New heat pump decision; variable speed?

dfcoleMay 10, 2011

I live in central Virginia and have 2 quotes on Carrier units; I am wondering if they are in line cost-wise and if the variable speed is better or not. I've had 2 people from the same company contradict one another...the repair tech said go with the VS and the sales guy said go with the FX fan. I think the quotes below are identical except for the VS vs FX. I will type them as written on their quote.

Our home is 2 story, approx 2500 sf and has a single trunk line that feeds upstairs and downstairs. Gets a little hot upstairs in the summer. Currently have York system that is 13 years old, replaced indoor coil 3 years ago....

Quote 1: Carrier Comfort 15 h/p System with FX fan high

efficiency FX037 $7010

Quote 2: Carrier Comfort 15 R-140a Heat Pump

Carrier Variable Speed R-140a fan coil

Programmable thermostat control


Any ideas or comments welcome.

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let's see some mdl numbers both inside air handler and outside HP condenser.

these are my minimum specs for a new HP 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

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.

I would only use authorized dealers for the various brands that provide quotes. see mfg websites.

I would look at Trane/AmStd,Rheem/Rudd,Carrier/Bryant.

I would not purchase a new HP system that did not have electronic demand defrost.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Go with variable, you will be glad you did. I live your area, similar size house (2600sf) and got a variable speed when my HP was replaced. It made a HUGE difference, I really can't say enough good things about it. You need to get the specific model numbers from the installer, but the estimate looks similar to what I paid.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:47AM
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It doesn't make sense to me to have a variable speed air handler if you are not getting the two speed Carrier Comfort heat pump.

The contractor needs to specify model numbers and sizes of all the pieces of equipment. He should also be calcualing the sizes you need. If he does not do this, then continue looking for more contractors.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:16AM
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Thanks for the feedback guys. A little updated info:

quote 1 was a Carrier Comfort 25hcc536 with a FX4DNF037P
indoor unit/fan. $7012

quote 2 was the same 25hcc536 with a FV4B fan coil $6500
(I am guessing at the FV4B as this appears to be the only VS fan using the R-410 has not gotten back to me with the exact model # yet)

Both quotes include new lineset, disconnects etc; seems like no-brainer to spend $500 less and get the VS fan but this sounds like they'd be going with the Performance indoor unit but the Comfort outdoor unit...?

Anyway, I have a 3rd quote now to think about

quote 3) Lennox XP16-036-230-15W45 with a variable speed CBX32MV-036-230-34M19 air handler. Has Honeywell VisionPro 8000 thermostat; $6500

Any updated thoughts?? I have not read great things about Lennox on the "rating" websites...but think this company would do good job with the install.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:35PM
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Just heard back from tech; quote #2 actually has a FV4C air handler instead of F4VB; unsure of difference?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 2:40PM
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Go for variable speed. YOu will not regret it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 11:05AM
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The 25HCC5 and FV4C combination is a good one and becoming quite popular. The most recent 25HCC5 I saw, installed just about a week ago, had a Performance series label on it. I'm not sure if this was a mistake from the factory or whether Carrier is changing up their product line as they've done in the past to accommodate phase outs/new products. I'd suggest going with that combo, whether it's Comfort/Performance or Performance/Performance, they're both good units.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:56PM
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I prefer the Carrier with VS air handler.

This would be my choice of air handler mdl(006) to achieve the higher HSPF heating efficiency. This does make a difference.

3676244 Active Systems COMFORT 15 PURON SINGLE STAGE HP CARRIER AIR CONDITIONING 25HCC536A**30 FV4CNB006 35400 13.00 15.50 34400 9.00 21600

I would also recommend the prewired 9KW staged heat strip ,Carrier's thermidistat to handle the humidity, and new correctly sized refrigeraant lineset.

The only negative is not having demand defrost over the less efficient time defrost.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:28AM
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