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  1. #1
    I have some questions that I hope someone here can give me some direction on (not technical DIY stuff).

    In Aug 02 I had my 6 year old Goodman unit replaced with the following Trane units:

    4TWX4042a XL14i heat pump, 3.5 ton
    4TEE3F49a V/S Air Handler, 4 ton horiz.
    BAYHTR1415BRKA 15KW Aux. Heat
    T8011R Honeywell Thermostat
    10 year ext. warr.

    My problem is that my kwh usage during the winter months is excessive (for Texas, I live in Dallas).

    At first, it seemed in line (but not better) than the Goodman. Jan-03 was 2050 kwh, Feb-03 was 2257 kwh, Mar-03 was 1675 kwh. Aug-03 was 2397 when avg temp is 100 in Dallas.

    Then, Jan-04 we got hit with 3522 kwh. Dec-04 was 2040 kwh, and Feb-04 was 3085 kwh.

    I called the installer, and he came out at the end of Jan-04. The work order states he

    "tested the aux. heat package - 15 KW ok, (64 amps) - checked freon level at heat pump, ok - all amp draw and Freon levels ok (normal) no other problems can be found - recommend installing hot water tank timer"

    At the end of Mar-04, I called him back because the consumption was still high. He checked freon and said it was several pounds low. He couldn't figure out why I was concerned until he realzed that he had been just out and said it was okay. He put some 410a into the system, and said he would recheck when he came back out to clean in a couple months (which he canceled and I couldn't get another time set up). He didn't charge me for the trip and didn't leave any paperwork.

    Things were good all during the mild summer, now have the high Jan and Feb kwh being consumed in the 3000's again.

    Is this being caused by the aux heat coming on too much because of leaking freon? Or an incorrect install/setup of the aux. heat? Before I have him come back, what should I press him to check?

    The house is only about 1500 sq ft, and our electrical bills have been on average higher than any of our neighbors with the same or larger homes. I've installed a new water heater with built in timer last year. I am in process of removing the blown in insulation (supposedly R-30 but it has many thin spots) with multi-layers of batts at R-55. I've been sealing all my ducts and registers. I really want my bills to come down.

    How much should a system leak in a year? I don't think any, but the installer argues otherwise. The only part the didn't replace was the vertical line in the wall. He was pretty good on the install but his follow ups (and keeping appointments) has been kinda thin. My wife wants him off the contract but I'm more of the mind 'you installed it, you fix it'.

    What can be wrong, and what should I have him check?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    3,708
    I would ask if he could come back out in stage some of your
    backup heat thru an outdoor stat.

    That should bring it down.how cold does it get in your part of the country?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,400
    Leak rate should be zero.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Ft.Worth,Tx
    Posts
    4,581

    Post There is a problem -******Dallas********

    Call the company that installed the Trane system, have them find the leak.(410A) ASAP.
    Ask for information while they are there.
    T.D.
    amps/compressor
    sub-cooling=?
    Discharge Temp./Air
    What are the settings on the air handler dips.
    Are filters /Clean?
    Did the company add any returns to the new system,due a load?Manuel D.
    "Everyday above ground, is a good day".
    "But everyday that you have made a difference in someones life, may insure you stay above ground a little longer".<aircooled>

  5. #5
    The average winter temp is 50 - 60. Usually gets down to about 45, this winter it has gotten down into the 30's a few times. Wet and rainy.

    Summer runs 90 - 105

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    1,626
    First thing,,, an airconditioner or heat pump system is a sealed system and should never need recharging as long as there is not a leak in the system.. If he did add freon to the system then it has a leak in the system or he never had the system fully charged or he now has the system overcharged.. This must be looked into...

    If this contractor is giving you uneasy feelings maybe it would be wise to find a great contractor that one of your family or neighbors use to check the system over..

    Ask any and all questions,, we may fight about the correct way to fix the situation but we all have your best interest at heart..

