New Build/HVAC advice?

lryanJune 28, 2011

I've gotten several quotes on a HVAC for new construction. This is one contractor that has done what I've asked as far as dual fuel, zoning basement off first floor, etc. and doesn't seem to oversize. I will probably upgrade to a 15 seer as I want energy star certification. Please let me know what you think.... (Sq ft-- 1904 basement, 2371 first, 2396 second)


1 � TUC1D100A9601A 100,000 BTU Trane 92% Gas Furnace

1 � 4TTB3048D1000 Trane 4 Ton 13 Seer A/C

1 � 4TXCD050BC3HCA Trane 4 Ton Cooling Coil

1 � Zoning Kit


1 � TUC1C100A9481A 100,000 BTU Trane 92% Gas Furnace

1 � 4TTB3042D1000 Trane 3 � Ton 13 Seer A/C

1 � 4TXCC043BC3HCA Trane 3 � Ton Cooling Coil

We recommend a zoning kit for the bedroom 4 area.

We will install 2 returns on the main level and 6 returns on the second floor and 2 returns in the basement. The trunk line and return boxes will be made of metal with duct wrap. The duct system will be sealed with mastic duct sealer. Flexible duct will be used to make all duct connections to the return boxes, trunk lines and duct boots. Price includes3digital programmable thermostats, A/C pads, emergency drain pans, drain lines and line-sets. Price includes supply registers and filter return grills. Low voltage wiring is included in price. No high voltage wiring is included in price. Price includes gas piping to2 furnaces, 1 water heater, 2 gas logs, and 1stove-top. Price includes venting to 2 furnaces, 1water heaters, 1 hood and 1 dryer and bath fan. Any items not included in this contract will be done on a time and material basis. Permit fees are not included in price.


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what is your location?

I will assume your home will have better than average new construction/insulation qualities.

I would want to see the load calculation in writing for all three zones. oversizing is never good.

Not impressed with the mdl selection furnace and condenser. I would want var speed two stg furnaces and the XR series condenser.

I would add at least another return on main floor-more return equals better airflow and comfort.

I recommend another quote for comparison purposes.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:30AM
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thats a big house, but its 7.5 tons of heating and cooling (7.5 tons might be too much).

I definitely like the idea of dual-fuel. I would get the highest efficiency single stage heatpump with 2 stage 95% efficient gas furnaces.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 11:54AM
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I've been busy putting out other fires but still need assistance in this area.

Ok, my home is located in Charlotte, NC and I was planning on the following insulation below....
Attic: R-40
Walls: R-19

Windows are Low E with .31 u factor and .19 solar heat gain.

My GC had a different HVAC contractor at the house yesterday. This guy does not do manual J cal and base on square footage. He stated to me it would be easier to do a seperate unit for the basement, totaling three units in the house instead of zoning the basement of the 1st floor unit. He said there's been a lot of problems with the zoning. I feel like he doesn't really know how to zone and is shooting me a bunch of crap. Help please!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:08PM
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I don't recommend another system for the basement.
Basements require very little heating and cooling. Its not unreasonable for you to have some vents and returns attached to your main floor ducting for your basement heating and cooling needs. You could simply open and close these vents and returns based on need.

Do you plan on spending alot of time in the basement? Definetly upgrade to highest efficiency single stage heatpumps for your climate.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Thanks, I do plan to entertain there quite a bit. Forgot to add, this is a walkout basement.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 3:05PM
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Please post your electric and gas rates.

Depending on these, a hybrid system might be a good idea. And worth pricing using a lower efficiency furnace and higher efficiency HP.

Agree with T. With new construction (or replacement), I would not go lower than 15SEER and I would definitely get the VS blower.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 3:24PM
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Code in NC requires either zoning or separate system for basement (each floor)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 7:31PM
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I live pretty close by with a similar although slightly milder climate. We built about 10% smaller house with the exact same configuration.

Zoning requires larger ducts and registers. Our installer didn't get that so I am adding some.

I have dual fuel and it saves some significant money. I spent $100 on gas last year. You have better wall insulation than I do.

Are you getting a blower door test?
Do you have ducts in conditioned space - that is my biggest regret?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 8:16PM
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I was planning to do a hybrid system. Fuel pump w/natural gas on main floor and straight heat pump on second floor. If I do a third unit for basement instead of zoning, do you recommend straight heat pump? Do you think with 3 units there will not be as much energy savings?

Davidcary-- That's really good savings with the dual fuel. What wall insulation do you have? My plan is to get a blower test performed. I'm not sure of location of ducts, as nothing has been done on HVAC. It's suppose to start early next week after we finalize everything.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 9:18PM
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I have r-13 walls with 3 sides brick.

If your house is framed, then the duct location is probably too late. Custom in the area is ducts in the attic for the upstairs and then basement and 1st floor above the basement. If you have an open web floor system between the 1st and 2nd floor, then you can put the ducts there. It is pretty hard to do with a large house though - mainly because of returns.

Ducts in conditioned space costs less than 2x6 construction and saves more money. But in the end a tight house with modern equipment doesn't really cost a lot. We spend about $500 on a/c and $500 on heat a year. 2x6 walls should save about $70 of that. That is one of the reasons I don't have them - it cost over $2000 - so 30 yr payback. I have seer 15/16 heat pumps and 90% furnace serving the basement and 1st floor.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 8:15PM
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I'm afraid I'm not a pro... I DO recommend a zoned system though, I live in Arlington Tx, and the guys who installed ours did a great job. I'll link to them below, but I wanted to recommend it - especially if you have rooms that are used less frequently. It can be a real cost saver!

Here is a link that might be useful: Zoned Air Conditioning systems

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 11:34PM
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