My wife and I are building a house in Houston which is about 4000 sq feet. The builder's base unit is a 13 SEER Carrier unit with allergen filtration systems, fresh air damper, ultraviolent light system, and programable t-stat. It has 3 zones (Master suite, remainder of downstairs, and upstairs)
The builder is offering an upgrade to the Carrier Infinity system (for some $'s of course) which per the subcontractor would be a 14.5 SEER 5 Ton unit downstairs and a 16 SEER 2.5 Ton unit upstairs. It would also include all the filtration, fresh air and zoning as the standard system plus the Infinity controls.
We plan on staying in the house for the long haul and are leaning toward selecting this system. I'm trying to get a decent feel for what % savings on our electricity we could expect each month? 5%, 10% 25%??
Any insight would be appreciated.
i am a carrier dealer in houston and have installed the infinity systems . when you match the infinity controller to a variable speed furnace /blower with a 2 speed condensing unit you have the most aggressive humidity control of any factory system made.note i said factory ,there are hybrids that perform aswell but the infinity rocks. one problem carriers evap coils are still made in mexico , this has been an issue with refrigerant leaks . that is the only negative .
one huge positive is the fact that the installing contractor will have to size the ducts correctly otherwise the infinity controller will show high static pressure and low airflow in the service section of the stat ,pretty cool.
This may or may not make sense.How do you use your A/C, do you set to 70 or 78 in summer months? Are allergines an issue to you and your family? You say that you want to live in this house for the longhaul, 10yrs, 15, 20????
[Edited by 1manband on 02-17-2005 at 10:49 PM]
1manband, I would say we lean toward 70-72 degrees as I'm pretty warm natured. Yes on the allergies to me, my wife, and baby.
Longhaul = we are moving to the this house in the burbs with great schools and plan to be there until the kids are out of school. ~ 20 years.
Maybe I can address your question.
We cant discuss pricing as you are aware so we have to speak in general terms. The question you ask is will the entegy savings alone justify the higher cost of the upgraded equipment. In this case the ansewer is no.
However, the upgraded system can offer more than a dollar value and that is where you need to make the decision. Obviously we dont make large decisions with only one basis. The decsion making process requires us to look at the big picture or at least prioritize them.
The upgraded system, and I am sure other posters will toss their opinions in, will offer a higher level of comfort, in addition to some cost savings. The upgraded system has some features built in to enable it to provide feedback to you as a homeowner and tell you when efficiency or performance is in jeopardy. For instance, the upgraded system will monitor your filter and tell you when you should change it in an effort to provide you with the performance and reliability we all want. It may also have additonal controls to protect itself from costly repairs. It may operate at a lower sound level, it may also offer additional humidity control functions. Etc.
So the answer to your question is no, not in direct cost. The real question is, are any of the things I mentioned important enough to you to pay a higher price for in addition to the slight efficiency gains?
I would offer you a product I feel is even more comfortable but when it comes down to it, it would cost a little more. Let the Carrier guys tell you the benifits then you can make an educated decision which is not bases soley on a monthly payment.
Remember, a Caddilac and a Chevy are two differnt beasts, the Chevy cost less and gets better miliage, but the Caddy is a little more comfortable at some point you make a decision on which is a better fit to your budget AND lifestyle.
3 Things that make me lean toward the upgrade;
1. You live in Houston
2. 70-72 in the summer is comfortable for you.
3. 20 years is the longhaul, cost of 20 years of improved comfort is well worth the upfront cost.
4. I know i said 3 things but: I was a Carrier dealer for 12 years, quality was not the reason for switching brands, the Infinity is a good system that, if installed properly, will provide great service to you and your family.
There's the trick bnet. If the HVAC contractor is of "typical quality" you don't want him installing anything so sophisticated. I'd suggest getting as educated as you can about the Infinity system (there's been a bunch of threads on this forum) and then checking out the HVAC contractor's reputation, etc. From what I've read here a properly installed and designed Infinity system can be dream. An improperly installed system of any kind, especially the Infinity, can be a nightmare.
Originally posted by 1manband
...the Infinity is a good system that, if installed properly, will provide great service to you and your family.
An infinity system installed incorrectly is no more prone to failure than any other system... The key is the the infinity will let you know of the problems that are wrong with the installation...
Most of the complaints of the infinity have been airflow related... The infinity controller will not let the hvac contractor cheat on the ductwork.. If the ductwork is insufficient the filter usage and filter change icon can act erratic... Also the controller stores any codes that have happened due to the high static...
I had one customer that refused to have his ducts repaired before I installed a 90I... I told him over and over his ducts were too small... Many other contractors told him that the ductwork was fine just by looking at it with out any calculations.. I had him sign my contract stating that I had calculations that stated his ductwork was too small and that the Evolution(infinity) control would show high static.. After installation, he had me install the proper ductwork previously recommended after a Bryant rep agreed with me in his home that his controller was opperating correctly and that his ductwork was undersized(not uncommon).. The moral of this story is without the control, the homeowner would have just thought that the variable speed system was noisey and down the road more components would have been lost due to high static...
