Proposed HVAC Quote

chiommyApril 18, 2014

Hi,
We're trying to convert our recently purchased home from Oil Heat and Electric Cooling to all electric, gas is not an option. My husband read about Carrier infinity series and was set on getting that but we contacted Costco and the company they work with only provides Lennox to Costco members.So their rep came out and tried to sell us on Lennox and then gave us the quote below for our 36 year old 1500 sq ft townhouse in Washington DC.

Lennox Merit Series 13HPX-030 Heat Pump
Lennox Merit Series CBX25UH-030 Air Handler
Lennox ComfortSense 5000 thermostat
Total $8726 less $800 costco card

He then gave the option to upgrade to
Lennox Elite Series XP14-030 Heat Pump
CBX40UHV Air Handler
for an additional 1540.

I'm a bit upset that after knowing that we were interested in Carrier Infinity, he gave us a quote for what seems like the budget/builder grade lennox, even though with an option to upgrade or is lennox merit series comparable to Carrier infinity? What do you think? Thanks.

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tigerdunes

I am not a fan of Lennox brand and in particular their heat pumps.

The HPX series is low end and I believe made in Mexico.

The XP series is a step up and a better choice.

The pricing though is absurd for what appears to be a 2 1/2 ton system.

I do not recommend purchasing HVAC through a big box store.

For your location, I would not purchase a new HP system that did not have electronic demand defrost. I would contact a Trane dealer for a quote on XL15i and XR15 system plus AmStandard Heritage 15.

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   April 18, 2014 at 10:34AM
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chiommy

Thanks. I got the following quote for a Carrier heat pump from Sears. My apologies for it being in caps cos I copied and pasted what he sent:
CARRIER HEAT PUMP: MODEL #25HNB530A003
CARRIER AIR HANDLER: MODEL #FX4CNF030000
CARRIER HEAT STRIP: MODEL #KFCEH2601C10
LINE SET: MODEL #3/8" X 3/4" X 25'
CARRIER THERMOSTAT: MODEL #TC-PHP
WIRE AIR HANDLER UP TO 10kw UP TO 50' INCL. WIRE/BREAKER/DISCONNECT/WHIP
10 YEAR WARRANTY
Total $9579

KENMORE HEAT PUMP: MODEL #NXH530GKA
KENMORE AIR HANDLER: MODEL #FXM4X3000A
KENMORE HEAT STRIP: MODEL #EHK10AKB
LINE SET: MODEL #3/8" X 3/4" X 25'
WIRE AIR HANDLER UP TO 10kw UP TO 50' INCL. WIRE/BREAKER/DISCONNECT/WHIP
Total $7784

Any thoughts, thanks.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:58AM
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mike_home

Stay away from Sears. You will over pay and get poor service. Big box stores act as a middle man and take a cut on the transaction. They will usually work for with the lowest bidder in the area. Good HVAC contractors don't need big box stores to find customers.

If you are interested in Carrier Infinity (Bryant Evolution is the same equipment) I suggest you go to the Carrier web site and look for Factory Authorized dealers in your area.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:58PM
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tigerdunes

Follow my advice on Trane and AmStd.

The Sears quote is absurd.

Does any part of your quotes include scope of work that has not been mentioned or includes some part of the decommissioning of your oil system?

IMO

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:09PM
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chiommy

Thanks. Tigerdunes, the Sears quote includes:

220v 50/60 AMP
LOW VOLTAGE WIRE
STANDARD BREAKER
DISCONNECT BOX AND WHIP TO CONDENSER
SNOW LEGS
FLOAT SWITCH
SECURITY CAPS FOR CONDENSER
SLAB PAD FOR CONDENSER
HVAC PERMIT
SITE ANALYSIS
CAP OFF C VENT
RETURN AIR DROP WITH FILTER RACK
RETURN AIR BOX

It does not include disposal of the oil/oil tank which is located in the basement.

