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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    20

    Upgrading question(s)

    Currently we have a 19 SEER 2-ton Lennox just over a year old, and an 11.5 SEER 1.5 ton Lennox approx 16 years old.

    The 11.5 works but our thoughts are to proactively upgrade that one soon.

    The units I've explored/narrowed the choice down to are (1) a Carrier 13 SEER 8 HSPF, with an air handler that I'm told will bump the efficiency to 15 SEER, or a (2) a RHEEM 15.5 SEER & 9.5 HSPF.

    My questions to the wise & veteran knowledges near & far are:

    I've had a few people try to advise against a RHEEM unit. Is there a reason to steer away from RHEEM? Their HSPF of 9.5 seems pretty solid. The Carrier is an 8 HSPF. Warranties look identical.

    Does the 13 SEER & strategically matched Air Handler, supposedly resulting in a 15 SEER performance, really do so and thus come close to matching the 15.5 SEER RHEEM?

    The 9.5 HSPF seems so much better than an 8. Is that my major performance decision point? I'm in Western Virginia where we *DO* have a few months of nasty winter.

    Any other wisdom, tips, thoughts, advice, etc. *ARE* greatly appreciated!!!

    I'm just a homeowner who wants to tap as much synergy, and learn something to make my choice a better one.

    In advance many thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    930
    My opinion is that it rarely makes economic sence to replace a working heatpump to "save money". If the unit is working and there are no issues, the pennies saved on the electric bill will not offset the dollars spent. I recommend that you save the money until such time that you need to replace the unit, then replace it with what is available at that time. A 1.5 SEER performance increase will take the life of the unit to pay back.
    "Customer Service" is not a department, it's an attitude!
    ???

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by cartercrew View Post
    My opinion is that it rarely makes economic sence to replace a working heatpump to "save money". If the unit is working and there are no issues, the pennies saved on the electric bill will not offset the dollars spent. I recommend that you save the money until such time that you need to replace the unit, then replace it with what is available at that time. A 1.5 SEER performance increase will take the life of the unit to pay back.
    While I appreciate the opinion.....I'm missing your math here? I'm sure it's my 'SEER ignorance'....as I'm just a homeowner trying to make a good purchase. My current 16+ year-old Lennox is an 11.5 SEER. The two I'm considering are 15 & 15.5, with the RHEEM 15.5 adding a 9.5 HSPF performance. So help me with how you get a 1.5 SEER performance increase?

    With tax incentives etc. I'm lookinmg at < $4K (or about $4.5K for a RHEEM) to replace an 11.5 with a 15 SEER Carrier. This all strikes me as an affordable piece-of-mind purchase. While I'm not calculating a true payback on a new unit, I *AM* thinking the better performance will obviously offset more of that cost, furthering the thought this makes sense to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,763
    You'd never build a house from plans in your head, yet I see people thinking this math is simple and making statements that are full of holes. They tend to grossly oversimplify the math when they do it in their heads. Really "stinkin' thinkin'".

    A unit that is close to life expectance does not have to pay for itself in electric savings, unless you plan to NOT replace it if it doesn't pay for itself. Running a unit (likely operating under 10 seer) an extra year saves no energy, and if replacement cost goes up by more than your cost of money between now and replacement, I think most would agree you've gone backwards by more than energy not saved.

    My background is Economics and Financial Planning. Need I rip into this thinking further? I can.

    Hokie, you are following a really wise path. Your time has significant value to you, you'd like to avoid it being consumed according to external factors that can be anticipated and avoided. You see making decisions under duress means mistakes and missed opportunities.

    Now you are in no hurry, which is a SIGNIFICANT advantage. Keep your momentum.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,595
    Model #s of everything being quoted?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Model #s of everything being quoted?

    Carrier - 1.5 ton 25HCB318 with Air Handler FX4DNF019

    Rheem - 1.5 ton RPQL018JEZ with Air Handler RHKLHM2417JA

    The Rheem is about $500 more but supposedly delivers a 9.5 HSPF vs. the Carrier 8 HSPF....and a little better SEER.

    The Rheem is a 15.5 SEER vs. the Carrier 13 SEER/functionally a 15 SEER with the above air handler. (is what I'm being told)

    Rheem comes with a Honeywell 8000 programmable, digital, touch screen thermostat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,763
    Build a specification THEN go to bid. Otherwise you are comparing apples and oranges.

    Search carrier Greenspeed, currently the most efficient pump available.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,595
    The Carrier is a basic unit, more like a RPNL-JAZ from Rheem. Using the FX4 air handler you will get 15 but as you say HSPF is rather lousy.

    The RPQL-JEZ has the sophisticated control board with lots of diagnostics. It also has demand defrost which will eliminate hundreds of unnecessary defrosts each winter. Why turn the cooling on every hour when it is cold if you don't have to. The JEZ has a compressor cover and 5 year replacement pledge.

    Now, on to the air handlers. The Carrier is a fixed speed high efficiency like the Rheem RHLL. The RHKL is full variable speed and offers dehumidify on demand capability with appropriate control.

    Glancing at Carrier's lineup, if you want to compare evenly, you'd want a 25HPA5 and FV4 air handler.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    20
    BaldLoonie:

    many thanks for the info!!! One point of clarification, if I'm correct the Rheem has a 10 year compressor warranty, with an initial 5 years on all parts, which is upgraded to 10 years with an online registration. Thus 10 year on all parts.

    I was leaning toward Rheem given the nice HSPF number.

    Thanks all!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,763
    Hspf close to 13?
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,909
    16 years is not that old - I would hold on to it until the compressor fails or it springs a leak.
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    Hspf close to 13?
    9.5

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,878
    i would go with the rheem just make sure they install it on pump ups

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