Trane Heat Pumps

ericeitreimJune 29, 2012

We live in Seattle in a home with 1520 sf of heated space. The average heating degree days here is 4,615 and the average cooling degree days is 192. We are taking out an oil furnace and do not have access to natural gas. Our electricity cost is at 9.87 cents per kWh. A contractor we are considering has proposed three alternative Trane heat pumps.

1. Trane XL15i, 2 ton, with variable speed air handler, 15 SEERm, 9 HSPF, removal of oil furnace, standard warranties, includes Trane 600 programmable thermostat and standard filter. $7,200.

2. Trane XL16i, 2 ton with communicating variable speed air handler, 16 SEER, 9.2 HSPF. Everything else the same. $8,400.

3. Trane XL20i, 2 ton with communicating variable speed air handler, $10,200.

Suggested Options: 1. Trane Clean Effects whole House Air Cleaner $998.

2. Trane ComfortLink IIThermostat - full color intelligent thermostat $550.

My initial reaction is we don't need either of the upgrade options and I see little reason to pay for a higher SEER unit since we probably will never use the air conditioning more than 1 or 2 days a year.

We do qualify for substantial rebates in our energy modernization plan, about $4,500.

I would appreciate your thoughts and also wonder if we should be considering the Carrier unit with the 13 HSPF.

Thanks, Eric

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tigerdunes

Very frisky prices for two ton systems.

I suppose there is extra work involved with removal of oil furnace?

Perhaps you can elaborate on the scope of the work involved.

Several questions.

Any ductwork modifications?

How was size of system determined?

Post mdl numbers of condenser and air handler quoted for the XL15i system. This would be the one I would recommend. The others are nice but probably overkill for your situation.

What size heat strip was quoted?

What is your average winter temp for your location?

How would you describe the insulation properties of your home?
How do you filter your return air?

With the price of oil and your reasonable costmof electric, you will see some good savings but nothing beats oil heat.

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 6:28AM
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ericeitreim

Thanks Tigerdunes,

Removal of the oil furnace will be a lot work. We had an independent energy audit done by auditor recommended by municipal power company. Don't know if a Manual J calculation has been done.

Present insulation is very poor, but attic is to be brought up to R-49, exterior walls to R-11. Basement is 1/2 above ground and occupied living area except for garage. Garage ceiling and walls to living area to be insulated.

Very minor ductwork modifications required, but ductwork in garage to be sealed and insulated. Perhaps 1/4 of total ductwork.

I will ask contractor for model numbers of compressor and air handler and the size of heat strips.

Will probably need new electric breakers and/or panel and that cost has not been determined yet and is not included in the price.

Ave Winter temps are: October-April 47, 41, 36, 37, 37, 39, 43.

The only air filter on the oil furnace is the standard filter that I pick up at the hardware store. I will ask contractor about return air filtration in the Trane system.

Thanks for help on questions for the contractor.
Eric

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:03AM
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tigerdunes

What size heat strip?

I would want a 5-7 KW size.

I assume you have 1 wall return for your living area that has a slot for 1" filter.

I would want a load calculation performed that includes consideration of the upgrades you plan on.

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:23AM
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neohioheatpump

2-ton size heatpump seems very small for 1520 sq. feet. I would think 2.5 tons wounds more appropriate. Even with the planned insulation you are doing. If it was very leaky I would normally think 3-tons but oversizing isn't good and if your doing significant insulation then 2.5 tons should be ok.

I like quote #1. That is a good system you should be happy with.

That carrier model with the 13 hspf is really only helpful for extra cold climates where you need alot of auxiliary heat. I think you will be served with the highest single stage efficiency unit which is what your quote #1 is.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 7:59PM
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tigerdunes

It should be mentioned that you might be able to save some bucks with Trane's XR15 mdl or sister company American STD Heritage 15 model. You would lose 2 yrs of compressor warranty over the XL15i mdl-12 yr down to 10 yr. Just something worth considering.

You do need a load calculation though both heating and cooling for correctbsizing. Just worried the two ton may be a little light.

IMO

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:52AM
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ericeitreim

Got responses this afternoon from contractor.

1. Model # of condenser? 4TWX5024B

2. Model # of air handler? TAM7A0A24H21

3. What size heat strip is he suggesting? 15 kw - BAYHTR1415BRKC

4. How is return air filtered? Without the Clean Effect upgrade it is filtered with a 1" filter installed in the air handler.

5. Did he do a load calculation based on insulation upgrades we have discussed? Yes -We did the load calculation including the recommended insulation upgrades.

Thanks tigerdunes and neohioheatpump for your suggestions. I will discuss them with the contractor.
Eric

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 7:25PM
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tigerdunes

The recommendation of a 15 KW heat strip is absurd. What the heck is dealer thinking of. 7.5 KW max. Dealer should be drug tested. That's about 25 KBTUs which is a gracious plenty.

The TAM7A0A030 is a better choice air handler.

IMO

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 7:37PM
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ericeitreim

Hi tigerdunes,

Contractor came back and said "Oops,the heating load calculation came in about 8 Kw." So that is settled. We will go with 7.5 Kw heat strip.

What is the difference between the TAM7A0A030 and the TAM7A0A24H21 air handlers? Push more air?

Last question is the Trane 600 programmable thermostat a decent choice?

Thanks for your help.
Eric

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 4:09PM
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