Need feedback on Trane vs. Carrier proposals

jas.azMarch 18, 2013

Hi everyone,

I am looking to upgrade the system on my house. Here are some important details.

15 year old Polysteel house (~R50 walls)
Currently have 4T Lennox compressor and 5T air handler, also 15 years old. No real issues with the equipment.
In Arizona

I've had two different heat load calcs done. One came back at 3.3T and recommended a 4T system, the other calc came back 4.5T and recommended a 5T.

The two systems that I'm looking at are:

5 ton Trane XL16i and TAM7

5 ton Carrier 25HCB660 and FV4CNB006

The quoted price on the carrier is $1400 less than the Trane.

1. If I want a 2 stage compressor and variable speed AH, is one unit better than the other? Does one have features that the other doesn't? The only difference I see is the cost and a 12 year compressor warranty on Trane vs. 10 year with Carrier.

2. Is it common to have such different heat load calc results from two different contractors?


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These are HP systems. Correct?

One thing from the start. Load calcs are important. One of your quoting dealers is correct, one is wrong. Sizing does matter. In your case this would be more about operating costs for both heating and cooling as well as comfort.

Do you have the load calcs in writing, on the software letterhead so you can compare the two? If not, you should.

The Carrier system has an advantage in performance/efficiency numbers according to the AHRI Directory.


What thermostat was quoted for each system?

Has your ductwork been inspected? Any hot/cold spots in home?

How do you filter the return air? You ave adequate number of returns?

What size heat strip proposed?

New lineset included in quotes?

Why are you upgrading if no real issues?

I will assume humidity is not a big concern for your location.

Post back.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:58AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, this is a HP system.

I have not seen the Manual J calcs though I have requested them from both contractors. The 5.03T guy came back and did some revisions that brought it down to 4.5T.

One guy quoted the Trane 802, the other guy quoted Ecobee. I still need to do some research but it seems the Honeywell units are preferred?

Ductwork has not been inspected per se. A few people have looked at it and said its good material and shouldn't need any attention. Leakage has not been measured.

I am planning on using a filter media cabinet under the AH. Haven't narrowed down which one. Any opinions? Have 2 returns now, planning to add a third on the other end of the house to improve circulation.

No heat strips being used. Typically we don't get cold enough to need them. They would be nice as winters like this last one get into then 20's and the HP struggles.

Keeping existing line sets.

The current unit has had issues. Cracked coil, lost the refrigerant. Been soldered a few times. Is super loud, makes noise and I expect it to crap out sometime in the near future.

Humidity isn't much of an issue.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 12:25PM
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