3 Proposals- which would you pick?

psuunc34October 24, 2012

I live in SE PA in a 3,000 sq. ft home with an additional 1,000 sq. ft in the basement. I have a 22 yr. old AC unit and a 11 yr old Nat. gas furnace. I am planning to live in my house forever. Should I go with the heat pump over the AC unit if it is only $300 more. My electric rates are 6.67 per KwH & my nat. gas rate is $0.60244/CCF Let me know what you think! I appreciate all of your help!

1. Trane TUHMB080ACV3VA XC95, 80,000 BTU 95% eff. modulating

natural gas furnace

Trane 4TTZ0036B1000A XL20i, 20 SEER, 3 ton AC condenser

Trane XL900 thermostat $9,200 - $500 Trane rebate= $8,700 or

Or $300 more to replace the above AC with a XL20i HEAT PUMP

10 yr. parts, 2 yrs labor (10 yr labor $400)

2. Carrier59MN7A080V17-14 Infinity 97.4% AFUE multi-stage, variable speed nat. gas furnace.

Carrier 24ANB136A003 Infinity 21 2 stage 3 ton AC/outdoor unit

Carrier CNPVP3617ATA R410A cased AC coil

50' insulated copper lineset installed

Carrier Infinity control/programmable thermostat with Ideal Humidity Control

10 yr. parts 1 yr labor- 10 yr labor with $189/yr service agreement

$10,100 - $1,100 Carrier rebate= $9,000

I am not sure about the increase for a heat pump.

3. 987MA42080V17 Bryant Modulating gas furnace w/ variable speed fan

180BNA036000 Bryant 20 SEER 3 ton AC unit- 410A

CNPVP3617ATA Bryant coil

SYSTXBBUID01D Bryant Evolution control

Refrigerant lineset

10 yr parts & Labor plus a free 1 yr HVAC preferred agreement & 1 yr plumbing. $9,895- $900 Bryant rebate= $8,995

Would you add a humidifier? I had quotes from $295-$525 for an Aprilaire 600 unit.

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ryanhughes

I like the XL20i personally. I have the heat pump version in my own home and think it does very well. But Carrier's Infinity (Bryant Evolution) system is very nice also. I would focus on picking the best contractor. Presumably, you've narrowed it down to the three you like best. Is the Trane dealer also installing a new copper lineset like the other 2? One thing I noticed is that the Carrier/Bryant quotes include the *ATA tin-plated copper coil. Carrier has switched to aluminum coils (models ending in *ALA), and I would make sure that you get the aluminum coil. You also need to get the exact coil model number for the Trane quote. It may or may not be a Trane OEM coil.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:22PM
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psuunc34

Thank you, Ryan! The Trane proposal says "run new lineset." I don't know if it is copper. Should the Trane proposal have copper or aluminum coils? Do you think it would be more money, less money, or about the same for aluminum coils on the Carrier/Bryant? Does it matter if the lineset is copper with aluminum coils? Sorry if these questions are dumb. It is hard to know who is the best contractor. I haven't heard anything bad about any of them.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 10:56PM
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ryanhughes

If they're running a new lineset, then you're in good shape. It will be copper, and they *should* use the right size based on what the manufacturer calls for -- probably 3/4 x 3/8.

Should not be a price increase for the aluminum coil on Carrier/Bryant. It's a matter of Carrier/Bryant shifting their product line as several other brands have. Trane has been using aluminum coils for quite some time. Their 4TXC cased coils are aluminum. But some dealers like to match third-party (non-Trane) coils with new systems -- they sometimes provide slightly higher efficiency ratings on paper (computer simulated) and are generally cheaper while still being "approved matches." I would not use anything but a Trane coil with a new Trane system, so best to get the full model numbers.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:25PM
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iggie

Just a caution on whatever sytem you choose find out if your warranrty includes trip fees, many get a nasty surprise when they believe they have a free warranty and are hit with such.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:30AM
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mike_home

Make sure the labor warranty is directly from the manufacturer and not from the HVAC contractor. This will allow you to change HVAC contractors in case of problems.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:27AM
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fsq4cw

I would choose the Carrier system but swap the A/C condenser for the Carrier Greenspeed Heat Pump. That way you would have the best of both worlds, HP & gas, or I would go just all-electric with the Carrier Infinity Greenspeed. Make sure you get the NEW WiFi Infinity T-stat!

