Assistance with replacement HVAC

newtoremodelOctober 20, 2011

First off, I'd like to thank the professionals and knowledgeable people who generously share their time and experience on this forum. Without them, I most likely would have gone with an oversized and possibly poorly designed system.

I'm currently remodeling my newly bought home and will be replacing the existing HVAC system (including all ducts). I've never used the current system because I never moved in, but it was a 5 ton Goodman condenser and a 85000 BTU 80% AFUE Carrier, both about 14 years old. The 3250 sq ft house is in southern california, about 50 miles inland. I will be upgrading the house with new insulation (R30 attic and R13 all exterior walls) and new windows (LoE 272 on north and east sides, LoE 366 on south and west sides). We had a Title 24 done as part of the planning process and they came out with approximately 32,000 BTU Heat Gain and 41,000 BTU Heat Loss, with the planned upgrades. I used HVAC-Calc (thanks for the previous thread), raised the outdoor summer temp 5 degrees as suggested, and came out with 48,500 BTU Heat Gain (46900 Sensible), and 64,000 BTU Heat Loss. It's likely that some of the difference was due to the windows, since HVAC-Calc doesn't go into great detail about the different possible glazes and ratings. Based on these calculations, does a 4 ton system seem reasonable? Any suggestions for furnace BTU rating? It will be a 2 zone system. I'm working out the details for some quotes I've received and hope to get them posted shortly. Some of the contractors will do an official Manual J, but only after the contract is signed.


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Lennox Quote - good reviews on Yelp and Angie's List. Not an Southern California Edison certified contractor, so doesn't get extra $1350 to $2000 rebate. Doesn't do an official Manual J, but will design new ducts according to Manual D. This was quoted as 5 ton, but I'm sure I can get them to adjust down if the loads above are correct.

Signature Series 80% AFUE 2 stage variable speed SL280V
Elite Series 16 Seer XC16
Horizontal Coil (attic installation) with expansion valve ADP LH49/62E9
Media Air Cleaner HC-16
2 Zones by Lennox Harmony III
2 iComfort Lennox thermostats Model 7000
New R6 ducts (silverjacket metalized Flexible with vapor barrier)
Manual air volume control dampers in all accessible final branches for air balancing
Seal with duct mastic, insulate exposed sheet metal
Vent pipe for furnace
Connections to existing gas and electrical lines
All new bar type register grills
Condensate lines, condensate pan, safety switch, refrigerant lines (insulated), city permit.
Title 24 duct testing and 3rd party HERS rater to verify less than 6% leakage.
2 year maintenance program, 10 years parts, 2 years labor, 20 years heat exchanger, 10 years compressor
$16,550 before credits and rebates, $14,550 net cost.

Trane - Southern California Edison certified, must do Manual J, Manual D before install.
XV80 Variable Speed Furnace
XL20i Condenser
Trane coil
Trane ComfortLink II thermostats (x2)
TraneZone 2 Zone control
r6 ducts
12 year compressor, 10 year indoor and outdoor coil, 10 year thermostat, 10 year parts, 10 years labor warranty.
Lifetime Heat Exchanger warranty
No media filter, but 2 one inch filter grills for returns.
Title 24/3rd party HERS testing/certification
Other installation details similar to Lennox dealer, but no mention of control dampers at final branches for air balancing.
$20,600 before rebates and credits, net cost $17000.
If we went with the XL16i instead, we would save about $500.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 6:08PM
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A couple more options

Carrier Infinity System
58CVX 80% AFUE 2 stage with variable speed fan
24ANBZ - 16 SEER 2 speed condenser
Likely ADP coil
2 zones with Infinity thermostats, all electric dampers
EZ Flex 10 MERV pleated mechanical filter
Manual J/S/D will be done
$13,300. Net after rebates and credits - $11,000

UAPM-048JEZ 16-16.5 SEER/13 EER
Ruud RCFN-Hx4824 or CEx48D44 + TDR coil
Honeywell TrueZone HZ3222K zoning system
Honeywell VisionPro 8000 thermostats
4" Media Filter (Merv 10-13)
Manual J/D/S will also be done.
1 year labor, 10 years parts and coils, lifetime heat exchanger, condenser has 5 year conditional replacement warranty
$11,700. After credits and rebates - $9800.

