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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    8

    Question West Central Florida Trane or Maytag?

    Hello, I am new to the forums, and appreciate any assistance in choosing a new 5 ton split heat pump system. The options I am considering are the Trane XL20, XL16 or XR15 or the Maytag 1200 16 SEER. We are changing from a 5 Ton Lennox that we have had problems with since we moved in 5 years ago, with that system having been installed in 2001. The price diff between the Maytag and the Trane XL20 with Space Gard and 10 year labor warranty is about $xxxx, or we can go with another company for a difference of $xxxx without space gard and only a 5 year labor warranty. (I understand pricing not allowed, but listed difference to determine if it is worth it to upgrade from Maytag to Trane XL20). The Maytag 12/12/12 parts/labor/compressor. Both companies are well established and rated. We also have a third option of going through a relative of a son-in-law for the Trane 20. He is about to start a new shop with a friend who is leaving his won family shop, not sure how the warranties would work out if he does this out the door between shops. Humidity is, of course, a big factor in our area, as are high electric bills. So those would be prime considerations.
    Any suggestions? Comments?
    Thank you for your input!
    Last edited by BaldLoonie; 04-06-2011 at 03:00 PM. Reason: no pricing at all please

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North East Ohio
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    741
    My suggestion is that the brand matters very little. What matters is the contractor and quality of the planning and install. Please do not post pricing, it is against our rules.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    8
    Okay, did not realize that also applied to just posting a difference between brands. My apologies. So I should just go for the cheapest option based on this?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    741
    That's not what I meant. What I meant was there is more to a system than the brand. Equipment capabilities do differ from unit to unit. A 16 SEER unit is more efficient than a 13 SEER unit. but if a 16 SEER unit isn't installed correctly, you're not getting that eficiency. There's a lot that affects that and a good contractor knows that. Jump around this site and read other threads and you will get a good idea of what questions you need to ask. Is a ferrari with only 3 lugnuts holding on the wheels really top of the line? I hope I have explained myself

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,379
    The XR15 is single stage. With a variable speed air handler and dehumidifying control, you can get decent humidity control from it.

    The Maytag & Trane XL16i are 2 stage using the same scroll technology. Low runs from 70-80% of high, depends on the system. So low isn't that much less than high. Tranes can be closer to 80% on low due to their blower speed. Also the 16i isn't known for the greatest moisture removal to begin with, also the conventional air handlers can't use dehumidify on demand with it. The Hyperion might be an exception. The Maytag can use that feature with their air handler.

    The 20i with the dual compressors runs 50-60% on low so you can get some long run periods and better dehumidification. Also the Maytag IQ drive has impressive inverter technology for variable capacity.

    Personally I'd avoid a relative who knows someone who can hack something in. Usually you'll regret it. Stick to a good, known company who is there to back it. We've bailed out enough people screwed that way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    8
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    The Maytag & Trane XL16i are 2 stage using the same scroll technology. Low runs from 70-80% of high, depends on the system. Also the Maytag IQ drive has impressive inverter technology for variable capacity.

    Personally I'd avoid a relative who knows someone who can hack something in. Usually you'll regret it. Stick to a good, known company who is there to back it. We've bailed out enough people screwed that way.
    Sounds as though I may be better off with the Maytag. As to the relative, that is why I still hadn't placed the call. I know they are licensed, etc, but I have never heard good things about doing business that way. I would have been more inclined to let him work on my Lennox on its last leg than to invest in a new system.

    I will research a little more with some of the terms you mentioned also. Thank you!

    Marilyn

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,452

    Arrow You need to know how much CFM airflow your system is delivering NOW

    hondo73...a new 5 ton split heat pump system.

    Why a 5-Ton?
    In a residential system, it is very difficult to get enough air flow through a 5-Ton system.

    Your last 5Ton unit didn't work properly; low airflow could have been a major factor.(?)

    Actually while you're doing a manual J, you've come fairly close, except for a blower door air infiltration test, to a Home Energy Efficiency Audit.