If I were adding a humidifier I would consider a steam humidifier such as the Honeywell HM500 series.

SR

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:58AM
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weedmeister

If I was going to do a HP with NG, I would consider getting a 'lower' efficiency furnace (still with a variable speed blower) and save a little money.

You will have a hybrid system. You will need an outdoor temp sensor connected to the Tstat.

Your Electric rates seem lower than I would expect for total delivery.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:21PM
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psuunc34

I contacted the Trane dealer. The coils would be Trane, not a 3rd party. Which would be cheaper to run in the winter, the HP or the gas furnace based on the previous rates posted above? Must the heat pump be the primary heating unit or could the Natural gas unit be primary? If not, what is the highest temperature that I could set the system to switch to natural gas? I prefer natural gas, but I think it makes sense to pay the $300 for the HP to protect myself from possible price increases in Nat. gas in the future. Any thoughts? P.S. I inquired about the XL950 thermostat and found out it would be $475 more than the XL900. That is too pricey for me! Thank you for your help so far!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:58PM
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psuunc34

It is a 10 yr. Trane parts and labor warranty with no trip fees. The coil number is 4TXCB004CC3HCB for the Trane XL20i. Does that sound like a good match?
Any ideas on which is cheaper to run gas or the HP at my rates. 6.67 Kwh for electric & 0.60244/ccf for gas. I don't know how to figure that out. I just switched to that electric rate through the electric choice program. That is my "price to compare" rate. It is locked in for 1 yr.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:50AM
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weedmeister

1. cheaper to run? There are cost calculators out there on the web. If you have your previous bills, you can see approximately how much you spent last year. You probably won't be able to tell for the HP since you've not had one.

2.primary? The HP will be primary.

3.temperature? That depends, of course. There are two temperatures to set: the highest temp that gas should be used, and the lowest temp the HP should run. These two temps will overlap. The higher has to do with comfort and price, the lower to how efficient a HP you purchase.

I think the XL20 is a 2-stage HP. You will need a Tstat that can handle that. If the 1st stage can't raise the temperature, the 2nd stage activates. It that can't raise the temperature, the gas furnace fires up.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 6:19PM
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psuunc34

I thought I had made a decision to get the Trane. The Carrier guy called and said that the Carrier is much better and dehumidifying. I know he is trying to make a sale, but... What do you guys think based on the Carrier Infinity 21 with the Infinity stat & Trane 20XLi with XL900 stat. Is the Carrier better at dehumidifying?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 7:32PM
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ryanhughes

Actually, I give the Trane the upper hand at dehumidifying. The 20i has 2 compressors, one 1.5 ton and one 3 ton compressor. In low stage, the 1.5 ton will achieve longer runtimes than the Carrier, which equals better comfort and more dehumidification. The Carrier Infinity 21 uses the same unloading scroll compressor used by many other 2-stage units, where low stage is around 75-80% of total capacity. So not a huge difference between high and low stage. It will not achieve the longer runtimes that the Trane will. By running longer periods of time, you get more even temperatures and the system is able to achieve its peak efficiency and capacity. The XL900 is a good thermostat (as is the Infinity), similar to the Honeywell VisionPRO IAQ with some proprietary Trane features. I have the XL900 with my XL20i. It can be configured so that when the humidity is above the setpoint, it will reduce the blower speed to get the coil colder and pull out more moisture. The Infinity will do the same thing.

If you do choose to go with the Carrier system, remember to ask the dealer why they didn't quote the newer aluminum coils as I mentioned above. There is no doubt that the Carrier Infinity is a great system, but yes, the dealer was just trying to close the sale. Carrier makes good equipment, although I personally prefer Trane. I don't do residential HVAC, and I'm not a Trane dealer, so my response is not biased in that regard.

Let me know if you have any more questions I can answer.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:17PM
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ryanhughes

Regarding the coil, the 4TXCB004 is a good match. 36,200 btuh cooling capacity, 12.5 EER and 17.50 SEER. The Infinity won't be 21 SEER, although I'm unable to pull up the exact ratings right this minute. Not uncommon for manufacturers to advertise their products as 20 or 21 SEER if at least one matchup obtains that rating (usually smaller tonnage sizes).

