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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7

    Heat Pump or Traditional?? Dry Air and Allerigies

    I am looking at replacing a horizontally mounted 3-ton system for the upstairs of our 2-story 3500 sqft Atlanta GA house. We hate "dry heat" and have lots of allergies. I am considering Carrier and Trane.

    I am thinking about this system:
    Carrier Infinity 3 ton 2 stage Puron up to 17 SEER A/C (model # 24ANA736A003)
    Matching high efficiency horizontal tin plated cooling coil (model # CNPHP3617ATA)
    Carrier Infinity 80% efficient variable speed 2 stage gas furnace (model # 58CVA090-1-16)
    Carrier Infinity air cleaner with a matching 16 x 25 return air drop box with sealed fittings to control air infiltration.
    Carrier Infinity controller relocated to the master bedroom with dehumidification enhancement, humidification enhancement, temperature and indoor air quality monitoring.
    For the humidity, a new Honeywell 12-gallon steam humidifier with a new Vision Pro thermostat and new water shut off valves for the existing main floor system and an additional return upstairs to balance out the air flow.

    Can you pros comment on this system and advise?

    Also, and very important, should I do the above A/C or the heat pump option, especially for Atlanta's climate:
    Carrier Infinity up to 16 seer 2 stage heat pump in lieu of the above air conditioner??


    Thanks for you guys' advice!!!

    John from Atlanta

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    I'd defintely go heat pump. You shouldn't need the furnace on an upstairs system except in the early morning on some cold days in Dec-Feb. If should provide all your heat down to around 35F and cost less to operate than a 80% furnace.

    Just a note... if you want the federal tax credit ... I think you need a Infinity 19 Heat pump. I didn't find any matches with that furnace with the Infinity 16. So if the 19 is less than about 25% more, I'd go that route since you'll get 30% back.

    With that furnace, you cannot get a tax credit with the Infinity 17 or 21 A/C units.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,598
    Another vote for dual fuel!

    The type of heating unit doesn't determine how dry the house is, the amount of infiltration does. If you have a leaky house, it will be dry. If you have a tight house, it won't be dry. Too tight and could be too humid. So putting a big humidifier is one solution, working to tighten the house is the other plus it saves on utility costs year round.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7
    Thanks for the great tips. You guys are great.

    More info:
    My average annual energy costs have been $1200 natural gas and $3000 elec with my current 15 yr old Goodman builder grade equipment.

    Also, the house was built in 1920. We have worked to tighten it up as much as possible, BUT it is and probably will always be somewhat "leaky." Does this change any of your advice??

    Do you care to comment on Carrier Infinity vs Trane or is that out of bounds?

    John from Atlanta

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,773
    Whats your electric rate, all taxes and delivery fees include.
    Whats your gas rate with all taxes and delivery fees included.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Quote Originally Posted by stephejo View Post
    Thanks for the great tips. You guys are great.

    More info:
    My average annual energy costs have been $1200 natural gas and $3000 elec with my current 15 yr old Goodman builder grade equipment.

    Also, the house was built in 1920. We have worked to tighten it up as much as possible, BUT it is and probably will always be somewhat "leaky." Does this change any of your advice??

    Do you care to comment on Carrier Infinity vs Trane or is that out of bounds?

    John from Atlanta

    Are you subtracting your "base loads" from thsoe amounts? You need to use your October or April bill to show the energy use form other appliances, and subtract maybe around 90% of that bill from bills during the true heating and cooling seasons.

    For example, my October bill is $50 for electric. My gas bill is $20 in the summer. So I subtract $50 from my winter electric bill and $20 from my gas bill to determine my total heating costs using dual fuel in the winter.


    With a dual fuel heat pump, your electric bill will go down in April and October, but go up again in Nov. and Feb. and March, then drop again in Dec., Feb and Jan. when the furnace is used the most. Maybe less if your warmer climate.

