Irascible, being a Trane dealer do you have an opinion on using the XL16i for a zoned system in Bakersfield, CA? I've received a lot of differing opinions on whether the XL16i would be a viable unit for zoning. My local Trane dealer prefers the XL19i. I've also heard that Trane does not recommend the XL16i for zoning.
Not all Trane dealers are created equal. Thank God I'm more equal than others.
But seriously... Part of being more equal is being upfront with a customer when I have no real experience with a certain product. You're not a customer. But sending me a check will resolve that little problem. Anyway, we have relatively mild summers out here. As such the 16 and 19 SEER products are purely status symbols with little real benefit to the end user. They're probably a little "status-ish" for you as well. But there ain't nothing wrong with status.
Anyway, I hate not having the answers. So I called my local factory support guy this morning. This would be one of two gentleman that works for the Trane wholesaler and whose sole purpose is to give technical support to contractors. He gets real factory training and talks directly with Trane engineers when he needs to. He indicated that there was no reason why the 16 SEER product couldn't be zoned. He said that problems with zone systems almost inevitably stem from the exact thing I mention on my installation page: improperly sized ducts.
Irasacible, as to energy savings since this is a new house I don't have historical energy bills to compare. When I use the cost savings calculator on dash's website using Zone 3 it calculates that I would be saving several hundred dollars per year by ugrading from a 12 to 19 and 80% to 90+%. If this is true, combined with a local utility rebate, the upgrade makes sense. I definitely want VS even without the savings just for comfort.
I've read elsewhere that the programs used to project energy savings are not necessarily accurate.
Dash, have you seen energy savings on your upgrade installs that come close to the projected savings based on the application on your website (not to put you on the spot)?
Sorry nathan. I had a brain fart. When I was thinking 16 and 19 SEER I was only thinking about the energy savings even though we're talking zones. Dash is right. Two stage AC is the cat's meow for zoning.
As far as calculators go, forget about it. The ones I've seen that use heating degree days and cooling hours are wildly inaccurate at times. If you don't have usage history then you're just guessing.
Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
In Florida,the distributor guarantees saving of 25% of your heating and cooling costs,for going from a 10 to a 12 SEER ,or a 12 to a 14 SEER Heat pump.They pay the difference for the first year.The claims I've seen are very few,and we have always found thee was a problem,if they didn't save ,as above.
I'd think the saving would there or very close,if everything is done correctly.If I remember the zones are really too large on the calculator,so they may vary ,a bit within the zone.Can't speak for Gas savings ,if that's in your plans.
The one thing it does is factor in utility price increase ,that may or may not(so far not),occur.