HVAC Replacement Recommendations

deltapezMarch 16, 2012

3-story 2400 sf colonial

I have the following quotes to replace a Trane that is 18 years old but still running with minor repairs (contacts worn, ref leaks, etc.) becoming more frequent. Are these reasonable prices for Northern Virginia? Would you recommend replacing with a 80 or 95 efficiency furnace?

Our heating bills are typically $40 with 3-4 months of $150-200 during the winter. AC is critical for reliability due to medical needs of a family member.

Also, I plan on keeping the Aprilaire 7000 humidifier and integrating with thermostat to replace existing manual control switch unless this is overkill.

Thanks,

DP

Quote #1

American Standard - 15 seer

AC Model 4A7A5048E1000A 4 Ton

8000 BTU Furnace 80%

Honeywell 8000 thermostat

$7,600

Quote #2

Gold ZM Furnace - http://www.americanstandardair.com/products/pages/productdetail.aspx?prod=fr02

Platinum XM AC - http://www.americanstandardair.com/products/pages/productdetail.aspx?prod=acon02

Gold XM Programmable Thermostat

$11,800

Quote #3

Carrier Infinity 97 modulating variable speed gas furnace Model: 59MN7A080V21-20

Carrier matching indoor evaporator coil Model: CNPVP4821ATA

Carrier Infinity 17 two speed outdoor condensing unit Model: 24ANB748 � combination seer rating 16.0

$9,800 - $1K rebate

Quote #4

Carrier Performance series two speed gas furnace Model: 59TP5A100E21-16

Carrier matching indoor evaporator coil Model: CNPVP4821ATA

Carrier Performance Series outdoor condensing unit Model: 24ACC648 � combination seer rating 15.0

$7,400 - $150 rebate

Quote #5

Trane XV 95 variable speed gas furnace Model: TUH2C100A9V4VA

Trane matching indoor evaporator coil

Trane XR-15 outdoor condensing unit Model: 4TTR548 � combination seer rating 13.75

$8,700

Quote #6

Trane XC 95 variable speed gas furnace Model: TUH3C100ACV4VA

Trane matching indoor evaporator coil

Trane XL20i two speed outdoor condensing unit Model: 4TTZ0048A1000A � combination seer rating 16.75

$10,600

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mike_home

Your quotes have different sized furnaces. Did any of the contractors do a heating and cooling load calculation?

What size furnace and AC do you have now?
Does the current equipment heat and cool effectively?
What are the typcial high temperatures during the summer, and is humidity a problem?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 8:36AM
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deltapez

The current furnace is an older 80% model.

Everything is working except for the AC problems I mentioned occurring more frequently.

Normally, mild summer temps in the 90s with internal temp kept at 70. The AC runs all day when outside temp reaches 90+.

The manual dial is adjusted for each season but all rooms in the house have normal humidity levels if this is properly set.

Thanks,
DP

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:44AM
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mike_home

Your list includes some very good equipment. The prices seem reasonable. Do the prices for the Carrier equipment include the rebate amounts?

I would recommend you pay the extra money and get a 95%+ efficiency furnace. Natuaral gas prices are low right now, but no one can predict if they will increase in the future.

The sizing and installation of the equipment is critical. You want a contractor who has done a heating and cooling calcuation so the equipment is neither undersized or oversized. It is best to work with a smaller company who is an authorized dealer for the equipment they sell.

I am most familiar with Carrier equipment. My vote would be for Quote #3. A price of $8800 would be very reasonable in my area of NJ. The 2-stage AC will a great job of decreasing the humidity in the summer. The modulating furnace is very quiet. You will be very comfortable with this equipment. This assumes a 80,000 BTU furnace and 4 ton AC is the correct size.

I would also recommend getting a 4 inch media filter and a 10 year labor warranty from Carrier. You can reuse the Aprilair humdifier. The Carrier Infinity controller should be able to work with it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:07AM
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deltapez

The rebates for Carrier are not included in the price. All quotes are from two local companies that are on the authorized dealer's list. They were also highly rated on Angie's List. I appreciate the recommendations!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:29AM
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neohioheatpump

If your spending the upfront money for an all new system, you should consider what it might cost to updgrade the A/C to a heatpump. It shouldn't be much. If your electricity rate is reasonable the heatpump can provide heat for cheap and give you some protection in-case natural gas goes up in price. I like the heatpump for milder temperatures.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:04AM
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trader889

FYI, I live in Northern NJ and just decided to replace my system with the exact configuration you listed in option #3, except my furnace is the 100k. I live in a 2500 sq ft Colonial, 2 floors not including the basement. My price was slightly higher than yours. For my neck of the woods, it was a great price as I got pricing from quite a few authorized dealers some almost 40% higher! If you go for that option, get a quote for the 10 year Carrier labor warranty as Mike suggested. I also went with a 4 inch media filter. Without knowing what the medical needs are in your household, you may be part of the minority who needs more than the media filter.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:29AM
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deltapez

neohioheatpump/trader889, thanks for the info! Good to know these are competitive quotes.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 1:15PM
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heatseeker

Pay more get more

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:33PM
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dabII

Do you mind mentioning the local companies? I live in Northern Va. too, and my 15yr old AC unit just died. I'd like to replace the furnace and AC together and this would save me some legwork in finding a reputable contractor.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:46PM
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