UASL-048JEC Dual Compressor 18 SEER/13 EER
RGRM-12 2 stage variable speed 95% AFUE
Aspen Coil Cx60G44 + TDR
Thermostats, zoning, media filter like above.
Manul J/D/S
1 year labor, 10 year parts and coils, lifetime heat exchanger, additional 10 year replacement warranty on condenser
$14,000. After rebates and credits - $11,000

Any feedback would be appreciated. I haven't heard anything about the Honeywell zoning systems (Lennox Harmony III and the TrueZone). Will they work as well as the Carrier Infinity zoning if they're set up correctly? Any big differences? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 3:52PM
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I've narrowed it down to the higher efficiency Ruud package and the Carrier package. Any opinions or suggestions? Should I be concerned about the Honeywell zoning system proposed for the Ruud package?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:54AM
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Recheck mdl numbers of furnace and AC on Carrier quote.

I do not understand why a good dealer would quote a third party evap coil on complete new systems. I suggest you ask your dealer for an explanation.

I would not have one.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:06AM
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Thanks Tigerdunes.

I will ask again about the 3rd party coil. I think he mentioned that he recommends it in order to increase the SEER rating when I raised the issue before. I'll see if he can use a matched Carrier coil instead.

I found the furnace on the Carrier Commercial site,3069,CLI1_DIV41_ETI4922_PRD691_SIT12,00.html
and I'll double check on the A/C, probably a typo on my part.

The Ruud dealer has sweetened the deal by dropping the price about to about $10500 after rebate and increasing the labor warranty to 5 years. The Carrier has the standard 1 year labor, 10 year parts warranty.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:41PM
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Is this AC or heat pump? What are your rates (electrical and gas)? I'm going to guess that electric is high and gas not far behind...

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 4:31PM
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This is furnace and A/C. For our usage patterns, gas is about $.83/therm and electric is about $.19/kWh Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 12:10AM
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Actually, with fees and taxes, gas is about $1.2 / therm and electric is $.17/kWh


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 12:23AM
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do you have fixed pricing on electric or tiered rates? or TOD?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Just for info, heat pumps are not commonly used in California except in all electric homes. California has some of the highest electric rates in the nation.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Weedmeister - We do have tiered electrical rates. $.17/kWh is based on our latest electrical bill where we got into the middle of the 3rd tier. The fourth tier is at $.23/kWh.

The Carrier dealer finalized his proposal. The price didn't change, but he gave bumped up the labor warranty to 2 years. The model numbers are the same.

58CVX 80% AFUE 2 stage variable speed fan to be located in attic,3069,CLI1_DIV41_ETI4922_PRD691_SIT12,00.html

24ANB7 - 16 SEER 2 speed condenser,2733,CLI1_DIV41_ETI4926_NBD_PRD1908,00.html

ADP Coil in order to reach 16 SEER to qualify for rebate (I did ask for a Carrier coil if possible) - C60H21OD306 with TXV valve - I couldn't find this coil, but I probably have my 0 and Os mixed up.

New L copper insulated refrigerant lines

R6 Mylar ducts with manual dampers to balance air flow

Infinity Zoning and Thermostats (2 total zones)

EZ Flex 10 Merv Filter

Title 24, Manual J, Manual D, Manual S.

Net Cost $11,000

If we're lucky and the Manual J says we can get away with 4 ton condenser, then we would use the 24ANB1 - 18 SEER with everything else remaining the same.

Net Cost $10800. Lower price than the 5 ton with a better SEER.

Any red flags or suggestions? We may use R8 ducts if that bumps us down to the 4 Ton condenser.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:56PM
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Looks like a great system at a great price. I'm getting essentially the same, but the 58MVC furnace at 120kBtu, and paying nearly $5k more. I have a bit more ducting and demo, some of it difficult, but I don't think the dealer cost on the furnace could be $1k more.

That coil can be found at the link below. It has a fairly low static pressure drop.