I'll say one more thing about the 20i that I consider a nice feature, although it is more for the installers. The 20i has a feature called ChargeAssist where the system is actually capable of charging itself if the installers use the ChargeAssist field accessory. The unit will indicate when the refrigerant charge is correct whether the accessory is used or not. With other systems, you have to rely on the installer to know when the system is properly charged. I wouldn't consider this a deal breaker for any other brand, but it is a nice feature I wanted to let you know about.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:30PM
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tigerdunes

psuunc

Your home has one system or two?

Assuming your rates are accurate and all inclusive, there is no economic advantage to going DF by upgrading to a HP. Rates though should be checked. I did run a fuel comparison using the rates you provided.

And one of the previous posters actually suggested Carrier's Greenspeed Heat Pump. I think this is very poor advice and not cost effective both operationally and upfront purchase price, especially with very low nat gas rate.

Has a load calculation been performed? If not you should request one.

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 9:07AM
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tigerdunes

What size and efficiency is existing system to be replaced?

I think this is less about brand. All three proposals are top of line HVAC. As said in previous post, sizing is important.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:38AM
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psuunc34

Tigerdunes,

I currently have a nat. gas furnace & an AC unit. The AC unit is original to the house which is 21 yrs old. It is a Ruud. One of the dealers said it is actually a 1988 model, which means it must have been sitting in a warehouse for 3 yrs. The furnace is a Luxaire. It is about 11-12 yrs old. I believe it is about 92% eff. I have a 3 ton unit. I had about 5 proposals and everyone went with 3 tons. Only one dealer did a load calculation.

The new electric rate is 0.0679 for the next year. The gas rate is $0.60244/ccf. Those are the "price to compare" rates for the 2 companies.

I don't know if those rates count fees, etc. I know the gas co. has an $8.55 monthly "customer charge." The 1st 20 ccf commodity charge is 0.58850. The distribution charge for the 1st 20ccf is $0.40300.

The old electric co. has an $8.75 "customer charge." They also have 3.36228100 cents per kWh distribution charge. The transmission charge is 0.72965600 cents per kWh. The generation charge is 6.59006100 cents per kWh. Their price to compare was 7.993 cents per kWh.

What did the fuel rate comparison show? Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:14PM
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tigerdunes

psuunc

You Have one system or two for your home.

All charges for both electric and nat gas have to be inclusive to get a true comparison between the two fuels especially if HP upgrade is a worthy and cost effective consideration.

Again, what size and efficiency is existing furnace you plan to replace?

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:50AM
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psuunc34

I currently have natural gas and an AC unit. I am not sure what you mean by 2 systems. The furnace is a 3 ton 92% AFUE, I believe. The AC unit is probably about an 8 SEER.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:46AM
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tigerdunes

You are not giving me the size of your furnace-BTUs please. I understand the efficiency and that it has a 3 ton rated blower.

Size of furnace!

IMO

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:22AM
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psuunc34

Ok, sorry! It is 80,000 BTU.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:47AM
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tigerdunes

If you want to review your electric and nat gas rates that are all inclusive, I will give you the fuel comparison results on a BTU basis that should be used as a guide.

The numbers provided in your initial post did not support any economic advantage to HP upgrade but it was unclear if all related charges in your rate were included. It should be noted though that the Trane upgrade price to a XL20i HP condenser was better than reasonable. Bet the Carrier or Bryant would be much more.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 11:00AM
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psuunc34

Tigerdunes,

You are right. The Bryant dealer wanted at least $1,000 more for the HP. I didn't get a Carrier HP price b/c I wasn't thinking of that when I got his quote. I wouldn't be willing to pay that premium. My concern is more for the future. What if Nat. gas goes up b/c of pollution b/c of fracking, etc? If I could see the future, I wouldn't consider the HP. It seems cheap to protect myself against Nat gas doubling in price. Can I set up the system so that the furnace takes over for the HP at 55-60 degrees?

I am not sure if the rates are all inclusive. I posted the fees, etc above, but I am not sure how to figure out if they are included in the price to compare. I don't want to contact the electric company b/c they have a lot going on with the impending hurricane. Based off the price to compare, are they about equal in costs or is it significantly cheaper for gas?

