Trane xl15i questions
Looking to replace the oldest HVAC system in our house (we have 3, 2 for main level and 1 small system for upstairs). The system in question is the oldest, a 30 year old 3.5 ton GE/American Standard condenser and 25 year old Trane furnace (I think about 80-100k BTU). We are looking at replacement since the system is old, condenser unit is physically damaged and is requiring a freon charge every cooling season now. Other than maintenance costs, the system cools and heats well, no humidity issues in the summer.
Home is in West TN.
I have quotes from a Carrier dealer and a Trane dealer. For various reasons I am only giving the Trane quote a serious look at this time.
The Trane dealer gave me an estimate of $7995 for a single-stage AC and dual stage furnace. (Pardon if the numbers are wrong, I'm deciphering his handwriting):
xl15i (4TTX5042) with coil 4TXCC043BC3HCBA
Does not include thermostat as I convinced him I have a Honeywell IAQ (turns out I do not, I have a Visionpro a step or two down). Also does not include new refrigerant line.
He quoted another $1500 if we want a heat pump, which he did not recommend, as he felt the efficiency gain was too small to recover for the additional cost, and said most people claim that the air blown from a HP 'feels' cooler than from a furnace, so perceived comfort is less. Based on experience in a relative's home w/ HP, I can see this.
I also inquired about a higher AFUE furnace. He was happy to quote one, but discouraged me from considering one since all furnaces are in attic space. He said the 95+ AFUE systems drain water in the winter, and can be prone to icing in the condensate drain. Again, he felt the cost was not worth the tradeoffs.
* Should I demand new refrigerant line? He said he would perform a test to ensure the existing line would work, and if not, replace it. He did not write down cost of replacing, but if I recall he verbally stated around $500. FWIW, the Carrier dealer quoted new copper and said the existing line would be unable to handle the pressure that their "Puron" operates at.
* Would a Heat Pump be a worthwhile investment?
* Is condensate freezing a real issue with high AFUE systems in the South? Is the additional efficiency worth it?
* Do I need an IAQ thermostat to take full advantage of the multi-stage furnace?