Help with new AC and Furnace Choice
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to provide as much info as possible.
I’ve been reading these boards for a month or so planning a new system this spring and this has to be one of the most knowledgeable forms on any topic I’ve seen on the Internet.
I’m hoping someone can give me some feedback on a new system (AC and Furnace).
First a little background. We live in Denver, CO so removing humidity will never be an issue; the humidity is very low even in the summer.
Our house is a 2100 Sq Foot ranch with a 2000 sq foot finished walk out basement (the basement is not an issue as it stays a reasonable temperature year round with our current system).
The major issue we have is keeping the main level at a reasonable (~72 degree) temperature from about April – October, if it’s 85 outside we can not keep the house below ~78 inside and that’s with the current AC running ~15 hours a day (it does not cycle on and off or freeze up). The back of our house faces directly east and is basically a wall of windows along the entire east side (we have tinted all of the east facing windows with a quality (fairly dark) tint and that helped a bit). Adding to the issue is the fact that the roof is black and being a ranch has a much larger roof than a similar sized two story. We also have 25’ vaulted ceilings throughout most of the house.
We have 7 air returns throughout the house and 14 registers.
Heating the house is not a problem; it’s currently 34 and snowing outside and the main level is at 70 and that’s without running the furnace at all today. The furnace doesn’t need to run much due to the amount of heat from the windows and the roof.
We currently have the equipment that was installed by the builder when the house was new (10 years ago).
Furnace - Trane TUE120A960K2 (120K BTU???).
AC - Trane 4 ton (I don’t have the exact model handy)
Coil - ADP HA05248C245B200584.
We’ve owned the house for four years and we’ve finally given up on the current AC, we’ve had 4 different local companies out over the last 4 years to try and resolve the issues but things have not gotten any better. Every thing has been cleaned, adjusted, tested, etc.
The current quote I’m thinking of going with is the following – Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (the company did a load calc which called for a smaller system than we have today It’s hard for me to believe that would work with what we’ve experienced).
58CVA110122 (is this reasonable for this size house?)
CNPVP6024ACA (I’ve read that the ATA is an update to the ACA, is that correct and should I request ATA)
Infinity Air Purifier
Steam Humidifier (don’t know the model yet)
I was hoping to qualify for the Tax Credit but it doesn’t look like the Carrier 5 ton will meet the 13 EER requirement. If you know some way to design the system to meet SEER/EER I’d love to hear that advice as well. It also didn’t look like the larger furnace would meet the 95% requirement for furnaces. If I can't make the tax credit I was thinking of just going with the 17 SEER model.
Thanks in advance.
You might look at a heat pump. Requirements are lower to get the tax credits AND they save you on your heating bills.
We thought about the heat pump but I don't know much about them or if they are very common here (I had never heard of them until I started this research). I don’t think our heating is too much of an issue, for January we used 102 Therms, during the summer when the AC is on our Kilowatt Hours go up by about 3K per month.
Are they sized similarly to AC
We're going to get a quote on Trane on Monday so I'd be interested in any thoughts on Trane's lineup compared to the Carrier I'm already looking at.
From reading your post, I would look for a contractor that understands air flow. Ask for a contractor that will inspect, test and record the airflow.
Check out the National Comfort Institute web site for a contractor in your area. http://www.certaincomfort.org/
Just a thought.
Attitude is the difference between and ordeal or adventure
Thanks for the advice - I searched but only 1 is coming up and they are 70 miles away. Does that sound right for Denver CO? There are none locally only one out in a small city close to the Wyoming border.
Do you believe the current company is not sizing this correctly?
Also to update my current system, I did another register search and there are 17 upstairs and 5 downstairs.
Last edited by Th3w01f; 03-08-2009 at 01:24 PM.
I have no idea if they are sizing it correctly. I am not there.
The equipment is only as good as the duct system that will deliver the energy to the space.
It is your job to interview the contractor "s" and ask the questions until you understand the contractor has identified and explained the "why" questions.
The number of registers ????
what is coming out of each register is what matters- the CFM, (Cubic feet per minute),
again back to the "inspect, test and record airflow".
Changing out the equipment-may only give you the same results........
Attitude is the difference between and ordeal or adventure
Thanks, that makes sense.
I had read that the number of register and returns should also be considered. I have heard (probably incorrectly) that the maximum CFM is ~100 from a standard register so if there were less than say 20 or so more would have to be added regardless of the quality of the current duct work to work with this size system.
Should most contractors be able to test airflow? I'm not sure about calling a company that's 70 miles away for that.
The furnace can quickly raise the whole house temperature 10 - 15 degrees (even if it's already 70 degrees warmer than the outside temp) but the AC can't keep it cooler than ~10 degrees cooler than the outside temp but knowing the airflow would be good.
Our AC runs so much that our usual electric bill during the summer is $400 per month (~4000 kilowatt hours). That seems extremely high to me. Once we turned off the air in September it dropped back down to about 1000 KW hours.
At a glance only 4 ton Trane to qualify is a 20i with an Aspen brand coil and 80K XV80 furnace.
If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.
If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!
No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast
Look at a Trane XL15i 5 ton, XV95 or XV90i Furnace. STAY AWAY FROM CARRIER, BRYANT, PAYNE- ICP (Inner City Products) are garbage and the dealer who install them usually are too.
Perhaps those contractors that handle those brands in your area, are the not the best.
Originally Posted by BowhunterNC
But, it doesn't mean all contractors that handle those brands aren't good.