System Replacement

nashfundFebruary 11, 2013

Just want to make sure I cover all bases when getting a system replacement. we are getting an electric, 4 ton straight cool, with furnace and air handler for about 1800 sq ft in the mid south. we nixed the heat pump due to the fact that it would run more and we are more concerned about life of unit than energy costs. electric bills average $120/mo. contractor will pull permits and replace wiring, pressure test line set, inspect ducts, install new silicone sealed return/outflow plenum boxes and add a return vent in loft area. total price is$6600 for trane xr13 with variable speed airhandler.

we are debating xb vs xr and 13 vs 14 seer. is the variable speed handler a more (cost)effective way to increase net seer over the nearly $1000 price jump of 13-14 seer?

thanks for all your input in advance. this forum has been a great help during the process!

-"not a pro"

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tigerdunes

Would never offer an opinion without model numbers you are considering and have been quoted....

Outside condenser
Evap coil
Furnace
Air filter cabinet
Thermostat

What size and efficiency are you replacing?

What is your location?

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:20AM
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nashfund

in the mid-South/memphis, tn area. trane system xb/xr13 or xb14 or xr 15, 4 ton. that is one of my questions(XB or XR). looking to get the hyperion XL airhandler, variable speed.

replacing a mess of a york (mid 80s, 3.5 ton straight cool) with mid 90s heat strip furnace (yes it should have been paired with heat pump but wasn't).

This is going on a condo that is pretty efficient. one concern is ease of use and complicated thermostats are going to be a barrier for my 75 yo mom.

standard 1" airfilter- not april aire

new thermostat - honeywell i believe.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:00PM
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nashfund

from trane site:

XR15
Climatuff� compressor
Spine Fin� outdoor coil
Upgraded fan motor
Full-Side louvered panels protect your investment
Corrosion-resistant Weatherguard� fasteners

XB13
Climatuff� compressor
Spine Fin� outdoor coil
Full-Side louvered panels protect your investment
Baked-on powder paint resists rust
Noncorrosive Duratuff� Base Pan
Corrosion-resistant fasteners
Unique DuraTuff� non-corrosive base pan
Quick-Sess cabinet with full coil protection
Sound insulator on the compressor (select models)

does a vairable speed air handler increase efficiency in a more cost effective manner than SEER jump from XR13 to XR15?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:06PM
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mike_home

"we are getting an electric, 4 ton straight cool, with furnace and air handler for about 1800 sq "

Your post is a little confusing. When you say "furnace" do you mean electric heat strips? What do you mean by "mid 90s"?

You should consider upgrading to a heat pump. It will be cheaper to operate than the heat strips.

The XB is builder's grade (low end) equipment. If the budget allows I recommend upgrading to the XR. Why are you increasing the size to 4 tons? It seems over sized
for a 1800 sq. ft. condo.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:26PM
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weedmeister

You might also want to look at American Standard.

A variable speed blower will do a better job at humidity removal.

How are you going to heat? Electric? or gas?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:41PM
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tigerdunes

Why are you going up in size from 3 1/2 ton to 4 ton?

Give me an idea of the design layout of condo and whether unit is an exterior condo or perhaps it is interior condo with shared wall, ceilings, and floor with other units? Makes a big difference as to heating and cooling load. Has a load calc even been performed by your quoting dealer?

Condo has adequate returns? Any hot/cold spots in condo?

Condo is all electric, no natural gas service available?

I need to know the exact model number for air handler quoted.

What size is existing heat strip? What size has been quoted?

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:41PM
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nashfund

went out of town for a bit. thanks for the replies. the condo shares one (south) wall, single floor with a loft that gets used as playroom only when my kids come over, but is 650sq ft not included in 1800. it needs another reurn vent up there for bettter airflow and is a simple installation since unit is right there. the ceilings are 8' and high efficiency windows were installed about 3yrs ago. a big tree helps shade the west evening sun.

all electric, we are willin to give up some efficiency to ahve the unit last longer and not run in the winter months therby helping the unit last longer than a heat pump.

Mid-90s meant 1995 year, 15btu, heat strip furnace that needs to be replaced. I dont have exact model for quoted furnace with me since proposal is at her house.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:29PM
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tigerdunes

It would be difficult for me to believe you need a 4 ton.

You need to request a load calculation for correct sizing.

The XR 15 is a great HP condenser. You would want the best matching TAM7 var speed air handler for superior dehumidification in AC mode summer cooling. HW mdl #8321 thermostat. Also a 7/12 KW two stage heat strip. Lineset size should be checked for correct size if you plan on reusing.
If not, then replace.

If cost is a factor, drop down to best sized XR13 HP condenser paired with best matching GAM5 high efficient air handler. That would save you some bux. Other suggestions from above would still apply.

You should know American Standard is Trane's sister company and has similar if not identical models sometimes less expensive.

IMO
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:51AM
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mike_home

"we are willing to give up some efficiency to have the unit last longer and not run in the winter months thereby helping the unit last longer than a heat pump".

I agree a heat pump has more wear and tear on it than an AC condenser. However I think the difference in life expectancy is small. If you buy one of the better Trane heat pumps you should get 15-20 years of service. You could then take the money you saved by not using the electric strips and pay for another heat pump in the future.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:10AM
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nashfund

Great feedback all. i am so appreciative for your service to the general community.

We've had 4 companies out and four very different proposals. a couple that had the better installation setups, were difficult to talk to from a personality standpoint. i don't think anyone did a thorough load calculation, including the "high end" company. very frustrating. I'll keep plugging away. and come back with more questions. you guys really are life savers. wish i could hire you!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:05PM
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