Heat Pump Recommendation - Page 2
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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6

    Question Getting Close

    OK - My wife got the Trane reps out. Did the heat loss analysis. Recommended a 3 1/2 ton. Neither the 16i nor 19i come in 3 1/2 ton. Said would have to redo duct work to go to 4 ton, but not really needed. Recommended the 3 1/2 ton 15i (16 SEER), which looks pretty good on the internet.

    I see the 15i and 14i are grouped together. Since we plan to do an addition (and that won't be until later in the year after I get home), I'm thinking that I can go with the 15i now, and look at adding a second zone and heat pump and redo the duct work when we do the room addition.

    Here's my final questions:

    Is the 15i worth it?
    Can you zone the 15i?
    Does it make sense to go with a 3 1/2 ton now and add the additional unit when we add the add'l sq ft?

    Thanks again for everyone's help. JW

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    21
    The rating of equipment by various sources is subjective at best. American Standard owns Trane (or you could say is Trane) and most of the models manufactured are basically the same except for the nameplate. This could be said in some part as to Ruud/Rheem or Carrier/Bryant, etc, etc, however those facts are basically unimportant in this particular discussion. The heating and cooling industry as to manufacture of equipment is very well regulated and so, unlikely that any manufacturer of equipment would be allowed to produce “junk”. My personal opinion (again personal opinion) is that most brands of equipment for the most part are fairly equal. The difference in “my” opinion is the type of installation done. Not just in the equipment itself (even though this is of vast importance) but the design and sizing of the ductwork must be taken into account. If you have a below par installation of equipment and or a below par duct system, any brand of equipment used is likely not to perform to its full potential and break downs and a shorter lifespan can be expected. Most major brands of equipment require you to become a dealer in order to purchase and install their equipment. The idea is that a known dealer is more likely to do a good installation. Goodman on the other hand is available to most any licensed contractor and in the past some unlicensed contractors, and so more prone to a below par installation and or lack of possible needed modifications to the rest of the existing system and or ductwork and are so more prone to failure. As to size without knowing the city and the way the home is constructed to properly do a heat load calculation, confirming any size would be impossible. As to SEER or EER rating of equipment, normally the retail cost as to payback on lower utility bills and any tax breaks offered. The amount of time needed to “break even” is normally longer than the average homeowner stays in a particular location, not to mention the time needed to receive a positive payback on the investment. Any 401K or CD will have a better payback percentage verse time and is a better investment of funds. One option is to have a relative or close family friend that is in the trade to provide the equipment at cost and do the installation for free, but even then, the payback period because of the higher wholesale cost on the higher efficiency equipment, can take longer and be a less profitable investment of funds than other types of investments available. As a side note and with no way to confirm what I am about to say, a 3.5-Ton System (and assuming the existing air handler and evaporator coil match the 3.5-Ton recommendation from the contractor in question) on a 2,900 square foot home seems at face value to be a bit on the small side, unless you have an extremely tight home with little glass area and are located in a very mild climate. Again, I have no way to confirm this is accurate, without doing a heat load calculation, seeing the existing system and ductwork.
    Ignorance is the lack of knowledge, Stupid is the lack of ability to gain knowledge.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    21
    I see that you added to and modified your original question. With the limited amount of factual information available, a correct answer to your question is impossible. Some of the information needed would be as to size of the room addition and are we talking one room or several, etc, etc, etc.. The type of ductwork and its location and the ability to adapt and modify also has to be taken into account. A guess and by-golly answer would be that on an average one room addition, and having a ductwork design that would allow for modification and depending on is this a package unit or split system, would be to increase the size of the existing system (all of the existing system). There are a variety of options that do not include adding another central system or increasing the size of the existing system, that would provide heat and cooling to a small room addition. The question seems simple, but in reality a considerable amount of information would be needed in order to give you accurate and vial able options.
    Ignorance is the lack of knowledge, Stupid is the lack of ability to gain knowledge.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    10
    Well it is GREAT to hear that the heat loss was done!!

    So zoning is done in two different ways, the first is with two seperate systems running each zone. The second is with 2 thermostats & mechanical dampers in the ductwork. Mechanical zoning can be tricky and not everyone has it figured out. If you go that route, I would want to know that the install company has gone to some classes.

    The need for zoning is really dependent on you addition, size, windows, location (upstairs) etc.

    On to the 15i, yes it can be used in zoning. Higher effeciency is always worth it. Let's be realistic--electric prices are not going down and who knows what it will do during the lifetime of the heat pump.

    (Just so you know, a 4 ton 19i with the 2 compressors can run at 50%, 70% or 100% capacity. Meaning a 2 ton, 3 ton and 4 ton unit.)

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