I have to sign the paperwork by Wednesday, if I want the Trane rebate. Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 12:27PM
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ryanhughes

Yes, you can set a lockout temperature for the heat pump on the XL900 when using dual fuel.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 4:54PM
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weedmeister

From what you stated above, your electric cost is approximately (I'm rounding) $0.034 + 0.007 + $0.066 or about $0.107/kwh, or around 10cents/kwH. If you buy your power from someone else, the last number may change but the first two should stay more or less the same (distribution and transmission (maybe) stay with the old company).

An easier way would be to look at your bill and find how may kwH you used and divide by the total you paid (minus any taxes).

Tiger is asking, since you have 4000 sq ft, if you have two AC/furnace units. Like one for upstairs and one for downstairs.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 6:08PM
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psuunc34

I only have 1 AC and 1 furnace. Thank you for clarifying.

I have 1 electric bill that was $125.96 & I used 1,101 kWh. That includes the $8.75 distribution charge. That is with my old company, Their price to compare is 7.993. My new price to compare will be the rate I shared before. I added up all of the different charges for the old co. and it added up to 10.681998 without the customer charge.

My natural gas price to compare is $0.60224 but I paid 0.9915 per ccf when you factor in the commodity & distribution charge. Does that help? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 10:47PM
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tigerdunes

psuunc

I used your old electric rate based on the bill above. That rate would be $.1144/kwh. Still not clear what your new electric rate is. This is really getting down in the weeds. All costs have to be factored into the overall rate both electric and nat gas to get a true picture.

I used $.9915 CCF for your nat gas.

On efficiency, I used 3 COP for HP efficiency and 95% for Furnace efficiency. Some forum members would argue that a 3 COP is low; I would respectfully disagree.

Here are the results.

Cost per 100,000 btu of useable heat
Electric baseboard: $3.02
Heat pump: $1.12
Natural gas:$1.01

Nat Gas on a modulating furnace like the Trane quoted would be cheaper to operate than a HP at and above the temperature balance point.

I have to admit though that the upgrade cost of only $300 to go to the XL20i HP would be mighty tempting.

The operational key to these modulating furnaces is that they are able to move both up and down as demand dictates from outside temperatures.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:30AM
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tigerdunes

One more thought.

If you do select the Trane quote with the XC95 communicating furnace, you want the Comfort Link II control, not the XL900 stat. Insist on it.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:12AM
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psuunc34

Is the Comfort Link II necessary? I thought that the XL900 communicates with all of the equipment, too. Is that incorrect? I would love to have the Comfort Link II, but it is $475 more than the XL900. Do you think it is that beneficial? Let me know all of your thoughts on the disadvantages to going with the XL900. I signed the paperwork today, but maybe I could probably make the switch if necessary. Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 1:42PM
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ryanhughes

The XL950 is certainly the top of the line thermostat, at a high price. The XL900 will communicate with all system components and do a great job as well. It is also considered a "Comfort Link II" thermostat. It's pretty user friendly and built off of the well-regarded Honeywell VisionPRO line of thermostats. It gives you a good amount of control over the system including indoor humidity. When I put in my XL20i, I went with the XL900 because at the time there had been some issues getting the 950 to work with the TAM8 air handler, and I personally preferred the simplicity of the 900. I didn't feel the need for a 7" LCD thermostat on the wall. It does have some nice features including WiFi capability, system runtime history, etc. (even a photo album -- go figure). You can always upgrade at any point down the road if you later decide you want the 950 (you can Google the XL950 user's guide and take a look). Of course I don't want to steer you away from what is an excellent control, but it is expensive and you may find the XL900 does everything you need (and want). You've chosen a great system. Best of luck with the installation.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 2:17PM
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tigerdunes

For Ryan

I don't mean to disagree but why get the modulating furnace without the best control.

It seems like purchasing an Infinity furnace without the Infinity control.

I would not want a furnace like this that does not allow for full functionality with the recommended control.