Lennox quote includes:
AHRI Certified Matching System
Programmable Thermostat
All Required Permits
Equipment Pad
Vibration Isolation Pump Ups
Electrical Service Disconnect & Whip
EZ Trap Flood Prevention
Custom Return Box
Custom Supply Transition
Nitrogen Pressure Check
Vacuum Test Below 500 Microns Reclaim/Recover/Recycle All Refrigerant
Refrigerant Charge To Manufacturer Specs I
nsulate Exterior Suction Line
Tamper Proof Refrigerant Lock Caps
Complete Clean-Up, Incl. Drop Clothes & Shoe Covers
Auxiliary Heater Pack
Sound Reducing Canvas Connections
Removal & Disposal of Equipment
Complete System Start-Up
Low Voltage Wiring
New Refrigerant Line Set
INSTALL TWO NEW ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS TO POWER THE INDOOR AIR HANDLER
DISCONNECT OIL LINES. OWNER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DISPOSING OF EMPTY OIL TANK.
REPLACE RETURN BOOT & INSTALL NEW SUPPORT BOX
REMOVE VENT PIPING & CAP EXISTING FLUE PIPING.
CONVERT SYSTEM FROM OIL TO ALL ELECTRIC

Long read. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:48PM
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saltidawg

Re removing the old oil tank. Your oil delivery folks may well have a program where they will buy back from you any remaining fuel oil and as an incentive agree to remove the old tank for very little cost.

The 275 gallon tanks weigh next to nothing when empty - frequently they are cut up into quadrants and carried up stairs and out the door for proper disposal.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:07PM
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chiommy

Thanks Saltidawg, I'll look into that. I was advised by one of the contractors to put it on craigslist that there are people always willing to buy them.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:24PM
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saltidawg

chiommy,

Also, check local requirements for decommissioning your tank. Typically fill pipes must be removed... imagine a delivery truck arriving and filling the (now absent) tank in your basement. Disaster!!!!

Also, unless your tank is VERY new, I suspect it has little resale value.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:36PM
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chiommy

Thanks. I was planning to put it up on craigslist for free just for someone to come haul it away. It would have to be cut up as there's no way it would pass through the door and up the stairs in one piece

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:52PM
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saltidawg

How much oil is in it?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:36PM
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chiommy

Here is the latest quote. What do you all think?
Total Cost: 10,250

Bryant Variable Speed Air Handler -fv4cnf002;
Bryant 15 seer Heat Pump - 215bna030; 2.5 ton capacity; 15.5 seer
15kw heat package with 60 and 30 amp breakers and electrical
Bryant Digital Programmable
AprilAire 600 Humidifier
Honeywell F100 Air Cleaner
New ductwork for return and supply in utility room
Electrical Included
Load Calculation
Modify Supply and Return Plenum
Replace Copper Lineset
Versa Grip Duct Sealant
A/C Pad
Pump Ups
Habitat for Humanity Donation
Surge Protector
Nitrogen Purge
Permits
Liquid Line Filter Dryer
Labor and Taxes
10 years warranty on parts, labor and compressor

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 1:42PM
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ryanhughes

Good equipment, good scope of work. Nitrogen purge, surge protector, load calculation, and duct sealant are great to see listed in a proposal. Getting rid of oil and transitioning to a heat pump and all of the associated electrical/ductwork isn't a small task. I do have a few comments.

- 15 kW heat package may be more than needed, and 2.5 tons may be just a tad oversized for cooling. But all of this will be confirmed/changed as needed following a proper Manual J load calc. It is a heat pump, and DC winters can be cold, so the 2.5 ton unit may be the better option especially in a 36 year old home.

- I prefer the 225BNA030 heat pump if the cost difference isn't much greater. This (Preferred Series) offers better outdoor coil protection and likely a bit quieter operation over time with the compressor sound blanket.

- The FV4CNF005 indoor unit, if they can fit it (it is physically larger), offers the best efficiency ratings.

- As I'm sure TD will mention, alas the Bryant heat pumps do not have electronic demand defrost. This is somewhat significant as the Bryant heat pumps will defrost every 30/60/90 minutes (installer selected), whereas Trane/American Standard heat pumps defrost on an as-needed basis -- decreasing wear/tear on the equipment and saving money on the heating bill. Still, installation quality trumps brand name, and I would want to go with the equipment that the contractor I had confidence in felt was best overall. Both Carrier/Bryant & Trane/American Standard are respected manufacturers.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 15:06

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:28PM
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tigerdunes

Ryan has covered all the points that I would make.

