Replacing Heat Pump advise

john2297September 15, 2011

I am in the market for a new Heat Pump to replace my 13yr old 3.5 ton bryant with 15kw heat strip and zone kit (not replacing the zone kit) for the third floor. This unit will heat and cool my 2nd and third floors 2039 total sq ft. The current unit has cooled and heated nicely over the years. I was told to stay with a Trane unit but was also told they don't make a 3.5 ton. I live in NC and the summer is hot and humid. In doing some research I heard about SEER,2 stage compressors, variable speed air handlers, IAQ thermostats etc. What model # Heat pump& size, air handler, stages (because of heat and humidity) thermostat etc should I go with. Any advise would help and be appreciated. Thanks!

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I would meet or beat these criteria

15 seer
variable speed air handler
demand defrost
IAQ or equiv. outdoor temp sensing stat.
staged heat strips

I cannot remember the best range for HSPF but I think above 10 is about the minimum.

I think this is about the best bang for the buck on the unit cost and future energy usage. I wouldn't spend the money on the dual stage compressors unless the area has extremely high humidity. The variable speed blower will help with humidity control by itself if set up correctly.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 11:40PM
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these are the minimum specs you should be looking for.
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 lineset
10 yr warranty on parts and compressor

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.

You are being advised incorrectly about the availability of 3 1/2 ton HP condensers. The two stg HP condensers are only available in full ton sizes, no 1/2 ton size mdls.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 12:43AM
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Tiger said it right. Only the 2 stage models are only available full-ton sizes.

If humidity is a big problem then you may want to consider upgrading to the 2-stage, else I would stick with highest efficiency single stage.

You can get extra humidity control with variable speed blower with single stage heatpump.

Not every brand offers demand defrost. Only Trane/Am std, Rheem/Ruud, York/Luxaire/Coleman. I can't think of any others.

You might want to evaluate the size of the sq. footage your trying to heat/cool. Maybe you can go down to 3 tons if your well insulated and you have conditioned space below (maybe not). You could get better humdity removal this way.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 8:26AM
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My personal recommendation would be Trane's XL15i or XR15 and AmStd Heritage15.

Best of Luck

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 8:50AM
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Thanks to all for the advise. I received a proposal from a certified trane dealer for a 3.5 ton 13seer 4twr3042,4tec3f42 and bayhtr1415brk for 7k an optional 15 seer xli model with vs air handler is 8768. Any opinion on this? How do you feel about hyperion air handlers? I know this might be asking a lot and I do appreciate the time, but how do you feel about the comfort link control board? Or the available air cleaners? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 11:08AM
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