Heat Pump System - advice needed

uhgarAugust 31, 2012

Hi All,

I live in a townhouse of approx 1600 sq. ft in the Greater Boston region.

I am looking to replace my existing heat pump system (Lennox - indoor unit about 28 years old and outdoor unit about 15-17 years old)

I got several quotes from various vendors but I am seriously considering the following options:

Company A (Carrier Authorized dealer)

1 Carrier FX4DNF031 2.5 Ton Fan Coil Unit

1 Carrier 25HCC530A003 2.5 Ton Base Series Puron Heat Pump

1 Carrier KFCEH0901N10 10 kw Electric Heater Package

1 Carrier TC-PHP Programmable Thermostat

System Rating: 15.25 SEER 12.5 EER 8.7 HSPF

Estimate of approx. $7500; with rebates of $775; total effective cost of approx. $6800

Two proposals from Company B (Not an authorized dealer)

Proposal A: Carrier Infinity System

Outdoor unit: 25HNB530A003

Indoor unit: FE4ANF003000

Furnace:

SEER: 15.50

EER: 12.50

HSPF: 8.50

HCap 47: 29000

HCap 17: 16800

Comes with Carrier Infinity Thermostat

Estimate of approx. $7800; with rebates of $300; total effective cost of approx. $7500

Proposal B: Carrier Comfort System

Outdoor unit: 25HBC330A003

Indoor unit: FX4DNF031000

Furnace:

SEER: 14.00

EER: 11.50

HSPF: 7.80

HCap 47: 29200

HCap 17: 18300

No Thermostat - (will cost extra)

Estimate of approx. $6350; with no rebates

Which do you think makes sense for my situation? I think all of these systems are 1-scroll systems.

Your insight would be very valuable.

Many thanks,

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cindywhitall

You have electric back up heat in Boston? Isn't that expensive to run? I would think in that climate you need a higher hspf. Check out your equip specs on carriers website. It will help you compare. Is it possible to use gas for heat?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:45AM
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tigerdunes

I assume you are in an all electric situation.

For your location and winter climate, I would not purchase a new system that did not have electronic demand defrost.

And Carrier HPs do not have this feature.

The performance/eff numbers on system quoted can only be called poor especially the heating (HSPF) efficiency.

I would look at Rheem/Rudd and Trane/AmStd.

IMO

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:20AM
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tigerdunes

there are three equally important components-quality HVAC, the install by dealer, and probably the most overlooked and disregarded is the ductwork system.

these are my minimum specs for a new HP system. both outside and inside units should be replaced to have a properly matched system.

15 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 9 HSPF
best matching VS air handler
full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size
R-410a refrigerant(same as Puron)
scroll compressor preferred
electronic demand defrost preferred
thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature
staged backup heat strips
new and correctly sized refrigerant line set

you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc.

any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

I would only use authorized dealers for the various brands that provide quotes.
see mfg websites.

I would look at Trane/AmStd,Rheem/Rudd,Carrier/Bryant.

Depending on your location, I would not purchase a new HP system that did not have electronic demand defrost.

IMO

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:47AM
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uhgar

@tigerdunes, yes I have only electric systems and no gas lines.

How important is the electronic demand defrost? I think the first two systems match the EER, SEER and HSPF ratings that you have described? Would I really need a high-end system for a 1600 sq ft house?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:48AM
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energy_rater_la

15 SEER is really midrange efficiency.
15-17 SEER will give you a good payback
period. higher SEER takes longer with little
efficiency difference between 15-17 as
opposed to 18-20 SEER

electronic demand defrost is a good thing.
I didn't see 9 hspf in any of your quotes.

if you invest in sealing ducts and return air
your system will deliver the bulk of the
air you pay to condition. duct/return sealing
is a very worthwhile investment.
only use mastic materials to seal, no duct tape
or foil tapes.

Tigerdune gives good spec's. I'd see if the option
he suggests is available to you.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:57AM
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uhgar

Hi,
Thanks for the responses.

I did not have 9 HSPF but 8.7 (in the first quote); I figured it was close.

Of course, I must say that I do not plan on staying in this house for more than 5-7 years. Do you really think I need something better than these systems? And that might very well be the case, I just want to know that I am not investing in something that I do not need.

Thanks again for your inputs.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:31PM
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uhgar

I actually have three other quotes:

(1) CARRIER INFINITY 25HNB636A003* 3 TON 17 SEER 2 STAGE CONDENSER UNIT.
(1) CARRIER INFINITY FE4ANF005000* VARIABLE SPEED ECM AIR HANDLER.
(1) CARRIER INFINITY SYSTXCCUID01-V PROGRAMMABLE COMMUNICATING CONTROL.