I will say for a 2 1/2 ton system, I think the pricing for the Legacy series HP system quoted is absurd. And like Ryan stated, I believe a 10 KW heat strip for a 2 1/2 ton would be moe than adequate.

I would like to see a quote on Trane's XR15 or Am Std Heritage 15.

IMO

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:59PM
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chiommy

Thanks. I guess the saga continues. I'll keep you updated. Tigerdunes, what do you think would be a reasonable pricing for the Legacy series. I know it varies by region. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:19AM
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tigerdunes

Pricing is always a tricky business. Not so long ago with Fed Tax Credits and generous manufacturer rebates and poor economy, you could get a good 15 SEER heat pump with var speed air handler for $2K/ton in competitive markets. Now pricing has moved up to $2.5 K/ton-$3K/ton range.

I am really surprised at the pricing you are receiving for both 2 1/2 ton and low end systems. The only thing I see out of the ordinary is the humidifier and some minor ductwork modifications. Any breaker modifications?

IMO

This post was edited by tigerdunes on Thu, May 1, 14 at 13:12

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:33PM
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ryanhughes

As TD said, pricing is hard to accurately comment on sometimes.

My guess is there is a decent amount of duct work involved ("new ductwork for supply and return in utility room"). The heat pump may require more duct capacity than the old oil furnace, not to mention the footprint difference. I will say that disposing of the oil system (and tank?) is not a small task, so there is going to be a good bit of labor involved. And by going to a heat pump with electric strip heat, they are probably needing to bring a new electrical circuit to the air handler altogether. Is the heat pump located on the roof (i.e., crane involved)?

Top quality work comes at a premium, especially for a more difficult job (which, of course, we don't know for sure without seeing it ourselves). Also keep in mind the 10 year parts+labor warranty.

Best of luck.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Thu, May 1, 14 at 13:04

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:46PM
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chiommy

The disposal of the oil tank is not included in the quote. They'll only cap it off. TD, by breaker, do you mean the panel on the wall with all the fuses? If that is what you meant, then that will remain as it has the capacity to carry the new system. I guess they'll just add to it. (I think). I don't know the size of the current heatstrip, how do I find that out? Ryan, I'm not sure which is which but the heatpump (I guess) is outside with easy access while the other one (airhandler?) is in the basement. Right now, the house is unoccupied so nothing to move around or impede their movements.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:10PM
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tigerdunes

My bad...I just edited out that question as you don't have a heat strip now.

If your current breaker panel has the capacity to handle a 10 K heat strip, then I don't see any big deal other than pulling the wire from the air handler to the breaker box.

Just for info, the heat strip, outside HP condenser, and inside air handler should be on separate circuits.

You should ask dealer if your breaker service has the capacity for the heat strip and if they plan to put the components above on separate circuits.

Does dealer plan on removing old oil furnace? He should. Oil tank is a different matter. It should be emptied out at the very least.

IMO

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:20PM
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chiommy

Wow, TD, you are fast. Thanks. I'll ask about the breaker. I think removing old furnace is included in the donation to habitat for humanity but I'll ask. I'm getting dizzy trying to figure this all out. Do you think I should get another quote? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:39PM
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tigerdunes

I would like to see a quote on Trane's XR15 or Am Std Heritage 15.

IMO

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:56PM
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mike_home

Find out what the rules in your area about leaving a unused oil tank in the basement. It is old it may develop a leak. You may be forced to remove it when you sell the house. It may be better to deal with not rather than the future.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:50PM
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chiommy

Thanks Mike, we plan on removing the tank. We'll just have to get a plumber to cut it up and remove it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:18PM
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saltidawg

"Thanks Mike, we plan on removing the tank. We'll just have to get a plumber to cut it up and remove it."

As I suggested earlier in the thread, check to see if your oil company has a program to buy back any residual oil and dispose of the tank cheaply or even for free...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:25PM
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chiommy

Update. So the contractor was asked for quotes for the following: 1. Carrier 25 HVB 6 series
2. Trane's XR 15
3. Am Std Heritage 15

He said that they're all comparable to the system in his first quote so they will all have the same price tag as the first quote which was 10,250.
Mike, there's very little oil in the tank and the oil co won't buy it back.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 6:36AM
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tigerdunes

You need to get another dealer involved...

