New construction - should SEER match?

cpstechguyOctober 26, 2011


We are in the process of building a home. We have paid for an upgrade for our heat pump from 13 SEER to 14 SEER. Our home is in the HVAC rough-in phase and after an inspection I looked up the model number on the air handler the HVAC guys installed on the internet and found that it is rated at 13 SEER...not 14. Do both the handler and the condenser outside have to be the same SEER rating in order to achieve real 14 SEER performance? I am waiting to hear back from my builder for an explanation. I am thinking either: 1)They made a mistake 2)It doesn't matter what the air handler is, or 3) They are trying to pull a fast one.

Any input would be appreciated.

P.S. The air handler is a NuTone 13 SEER B5BM...i don't know what the condenser is going to be.

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It is quite possible to reach 14 SEER from a 13 SEER HP condenser. Depends on the air handler selection..

However, 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.

My personal recommendation is Trane/AmStd, Rudd/Rheem, and Carrier/Bryant.

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


    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 3:09PM
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The SEER rating is determined by matching the air handler and the heat pump. A SEER rating of a stand alone air handler or a heat pump doesn't indicate how efficiently it will perform. Usually manufacturers will state a range of potential SEER values for a piece of equipment.

I am curious as to how much was the 13 to 14 SEER upgrade.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 5:46PM
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I would ask for the ARI match up. Your contractor can provide that. There are many combinations that have many different SEERS, you need to have a matched system. I would be more worried about the quality of the equipment.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 7:46PM
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SEER 14 is nothing to brag about. I believe that SEER 13 is the lowest efficiency that can be bought today.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 1:20PM
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