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Thread: Confused in KC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    96
    Thanks to all of you that have tried to educate me on a wise purchase of equipment in the Kansas City area. In trying to learn more about the equipment that is available today market I have become more and more confused on what I should purchase. I have learned a whole new respect for you guys and for what you do for a living.

    Can someone just make a recommendation. My contractors are all over the board with which features I should purchase. My goal is to buy a system that I plan to keep for a while (10-20 years) that is going to help with my utility bills. My goal is to spend what ever I need to get a good efficient and quality system but not spend money foolishly. The items I need direction are on as follows:

    Heat Pump?
    High Efficiency Furnace?
    Both Heat Pump and High Efficiency Furnace?
    Variable Speed Furnace?
    2 Stage Compressor?
    Which Thermostat?

    If I can get direction on these items I will quit trying to understand your business. I give up! Thanks for all your help that you have provided me so far.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bartlett, IL
    Posts
    6,619
    No equipment will keep it's efficiency for 10-20 yrs, it may last you 10-20 yrs, but it will lose it's efficiency.

    Just like a car...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,247
    Originally posted by ksspartan


    Can someone just make a recommendation. My contractors are all over the board with which features I should purchase.

    If one of the contractors giving you a estimate is Eric Kjelshus of Kjelshus Energy, you should listen to him.

    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,042
    Given your dirt-cheap electric rates (from another thread) and climate:

    Single stage heat pump with electric backup- in the 12-14 SEER ball park. Variable speed air handler, more for comfort than efficiency. No furnace. 5" media filter made by Trion, Honeywell, or Aprilaire (also available under a laundry list of other names, so ask your contractor who really makes what they're selling). It's a good level of filtration for you (allergies?) and the equipment without restricting airflow excessively.

    Thermostat isn't tricky with this setup because you're looking at two to three stages, tops, and no dual fuel. Honeywell VisionPro is coolest for gadget factor and probably easiest to use. In my book the Carrier Thermidistat is still the most technically superior thermostat, though, in terms of features and comfort.

    I will even hazard a brand recommendation, which I usually don't do. For their use of demand defrost systems (defrost the heat pump only when necessary, not just by a timer) and watt restrictors on the auxilary heat (use a little auxiliary heat for long periods instead of short bursts of heat), I have a lot of respect for Rheem (aka Ruud) heat pumps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    96
    I would love to go all electric but my concern is the ability to do it given my limitations on my electrical service. I presenty have a 200 amp service and am in the process of doing a basement buildout. That all said I feel I'm going to have to go dual fuel and gas as my secondary source. Is the high efficiency furnace the way to go on top of the heat pump? I'm finding the add to go to a high efficiency furnace is only between $400-$700. Won't a dual stage compressor save me money??? I know its primarily for comfort but it seems to me that it would also be more efficient running a 2.5 ton stage on a 4 ton compressor. Maybe running a 2.5 ton compressor longer costs me just as much in the long run?

    I was told that a 5" filter is nice but for the cost of the filter (replacing once a year) I am just as well off replacing one inch filters 3 times per year at about the same cost. Thoughts?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,743
    Originally posted by 2hot2coolme
    No equipment will keep it's efficiency for 10-20 yrs, it may last you 10-20 yrs, but it will lose it's efficiency.

    Just like a car...


    why ??????????????????

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,042
    Originally posted by ksspartan
    I would love to go all electric but my concern is the ability to do it given my limitations on my electrical service. I presenty have a 200 amp service and am in the process of doing a basement buildout. That all said I feel I'm going to have to go dual fuel and gas as my secondary source. Is the high efficiency furnace the way to go on top of the heat pump? I'm finding the add to go to a high efficiency furnace is only between $400-$700.

    If the price difference is small, it won't hurt anything to go for the higher efficiency. Payback will take a long time, but if you're staying that long, there's no harm. In most cases 200 amps is fine for an all-electric heat pump, though.

    Won't a dual stage compressor save me money??? I know its primarily for comfort but it seems to me that it would also be more efficient running a 2.5 ton stage on a 4 ton compressor. Maybe running a 2.5 ton compressor longer costs me just as much in the long run?

    The SEER and HSPF ratings on equipment are all-encompassing. Two-stage heat pumps tend to be more efficient than single stage, true, but the difference is already reflected in the ratings. If you have a single stage and a two stage with identical ratings, they should have identical efficiency (at least as it averages out across the whole heating/cooling season).

    I was told that a 5" filter is nice but for the cost of the filter (replacing once a year) I am just as well off replacing one inch filters 3 times per year at about the same cost. Thoughts?
    For the cost of the filters, there's not much difference. But here are your choices with 1" filters: A) old-fashioned spun fiberglass filters, which only catch dust-bunny sized objects but are not restrictive to airflow, or B) pleated filters such as the 3M Filtrete, which offer good filtration but are very restrictive to airflow.

    In my experience, many of the pleated 1" filters sold at retail tend to cave in from the suction while in use, which is just as good as having no filter at all. The air just goes around the filter. The only ones available at retail that I know not to have trouble with collapsing are the actual 3M brand ones. You'll need two filters for a four ton system, and you will need to replace them much more than three times a year... more like six if you're lucky. On the other hand, you can get one 5" media filter, which yes, looks expensive up front, and change it only once a year. So based on the assumptions I would use, the 5" filter is quite a bit cheaper on an operating basis. And given the lower airflow restriction, they even save you some electricity.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,743
    5" filter in a nice fitted case lets much less dirty air get around it than a 1" filter slid into a rack

  9. #9
    Originally posted by t527ed
    5" filter in a nice fitted case lets much less dirty air get around it than a 1" filter slid into a rack
    Boy did I find that out the hard way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,286

    Exclamation Heat Pump for K.C.

    Given your extremely cheap electric rates
    and moderate-to-cold climate.

    Heat pump with electric strip backup
    in the 13 to 16 SEER range

    Variable Speed air handler,
    more for comfort than efficiency.

    5" media filter

    I would use Lennox or Trane myself.

    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    96
    I need to stop talking to my local contractors. The guy I talked to today told me that he would recommend shying away from the heat pump and just get a high efficiency furnace and get a higher efficiency condenser. His comment was that I can't run a heat pump much less than 35 degrees outdoors and that I would be disapointed with the temperature of the discharge air which would only get to about 95-100 degrees. He also told me to shy away from the variable speed fan motor and dual stage condensers as they were just another thing to go wrong and when they do they are expensive to fix. This guy has spent 20 years on the service side and has just recently return back to the business after being out of it for a few years.

    As you have all said my electric rates here are dirt cheap. The utility offers a .02 decrease per KWH for eight months of the year taking my existing rate from .06 to .04 if I go with a heat pump. Your thought on the comments I received earlier today????? Thanks....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,743
    need to find a local contractor that is not a caveman. need one up on the latest goodies.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    96
    In other words are you telling me this guy is not up to todays standards and that latest advancement with heat pump with a variable speed drives and that I would be foolish not to go that way?

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