need advice about hvac replacement in north fl

MbwalshySeptember 21, 2012

Home is 2411 sq. ft. with about 800 sq ft upstairs, upper a/c unit has a leak in the coil, was recently recharged but will need a new system as its 12 yrs old. I have received quotes for what seems like the same system yet they are worlds apart.

The first was for trane 2.5 ton 15 seer system. this system will include a variable speed air handler matched with a XL15i condensing unit. the price for that system is $ 5,885.00, price includes: installation of the new system, removal of the existing equipment, all labor, materials, and permits required. No model numbers were provided. I was disappointed with the unprofessionalism that this quote reflected. I had used this company to handle a fiasco involving a design/installation defect in my moms condo and they handled it amazingly. I haven't decided whether to contact the owner and advise of same.

The second quote I received was for $6700.00 with 0% for 36 mths. I am wondering if the increased price is to account for the financing option?

1 TAM7A0C36H31SA Trane 3 ton Hyperion variable speed air handler 57hx23.5wx22d 22x20 filter;

1 4TWX5030A1000A Trane XL15i HEAT PUMP 2.5 Ton (R410a) H49-7/8xW34-1/4xD37-1/4 MF-25Amp dba71 LINESET: 3/8X3/4;

1 TCONT803-BAYSEN02ATEMPAA XL803 3H/2C Programable with dehumidifcation Touch Screen with out door sencer;

1 EXISTING Connecting Equipment to Existing Lineset. RX11 Flush;

1 BAYEVAC05LG1AA 5 kw heat strip for TAM AHU;

1 One System PM One System PM 1st Check to be done 6 months after installation. PM agreement expires 1 year after installation. Filter replacemnet is not part of the PM;

1DISCONNECT AND WHIP New disconnect and whip for AHU or COND up to 6 feet;

1 FLOATSWITCH INSTALL SAFETY FLOAT SWITCH IN-LINE ON

CONDENSATE DRAIN WITH AHU INSTALL;

1 DRIPPANsm-FS Drip Pan for Air Handler with Overflow Safety Float Switch- Small;

1 AHUSTAND AHU STAND. New adjustable Air Handler Unit stand.;

1 PERMIT PERMIT;

1 HUR AC PAD HURRICANE RATED 36x48x4 Equipment Pad FL Bldg

Code approved upto 130mph wind speeds;1 BAYECMT001 MOUNTING KIT BAYECMT001 - CONDENSING UNIT MOUNTING KIT. Meets Hurricane tie down code.

The second company also provided a quote for a comparable York system, I do not know anything about York. Any and all opinions are welcome, thank you.

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tigerdunes

MB

Several questions.

I will assume you are in all electric situation.

What size is existing system? For what size living area? Any hot cold spots in this zone? Any particular problem heating and cooling this zone when system operating correctly?

Lineset must be sized correctly to new condenser whether new or reused
and flushed. A big deal.

I would say a 5 KW heat strip is light especially for a defrost call which probably would be infrequent.

Coastal location or inland?

I prefer Trane over York.

IMO

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:07AM
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Mbwalshy

Several questions.
Thank you, my answers are below.
Q: I will assume you are in all electric situation.
A: Yes, we are all electric.

Q: What size is existing system? For what size living area? Any hot cold spots in this zone? Any particular problem heating and cooling this zone when system operating correctly?

A: As to size-we are not increasing size on the unit. The existing upstairs is a Carrier 12 yr old 2.5 ton. I don�t know the S.E.E.R. rating (or if they even have one because of age?)
Upstairs living area consists of approximately 800-1000 sq. ft. consisting of two bedrooms, bath and an open loft area that opens to the 20 ft. ceilings from our great room. We have three large windows on the back of the house where the ceiling is 20 ft high (south facing) and double window in the loft (also south). It tends to be hotter up here but I am not sure if this is due to the system not running properly, lack of proper insulation or the open loft area or all of these factors combined.

Lineset must be sized correctly to new condenser whether new or reused and flushed. A big deal.
Good to know, thank you.

I would say a 5 KW heat strip is light especially for a defrost call which probably would be infrequent.
Interesting since both companies quoted the same. We have a third coming out, I am interested to see what he says.

Q: Coastal location or inland?
A: We are on the intracoastal waterway, across from a canal, about two miles from the Atlantic ocean and a quarter of a mile or less from the intracoastal waterway at the end of street.

I prefer Trane over York.
Thank you.

IMO
Thank you for your assitance, I would hate to get stuck with a system for the next 10+ years that wasn't what we needed.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:38AM
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tigerdunes

I would want a 7.5 KW heat strip. Probably not a big deal. Any idea of existing size? It should be checked. Any problems on heating r cooling side of existing system.

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Mbwalshy

I do not know what size our existing heat strips are. I am assuming the lowest possible, it is the same unit the builder placed in the home and it doesn't appear the original home buyers upgraded much.

No idea about heating the place yet, we just moved into the home in March and our winter months here last year were very mild so I think we already had the a/c on.
As far as cooling goes, we do not spend a lot of time up there yet. Our master is downstairs and the loft area is in under construction. It does not ever feel very cool to me but I really think this more impacted by the large windows in the great room and high 20 ft ceilings that open up to the loft as well as the age and capacity of the unit.
I received another quote from another company here in town and the gentleman recommended the XR15 as a cost effective alternative to the XL15i. The quote he provided included replacing our downstairs system as well (both up and down with XR15's, 2.5 ton for upper and 3.5 for lower with variable speed handlers and Honeywell thermo) and didn't break up the prices in two. The total cost was $10k. I cannot get to the estimate right now to provide part numbers. However, I am now completely confused as he did not include a separate line item for the heat strips?

We also discussed upgrading the insulation in the attic space because of the cooling issue etc. He confirmed what I origianlly thought and that is the insulation is the minimal for the standard back in 1999. He oprovided a quote to upgrade with R-38 of around $1800.00.

I feel like the more I try to learn about the HVAC system the more confusing it gets. What exactly is the function of the heat strips? Is there any reason his quote wouldn't include a line item for same?
Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:38AM
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