Carrier vs Bryant Question

bjp999June 1, 2011

I am evaluating two bids to replace my two failed Trane XE1000 10 SEER heat pumps (a 4 Ton and a 2 Ton). Because of cooling problems upstairs, we are replacing the 2 Ton upstairs with a 3T. This was recommended most companies that quoted that did load calculations.

We have narrowed options to two companies with very similar offering. One is from a Bryant dealer proposing Evolution 2 stage outside unit, and FE/03 and FE/05 handlers, and evolution control.

The other is from a Carrier dealer proposing 2 stage Performance outside unit, and the same FE/03 and FE/05 handlers, with Infinity controls. (The Infinity 19 outside unit was crazy expensive for 2 units and just couldn't see doing it, and there is no 16 SEER Infinity any more).

The specs of Bryant vs Carrier are identical (SEER 16, HSPF 9.1).

Both vendors came highly recommended.

The Carrier system is somewhat cheapter $600 cheaper per unit (x2 = $1200).

About ready to pull the trigger (family about to riot) but want to know if I am giving up anything between the Bryant Evolution exterior unit vs the 2 stage Carrier Performance exterior unit.

Thanks for your help!

- Brian in VA

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What is the model number of the Bryant Evolution heat pump? I think the 286B model is the equivalent to the Carrier Performance heat pump. If that is the case, then the Carrier option is the same equipment for $1200 less. Normally Bryant equipment is cheaper, but it seems the Carrier dealer is giving you a better price.

Are both contractors doing an equivalent installation? Make sure the Carrier contractor is not cutting any corners.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 9:48PM
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The Evolution is the 286BNA. YouTube videos of units look the same, but Evolution styling, esp. around the fan, is different. Evolution may be 1-2 db quieter.

Both quoting near identical installs.

One concern.

Bryant dealer quoted installing Aprilaire 2210 whole house filter on each system. Another vendor said the 4T unit was too big for just one. Bryant dealer disagreed, and then next day said I needed 2 Aprilaires and a lot of duct work (+$600) or would have problems. I wasn't happy - how could they propose something and then say it wouldn't work based on my question (no apologies either). When I asked if I really need that, the owner came out and looked around and is now saying 1 Aprilaire is enough but I need a new return duct (+$1500). How does a new return allow the filter to filter more air? I am confused and loosing confidence in them.

Aprilairre company said it would work with 4 Ton unit but might require quicker filter changes, which is ok. But with Evolution/Infinity monitoring static pressure, I'm still not sure.

Carrier dealer said I needed more return air. Said new return was best option. He didn't mention needing 2 Aprilairres.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:51PM
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The 2210 can handle 4 tons with minimal restriction for such a great filter. But there can be other return duct design issues that may suggest having 2 or possibly changes needed to get the full 1600 CFM through the filter.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:11AM
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I am trying to understand your set up. How big are the two new units (3 ton and 4 ton?) This is true, this seems to be a lot of cooling. You must have a very high cooling load.

Do you have a common return for the two air handlers? Is the Carrier dealer proposing to address this?

Do you think you need an electronic air cleaner? If not, a pair of 4 inch media filters should be sufficient.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:37AM
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Basement (on 4T heat pump) ~1000 sq ft
Main floor (also on 4T HP) ~ 2200 sq ft
2nd floor (3T HP) ~1700 sq ft with vaulted ceiling in MBR

Manual J coming in at needing 3.3T capacity down and 2.8T up.

We are planning 4T 2 stage down and 3T 2 stage up

And 1 Aprilaire on each system.

Is this reasonable?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:12PM
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sounds reasonable. ductwork system should be checked thoroughly both up and down and especially for the upstairs system. adequate return for both systems?

can't figure out why Carrier/Bryant has not gone to demand defrost over the cheap time method.

what size heat strip was quoted for each system?

new linesets included?


    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:28PM
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The sizes seem reasonable. I assume the calculations were done correctly.

Are the Aprilaire units something you desire? I have no experience with them. They will require maintenance to keep them running properly.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:36PM
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Heat strips 15k down, 10k up.

Aprilaire is desired. Have pets and allergic child (not severe) with asthma (again, not severe). Thought this MERV 10 filter would be a good option. When you say maintenance, are you talking about filter changes or something beyond. This particular unit is passive - no lights or anything.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:34PM
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I thought the Aprilaire is a electronic air cleaner. My mistake if it is not.

You need two filters for your units. The 4 ton heat pump should have a fiter which is at least 25 X 25 inches. Larger is better. Check the static pressure on the Infinity controller. The Merv 10 filter may cause too much static pressure. You don't want to go above 0.7.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Forgot to add - we are adding a new return up and down, new supply up, increasing some duct diameters, replacing plenum, etc. I think ductwork will be much better after the replacement.

One thing carrier vendor recommended was repositioned supply feeds so they are not within 17" of end of rigid supply duct (currently flex hoses are connected 6" from end), and adding "scoops" in the duct to direct air towards a media room near the end of the supply duct that gets hot in the summer. He said both of these would help put more air in that room. There is a small return in that room - 7" flex. But return is also near end of the return duct and he didn't feel increasing the 7" duct would do too much vs those supply changes (other vendors suggested increasing that flex duct diameter). The return in a shallow in-wall job with 14x14 grill.

No one else suggested these particular changes. Does this sound like a good approach to get more air in that room. (in addition to another independent return to another room).

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:56PM
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no maintenance on those filters other than once a year changeout...

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:58PM
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It's hard to say how effective the duct changes will be. However it is good you have a contractor addressing who sounds like he is trying to address the duct issues.

Let us know how everything works when the installation is completed.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 6:32PM
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Here is tech data on Aprilaire 2210. Does this seem acceptable level of resistance for the filter.

4T unit, 1600 CFM
w/ 10 MERV filter, resistance is .16 inches water column
w/ 13 MERV filter, resistance is .25 inches water column

3T unit, 1200 CFM
w/ 10 MERV filter, resistance is .11 inches water column
w/ 13 MERV filter, resistance is .16 inches water column

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:15PM
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