Results 1 to 4 of 4
05-22-2005, 07:54 PM #1Regular Guest
- Join Date
- May 2005
- Olympia, WA
I need some advice!
I live in Olympia, WA (average temp in winter is 32-46 degrees Fah) and my home is about a year and a half old and I currently use a Carrier Gas Furnace for heating (natural gas). I want to add central air conditioning to that for summers. I am trying to decide which would be a better investment though… a heat pump or an add-on air conditioner. I know that if I go with the heat pump, then my gas furnace will be there as a backup during the cold days of winter, but will the initial investment in a heat pump be worth the savings on my energy bill in the long run?
My home is 1-story, 1340 sq ft. My total electric and gas bill combined in 2004 was about $930. Gas was a large portion of that but I don't have the exact figure.
I’ve already had 4 contractors come to my home to give me estimates on air conditioners and/or heat pumps and I am getting drastically different suggestions and prices from each of them, which means I am more confused than ever.
At this point I am debating whether to go cheap or go big. If I don't go with a heat pump, I will just get the Trane 11.5-Seer 2 ton R-22 Air Conditioner (XR11), from a local Trane contractor. The quote on that installation is about $2700. Or I could scrap that and go for a heat pump, in which case I would go with the Trane 14-Seer 2 ton split system R-410A Heat Pump (XL14i). Estimate on that is $4544 (plus a $300 Trane rebate if I act soon).
Some people say I should stick with the same manufacturer as my furnace... Carrier. I can only find two Carrier contractors in my area. One is Sears and the other is the same company (Sunset Air) that installed all the gas furnaces in all the track homes in my subdivision.
Sears is out of the question because their salesman was a complete jerk.
Sunset Air wants $2955 for the Comfort 10 R/22 10-Seer 2-ton A/C unit but they are PUSHING HARD for customers to go for the higher seer models with PURON. They even gave me a little brochures that talks about a new law that requires 13-Seer or higher starting in 2006.
They want $4045 for the Performance Series Carrier A/C 38TSA024 2-ton 14-Seer PURON. This seems awfully high priced considering I can get the Trane 14-Seer Heat Pump for a couple hundred more (with a 10yr warranty on parts instead of 5yr on the Carrier).
And finally... they want $4566 for the 2-ton 14-Seer Carrier Heat Pump. Again, that' smore than the Trane but with less warranty.
I'm all researched out so I could really just go for some practical advice at this point.
05-22-2005, 09:11 PM #2Professional Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
- the Great Pacific Northwest
As a contractor in the willamette valley in oregon ( a similar climate to yours ) I would recommend a 12 seer heat pump and upgrade your filtration system as the best investment of your money .
05-22-2005, 09:26 PM #3
Sure makes sense in your mild climate to get a dual fuel setup. What SEER is more to do with your local electric rates. Call the utility and see what the cost per kwh is. I highly doubt that anything over 12 has any kind of payback and 12 could be pushing it. 14-16 SEER looks great on a commission check but especially in a mild climate, doesn't save the homeowner much. Since you are looking at 2 ton, savings will even be smaller than with a larger unit.
Here's a VERY ROUGH annual operating cost estimate for your part of Washington and this figure is for nearly 100% heat pump operation since you have such mild winters. This is at the national average of 8 cents per kwh.
2 ton 10 SEER: cooling $37, 12 SEER $31, 14 SEER $27
2 ton 10 SEER: heating $740, 12 SEER $692, 14 SEER $596
This is 1 brand. Heating costs for higher SEER stuff varies based on HSPF. Just because cooling SEER goes up doesn't always mean a big savings in heating too.
05-23-2005, 12:05 AM #4
Go with a 12 seer heat pump.
Contractor locator map
How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?