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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Seeking heat pump replacement feedback: York v Trane v Lennox

    Hi everyone,
    We're looking to replace a 12-year-old Johnson Controls electric heat pump that has malfunctioned due to a coolant valve failure. We're currently on emergency heat. Located in Pennsylvania.
    I contacted three local family-owned HVAC contractors that have been in business for decades and have good customer ratings. But I'm no HVAC expert.
    Any thoughts on the relative merits of York, Trane and Lennox?

    I got these proposals, a few hundred dollars apart:

    1: York 3.5 ton XL series heat pump model YHJF.
    w comparably-sized variable speed Affinity series air handler.
    2: Trane XB14-036 3 ton heat pump with Trane 4TEE3F40B variable speed air handler.
    3: Lennox XP_14 3 ton heat pump with compatible Lennox variable-speed air handler.

    Contractor 1 recommended 3.5-ton based on size and layout of house. Same contractor also declined to offer two-stage heat pump option because single set of ductwork and duct work configuration would result in poor upstairs cooling during the summer. Said he has seen this in other similarly configured homes. Contractors two and three did offer two-stage cooling options, taking the outside unit up a notch in SEER rating, but adding a couple thousand dollars to the price. Contractor 2 also threw in a wildcard: A Whirlpool ultra-high efficiency 18 SEER option: WGHP48036 at about the same price as the upgraded 2-stage cooling Trane system because of incentives. All carry 10 year parts and compressor warranty. Contractor two offering 10 years labor on upgraded systems, 2 years on basic one-stage unit. Others offering two years labor.
    So:
    Should I stick with single stage cooling heat pump?
    If dual stage cooling is an option, is it worth spending a couple thousand dollars more to get it?
    Should I even bother to consider the Whirlpool?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    7,405
    Did any of them mention heat loss/gain analysis? If not they are cutting corners and at that point it doesn't matter what they offer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Heat loss/gain

    Contractors one and two said they performed heat loss/gain analysis.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by Proscribe View Post
    Contractors one and two said they performed heat loss/gain analysis.

    Tell me how they did it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11
    They didn't do anything complicated or involved like a blower-door test. Both were at the house for about 20-30 minutes or so, but I'm not sure exactly what they did. I was home for one, and my wife was there for the other.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    1,976
    proscribe

    get the load calc in writing! on the software letterhead. based on your previous post, you did not get a professionally performed load calc.

    what size do you have now and how did it perform?

    these are my minimum specs for a new HP system. both outside and inside units should be replaced to have a properly matched system.

    15 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 9 HSPF
    best matching VS air handler
    full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size
    R-410a refrigerant(same as Puron)
    scroll compressor preferred
    electronic demand defrost preferred
    thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature
    staged backup heat strips
    new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset

    you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc.

    any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

    I would only use authorized dealers for the various brands that provide quotes. see mfg websites.

    I would look at Trane/AmStd,Rheem/Rudd,Carrier/Bryant.

    I would not purchase a new HP system that did not have electronic demand defrost especially for your location/winter climate.

    In most cases, the upgrade to a two stg HP is not worth the cost difference vs marginal improvement in comfort and cost savings.

    IMO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by Proscribe View Post
    They didn't do anything complicated or involved like a blower-door test. Both were at the house for about 20-30 minutes or so, but I'm not sure exactly what they did. I was home for one, and my wife was there for the other.

    There is your problem right there. Both decision makers should be present whenever you have an HVAC professional in your home. This would've eliminated all of these questions you have. Shame on them for not insisting it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    1,976
    proscribe

    I would want to see the AHRI HP Directory matching performance/efficiency numbers for each system you are considering.

    IMO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11
    Tigerdunes and Seaton:
    Thanks for the advice. The York bid comes with many of the options you [tigerdunes] recommend. I have to check out the heating strips. I'll go back to the other two bidders to get answers to your questions and ask for the load calculations. Our current system is 3 ton HP, 4 ton Air handler.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    1,976
    proscribe

    so how has the three ton HP condenser performed?

    how are the insulation qualities of your home?

    has ductwork been examined?

    has the York dealer even mentioned that ductwork might require modification by going up in size?

    start off by insisting on a load calculation especially from York dealer who recommends increase in size. load calc should be in writing and generally takes 1-2 hrs to correctly perform depending on home.

    IMO

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11
    The 3-ton has been OK, with upstairs rooms warm in summer and signficantly cooler in winter.
    It sounds like all three short-cutted the heat gain/loss test.
    BTW: All three are authorized dealers for the brands they represent.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11
    Also: Home was built in 1988, and at the time was part of an energy -fficient construction program that included dual pane anderson windows and fairly heavy insulation for that time. Fiberglass-insulated floor over the basement, for example, and fully insulated attic. Not sure what the R-rating is. Windows probably need to be replaced soon.
    Contractors have looked at duct work. York dealer seems pretty familiar with the layout based on installation of systems in other homes in our development.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Albuquerque NM
    Posts
    2,476
    Quote Originally Posted by Proscribe View Post
    BTW: All three are authorized dealers for the brands they represent.
    That doesn't mean crap. I just recently got rid of an authorized dealer half way through the job because of the poor quality of work they were doing.
    Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do

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