Pricing new system

greenecoMay 1, 2011

Replacing current 20 year old Trane heat pump and would like opinion on quality/price of this Lennox system. Home in Baton Rouge, LA is two story, this unit is for downstairs only. Calculations indicate this is proper size.

Lennox Elite 410A 14 seer, 3.5 ton (XP14-042)

Lennox 4 ton variable speed air handler (CBX32MV-048)

Merv cabinet with 20/25/ 5 inch media air cleaner

Comfort sense 7000 Lennox programable thermostat with de- humidifier

Lennox 15 KW heat strip (Cost 6950)

Have option of getting the Lennox XP16-048 4 ton,two stage heat pump which would increase total cost to 7950 after $500 rebate. Other parts of system would remain the same. Am interested in opinion on reliabity of Lennox compared to Trane and is the benefit of the two stage worth the 1,000increase in cost.

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It's not the system that is important, it is the installer.

Read "ACCA quality installation checklist", then ask them about it and see if they follow it.

Much better than worrying about Brand X or Y.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:32PM
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Seaton, Thanks for the link--I did read it. THe contractors we used for estimates are highly recommended but didn't score real well. Will have good info for further discussion.
Still interested in opinions on pros/cons of these two systems.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 12:09AM
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there are quality differences in HVAC.

yes the install by a competent dealer is important. As is quality HVAC, properly matched components, and of course correctly sized. And probably the most overlooked area is a good ductwork system.

I personally prefer Trane HPs over Lennox.

Here are the numbers on the Lennox system.

1292519 Active Systems XP14 SERIES LENNOX INDUSTRIES, INC. XP14-042-230* CBX32MV-048*+TDR 42000 12.50 15.00 41500 8.50 26400

Mediocre HSPF heating efficiency but probably not a big deal considering your location.

Why the large heat strip? seems oversized. I would want it staged.

If you went with the XP16, you would have to move up to a 4 ton system since this mdl is only available in full ton sizes. I would not pay the difference.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 7:45AM
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Thanks for this information, Tiger. What is a good HSPF rating? Most of downstairs square footage is a large living area with lots of windows and 10 foot ceiling--this room only has one vent and has been difficult to heat. No feasible way to add another vent, unfortunately. Not sure if that's why the 15 kw strip, but all three contractors quoted that and that's what I have presently.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 9:37PM
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A 15 KW strip is pretty common.

What do you do to heat that room? Where are your ducts and why can't another vent be added?

Seems to me that there is always a way to add a duct but may not be worth it in every situation.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 5:49AM
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The room is not very well heated. Heat pump was essentially out this winter so just used a portable electric heater which did not heat the room just kept us thawed. Fortunately upstairs is toasty with second heat pump. The vent to the downstairs family room is from the main duct which runs approx. 10 feet down a hallway to air handler. Stairwell is to one side of hall and kitchen on the other side. Someone suggested adding a larger vent and expanding the duct size near the vent. Not sure if this would significantly increase air flow. I know we need to get new ceiling fans (now out) to reverse air flow to lower heat. The room stays cool in mild weather,given the high ceiling.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 4:33PM
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I'm copying specs from another post. good information
that he provides:

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 look at adding a duct to the large room that doesn't heat/cool well. with the right contractor I'm sure
that it is possible. duct sealing should be done on all ducts mastic materials not duct tapes or foil tapes.
seal supply boxes and return airs.

staging the heat strips would also be a good option.

dehumidificaton is very important. an oversized system
will not achieve the level of dehumidification needed in our area.

as this is an investment that will affect the comfort of your home every day, take time and shop contractors.

you should check into Louisiana's Home Energy Rebate Option program and have an audit done for your home.
your rater would have information as to how to improve
the efficiency of the whole house and provide specific
information as to how to achieve the improvements.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 8:46AM
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Thanks for the great suggestions Energy. I reread info on the Hero program. I'm sure cost varies but what is the approximate cost of an energy assessment and what percentage of people end up getting back from the program more than they paid for the assessment. Of course, over time I'm sure there are significant savings, but I'm asking about the short term. I know the max amount claim is 3000 but what is the average amount claimed?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 9:36PM
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prices for audits will vary from rater to rater as we are all independent. my minimum charge is $600 just to give you a base figure.
all of my clients get a minimum of $2000, most achieve the max rebate. for the $2000 the house is usually under 2000 sq ft.
there is a list of raters on the website.
I would strongly suggest that you contact several raters and ask how long they have been in the business as we have new raters. quite a few of us have been in the business for over 10 years.
I don't work your area but if you have any questions feel free to email me. I'm not sure how into detail I can go without violating forum rules.
as in any field there are raters who regularly achieve over the minimum improvement and those who work the system.
for me it is not about the rebate but the monthly savings,
performance of the home and satisfaction of the homeowner.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 10:46PM
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I still believe a 15KW heat strip is unnecessary and perhaps oversized for Baton Rouge location. Get it staged or drop down to a 10KW.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 11:04AM
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as a point of information, Baton Rouge has an average winter low of apprx 50 deg fah.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 6:09PM
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good info tigerdunes, glad that you posted it.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:49PM
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Still shopping for new system--getting hot so time to make decision. Would like comments on value/quality of
Trane 3.5 ton XR1500 heat pump,with variable speed air handler,and15 kw heat strip, digital thermostat. No change in ducts, reuse same lineset. $7500. Sorry, no mdls given.
Views comparing this Trane system to $7900 lennox system quoted above?
Also, the air handler is situated in a hall closet with existing register (approx. 13x28) Trane tech said register not large enough and could add register to closet at adjoining bedroom wall. He then suggested instead using a filter inside the airhandler cabinet and leaving same size register in door. DOes this sound like a good idea, any drawbacks to this? Thanks to all for your help.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 8:44PM
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i would prefer the trane over the lennox system. Especially if it costs less. XR1500 is nice.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:49AM
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Thanks for response neo. THese are specs on Trane which will cost $600 more than the Lennox.
Indoor Tam7AOC48H41
out 4TWR5042E1, Therm TCONT602, pleated filter in AH

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 9:32AM
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Consider asking them to include the TCONT803 thermostat to close the deal -- it is more comparable to the Lennox stat. Also, the Lennox quote included a better filter. The 5" filters are changed once or twice a year depending on the home, and are better at filtering the air. However, they are more expensive to buy, and you may prefer the convenience of just buying 1" filters at Home Depot each month or so. As long as you have confidence in the Trane dealer, I think that system is the way to go. I like the new Hyperion air handler with the aluminum coil and capability of side-return (important in places where height is an issue -- maybe not your situation).

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 5:31PM
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Thanks Ryan, will ask for upgrade stat. The Trane dealer has done quality ac work for me so I expect things will work out.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:31AM
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Trane offers a 7/12 KW and 10/15 KW staged heat strip. I suggest you get one of these modules.

Ryan is correct. Trane's 803 or identical HW 8321 stat would be preferred over the 602. In fact, a thermostat that has "dehumidify on demand" would be the best choice for your area/summer climate.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:41AM
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