units have the 2 stage scroll.
    Thank you so much. That was exactly what I was looking for




    I just received a new estimate on 2 different configurations. It looks like running a 90+ VS is just too expensive. Even an 80+ VS it a bit high.

    I've asked him to submit an estimate on an XL14i/15i and a non-VS 90+ furnace (XT90)

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