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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    5

    Two-Stage HVAC and Elevation

    I have two quotes to replace the HVAC unit in our attic. One vendor is recommending a York Affinity system that is a two-stage system.

    Another vendor says the two-stage would be problematic for my situation because the outside unit is at basement level and the inside unit is in the attic, so close to 30' higher. That vendor is recommending a Trane XR13 with variable-speed unit upstairs, so a 14 SEER equivalent. He also mentioned issues with leaking coils and bad compressors with the York two-stage.

    Seems like one of them is feeding us a line, but it is hard to figure out who.
    Last edited by bcrooker; 02-23-2009 at 11:38 AM. Reason: removed pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
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    5,520
    No prices, even as a reference. Prices vary dramatically in different areas and by different contractors, so it's unfair to discuss them. Your question can be answered using generalizations about costs.


    Generally speaking, a contactor that talks bad about another brand is one to avoid. All makes are pretty comparable as far as quality and performance. You need ot pick the contractor that will do the best installation. It could be hte York dealer is known for bad installs. But it's unprofessional for the Trane dealer to talk down another brand.

    Look for some other quotes. Get bids with comparable options... and ask for prcing for certain upgrades. I like quotes with a good, better, best system as far as comfort and efficiency vs. cost. Factor in any discount, utility rebates or tax rebates if applicable.

    But everyone on here will agree, that even a high end 20 SEER unit installed wrong can perform worse than a 14 SEER system installed correctly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    No prices, even as a reference. Prices vary dramatically in different areas and by different contractors, so it's unfair to discuss them. Your question can be answered using generalizations about costs.
    Sorry - I have removed them completely now. Like you said, they really have no bearing on the question anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
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    5,520
    Picking a contractor is hard. If you go low bid, you may get what you pay for. For example, the best company, might even have a lower mark-up on hte equipment, but his price is higher because there's more labor involved to install a system correctly, and he may have more materials. A proper installation might include modification to the supply and return plenums and and other sheetmetal work. Leaving them out will save money and make one price look a lot better, but can adversely effect system performance.

    Aks a lot of question as to what work in included, what equipment is being installed, what is the ARI rating (effecincy) of the equipment

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5
    I guess my main question is this: Is there something to the one vendor's statement about the fact that the York's system will have issues because of the two-stage and our elevation difference (30') between the indoor and outdoor units, and the relative reliability of two-stage systems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,776
    No.
    It won't have a problem with the elevation.

    The Trane dealer is just trying to use scare tatics.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5
    Thanks. It is just weird because both vendors were offering both Trane and York. The one arguing against York also said that if I was looking at replacing the first-floor unit he would recommend the York, it was just the elevation and two-stage systems that would be the issue.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    If the outdoor unit was going to be 30' above the indoor unit. Then it would be a problem.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    After looking at the statement again from the vendor that was against the two-stage, he is saying that the problem would occur when the unit is using the first stage (lower power??). He says the first stage would have issues pushing the refrigerant up to the evaporator coil.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    DFW,TX
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    2,169
    Im pretty confused and it is unfair to try and determine why these contractors said what they said or why they suggested what they did.

    so get a third contractor to give new estimate(btw dont tell them about your other two estimates so its clean and fresh new opinion with no bias).Ive never heard of any issues with the way you stated the evaporator being thirty feet above the condenser,it is that way in almost 80% of normal installs,i mean we do it on almost every home.

    if the evaporator is too high then a simply electronic solenoid in the LL will solve any pressures issues on startup IMO .

    i dont do too many of the opposite where Condenser is a lot higher then evaporator but if i remember correctly a ptrap near the evaporator will be needed for sure..

    However it doesnt sound like the trane guy is lookingout for your best interest so get another estimate.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,776
    It will have no problem pushing the refrigerant to the unit in the attic.
    Many of these 2 stage units(and other brand's 2 stage units) are installed like that already. And working fine.

    And many of them are heat pumps, so they are running winter and summer, and not having a problem with the height difference.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fl
    Posts
    69

    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by bcrooker View Post
    Seems like one of them is feeding us a line, but it is hard to figure out who.
    They both are because both brands are junk

    Go Bryant or Comfortmaker or if you must have a big name, Carrier

    Thats gonna get me Flamed

    O wait, since all units are the same and it is 100% installation, you may as well pick the best contractor out of the two and have them quote you the cheapest thing they can, probably goodman or coleman.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    pinehurst north carolina
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    54
    get a couple more estimates. there is no reason for the other contractor to say that except for that he's feeding you a line. get some facts about the 2 stage units out there. I'll tell you the carrier infinity is the cats meow and I'm sure there are other 2 stage units that will work out fine.

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