Here is a link that might be useful: ADP horizontal coils

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 1:37AM
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I would definitely think you could get by with a 4 ton unit. I'm not sure where the advice came to raise the outdoor temp by 5 degrees - but even still, hvac-calc is a joke when it comes to windows. I would suspect that you might get a 3 ton unit since Title 24 would probably dictate sizing but I don't know details about CA code. In my jurisdiction, if the code calc came to 32k gain, you might not be able to put in a 4 ton unit and be code compliant. I would be surprised if Title 24 would not dictate R8 ductwork - when I was getting some ducting a year ago, the R6 was being phased out - not much stock left. I have R8 requirements in most spaces in my area.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 5:26AM
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I still would not go for a third party coil. They are not factory tested as a match; only computer model used to get the performance/eff numbers..

I would want the best matching Carrier tin plated evap coil.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 9:27AM
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When you get the Manual J for heat gain, see how much you are getting from ducts. It gets pretty hot in the attic, and ducts can have a surprisingly large total area. Going to R8 as suggested above may be worth it.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 10:34AM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've decided to go with the Carrier Infinity system. It seems like a nice product and I like the contractor (and they are required to follow SCE guidelines).

I did ask him again about a Carrier coil, but it wasn't an option. That might be the case, or it might be a cost issue, but he isn't going to budge.

HVAC Calc actually suggested raising the outdoor summer temp by 5 for the safety factor. I doubt if they'll be able to do that for me on Manual J though.

HVAC Calc was useful since I had the chance to play around with some of the settings. Going from r6 to r8 ducts makes a big difference as suggested. It's much easier and probably less expensive than going from R30 insulation to R38. This contractor also mentioned that he uses R8 normally.

Thanks again everyone.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 12:14PM
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Regarding design temperature: the official 1% dry bulb temperature for my location is 84F, and Title 24 says not to spec equipment that is larger than would satisfy that. If it really never got hotter, my equipment would be a box fan (as it has been for the past 22 years). In actuality, it gets to 95-96 pretty much every year and sometimes exceeds 100. I figure that if I'm going to bother to install A/C, I'd like to be able to cool it down for the elderly residents on those infrequent really hot days. I've ponied up for the 2-stage Infinity, so it will mostly see high stage cooling to cool off the house more quickly when I first get home.

It will be interesting to see how your Manual J comes out, compared to your HVAC Calc. Let us know.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 1:15PM
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newt remodel

Something's not right about dealer refusing to provide a Carrier tin plated evap coil.

Ask dealer to provide the AHRI matching number that includes the ADP coil. I wouldn't proceed without it.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 1:44PM
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I don't see that exact AHRI match. What I see is the 110kBTU and larger matched with that coil and 5 Ton 24ANB7, and the 90kBTU and 110kBTU matched the that coil and 4 Ton 24ANB7. Go to the link and type 4656180 in the top left box, and that random code in the bottom box, to see that closest match. You can also put partial model numbers in some or all of the boxes to get similar matches.

Maybe a pro can comment on what this may mean.

Here is a link that might be useful: AHRI search page

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Thanks for checking and posting the info regarding the AHRI. Some of the other contractors had linked them to their bids, but I didn't pay close attention to them. I'm not sure what I'm looking at though... the search above resulted in...

AHRI Certified Ref # Model Status Manufacturer Type Trade/Brand Name Manufacturer Model Manufacturer(Mix-Match) Model Furnace Model Capacity (Btuh) EER SEER Phase AHRI Type HSVTC Exclusively for Export Est. National Avg. Annual Operating Cooling Cost ($) Eligible for Federal Tax Credit
Active Coil (Mix-Match)
16.00 1

The model numbers seem correct. Is it the tonnage that's off? Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 4:57PM
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I think the furnace BTU (at 110k input) is higher that the one you will need. Probably still okay (maybe a pro can comment), but don't know why ADP didn't rate it also with the smaller output furnace -- they did with the 58MVC at the smaller size.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 6:05PM
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I don't see a Carrier coil listed either for the 58CVX furnaces under 110k BTU, and now I know why. The 58CVX-90kBTU furnace doesn't have the flow rate to support 5 tons of cooling.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 7:25PM
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