    Simpleman is correct also that an outdoor stat will help to lock out the auxillary electric heat banks anytime above the setpoint..

    Good luck
    J

  7. #7

    Re: There is a problem -******Dallas********

    Originally posted by aircooled53
    Call the company that installed the Trane system, have them find the leak.(410A) ASAP.
    Ask for information while they are there.
    T.D.
    amps/compressor
    sub-cooling=?
    Discharge Temp./Air
    What are the settings on the air handler dips.
    Are filters /Clean?
    Did the company add any returns to the new system,due a load?Manuel D.
    I change the return filter religiously every 30 days. What is T.D.? Sub-cooling=? I have an IR gun and can post temp tonight, although the AC is on today.

    The used the same ducting as before, one large return in hallway, individual runs out to rooms.

    Too bad you are in Ft. Worth, I'm in Rockwall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    534
    My first question is this...Why do you have 15 KW heat strips on a 3.5 ton heat pump in Dallas???
    "If you can't fix it, don't break it."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    534
    Probably have a freon leak somewhere, causing the heat strips to energize. If no leak is found, have the wiring checked again.
    "If you can't fix it, don't break it."

  10. #10
    Originally posted by Advanced Response
    First thing,,, an airconditioner or heat pump system is a sealed system and should never need recharging as long as there is not a leak in the system.. If he did add freon to the system then it has a leak in the system or he never had the system fully charged or he now has the system overcharged.. This must be looked into...

    If this contractor is giving you uneasy feelings maybe it would be wise to find a great contractor that one of your family or neighbors use to check the system over..

    Ask any and all questions,, we may fight about the correct way to fix the situation but we all have your best interest at heart..

    Simpleman is correct also that an outdoor stat will help to lock out the auxillary electric heat banks anytime above the setpoint..

    Good luck
    J
    Thanks, Advanced. Really looking for unbiased opinions, and usually forums with alot of traffic is a good sign.

    Because of the Goodman, I had to learn more about repairing HP's than I wanted to. I had hoped that with what I was apying for the Trane, it would be trouble free. Not so far.

    The installer was pretty adamant about the quality of his "welds" and that they wouldn't leak. I'm afraid he may want to replace the line in the wall, or can a line be run outside the wall with a metal shield? If the leak is in the units, I would assume the warranty would cover them. It also made me crazy that he kept bringing up 'you know, your energy costs will change from month to month', yeah, that's why I'm trying to discuss kwh with you here, bud.

    Time to run away from this guy, I think.

  11. #11
    Originally posted by duct dr
    My first question is this...Why do you have 15 KW heat strips on a 3.5 ton heat pump in Dallas???
    Good question, I guess. That's part of the uneasiness of homeowners have about HVAC from what I read here. We have to rely on the recommendations of others.

    I'm pretty mechanically inclined. I restore cars, etc. Replaced contactors and caps on the Goodman (I know that's not what you wanna hear). But I relied on his recommendation. Should I have them disconnected? Can my thermostat handle the outside stat? Or should that be upgraded?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    39

    Wink Trane w/ high KW

    Dear Sir/Madame,

    I see that you have a 14 SEER system, which is much more efficience than your old Goodman. It is a shame that you have to go through such ordeal and paid such price.

    My suggest to you is to fire your existing company, who is either "don't care or too incompetent". Since your have 10 years parts and labor, best that you call Trane company's customer service so they can direct you to another dealer without an extra cost.

    When a new representative comes to your house to check your systems, please have him present you the following items prior to leaving your house. Note: Please don't let him see the list but instead let him know your problems in a detail manner. If any technician don't give you 80 -90 percent of the list, please fire him, since he is incompetent too.