    At any rate you/they can do everything possible to reduce air infiltration so you can use a lower ACH number.

    Estimating infiltration CFM per hour: Some rate infiltration CFM using .4 for lowest Air Changes (per) Hour (ACH).

    I.E.; SQ.F., area conditioned____ *X's Ceiling Height___ * ACH * either .4 lowest; or .7 average; or 1.0 poor or high infiltration. A Blower Door Test is far better.

    In some situations; Air infiltration rates can be up-to half the cooling load...

    Leaky duct systems, - drawing Return Air from hot or cold (HT Pump) unconditioned spaces, & very low airflow are huge robbers of cooling capacity....

    I am willing to bet there are home inefficiencies; duct system/airflow & other problems that require attention before selecting equipment...

    Tell us about your home sf, insulation, general duct sizing, Return Air open-grille-area measurements, Filter area, near major city...

    Central FL; in the 90's. What is your areas average humidity?

    You absolutely need to know how much CFM airflow your system is delivering NOW, before you buy any equipment!
    Last edited by udarrell; 04-06-2011 at 04:31 PM. Reason: drawing Return Air from hot or cold (HT Pump) unconditioned spaces

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by udarrell View Post
    hondo73...a new 5 ton split heat pump system.

    Why a 5-Ton?
    In a residential system, it is very difficult to get enough air flow through a 5-Ton system.

    Your last 5Ton unit didn't work properly; low airflow could have been a major factor.(?)

    Actually while you're doing a manual J, you've come fairly close, except for a blower door air infiltration test, to a Home Energy Efficiency Audit.

    At any rate you/they can do everything possible to reduce air infiltration so you can use a lower ACH number.

    Estimating infiltration CFM per hour: Some rate infiltration CFM using .4 for lowest Air Changes (per) Hour (ACH).

    I.E.; SQ.F., area conditioned____ *X's Ceiling Height___ * ACH * either .4 lowest; or .7 average; or 1.0 poor or high infiltration. A Blower Door Test is far better.

    In some situations; Air infiltration rates can be up-to half the cooling load...

    Leaky duct systems, - drawing Return Air from hot or cold (HT Pump) unconditioned spaces, & very low airflow are huge robbers of cooling capacity....

    I am willing to bet there are home inefficiencies; duct system/airflow & other problems that require attention before selecting equipment...

    Tell us about your home sf, insulation, general duct sizing, return air grille area measurements, & location - major city, etc., climate-wise...

    You absolutely need to know how much CFM airflow your system is delivering NOW, before you buy any equipment!

    Hi, I have had two different companies come out and both have said the ductwork is in great shape, with excellent insulation. I did view photos and have also had an audit done previously by the electric company. 2700 square foot, with 9 foot ceilings plus 2 trays. I believe they said duct size was 16 inch for the main and 12 for the offshoots (I think?),intakes are 18 X 24 in a hallway and 12 X 12 in the Master. The house has an open floor plan, Ryland home built in 2001. All ductwork still appears like new. I asked about a load calc, the last AC rep went all around the house, checked attic, windows, everything and swears I need a 5 ton. The other company also said 5 ton is required. the first did say they recommend to dampen air ducts to divert air flow to the bedrooms on one side of house that are not as comfortable. He explained how the ducts were going off from the mixing boxes *may* not be as effective in that area. The other company just seemed to chalk it up to a lemon Lennox. The Lennox had to have the capacitor replace about once a year, before finally getting leaking coil. Tampa Bay area, Florida.
    Hope this is sufficient, Again thank you for your input!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
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    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by hondo73 View Post
    Hi, I have had two different companies come out and both have said the ductwork is in great shape, with excellent insulation. I did view photos and have also had an audit done previously by the electric company. 2700 square foot, with 9 foot ceilings plus 2 trays. I believe they said duct size was 16 inch for the main and 12 for the offshoots (I think?),intakes are 18 X 24 in a hallway and 12 X 12 in the Master. The house has an open floor plan, Ryland home built in 2001. All ductwork still appears like new. I asked about a load calc, the last AC rep went all around the house, checked attic, windows, everything and swears I need a 5 ton. The other company also said 5 ton is required. the first did say they recommend to dampen air ducts to divert air flow to the bedrooms on one side of house that are not as comfortable. He explained how the ducts were going off from the mixing boxes *may* not be as effective in that area. The other company just seemed to chalk it up to a lemon Lennox. The Lennox had to have the capacitor replace about once a year, before finally getting leaking coil. Tampa Bay area, Florida.
    Hope this is sufficient, Again thank you for your input!
    Listen to Udarrell, he is very smart about this and is giving you sound advice.

