Equipment Review and Chicago Area Referral
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chicago, far-western suburb
    Posts
    33

    Equipment Review and Chicago Area Referral

    I have a few questions about the system equipment I plan on having installed and also a referral for a "quality" HVAC contractor in the western suburban Chicago area.

    My house is about 1,000 square feet, 37 years old (original HVAC equipment) with R-13 walls, way too little blown-in attic insulation, and leaky single pane windows (all of which are on my "list" of things to get fixed - Once I find a job!). My "better half" really prefers Trane (it's what my mother-in-law has) but an American Standard system would also be fine.

    Equipment list -
    Trane XV95,60k BTU, variable speed furnace - TUH2B060A9V3VA
    Trane XR13, 2.0 Ton, R-410A, AC - 4TTR3024A1000A
    Trane 2.0 Ton, Cased Coil - 4TXCB025BC3HCA

    Questions -
    1. What thermostat would you recommend? A Trane unit or a Honeywell IAQ?
    2. What humidifier would you recommend? Trane unit or an Aprilaire 500 / 600?
    3. What about the coil? I was told in the past that a 2.0 Ton AC system is more "efficient" when matched with a 2.5 Ton coil. There also appears to be a "High Efficiency" coil available - 4TXCB003CC3HCA. What makes it more efficient (appears to be a bit larger in height) and is it worth asking about?
    4. I am totally ignorant about the "filter". I am only used to the cheap, 1" filters that you replace every month. I don't think I want an electronic $$ filter, and really don't know about the details of a 5" media box. Why does one contractor want to build this box and one want to buy it pre-fabricated?

    Referral -
    Can you recommend a "quality" HVAC contractor in the western suburbs of Chicago that would want to work with me (please see my "Everlast" comments in this thread - http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=292812 )?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    9
    I just had a new furnace installed in April (I'm in Wheaton). I had gotten many quotes on AS and Trane, had it narrowed down to two contractors one AS and one Trane but in the end decided to go with the one who carried AS. So far, very happy with the installation and the performance of the equipment.
    This is what I ended up with:

    AS Freedom 95 80k, AUH2B080A9V3VA
    AS 500 power humidifier
    Honeywell IAQ stat

    I decided against the media filter for now, have been using the True Blue MERV7 1" filters from Menards. Has not been a problem, changed it twice so far. May go with the media filter when I have to replace the AC.

    If interested, I will give you the information later tonight. All my paperwork has been filed away.
    I could also include the Trane dealer, I felt he would do a good job as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chicago, far-western suburb
    Posts
    33
    Mechguy,

    Yes, I would appreciate it if you could send me both the AS and Trane contractor information. You will have to look at my profile to get my email address as I don't think they allow it in a forum thread. Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    chicago suburbs
    Posts
    4,422
    don't forget your power vent water heater.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,884
    tinner, get off your butt and get out there and help the guy! Then post the results on the WOP!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    chicago suburbs
    Posts
    4,422
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    tinner, get off your butt and get out there and help the guy! Then post the results on the WOP!
    i've been out there....nice guy. i gave him some numbers on that RGRL that i pm'ed you about....but i think his better half may be a little Trane-washed. so we will see.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chicago, far-western suburb
    Posts
    33

    Getting Real Close - Hopefully

    Got a much better quote from for the same system in American Standard colors. The contractor / owner provided the quotes and assured me that his techs are the "best of the best" and did provide good references -

    American Standard Freedom 95 Furnace - 60k BTU, P/N AUH2B060A9V3VA
    American Standard Allegiance 13 A/C 2.0 Ton, R410A, P/N 4A7A3024A1000A
    American Standard 2.0 Ton cased A coil, P/N 4TXCB025BC3HCA

    Ok, got the "coil" question figured out.

    But still uncertain about the thermostat. Does the thermostat in anyway "enhance" the default operation of the equipment? Can I eliminate the separate remote humidifier controller if I get the "right" thermostat? Does the base equipment handle the optimal de-humidification / AC using it's own sensors / brains or does the "right" thermostat provide that? Fancy touchscreen doesn't mean much to me unless the thermostat it is part of, provides some additional benefit to the system. The reason I ask is that the quotes I have received all specify different thermostats (from "your old one is fine" to Honeywell IAQ which I am assuming is the "best" for whatever reason). How do I choose the "right" thermostat for me? Is there a thread on this format that goes into detail about thermostat selection?

    I also need to firm up my filter choice. I think that I will go with a 5" filter but which manufacturer? The Trane / AS replacement filters are awful expensive. What about Honeywell or Air Bear?

    Tinner73 - you were at the top of the list (I thought you were very knowledgeable and quality driven - and also a nice guy , but the system must be Trane or A/S. Honey Bunny wouldn't like it if I switched brands and I am just getting tired of doing the research on this project (need to spend more time looking for a job instead!).

    Thanks,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,884
    The IAQ would interface with the variable speed blower to slow it down for extra dehumidification in the summer. It would also control your humidifier to avoid having the cheapo mechanical one that probably isn't accurate.

    So honey bunny is Tranewashed?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
    Posts
    1,411
    Quote Originally Posted by Everlast View Post
    ... Ok, got the "coil" question figured out ...
    Everlast, what did you figure out on the coil and does that include reliability? I am swimming in the sea of coils now for a dual fuel system.

    PS: Lived in Naperville for 28 years before the move to Northwest Arkansas.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chicago, far-western suburb
    Posts
    33
    BaldLoonie -
    Thanks for the information. I think that I will ask for the Honeywell IAQ as I don't need another external control that I have to deal with (I am assuming that it will interface to most major brands of humidifiers - right?).

    To tell you the absolute truth both Honey Bunny and myself are "Trainwashed" It would be another month if I had to go and decide among the different brands, and Trane - A/S, because of marketing or other reasons, does seem to have a good reputation. After all it's not the equipment, it's the installation

    jerryd_2008 -
    The cased coil I was asking about is meant for the 20 SEER A/C. The A/S contractor got on the phone and asked his distributor about it when I asked. Don't know why (maybe it uses some elses coil). The other half of my coil question was answered when I found (the internet is a wonderful tool!) product documentation links to A/S technical literature on the local A/S distributor site. You won't find this on the normal A/S site and I don't know why they make it so hard on a person who is really interested in finding this information. The coil literature detailed the EER, SEER, CFM, Total Capacity, Sensible Capacity,... of specific condensing units matched up to different coils, i.e. a 2 Ton condensor with a 3 Ton coil. I still have to review the information for my configuration to see if a larger coil buys me anything (except more $$).

    Did do a 180 on my filter choice though, will probably now ask for a 1" electronic filter from either Dynamic or Electro Breeze. Don't know if I am being suckered but the information out there seems to indicate this is a no-brainer. Very good filtering with reasonably priced replacement filters, all at very reasonable price (if they do what they say they do) in a 1" form factor.

    Thanks,

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,699
    Did you see what the PD is on those 1" filters.

    They may do more harm then good, if its too high.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chicago, far-western suburb
    Posts
    33
    beenthere -
    I have no idea. Since the Dynamic brand was recommended by a contractor I assumed that it would be fine.

    The Electro Breeze site had this information -
    0.12" W.G. @ 300 Cfm

    Is this good or bad?

    Thanks,

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,699
    Thats probably .12" wc, at 300FPM.

    At how many CFM though?
    The 300FPM is good. If its at the CFM your system will be moving.

    Just because a contractor recomended it. Doesn't always mean its the right air filter.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

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