New AC + Furnace in N VA....suggestions please

RicardoMAugust 30, 2012

Hello, I am looking to replace my current AC and furnace. AC is leaking and is still on the old refigerant. I have gotten a quote from one company and will be getting more. I have some questions about adding air cleaning capabilities as well as looking for suggestions/opions on what to get.

I am located in Northern Virginia, its a 2 story single family home (1668 Sq Ft), home seems to get really dry in the winter time but seems fine in the summer. Upper level of home is noticeably warmer in the summer and colder in the winter. Currently we have a 2.5 ton unit with a gas furnace.

Here are three options that one company suggested to me:

Option 1

Carrier Infinity 21 seris

3 ton unit - 24ANB136

Evap Coil - CNPVP3617

Gas furnace - 58CAV090

Total cost is =$9007

Option 2

Carrier Infinity 17 seris

3 ton unit - 24ANB736

Evap Coil - CNPVP3617

Gas furnace - 58CAV090

Total cost is =$8008

Option 3

Carrier Perfomance 16 seris

3 ton unit - 24ACC630

Evap Coil - CNPVP3617

Gas furnace - 58CAV090

Total cost is =$6385

Another company i spoke with suggests using Ruud. The gentlman told me they are a better value. I am open to any manufacture. I havent gotten part numbers yet but he suggested going with a 2.5 ton unit.

Here are my questions:

1. If my current unit is 2.5 tons should i move up to 3?

2. Will upgrading my AC and furnace help with the difference in temperature between the two floors?

3. Adding on an air cleaning capabilities to any of these units? Suggestions and thoughts are welcome.

4. Is adding a UV treatment system worth it?

5. If it is dry in the winter i would think that adding a whole house humidifier to the system would be a good thing?

6. Is it possible to have a humidifier/dehumidifer in the same system? Would taking humidity out during the summer time make my AC be more efficient or is it pretty much one or the other?

I am continuing to do research and will probably have more questions. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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I'm in Rockville. Just a thought for you. Consider replacing A/C and gas furnace with a heat pump and gas furnace.

There are lots of threads here on this very subject.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Here are my answers to your questions:

1. The HVAC contractor should do a heating and cooling load calcualtion to determine the sizes. The Carrier Infinity AC are 2-stage condensers and only come in whole ton sizes. This is why you got a quote for a 3 ton unit.

2. A variable speed AC may help, but it cannot overcome duct issues. Have the contractor evaluate your duct work.

3. My recommendation would be to get a 4 inch media filter. I am not a fan of electronic air cleaners.

4. I personally believe UV treatment is a waste of money and a maintenance headache.

5. You can add a humidifer if the house is dry. Leaking windows contribute to dry house conditions.

6. The Infinity 2-stage condensers do a great job of humidity removal. You will not need a dehumidifer. Lower humidity will allow you to set the thermostat a few degrees higher and still feel comfortable. This may save you some money on cooling costs.

Carrier rebates usually start around Sept. 15. Did the contractor mention this? The furnace quotes you have are for 80% efficient furnaces. Have you asked about getting a 95%+ efficient model? The Infinity Series 21 AC is overkill for your climate. I suggest getting the Infinity Series 17. If you get quotes for the Rudd make sure the models are equivalent to what you have with the Carrier. The prices you have are reasonable assuming they include the Infinity controller (Infinity models) and there is no rebate.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:16AM
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All of these Carrier quotes include the Infinity controller?

Depending on your all inclusive electric and nat gas rates would dictate whether a dual fuel system-HP with nat gas furnace backup would be a cost effective choice.

I personally would go with a 2-3 stage 95% eff gas furnace with straight AC. The leverage using a HP is going away because of rising electric rates and cheaper nat gas.

I would not move up to a 3 ton condenser unless it was two stage. Ductwork system needs to be evaluated though for size, insulation, and adequate return especially for upstairs area.

I like a good basic pleated filter media cabinet MERV 10 where changeout is easy and filters normally last up to one year before changeout.

I can't believe you require a dehumidifier. You do want an indoor humidity level in the winter about 35-40% reading for ideal comfort. This depends more on your home and location.

Most homes don't require UV system. This benefits the HVAC dealer, not the homeowner.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:27AM
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Thankyou everyone I appreciate the input,

First off yes the prices do include the infinity controller on options 1 and 2. The third option has a digital thermostat listed. I got this quote in August of 2012 and after looking at the Carrier website the coolcash doesn�t start until September 201( as mike states). My prices do include an 700 discount for option 1 and 2. Option 3 includes a 300 discount. I assume this is the coolcash but I will check to make sure.
I asked about a 95% efficient model and was told that it would have to be vented differently from what I currently have. I was told that the price would be considerably more (1K) and I would not see the savings anytime soon.

If I understand correctly this is what I should be getting:
Multi stage(two stage) AC compressor w/ appropriate coil
Mulitstage Gas furnace, 95% eff is best
Quality thermostat
Media cabinet and quality filter

What I still need to do:
Have my second floor duct work evaluated
Have a Manual J load calculation/test done to determine appropriate size of compressor

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:41PM
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You may qualify for a local utility rebate if you get the 95% efficiency furnace. Do a calculation of what you pay to heat house each year. You will save 10-15% on heating bills with the more efficient furnace. This will give you an idea on the return on investment.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:47PM
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If this was my home and decision, I would weigh the cost difference between a high eff two stg var speed furnace with straight AC condenser versus the 80% two stage Infinity models with a high eff heat pump condenser.

I certainly would not just go 80% two stg Infinity with high eff AC condenser.a big mistake.

Find out if there are any Va Govt incentives and/or utility incentives especially on the heating side.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Honest Aire, Tobin James.

I have known him for years, and finally found his business again.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:38PM
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Tigerdunes, could you please elaborate what you mean by

I certainly would not just go 80% two stg Infinity with high eff AC condenser.a big mistake.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 3:54PM
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