Time to upgrade
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Thread: Time to upgrade

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    84
    Had two separate techs confirm a cracked heat exchanger in one of my systems. Contemplating replacing entire system (21 yr old 3.5 ton a/c, gas furnace combo instead of just the furnace. I'm in the Dallas area and I'm wondering if a heat pump would be preferable for efficiency and reliability. Do they typically cost more than split systems? If so, are they worth it. I realize gas selling at $13/MMBTU is going to exponentially drive up the cost of firing gas furnaces. And I know that my electricity is derived from gas fired turbines, thus KW cost are going up as well. And I believe these energy prices will be the norm in years to come. I'm not brand loyal but I did replace a system last May with a Trane XL19i. Many issues surrounding the installing company's competence has led me to not use them again. I'm willing to put in another Trane by a different dealer. Thanks to this website and my own bad experiences with a local company I would almost be willing to put in any brand by a good company than some high end system by a bad one. Quite frankly I don't know who to trust in my area. But I would like some opinions on heat pumps and reliability on high end systems (i.e. two-stage furnaces and compressors, dual compressor condensers) versus single stage systems. Is simplicity the best value in the long run?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,414
    In almost every case a heat pump will be cheaper to run than a furnace. You have to consider a furnace is 94% effcient (good one anyway), and a heat pump is usually waaaaay more efficient than that.

    They do cost more up front, but it'll save you that money in the long run.

    2 stage compressor units definately do work and I believe they are worth the money. They do gain you abit of effciency, but mostly they provide comfort in a major way (just like a 2 stage furnace). Get a variable speed motor thrown in there in the air handler and you got a premo set up. The hardest part is tryin to figure out what SEER you need. 13 is the lowest you'll be able to get after the 1st of the year. Trane and American Standard (same difference) start thier 2 stage units at 16 SEER.

    In Tx the more SEER you install will save you much more down the road since you run a lot of cooling and have much more mild temps for heating (which I must add heat pumps love mild temps for heating). But I sure wouldn't be affraid to put in a higher SEER unit even here in South Dakota.

    Comfort is something really tough to put a price on. Also if you look at the cost of your house, this heat pump is likely a small % of the value of your house, but it makes your house much more comfortable to enjoy your time in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    I would suggest a Trane furnace for Comfort R and control factor, variable speed a mustXv80 or xv90,90 maybe overkill with heat pump.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    84
    How reliable are heat pumps in comparison to the high end condenser/furnaces currently being sold? I do have an XL19i with XV80 on my upstairs system. I'm sold on variable speed blowers and 2-stage heating/cooling. The comfort factor is worth the price premium. And with energy costs as they are and will be in the future paybacks should be quicker. Which is more reliable, two stage compressors or two compressor condensers? One Trane tech recently told me 19i's have been problematic and he would recommend a two stage compressor set-up instead. Of course this observation is based only on his experiences with service calls. Any one else feel that way? What is the typical cost premium for a heat pump system versus electric/gas systems as a percent of total cost? 10%?,20%?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    We sell more XL16i,due to 410a and scroll compressor.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by heatpumpguru
    We sell more XL16i,due to 410a and scroll compressor.
    If you want Trane,I'd take that one too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    84
    So are you guys saying the 16 is a better engineered thus more reliable product than the 19?

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