This is a great system but as with ANY SYSTEM must be installed correctly..
Just my opinion..
I didn't intend to imply otherwise. But the Infinity system is much more difficult for a hacker to figure out if and when it does have problems. As you point out, it's more likely to have problems on crappy ducts. Crappy ducts come standard with most hack installs. And most new construction HVAC subs are hacks IMO. Hence, my point to bnet was to place emphasis on getting an exceptional contractor. Personally I'd skip the middle man and hire the HVAC contractor myself.
Originally posted by Advanced Response
An infinity system installed incorrectly is no more prone to failure than any other system.
I may come off as a pessimist bnet. But it's a stone cold fact that only a very small percentage of the contractors out there can truly design and install a system the way it really should be. Don't let this forum's abundance of good ones fool you. Most of the bad ones don't even know this place exists. They're too busy getting IAQ sales training on how to capitalize on the latest manifestations of mass sociogenic illness.
It will have no more problems on the crappy ducts than any other variable speed unit or any non-variable speed blower unit.. It will however alert the homeowner to any problems the unit has or the presence of crappy duct system as you put it..
My point being is if that no matter if a evolution(infinity) system or another manufacturer system is installed on the same crappy duct system only the infinity will point the presence of the crappy duct system...
I could install a Bryant 90I with an evolution(infinity) control or with a thermidastat but only the evolution control will tell the homeowner that the ducts need to be resized.. Just in the short time that the evolution(infinity) control has been out,, I have personally seen many contractors condemn the control due to the fact that they can't properly design ductwork.. Just because they changed the control out to a regular thermostat or a thermidastat does not mean that the ductwork is not still a problem..
The variable speed unit are generally better at moving air in slightly restricted ductwork(too small) but with this control you must know how to properly engineer your ductwork or properly repair existing ductwork..
Most cookie cutter homes have severe ductwork problems....
The problem is that contractors just install the box and don't look beyond the box and engineer the system..
Any system must be properly installed and the Evolution(infinity) is no differant.. But a note to contractors and homeowners,, the evolution(infinity) control will tell you and the homeowner if you did not engineer the duct system correctly...
Bnet, make sure you have the proper hvac contractor for your 4000 sqft home(WOW)... This is much more important that the control system or the brand of system that goes in your home.. Make sure you check his referances and that a proper load calculation and that he knows how to properly size ductwork per manual D... As IRA stated, there are many hvac contractors that are average(which is usually substandard work)... I will also tell you that new house construction is full of these average contractors...
Do your best to find the right contractor,,, as you stated you want to live in this house for a long time and I am sure you don't want to go round and round with your hvac contractor for yrs to come trying to resolve problems.. If you pick the right contractor that will not be an issue...
I do agree with you Ira to a point
But you must agree that a crappy install is a crappy install whether it be a top of the line unit or a simple unit..
We're splitting hairs. Yes, I know. In reality it doesn't have anymore problems on crappy ducts than others. But from the customer's and hack contractor's point of view it does because it alerts to the problem as where other systems ignore them. My main point, which we've both beaten to death and both agree on, is to get a great contractor or there WILL be regret. Yes, crap is crap. But if I'm a cheap H.O. (not saying you are bnet) who ain't gonna pay to get it done right, I'd rather not have my system remind me of my cheapness. LOL!
Let's see. Where's my copy of dueling banjos?
Want a way to help ensure a proper install bnet? Insist on a fully detailed printout of the Manual J heat load calculation and then insist that the system be air balanced to within 10% of the airflows spec'd by Manual J. I've got ten bucks that says they give you the deer in the headlights stare after you make that request. Make sure that they do NOT throw in any fudge factors to increase system size. Manual J is already fudged, so to speak.
I'm getting a Carrier 58MVP080-14 2 stage variable speed 92% with CD5AXA036 Coil w/Humidifier and 38TRA036 12 SEER installed.
Is this a basic "Infinity system" like what you are talking about here? I think this system does not tell me when to change the air filter. Or does it?
Does this system also include these great "Infinity controls" or is that a separate purchase or a higher end system?
You can have the infinity control added to the system that you are having installed.. However it will not communicate with the outdoor unit because it is not of the infinity line.. You need a Carrier 2stage heat pump or a/c for it to be capable of the communication to the stat..
All the infinity controller is a communicating thermostat that takes total advantage of the MVP furnace that you are getting..
I would check with your contractor to see what the upgrade cost of the infinity controller will be and ask him about the upgraded features available with this unit..
This controller will tell you exactly what is going on with your system..
I do hope you are getting a quality media filter installed to protect this quality system..
As stated before, make sure you have done your homework on the contractor you have chosen,, He is much more important than the brand or features of the brand..