See links.

http://www.trane.com/Residential/Products/Gas-Furnaces/XC95m-Gas-Furnaces

http://www.trane.com/Residential/Products/Thermostats-and-controls/ComfortLink-II-Thermostats-and-controls

IMO

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 3:18PM
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psuunc34

Doesn't the xl900 control the modulating furnace? How much does it actually cost the dealer to purchase the Xl950? Do you think there is room to negotiate?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 4:22PM
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weedmeister

As a side note: that 'price to compare' is misleading. It is only part of the total price, the electricity part and not the distribution part.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 4:36PM
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ryanhughes

Tiger,

No problem. As always, I respect your opinion. I did a bit of searching beforehand and couldn't find any major advantage as to how the XL950 controls the XC95m as compared to the XL900. I'm sure Trane is going to recommend their new top of the line thermostat with the top of the line furnace. However, if you see Trane's product data on the XC95m (link attached), they state that it's shipped from the factory ready to be used with either the 950 or 900 control. If you know any specific differences in how the 950 controls the mod furnace please elaborate -- I'm curious to know myself.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trane XC95m

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 4:43PM
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tigerdunes

Any cost difference between the Comfort Link II and 900 model would be relatively inconsequential.

Any good dealer would not lose an order because of this.

IMO

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 6:45AM
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psuunc34

I went ahead and ordered the XL950 thermostat. They would only drop the price to $445 over the cost of the XL900. I think that price is kind of ridiculous, but I didn't have any leverage since I had already signed the contract. I also decided on the 20Xli HP instead of the AC and the XC95m furnace. Additionally, I went with the Aprilaire 600 humidifier. I can't control the humidifier through the XL950, can I?

Thank you to everyone that contributed to help me figure out what I needed to do to get the best system, etc. Your help really is appreciated!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:31PM
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harlemhvacguy

This is one of the best conversations in a while... I am sorry I missed it due to being so busy. Since I got in late I will just say (without giving away Trane's top secret info) Try to see if you can lower the upgrade price of the XL950 t-stat. Trane lowered the price on it this quarter. It still has a few small bugs but it is much advanced in its algorithm's compared to the 900. If the money is not there to spare ,the 900 will work just fine. Congratulations, if installed well you will have a fine system there for many years to come.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:31PM
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ryanhughes

You should be able to have the humidifier controller by the furnace, and therefore by the 950 thermostat as the system is communicating. You don't have to use the Aprilaire control -- I don't with my own system (using the XL900).

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:42PM
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harlemhvacguy

The price difference in the 900 vs the 950 is ridiculous a little but they gave you a great price on the xl20i system so it will all work out.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:52PM
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psuunc34

Ryan,

You have the Aprilaire humidifier? How do you like it? I have never had a humidifier before. Last year was our 1st winter in the house and I found that I was really getting dried out and getting chapped lips. I thought the humidifier might help out. Is there anything that I should know, helpful tips, etc. Thank you!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 8:56PM
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tedkidd

I think you've made some excellent choices. The heat pump can match load at much warmer temperatures than the furnace, so you'll get much more even comfort and higher efficiency across broader outdoor conditions. The full communicating stat, from all reports, is very cool and versatile (remote camera, lights, door locks, etc...)

I really like the "water saver" humidifiers. Not sure if its Aprilaire or what, i always sold the carrier branded one. Most people know nothing about it. That's the one thing I'd recommend looking into.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:43PM
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ryanhughes

I have the Trane-branded version of the Aprilaire 600 humidifier, installed with my heat pump this past August, so essentially the same product. I got the humidifier for the same reason you did, though it hasn't gotten cold and dry enough here in MD to have required operation. I'm sure it will make a difference in indoor comfort during the middle of the winter when the air gets very dry. The most important thing is to remember to check the humidifier pad at least once per season. Depending on your water quality, the water pad may require replacement once a year or so. Hard water will tend to leave mineral buildup on the pad, necessitating its replacement. Neglected humidifiers can become problematic if they leak, but with proper maintenance they definitely add comfort in the winter. I haven't had mine long enough to see the benefits, but I'm glad I went with one. I have mine set to 35% RH (70 deg indoor temperature), and the humidity in the home has stayed in the low 40s this time of year.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:55PM
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tigerdunes

"I think you've made some excellent choices. The heat pump can match load at much warmer temperatures than the furnace, so you'll get much more even comfort and higher efficiency across broader outdoor conditions."

I would respectfully disagree with this statement made by Tedkidd above. OP is getting a modulating furnace that matches output with demand in very small BTU increments in a range of 40%-100% of BTU output capability. I ran the numbers using a fuel comparison calculator and HP use was slightly more expensive in operating cost. OP has a fine system if sized correctly and I am glad he decided to select the best control for the HVAC he purchased.