TO INSTALL THE NEW BRYANT EVOLUTION 2 STAGE, 17 SEER HEATPUMP CONDENSER UNIT OUTSIDE THE HOME ON HEAT PUMP LEGS AND AN ULTRALITE 36" X 36" X 2" PRECAST CONCRETE CONDENSER PAD IN REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING CONDENSER UNIT.

TO INSTALL THE NEW BRYANT EVOLUTION VARIABLE SPEED ECM AIR HANDLER
IN THE BASEMENT IN REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING AIR HANDLER.
TO INSTALL TRANSITIONAL DUCTWORK TO EXISTING SUPPLY PLENUM.
TO INSTALL A NEW RETURN PLENUM AND CONNECT TO EXISTING RETURN
DROP.
TO INSTALL A NEW 3/4" PVC DRAIN WITH TRAP FOR CONDENSATE REMOVAL.
TO RE-USE EXISTING COPPER REFRIGERATION LINE SET FROM THE
CONDENSER TO THE AIR HANDLER BY FLUSHING THE LINES AND CHARGING
WITH R-410A REFRIGERANT.
TO SUPPLY AND INSTALL A BRYANT EVOLUTION COMMUNICATING CONTROL
WITH OUTDOOR SENSOR.
TO REMOVE AND DISPOSE OF THE EXISTING CONDENSER AND AIR HANDLER.
TO RUN AND TEST THE OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM.
TO CLEAN THE WORK AREA TO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION.
10 YEAR WARRANTY ON COMPRESSOR.
10 YEAR WARRANTY ON COIL AND REMAINING PARTS.
10 YEAR WARRANTY ON INFINITY CONTROL.
1 YEAR WARRANTY ON ALL LABOR.
Total Investment ***$8,995.00 - ($1,475.00 REBATES) = **$7,520.00 ** 0.00

BRYANT EVOLUTION 25HNB036 17 SEER, 2 STAGE, HEATPUMP CONDENSER
UNIT.
0.00T
BRYANT EVOLUTION FE4ANF05000 VARIABLE SPEED ECM, AIR HANDLER
BRYANT EVOLUTION COMMUNICATING CONTROL
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $8495.00 - ($1375.00 REBATES) = $7120.00

OPTION 2 BRYANT LEGACY 215HNB36 15 SEER HEATPUMP CONDENSER UNIT 0.00T
BRYANT LEGACY FB4ANF05000 MULTI POISE ECM, AIR HANDLER
BRYANT LEGACY PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT CONTROL
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $6995.00

How do these compare?

PArdon me for the all-caps font, just wanted that to stand out from rest of my text.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:12PM
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tigerdunes

I personally would not purchase a new HP for your location and winter weather that did not have demand defrost vs the timed defrost that Carrier offers.

Demand defrost eliminates/reduces unnecessary, nuisance, and expensive defrost calls.

With that said, Carrier/Bryant make quality heat pumps.

I do think two stage Infinity or Evolution systems are overkill especially if you plan to move.

I would install a good 2 1//2 ton system.

Here are several choices from Carrier. Exact same available from Bryant.

AHRI #3676240 and #3405838, both with excellent performance /eff numbers.

And I would want Carrier's prewired 9 KW heat strip that is staged in 3 KW increments based on demand. Then add the Edge thermidistat.

IMO

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 8:16AM
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uhgar

Hi All,

I had decided to go ahead with

1 Carrier FX4DNF031 2� Ton Fan Coil Unit
1 Carrier 25HCC530A003 2� Ton Base Series Puron Heat Pump
1 Carrier KFCEH0901N10 10 kw Electric Heater Package
1 Carrier TC-PHP Programmable Thermostat
System Rating: ARI# 3676266 15.25 SEER 12.5 EER 8.7 HSPF

And today (4 days before installation) the vendor tells me that Carrier does not have 25HCC530A003 in stock and that he'd upgrade me to:

1 Carrier FX4DNF031 2� Ton Fan Coil Unit
1 Carrier 25HNB530A003 2� Ton Infinity Series Puron Heat Pump
1 Carrier KFCEH0901N10 10 kw Electric Heater Package
1 Carrier TC-PHP Programmable Thermostat
System Rating: ARI# 4615799 15.0 SEER 12.5 EER 8.5 HSPF

What should I do??

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:36AM
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uhgar

Follow-up; the SEER and HSPF have gone down from 15.25 and 8.7 to 15 and 8.5 - how much of a difference is that in the long run? And is having an Infinity system worth that lower efficiency.

Again I live in the Boston region where I have seen tht the Jan and Feb are the worst months for electric bills.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:38AM
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tigerdunes

I would want a var speed air handler rather than the one quoted. Plus the 9KW prewired staged heat strip that Carrier offers.

Air handler FV4CN(B,F)005 gives you 9 HSPF

#3676240 AHRI matching number.

Still a system with electronic demand defrost is preferred.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:45PM
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weedmeister

Those small changes in SEER shouldn't make much noticiable difference.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:17PM
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