Bryant vs. Carrier systems
First I'd like to thank the good members here who answered my newbie questions a month ago about a replacement HVAC system for my home in SE Michigan. I know a lot more than when I started out!
Now I have another question: I've gotten proposals from one contractor who sells Bryant and two who sell Carrier. I've gathered from my reading here that Bryant and Carrier offer essentially the same line of equipment - is that really the case? The proposals I've received are about the same price and the contractors seem about equally knowledgeable, so should I pick one brand over the other?
Here's a rundown on the equipment proposals:
Infinity ICS 58MVC120-1-20 furnace w/Infinity controller
Infinity 17 24ANA760 A003 A/C
(or Infinity 25HNA660 A003 heat pump for about $x more)
Infinity air filter
Performance LBP (or LFP) humidifier
Plus95s 355CAV060120 furnace w/Evolution controller
Aprilaire 5000 air filter
Aprilaire LBP humidifier
I'm leaning toward the conventional air conditioner, as I've heard very mixed reports about using a heat pump in my area.
Anyway, what say you? Thanks in advance for any thoughts you are willing to share with me.
Last edited by beenthere; 02-28-2009 at 06:00 PM.
Reason: Removed price
What are the mixed reports on heat pumps in your area? What area are you in? I'm going to guess at the Northeast.
Originally Posted by jamesk8752
I live in...
Southeast Michigan, specifically, northwest Detroit suburbs. Sorry I didn't make that more plain in my OP.
Of the four contactors I spoke with, two were positive about heat pumps in my area and two were negative. My friends and acquaintances split on about the same percentage...
What's a mother to do... ;<))
You are essentially comparing mechanically identical equipment, except for the air cleaners.
Heat pumps in most if not all areas can save on the heating cost by heating at more mild temperatures--you already knew this. What are the negative reports on? Operating cost, or comfort issues (lower output temp)?
Did any company stand out in terms of presenting themselves as most competent? Any do a load calc to determine sizing? Any look at ductwork to ensure it can handle a 5 ton system (many can't)? Which has the most positive references and is willing to provide them? These kinds of questions are what it's going to come down to...
This is my experience only; Most heat pumps get a bad rep, because 1) People dont know how to size them, install them, and work on them in my area and 2) With number "1", it prevents fewer call backs and is easier to just go fossil fuel.
I can't imagine that if they did an energy analysis on the systems, that a dual fuel in your area wouldn't be more efficient.
One other thing I'd like to know is the coil model number each is providing. Look for CNPVP6024ATA. Are you aware of the $1500 stimulus tax credit available? Your air conditioner wouldn't qualify at a mediocre 11 EER/14.5 SEER (typical of 5 ton systems; this is stage 2--heat pump would have a little less EER), but the furnace, if 95% AFUE or above, should.
Thanks for your input.
To my disappointment, none of the contractors did a load calculation, but all of them carefully examined my current system, including the ductwork and vents. As my current furnace is a 160K BTU Luxaire unit and my A/C is a 5 ton Lennox unit they may have felt comfortable with the fact that that I have been satisfied with its heating/cooling ability (but not its temperature control/humidity management).
The negative opinions about heat pumps were for various reasons. Some cited poor comfort, some cited problems in getting them adjusted properly, some said that the payback period was too long, and some felt that the additional complexity of a dual heat system led to increased maintenance and shorter system life. OTOH, two of the four contractors' reps either had a heat pump or were about to install one.
You make some good points. I usually find that those who don't understand something tend to be negative about it. It's telling that the two reps who were positive about heat pumps either already had one or were about to install one...
Why not with the money you are spending ask for a heat load and cost analysis?
You be surprised how that narrows down your chooses.
I suppose I could ask for that, but that's really not my question - which is, is there really any difference between the two equipment proposals. Can you comment?
See post 4. Really not much more to say with regards to equipment differences. You'll need to make your decision based on other factors.
Not sure what the "that" is that you're referring to. If it's the coil, it is equipment and does make a difference. If it's the tax credit, then that was just a side note. If you qualify for the $1500 tax credit, why leave it?
Whoops - meant ascj...
Sorry - I meant to reply to ascj rather than Ryan in my preceding post and now I can't edit it.
There is no equipment difference between the equipment proposals.
Originally Posted by jamesk8752
But the load calculation and energy efficiency should be your main questions?