And for the relatively inexpensive upgrade cost, I can't blame OP for adding the heat pump.

Let us know how system is performing when you get into the heart of your winter weather.

Good Luck
IMO

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 7:00AM
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psuunc34

Do you think I should set the furnace to come on at about 60 degrees since it is cheaper to heat with gas? If not, what temperature do you think I should set it at?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:19AM
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tigerdunes

psuunc

I think you should experiment.

You will save money on the HP as long as it stays in low stage, 50% of it's capacity, about 18 KBTU and will satisfy your thermostat setting. When the HP goes into high stage you will be on the losing end as far as operational costs. Not much though.

I still would like to know your full electric rate. Not to quibble though. You have paid for the HP and I think it's a good idea to put it to use. I probably would set the changeover at 45-50 degrees as a starting point just to learn what you can expect. Then adjust according to it's performance and your comfort.

When will system be installed?

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:42AM
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psuunc34

It will be installed on Nov. 20-21. I guess it is pretty easy to change the changeover temperature with the XL950, right?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 1:01PM
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psuunc34

I have not received a bill from the new co. I won't receive one until December. The old co. had a rate of 10.681998 when you added the various charges not including the monthly $8.75 distribution charge. My guess is that it will be about a penny less than the above price per kWh.

If that is not what you are looking for, I am not sure what you mean. Is a "full rate" how much you pay when you add the different charges per kWh? If it is what you mean, then the above is my old full charge.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 1:09PM
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tigerdunes

Not positive about this but you should have an outdoor sensor that can be set inside at this fancy control/thermostat.

I assume you will be home during install. One day or two?

Recommend you verify all equipment model numbers as they are unloaded from truck.

You will want all operating manuals for furnace, condenser, filter, humidifier, and control.

Ask dealer how to adjust the changeover setting from HP to gas furnace.

Write down all questions you want answered at time of install.

Good Luck
IMO

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 1:15PM
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tedkidd

Tiger dunes, show us your numbers.

Have you ever tracked customer use?

Understanding the experiential base of your comments would help us understand whether to accept or dismiss your claims. Claims about efficiency "if running on low" are hard to reconcile, and cause to question unsupported claims you make. If you have data or anicdotal evidence, please share.

PSU, Trane modulates down to 35k or so. This means when load is less than 35k, you basically have an oversized single stage furnace without the heat pump. Knowing when this happens for your house would be very nice. I have a client, 3200 sf 12 year old moderate build quality, 45,000 btu load (60k infinity runs medium stage) at 2f outdoors. Let the equipment tell you, equipment won't lie about load.

If you set the pump/furnace switchover properly, the pump will kick in before that point and manage heat replacement down to IT'S minimum output of 1.5 tons before IT effectively becomes oversized single stage.

If you are paying 10c/$1 kwh/therm, your breakpoint where gas btu at roughly 90% delivered eff meets your pump is probably between 20-25f. Your dealer should have an equipment specific calculator for this.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:25AM
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tigerdunes

Ted

I don't have to explain one thing to you.

As I said, when homeowner is in low stage using HP , he will be saving money. On high stage, he will be on the losing end though not by much. This was based on the rates that he provided and a fuel comparison calculator that I use quite frequently. And it is to be used as a guide only. OP has relatively cheap nat gas rates compared to electric. If nat gas rates spike, then HP use will be more cost effective.

IMO

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:13AM
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psuunc34

I thought I would post a follow up to let you know how everything has been going with my system. Initially, it felt cooler in my house. We had the guy come out and eventually we figured out that the new stat had to be recalibrated. It was 3 degree off from our old stat. Since then, it has been great. It does feel slightly warmer with the humidifier and modulating furnace. We just received our first full bill for natural gas. It was $78! We were thrilled. We used less energy than the previous year and last yr was 4 degrees warmer. Also, last year, we turned the heat down to 62 when we were sleeping and when we were at work. This year, due to having a baby at our house, we keep it at 68 at all times. We also use natural gas for our hot water heater and dryer. Thanks again for all of your help!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 5:31PM
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wardman

Hello psuunc34 -

What brand did you go with and if you do not mind, what HVAC company in SEPA?

I am in the middle fo a decision too, and would like another opinion as well for my home in SEPA.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:39PM
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