comparing heat pump systems

jwdhokieMarch 14, 2013

We are converting our newly acquired 2700 SF home from single zone to dual zone. I hope to get some opinions on the level of equipment being offered and if itâÂÂs worth paying $2000-$4000 extra for it. All companies are reputable. All warranties are equal. Load calc done by all contractors, but the carrier quote quotes higher ton units.

IâÂÂm leaning toward the Lennox, mainly because our investment is in conversion to 2 systems and we are trying to keep equipment costs down. However, the other two companies offer better financing, so they are all in the ballpark on pricing.

Thanks for the input!

Low price
Lennox 14HPX (2 ton down, 2.5 ton up)
Upgrade both to XP14 for $900 total
CBX27UH Air handlers

Mid price
York - 2nd floor - YHJR30S41S4 outdoor unit
AHE30B3XH21 indoor unit
1st floor - YHJR24S41S4 outdoor unit
AHE24B3XH21 indoor unit

High price
3 ton up - Carrier 25hbc336w003
Blower Fx4dnf025t00
2.5 ton down - same setup

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ryanhughes

Check the model number on the Carrier air handler. The FX4D is a good match for the 25HBC3 outdoor unit, but NOT in the 025 (2 ton) size (when paired with a 3 ton OR 2.5 ton outdoor unit). You don't want to mismatch and compromise system operation. I would be careful there.

I like both York and Lennox equipment and would be comfortable with either system, understanding you are leaning that way based upon cost. They are mostly comparable systems. Do note, however, the abnormally low HSPF (heating efficiency) rating of the York units you were quoted. I'm not one to take the ratings to literally anymore, but that is something to keep in mind. I might lean toward the Lennox myself in this situation. I do not dislike the Carrier equipment quoted, though not a fan of that particular model's wire mesh coil grille vs. the others' better constructed louvered paneling to protect the outdoor coil.

The one thing I would suggest you consider is upgrading all proposals to include variable speed air handlers. What you have been quoted are all high efficiency air handlers and are a nice alternative if you are trying to keep costs down; however variable speed technology truly is superior both in its capabilities of advanced humidity control (moreso with the right thermostat) and the ability to adapt to changing duct conditions (increased static, dirty filter, etc.).

Lastly, as to the sizing. You do not want to oversize. An attic system will have some capacity loss due to heat gain within the attic. I would try to seal/insulate the ductwork to the greatest extent possible as well as the entire attic envelope.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 9:53

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:29PM
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tigerdunes

I would want var speed air handlers and would stay away from Lennox HPX series of HPs. The XP series condenser is much nicer.

Depending on your location, I prefer HP systems to have electronic demand defrost. I believe the York has it, the others don't. You want matching systems and pay attention to the best performance/efficiency numbers as certified by AHRI HP directory.

I agree with Ryan about full coil protection for the outside condenser.

What size heat strips were quoted? Any filter cabinets? What thermostats? I assume new and correctly sized copper linesets? Save the old ,strip, and take to scrap yard.

IMO

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:39AM
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ryanhughes

Agree there is more information needed. Heat strips, thermostat, etc.

You will already be installing one new lineset. Personally, I would replace the other as well if possile.

You will want to make sure you know exactly what you're getting in terms of ductwork for all three proposals. They may vary as far as what each company plans to do, layout and design wise. Seal and insulate the new ductwork as much as possible. Designing/installing the ductwork correctly now will pay off later in terms of comfort/efficiency. This is a major portion of your job. Can't be emphasized enough.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 10:01

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:57AM
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jwdhokie

Thanks! Your suggestions were exactly what i was looking for. This process has been a little overwhelming at times, so i appreciate all the input you guys put into this site. Based on your other posts, I already know where you stand on thermostats and add-ons and i am confident that the equipment is sized right and the duct work is well thought out.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:42PM
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jwdhokie

Thanks! Your suggestions were exactly what i was looking for. This process has been a little overwhelming at times, so i appreciate all the input you guys put into this site. Based on your other posts, I already know where you stand on thermostats and add-ons and i am confident that the equipment is sized right and the duct work is well thought out.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:43PM
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tigerdunes

My check sheet.

There are three equally important aspects to a new install.

1. Good quality HVAC equipment
2. The actual install by dealer
3. And probably the most overlooked and disregarded is the ductwork system including adequate returns

Here is my general spec sheet for new system.

both outside and inside units should be replaced to have a properly matched system.

15 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 9 HSPF
best matching VS air handler
full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size
R-410a refrigerant(same as Puron)
scroll compressor preferred
electronic demand defrost preferred
thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature
staged backup heat strips
new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset
10 yr warranty on parts and compressor

you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc.

any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

My personal recommendation is Trane/AmStd, Rudd/Rheem, and Carrier/Bryant.

Depending on your location, I would not purchase a new system that did not have electronic demand defrost.

IMO

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:07AM
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ryanhughes

"Depending on your location, I would not purchase a new system that did not have electronic demand defrost."

I have to agree with this. To get demand in the Lennox you have to step up to at least the XP17. Demand defrost eliminates numerous defrost cycles.

OP: What is your location? It's hard for me to recommend the YHJR with its 7.7 HSPF rating. If you're in an area dominated by the cooling season, no real issue. If efficiency is important to you, step up to the YHJF (quieter unit). Pair them with matching variable speed indoor sections and you have very nice systems. To get the most out of them with regards to humidity control, I would use Honeywell VisionPRO IAQ thermostats and make sure the installer wires them to signal the variable speed air handler to dehumidify. On the Yorks I believe that is 85% of the cool speed setting. This will drop the coil temperature and therefore remove more moisture/dehumidify better. Very important on variable speed air handlers to set the blower speeds properly. This is part of the installer's job, but isn't always done.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 10:44

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:13AM
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mrhvac

Have you considered getting a quote from a Trane dealer? They have a pretty solid line of heat pumps at reasonable prices. It never hurts to compare when your spending this kind of money. As mentioned, depending upon your climate the HSPF and SEER rating will have differing returns on investment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trane Heat Pumps

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:35AM
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jwdhokie

We are located in Central Virginia.
I appreciate the follow up. After ruling out the lennox, we were leaning toward the York yhjf24s41s1 with a fixed speed air handler. Based on the feedback here, it seems the York had a few nice benefits the others did not have.
But the installer is now offering the carrier performance with variable speed fan for the same price.
I like the carrier, but the york has more favorable financing. I thought we had made a decision, now we are faced with another...

all other things aside, how do these systems compare? seems like variable speed is preferred. but, there it comes with a higher monthly cost which will put a limit on other improvements we can do to the house.

thanks!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 5:12PM
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tigerdunes

For the OP...

Pay attention to my spec sheet.

For your location, I would not purchase a new system that did not have a var speed air handler or electronic demand defrost. A big deal for your location.

IMO

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:51PM
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gkg44

Has anyone had experience with the carrier greenspeed heat pump?
I am looking at the variable speed inverter compressor and the 13 hspf, and thinking it would be a good investment, but not if they have quality problems.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:25PM
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mike_home

There have been a few people in this forum who own the Carrier Greenspeed. Do a search to find the posts.

You will get more attention if you start a new posting.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Rajendran123

RE: comparing heat pump systems

It is very important to compare the heat pump systems and then go for buying the best thing. There are many brands of heat pumps are available in the market.

Affinity series heat pump wil offer atleast 15% to 25% higher energy efficiency compared to other standard model.

LX series heat pumps will reduce the utility bills.

Latitude series heat pumps will reduce the utility bills plus a Demand Defrost feature on select models will minimize cold weather electric consumption.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:16PM
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