Building a Home in Kansas City Area

kc_justinJune 22, 2010

Hello, My wife and I will soon be breaking ground on our new home in Overland Park, KS (Kansas City area). We have been meeting with the various vendors making our selections. We just met with the HVAC guys and are trying to validate their suggestions. The house we are building is 2 stories plus a basement that will be finished at a later date in the future. The house is a little over 3300 square feet with about 1700 sq.ft. on the second floor and 1600 on the first. The standard systems are as follows:

Two Lennox G40 80% furnaces (one dedicated to each floor)

Two Lennox 13HPX Heat Pumps 1-Stage (one dedicated to each floor)

We have been in the model home on some 95% days in the last week or two and it is plenty cold so we are not really concerned about the ability of the systems to keep the house cool, but since we will be able to roll any upgrades into the price of the home the upgrades cost very little on a per month basis. Thus any savings on utility bills could offer a nice Return on Investment.

The recommended upgrades are as follows:

Upgrade furnaces to Lennox SL280's 80% 2 Stage ($2460 above standard unit costs includes both units)

Upgrade heat pumps to Lennox XP16 Up to 16 SEER 2 Stage ($3800 above standard unit costs includes both units)

Your feedback is appreciated

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Where are the ducts, inside the envelope or out? I guess that would be in the basement for the lower level so that is fine, but what about the ducts for the 2nd floor? How many returns are there?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:46PM
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I have no idea what the layout of the ducts or the returns I don't have any plans that reflect that. I guess my concern is less about the sizing of the units, if that is your question, than it is if the uprades are worth the extra cost associated with them. We intend to be in this house for many years so we have some time to get paid back.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 5:08PM
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I would upgrade the units for sure and also look into additional insulating/sealing measures as this is where your largest/longest payback will be. If the envelope is upgraded on sealing/insulating you might be able to drop the tonnage needed which is an additional savings in unit cost and kwh/ gas usage to just operate the units as a whole.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:03PM
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How good are you building the sucker? New home should have good windows. If it were mine, it would be foamed rather than have batts in the wall and blown in the attic.

They are using bottom of the line equipment and the upgrades are outrageous, typical of new construction. You gain no energy savings going to 2 stage so skip that. Upgrading to the XP16 doesn't boost efficiency much unless the furnaces are upgraded to high efficiency fan motors. That would be the G60V, they'd probably be horribly expensive on that upgrade too. So $3800 to save $50 (probably not even that) a year, that's a good payback. Not.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 4:43PM
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I am replacing an existing system and am looking at the XC21 4ton with a CR 33 oil and SL 280 furnace controlled by the Lennox comfortsense 5000 thermostat. Installed the vendor is quoting 11,500 dollars seems a lot for a system with no customization. Oh and I am in Texas with miserable summers, what do you all think?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 2:09PM
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atleast its dual fuel. The cost on upgrading the furnaces is nuts. Don't do that. I would ask if they could upgrade to the highest single stage efficient heatpumps for a more reasonable price. In your climate thats probably what you would be running the most (both for cooling and the heating above 30 degree's).

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 7:28PM
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