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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10

    New construction - is it worth the upgrade to 2-stage 16 SEER?

    Hi all, I found this website and wanted to get some advice from others who are more knowledgeable than I am. Firstly, I am in Houston TX, so it gets a little warm here. We are building a new home (not custom, new construction) and the house will be what I'd consider energy efficient (radiant barrier, dual paned windows, etc) - it could be MORE energy efficient, but it's very good. It's a two-story ~4300 sq ft home. We'll have one outdoor AC unit for upstairs, another unit for downstairs.

    The builder uses Carrier for the HVAC system (this is set in stone, no flexibility). The base outside AC unit is likely this line: http://www.residential.carrier.com/p.../comfort.shtml

    The upgrade would be to this: http://www.residential.carrier.com/p...formance.shtml, the 24ACB7 condenser and the 58PHA furnace.

    Comparison chart: http://www.residential.carrier.com/p...mparison.shtml

    The total upgrade price is an extra $, which is what I am unsure about. My gut is that we're getting gouged and should save the money for when the base unit goes out in the future.

    Obviously it's a numbers game - if the cost savings outweigh the upgrade cost by a reasonable amount, then we should do it.
    Last edited by beenthere; 11-04-2011 at 04:34 PM. Reason: upgrade price

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,316
    Please remove the pricing as it is not allowed by site rules.

    Two stage is the very best option for Houston.

    In your situation I would not recommend the upgrade because the furnace is not an appropriate model to match to a two stage condenser. It has an ECM motor but is not a variable speed motor. Unless you are willing to step up to the Infinity furnace I would defer on the upgrade.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by texcon View Post
    Hi all, I found this website and wanted to get some advice from others who are more knowledgeable than I am. Firstly, I am in Houston TX, so it gets a little warm here. We are building a new home (not custom, new construction) and the house will be what I'd consider energy efficient (radiant barrier, dual paned windows, etc) - it could be MORE energy efficient, but it's very good. It's a two-story ~4300 sq ft home. We'll have one outdoor AC unit for upstairs, another unit for downstairs.

    The builder uses Carrier for the HVAC system (this is set in stone, no flexibility). The base outside AC unit is likely this line: http://www.residential.carrier.com/p.../comfort.shtml

    The upgrade would be to this: http://www.residential.carrier.com/p...formance.shtml, the 24ACB7 condenser and the 58PHA furnace.

    Comparison chart: http://www.residential.carrier.com/p...mparison.shtml

    The total upgrade price is an extra $, which is what I am unsure about. My gut is that we're getting gouged and should save the money for when the base unit goes out in the future.

    Obviously it's a numbers game - if the cost savings outweigh the upgrade cost by a reasonable amount, then we should do it.
    Not a good combination for upgrade I would wait
    Last edited by beenthere; 11-04-2011 at 04:35 PM. Reason: upgrade price in quote

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    thanks for the info, I called some Carrier dealers and they said the same thing re: the furnace. I will see if we can opt to change the furnace to match a two stage condenser.

    Also, sorry about the pricing, I cannot go back and change it now. Can a mod please remove that price info?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    BTW, the other upgrade option is to go with the 58MVB variable speed furnace, which is significantly more than the combo I listed in post #1. That appears to be the CORRECT way to go based on what you guys have said, but the cost is way more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,316
    The MVB is the best option and the combination is your best option and worth the price. Look my number up in my profile and call I will discuss this further if you wish.

    Al

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    thanks, I don't see your phone # listed but will shoot you an email.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    1,960
    Often builders will put a big markup on equipment and you might be able to tell them to upgrade the furnace and not have them install AC and use somebody like Classical once the house has been turned over to you so you can ensure it is done properly. While some new construction companies do a great job, most builders have the lowest bidder do the work and the lowest builder may not properly setup your two stage equipment negating the effects of having it in the first place.
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
    Like us on FACEBOOK if you like our advice here!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Thanks Sky, I spoke with Classical last Friday and he was a huge help.

    FYI, I confirmed that the 24ACB6 condenser is indeed a two-stage, per the spec sheet Carrier sent me this morning. However, I am unsure if Carrier manufactures or sells this condenser still. I can confirm that via a dealer fairly easily. But the good news is that I should be able to get good equipment that is meant to work together, it's just a matter of WHO is installing that equipment. I think the upgrade is worth their asking price, although I'd like to inquire about downgrading the furnace to something like an Infinity 80 (58CVA) - the Infinity 96 seems a bit overkill, but still a very good furnace.

    Time to call the builder and grill him a little bit

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Spoke to a Carrier dealer, seemed to be a straight shooter. In short, he said if I was going to spend money on an Infinity 96 furnace, then we should get a better condenser like a 24ANB7 that has two-way communicating functionality. The 24ACB6/7 apparently does NOT have two-way communicating. Glad I am calling around before deciding to do anything.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    The builder was able to get me a quote for the following system package:

    24ANB7 condenser unit (two-stage scroll, Infinity line)
    58CVA furnace (Infinity 80)
    Infinity t-stat controls

    This would be for two systems, upstairs and downstairs

    I now need to see if it's worth the quoted price. While I am sure we could do better than Carrier (maybe not??), this would be a good system for our home.

    I also know who would be doing the install, so I can grill them a little.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,473
    Get a bid on Rheem 16 SEER communicating for comparison.
    Then make sure the installer knows what they are doing.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    10
    Agreed about the installer. If the don't seem "legit" then I will pass and get someone to install it after we close. Thanks for the reply

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