Heat pump quote - Opinion please

waltbscNovember 7, 2011

Hi - I would like to share my first quote from an American Standard dealer...

About our house:

3050 total sqft brick home with two heat pumps. Downstairs unit 2.5 ton - 1500 sqft in Columbia, SC.

Heritage 15 system -




I already have a Vision Pro thermostat that will work with this system. Quote includes new lineset - $6,174

Dual fuel system -




New line set and gas line will need to be run from meter - $7190.

I have three returns downstairs with 1" filters. The enclosure is only 2-3" deep but he said this would be sufficient.

Quote number two coming tomorrow morning from Bryant dealer. He immediately said the returns would need to be modified (we have space under stair case) and said this is a necessity for a proper working system. We really don't have any issues with airflow (that we're aware of) so I have to take his word for it. He will also quote standard HP and then dual-fuel system.

My gut tells me the first quote is high so I would like to know if you agree. Thanks!

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As you know, pricing can vary between geographic markets and because of the competitive situation within a certain market.

As far the pricing you have rec'd on above, I do not agree that it is high. AmStd is top of line in heat pumps and furnaces. I would say that the quote may be on the high side of an acceptable range.

The Heritage 15 Heat Pump is one of the best sgl stg heat pumps on the residential mRket. While not identical, it is very similar to sister company's Trane XL15i and XR15 condensers. All of these mdls have electronic demand defrost which eliminates nuisance, unnecessary, and expensive defrost calls. That's a big deal to me. And while I do like Bryant/Carrier, their HPs do not have demand defrost, only the cheap and inefficient time/temp defrost method.

I would want to know more about the ductwork modifications and why dealer says they are necessary.

I would recommend a good box filter cabinet that only requires changeout once a year.

Post complete mdl number of your thermostat. For either system, I would want the 8321. And if you go with a dual fuel system, you will need an outdoor sensor/thermostat.

You definitely want a HP system that has "electronic demand defrost" based on your location.

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   November 8, 2011 at 7:27AM
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One other comment on pricing.

Business and overall economic conditions play a role and the various brands that are involved in the quoting process. Size of dealer and number of employees is important. Many Trane dealers are mighty proud of that line and hold back on competitive pricing. Also, I prefer small dealer where the owner is actually engaged in operating the business. I think you get more attention to detail and usually a better install.

BTW, dealer quoted new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset?


    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:51AM
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Thanks for the response tigerdunes. I see your name on many forums and I'm thankful that people like you take the time to share information with the general public.

My thermostat is the 8320 so no humidity control. I really like the new IAQ series (I'm an IT guy so I like gadgets)and I can see myself going with one of these controllers and adding the RedLINK one day.

As luck would have it, I ran into a friend that I used to tailgate with and he's been in the HVAC industry for 15 years but mostly commercial these days. He is able to purchase Trane equipment at a very good discount and raved about the XL/XR15 dual fuel system that he installed for his own home last year. He is going to put a quote together so maybe this will work out. I've used him in the past for a room addition at our previous house with excellent results.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 8:02AM
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New quote for a Coleman system. Small business owner that purchases from my company. He was very nice and informative and comparing specs, his system is better all around BUT I'm not sure about the quality of this system.

Echelon HC8B036

Dual Fuel
Echelon HC8B080C
Communicating thermostat

It's hard to believe you can get an 18 seer HP with 96% AFUE furnace and variable speed handler for this price compared to the other quotes. His installation also includes a new lineset.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 11:30AM
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