    COOL MODE (if outdoor temp is above 60 degrees. Best above
    75 degrees)

    a)Indoor (return air) dry bulb temperature
    b)Indoor (return air) relative humidity (at least wet bulb)
    c)Outdoor temperature
    d)System operating pressures
    e)System subcooling versus factory recomendation (must be within (+/-) 1 degree

    f)Systems superheat (depend on the house load) 12 - 20 degrees

    g)Supplying air dry bulb temperature

    h)Supplying air wet bulb (or at least the relative humidity)

    i)System total CFM
    Total CFM that the blower diliver. You can actually tell by counting how many blinks does it send from the board. The circuit board is inside the unit. You can ask the tech to drill you a hole and seal it with a clear plastic so you can see through it when the unit is running. EVERY BLINK IS 100 CFM

    j) Indoor dip switch setting. I recommend that
    1)No more than 400 CFM per ton on cooling. (I prefer
    380 CFM).
    2)Set the dip switch to ramp-up and ramp-down mode.
    i.e the indoor blower will ramp up slowly (180
    seconds) when cooling is demand. It will then ramp
    down slowly when cooling is satisfied.
    This feature will remove more moisture out of your
    house and more quiet.
    3)No less than 400 CFM per ton on heat pump.
    4)Set dip switch accordance with your indoor electric
    heat strips per manufacturer recomendation

    k) Return grill size (my rule of thumb is 1 square foot per ton) you have 3.5 tons so total square foot should be no less than 3.5. Larger return grill less noise. PLEASE USE 4 INCHES PLEATED FILTER AND NOT THE BLUE FIBERGLASS FILTER FROM WAL-MART. "IF SALT CAN PASS THROUGH IT, SO WILL THE DIRT". From your letter, I see that you are very clean and a handy man. Note: You paid for the most advance residential blower (built by GE) in the market today. Your system should be very quiet when it runs. I also mean the air flow throughout of your grills.

    l)Total CFM that the blower diliver. You can actually tell by counting how many blinks does it send. The circuit board is inside the unit. You can ask the tech to drill you a hole and seal it with a clear plastic so you can see through it when the unit is running. EVERY BLINK IS 100 CFM

    m) From the information above the technician can calculate your system total TBU (tonage).

    n) Outdoor compressor, motor amperage, voltage versus the factory tag on the outdoor unit.

    HEAT MODE:

    If the COOL MODE runs fine, then just reverse to heat and check against the manufacturer pressure chart accordance with the indoor and outdoor temperatures.

    Test run the defrost boarb (I doubt that there is problem with it)

    IF THE UNIT RUNS GREAT IN COOL, IT SHOULD PERFORM WELL IN HEAT IF ALL SETTINGS ARE ok.

    My recomendations:

    1) Use TWO STAGES COOL/THREE STAGES HEAT heat pump thermostat to control your system.

    a) at stage 1 of cooling, the blower will run at 80% the
    total CFM
    b) at stage 2 cooling, the blower will diliver 100% CFM
    c) It is NOT easily done. But Don't let any one tell you
    it cannot be done. I have this setup at my house
    right now.

    This way it can greatly reduce the humidity level in your house. The dryer the air the better. LOWER HUMIDITY allows you to set HIGHER TEMPERATURE SETTING and more cleaner air in your house.

    2) Buy the touch screen thermostat from Honeywell, which is easy to use and it has humidity control capability too. It also has the outdoor sensor, which allows you to DISABLE your electric heat if outdoor temperature is above certain degrees (depend on your setting).

    Good luck

    Stefan Hoang

    PS. Let me know if you have any question at shoang@efficient-systems.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    516
    You don't need strips at all. I live in a 5500 htsf all electric house in SC with 7T of 12 seer HP's. That's 785sf/T. All the strips are disconnected. My avg. KWH for Jan05 was 105 and it got down to 16F a couple of times. I have 3 systems with 3 stats and all held their set points at 16F ODA without ANY strip heat. You have 1500/3.5= 428sf/T was is 83% MORE cap. than I have and you're in a warmer climate. Unless you live in a tent you have more than enough heating cap. without any strips. The only thing the strips will do is mask a problem with your HP in heating mode. With the strips disconnected you will know when the HP isn't working so you can get it fixed.

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