    I can tell you right now that your duct is the main part of the problem. No duct system will move 2000 CFM(5 tons) of air through a 16". You are shy on return grill area as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    8
    Hmmm, that is pretty interesting.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
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    4,452
    Quote Originally Posted by hondo73 View Post
    Hi, I have had two different companies come out and both have said the ductwork is in great shape, with excellent insulation.

    I did view photos and have also had an audit done previously by the electric company. 2700 square foot, with 9 foot ceilings plus 2 trays. I believe they said duct size was 16 inch for the main and 12 for the offshoots (I think?),intakes are 18 X 24 in a hallway and 12 X 12 in the Master. The house has an open floor plan, Ryland home built in 2001. All ductwork still appears like new.

    I asked about a load calc, the last AC rep went all around the house, checked attic, windows, everything and swears I need a 5 ton. The other company also said 5 ton is required.

    the first did say they recommend to dampen air ducts to divert air flow to the bedrooms on one side of house that are not as comfortable. He explained how the ducts were going off from the mixing boxes *may* not be as effective in that area.

    The other company just seemed to chalk it up to a lemon Lennox. The Lennox had to have the capacitor replace about once a year, before finally getting leaking coil. Tampa Bay area, Florida.
    Hope this is sufficient, Again thank you for your input!
    First; summer design for Tampa, FL is 91-dry bulb; 77-wet bulb & a high 54% relative Humidity.
    Your sensible temp is not that high, the humidity load is a major factor!

    It is very important to keep air infiltration to the code minimum; as 90-F 54% humidity has a lot of BTU loaded grains of moisture per/lb/air, that the A/C has to condense & remove.

    That high humidity level takes a cold indoor coil & a lot of long-cycle runtimes 1750-cfm for a 5-Ton; 1400-cfm for a 4-Ton.

    A 16" Supply Main 5-Ton @ a min. 1750-cfm produces 1253-fpm Vel; a 4-Ton @ a min. 1400-cfm yields 1004-fpm Vel; residential preference is 1000-fpm Vel & 800-fpm on Return Main(s).

    An optimally efficient duct system airflow is usually more important to efficient cooling performance than an oversized BTUH Condenser.

    The condition of the ducts doesn't determine ultimate airflow; I would find out if anyone is well schooled on duct systems & can also do a Manual D to evaluate the system.

    It is easier to achieve proper sizing of 'sq.ft.' free-air-area of Return Air Grilles & Filter(s) than if you have to drive 1750-cfm vs 1400-cfm...

    2700sf / 4-Ton is 675sf per ton of cooling even with 9' ceilings considering the humidity factor, it needs considerable runtime. If humidity is controlled you ought to be comfortable around 75-F.

    It is a fair sized investment, take your time & try to get everything right; a good install & proper setup will determine comfort, efficiency & lower utility bills.

    Make your decisions based on what all the right test evaluations produce; not on what I am saying.
    Good Luck takes Effort...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    8
    Thank you Udarrell. This has been very helpful. I will contact the companies again and if they do not have the system design knowledge you brought up, I will be getting another proposal. Again thanks!

    Marilyn

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
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    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by hondo73 View Post
    Thank you Udarrell. This has been very helpful. I will contact the companies again and if they do not have the system design knowledge you brought up, I will be getting another proposal. Again thanks!

    Marilyn

    Plan on getting another proposal. Darrell's standards will be hard for anyone to live up to..


    We can always help you out to confirm or deny things you hear during your quest.

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