When you have a moment, take a look at this thread, also for 2 1/2 ton HP systems. Note similar location....

IMO

Here is a link that might be useful: 2 1/2 ton HP Systems

This post was edited by tigerdunes on Tue, May 6, 14 at 7:42

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:39AM
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Nobody14

Hi there,
Seems your quotes are much higher. But you do have the new line set, while the ones I got were just "flush, test and reuse."
That being said, if you are interested, I can share with you the contractors I talked to. They are in MC. All got good reviews on checkbooks.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:27AM
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chiommy

Thanks Nobody14, please share.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:27PM
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Nobody14

chiommy,
I emailed you. I'm not sure if the forum allows to post specific contractor names.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 12:06AM
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chiommy

Yet another update . I got another quote.
Supply and install Bryant 15 seer 3 ton heat pump Model 225BNA036000 with pad and service disconnect box
Supply and install Bryant Airhandler Model FV4CNF002with 10 KW electric heat .
Provide permit for job
Remove existing oil furnace
Remove existing 2Ton AC , coil and line set
Remove rusty duct trunk on left side of furnace
Supply and install new line set from indoor to outdoor unit .
Supply and install new breaker 60 amps on panel , run new electric wire #6 from panel to Airhandler
Supply and install programmable thermostat . Run new thermostat wire from indoor to outdoor unit . Run new thermostat wire from thermostat to Airhandler ( most likely there will be few holes in drywall to run new wire , I do not fix or paint drywall ) .
Supply and install box under Airhandler and duct trunk on left side of unit . Run condensate pipe to sump pump
Have job inspected by city official .
Factory warranty 10 years on parts . My warranty 2 years on labor

Price $8,450.00 cash or check

What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:43PM
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ryanhughes

2 tons to 3 tons - that's significant. Did this company say that they plan to do a load calculation to ensure that this isn't oversized, which will impact humidity control in the summertime. Additionally, 3 tons will require additional duct capacity compared to the previous 2 ton system (which may have had marginal duct work to begin with, don't know how big your current duct system is but sadly not uncommon). Variable speed air handlers on undersized duct systems can be problematic as far as noise / electricity consumptions. The ductwork definitely needs to be sized appropriately to handle an extra ton of capacity. These are some important things to consider and address with the dealer.

The scope of work seems reasonable overall. Some things I'll point out that I don't see in this proposal compared to the previous:

AprilAire 600 Humidifier
Honeywell F100 Air Cleaner
New ductwork for return and supply in utility room (I'm actually not sure how involved the modifications will need to be based on this line item; the new proposal does specify a new return box and trunk however.)
Load Calculation
Versa Grip Duct Sealant
Surge Protector
Nitrogen Purge
10 years warranty on parts, labor and compressor

If the air cleaner and humidifier aren't important items to you (I enjoy the added comfort a humidifier provides in the wintertime even though they do require seasonal maintenance that can typically be done by the homeowner, but I would at least want the air cleaner for the equipment's sake). I feel there is a definitive difference in complete work scope here. Perhaps these two options could be removed from the other estimate to make the two proposals more comparable. The Bryant 225BNA model is a bit nicer unit.

Thanks for giving us an update. I know all the details can get confusing. I'm not here to convince you to go in one direction over the other, but I'm happy to answer any further questions you have and add comments as appropriate. I look forward to seeing any further advice other members provide. Best of luck!

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Fri, May 16, 14 at 15:18

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:06PM
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chiommy

Double post. My apologies. Deleted.

This post was edited by chiommy on Thu, May 15, 14 at 23:23

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:46PM
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ryanhughes

Hi Chiommy,

This appears to be the same proposal you posted about earlier today. Please see my response above (in case you missed it). The biggest concern is the 3 ton sizing whereas all of your other estimates specify 2.5 ton units. Evidently you currently have a 2 ton air conditioner, and your ductwork may not be sufficient to support a 3 ton system. I would never up-size without a load calculation to support that decision. You don't want to lose adequate humidity control with an oversized A/C during DC summers.

Just my .02. Hopefully others will be able to comment soon as well.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Fri, May 16, 14 at 10:17

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:10PM
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