Carrier Infinity system or Amana???
The discussion forums are a real help to upgrade my knowledge of AC systems. I am now replacing my 16 year old Goodman AC condensor, coil, and 90% natural gas furnace. I live in Virginia and have a 2600 sq. ft house with a single system. 100,000 btu gas heat, 3.5 ton a/c have worked relatively flawlessly except humidity can be a problem in the summer.
I have narrowed it down to two estimates from dealers referred to me for quality work. The two recommendations are:
Carrier Infinity 96 two stage gas furnace with variable speed 5 ton blower
Carrier Performance Series 15 SEER A/C 3.5 ton w/ R410 refrigerant
15 SEER Coil 4 ton 21" wide
Warranty: 10 year compressor, coil, parts + lifetime heat exchanger
2 year labor warranty from installer
I can buy a 10 year labor warranty (actually 8 additional years).
Amana 95% STG natural gas furnace with variable speed blower model: AMV90904DX
Amana 15 SEER A/C 3.5 ton w/ R410 refrigerant
Honeywell Vision Pro 8000 thermostat
Warranty: 10 year all parts & labor warranty
lifetime unit replacement warranty
Both installers tell me the VS speed blower ups the SEER rating of the A/C to make the 15 SEER A/C qualify for the energy rebate on the entire system. Correct?
Both plan to use existing 2" exhaust line for the gas furnace. Both plan to use existing refrigerant lines after cleaning the refrig. lines with nitrogen. The lines are fully built in to a finished basement.
Everything I read on the threads says the two systems have about the same reliability. Yes?
Is a 10 year labor warranty warranted?
The lifetime replacement warranty on the Amana seems unusual in this field. Any thoughts or additional questions I should ask the installers?
For an additional fee the AMANA system could be instead a 4 ton two stage 16 SEER A/C Amana (ASX160481 with CAPF486061TXU coil). This was the original suggestion by the AMANA installer. But all of the other installers suggested a 15 SEER single stage condensing system because the 4 ton system was oversizing and an unnecessary additional cost. Who is correct?
The 2-stage Amana while being oversized will probably dehumidify better than the single stage units.
Is there a way you could reduce your heat gain down to the point you could go with a 3-ton Amana ASX? The 2-stages of cooling is really nice.
Did you not consider heat pump instead of straight A/C?
Also, sounds like you have done your homework but am personally wondering why these two (2) contractors and their assurance of quality install. What did they do or tell you to give you confidence?
Assurance Warranties: if sized, installed, started up and maintained correctly you already have one.
Whatever you decide on, get the AHRI Certified Ref number and verify you can get the tax credit. We've been hearing about people getting stuff they thought would qualify, only to find out later it doesn't. You can check it at:
And, if you have had problems with humidity in the past, you for sure want a 2-stage condenser.
The carrier unit hands down will beat the amana when it comes to humidity control. The infinity thermostat knows what the rpm, cfm, and static pressure is on the furnace blower motor. It will adjust the cfm accordingly to remove more moisture from the air. Also if you do a heat pump it will slow down the blower in cold temps to raise the air temp coming out of the registers. If both systems are priced closely the Carrier system is the way to go. The technology in the controls is far superior.
We have inexpensive natural gas for heating and hot water so no, a heat pump was not considered. We're in northern Virginia so a heat pump would require some type of backup. My current gas bills max at about $150-180 for a month or two for heat and hot water in the winter and I spend about $100 per month for AC (alone) in each of 3 summer months. The builder did a good job of insulating and siting the house. Did I miss something?
Heat Pumps are alot better than they were 20 years ago. Just because of the interests you have had, you would be my customer playing with that "balancing point" between natural gas and heat pump to find their fit. We call this dual fuel or "hybrid heat" (a Carrier Trademark name). And that is fine, would welcome you helping us defy convention and go with what works with you.
Originally Posted by letango
I am in area that is considered a temperant rain forest. Humidity is a huge concern. Variable speed on a furnace is a must. I am more on side of picking high quality contractor than I am a particular manufacturer. I can tell you this. We are a Carrier FAD dealer, our customers that we install the MV Furnace with Performance series HPs, with Infinity Control, acutally call to ask if they have a problem becuase they have the thermostat set at 78 instead of 72 and they are still too cold (in summer.) It does do a great job on dehumidify. It is actually a Quality Assurance call I prefer to have. :-)
I am not an Amana dealer, will not even comment on their product. But I know of others here who are and would claim similar success.
Sorry if confused you, pick your contractor, not your equipment. We are supposed to be the experts on this, it is up to us to prove to you that this is what we definately do for a living.
I say pick the right equipment with the right contractor.
Originally Posted by DGIO-Not
I went to engineering school up at College Park, lived in a townhouse in MD subs with straight heat pump no electric heat or gas backup. I can attest it was miserable. It would be nice to have the balance between the two. My favorite winter heat is still radiant, but I am sure your not looking into that ;-)
Originally Posted by letango
We are in a cookie cutter subdivision. I called 2 homeowners with identical homes that were built in the year after mine. When my gen. contractor built the home in 1993, the AC subcontractor put in a 3 ton AC but I complained about excessive heat in the second floor of this "phony colonial" on 95* days. Two to three months later he replaced the outside compressor unit with a 3.5 ton. Now the two homes built the next year are identical except they have 4 ton ac units. One homeowner just replaced their AC 2 in 2007 with a TRANE 4 ton unit. The other homeowner is still using their 16 year old Janitrol equipment. He said he keeps his AC set at about 72* during summer to be comfortable. This is all news to me. It sounds like my AC discomfort is because I'm still probably undersized with a 3.5 ton unit, no? And, I need more constant airflow because this is a single zone system. FYI: We all have wooded lots with tall trees and R30 ceiling insulation. Sounds to me like I need to go back and look at the 4 ton units, correct?
Thanks. Good school. I have 2 grad degrees from UMD College Park. I spent a good bit of time in the computer center and the engineering students were tops. I've added a note about neighboring home AC sizes in another reply. Any comment would be appreciated.
Tells me you need a full Manual J8 with room by room. Cookie cutter or not, do not size by needs by neighbors. Even with same builder, construction practice could vary greatly from one house to next. Take a look at this: http://www.energyconservatory.org/pr.../products9.htm I'm leading you to bottom of page: "free booklet for contractors" but it does discuss common problems we find in homes that could affect your system and system size.
Originally Posted by letango
Being in the same DC area I would recommend going with a Infinity. Do a manual J, I went from a 3.5 to 3 without any problem. Because of the better Humidty control can keep the stat at a higher temp. Also found that the temperature overall is more even. Make sure the AC is two stage.
What is the size of the new furnace, we went from a 100k to 80k furnace. Don't forget about a Humdifier and filter, we use an AprilAire for both.