    Of course what really screws up you usage calculatios is that your may bill is for April useage, and in some cases, the gas bill and electic bill can be offset by several weeks, so they can't be compared together directly.

    I keep telling myself that I'm going to start taking weekly readings manually at the meter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7
    Here are my peak and base usages:

    Baseline Use:
    Gas 0.21 therms/day (~$40/month)
    Elect 1700 kWh/month (~$165/month)

    Peak Use
    Gas 2.5 therms/day (~$125/month)
    Elect 3900 kWh/month (~$500/month)


    Thanks!

    John from Atlanta

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7
    I have my usage data in the previous post. Could someone look at it and see if dual-fuel Infinity or Performance heat pump a good idea. Also, comment on whether the Infinity is worth the extra $$.

    Thanks for all your help.

    John from Atlanta

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,773
    The dual fuel can save you a good bit of money on your heating bill over gas heat only.

    As far as performance or Infinity series.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    The Infinity is more for comfort. In many match-ups (coil and air handler/furnace) the Performance 15 outperforms the Infinity 16 and something the Infinity 19 heat pumps. It's also a little quieter I beleive as well.

    But if you have a lot of humid weather, the extra comfort of a 2 stage system may be well worth it. Either way, I'd look at getting a Infinity Furnace with the Infinity control even if you get a Performance Series Heat Pump.


    Looking at your bills... a heat pump is a no-brainer. It won't save yo ua lot, because you don't use a lot of heat, but it should pay for itself. I don't think you'll hardley use the furnace. You have very small gas bills, but $350 in the summer for electricity.

    I'd recommend a 2 stage heat pump if you can afford it. I think you'll be happy with the investment.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7
    Thank you so much. You guys have a great forum and thank you for allowing us consumers to post.

    John

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    7
    Just got the evaluation from Atlanta's premier Trane dealer. They are highly reputable.

    He says that the dual-fuel heat pump is overkill for our "leaky" 90 year old house. He recommends a Trane 80% 80kBTU furnace and a Trane XL15i (15SEER) traditional A/C which performs at 16 SEER and qualifies for the fed tax rebate. He says he can sell me a heat pump if I want one but that the companies are pushing the HP because the power company is giving them big incentives.

    So now I may be thinking no on the heat pump. Am I making a big mistake??

    Thanks guys.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Quote Originally Posted by stephejo View Post
    Just got the evaluation from Atlanta's premier Trane dealer. They are highly reputable.

    He says that the dual-fuel heat pump is overkill for our "leaky" 90 year old house. He recommends a Trane 80% 80kBTU furnace and a Trane XL15i (15SEER) traditional A/C which performs at 16 SEER and qualifies for the fed tax rebate. He says he can sell me a heat pump if I want one but that the companies are pushing the HP because the power company is giving them big incentives.

    So now I may be thinking no on the heat pump. Am I making a big mistake??

    Thanks guys.
    I'm not sure how the heap pump is overkill??? It's either cheaper to operate or it isn't.

    The only ARI match I found with an 80% 80k BTU Trane furnace and XL15i is actually the XT80 furnace. It has the ECM, but not fully vairable speed.... and only wiht a 2.0 Ton or 2.5 Ton AC.

    The XL15i heat pump only gives up 0.75 SEER (almost nothing) to the A/C, with the same EER. IT will cost less to operate than the furnace during most of the heating season with Atlanta's mild winters. And there are matches with the VS XV80 as well as the XT80.

    Yes electric companies like heat pumps, but so should customers if they cost less to operate.


    So yes, you can get a rebate with both, but there are more matches for 80k BTU furnaces with the heat pump and it will be cheaper to operate. The utility rebates to the dealers is good for you too. It should give dealers an incentive to price the heat pumps more aggressively as well.

    I'm not sure what having a leaky house has to do with anything. It actually should support the argument for higher efficincy equipment and dual fuel, because a well insulated "tight" house will use less energy to heat and have a longer payback. Especially in moderate weather where the heat pump can cost almost 1/2 as much to operate.

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