Fairfax VA heating and cooling advice please

Christopher von SimsonNovember 8, 2013

We might be ready to replace both AC and furnace. But what would be a good bet for high efficiency, and out weather?

We just had our Fall check-up. For the last three annual visits the local technician has advised that our heating and cooling systems are nearing end of life. This time he said it was time to strongly consider replacement, as there were cracks beginning to show on the furnace, and he couldn't rule out CO leaks. The condenser is pretty rusty, and the furnace looks old too.

We live in Zip 22033. It gets hot and humid and cold and dry.

Our house is 2500 Sq feet, and is a 1969 colonial with a large opening to the upstairs in the hallway. There's a pic on the original listing from the previous owners here (http://franklymls.com/FX7577058).

We have been quoted the following
AC: Carrier 24ANB136 3 Ton
Coil: Carrier CNPVP3617
Gas Furnace: 80 AFUE Carrier 58CVA090
Thermostat: Carrier Infinity

SEER Rating 18/13
$11,407 including all services such as
connect to existing ductwork
new condenser base
new refrigerant piping
condensate drain hookup
removal and disposal of existing units
"pump ups"
2 year labor warranty
10 yr warranty on Carrier coil, 10 Yr on compressor,
1 year on all other external parts.

Any advice? I'm happy to provide additional information if useful.

I saw that Carrier's own website recommends a higher SEER rating equipment and "Greenspeed intelligence", in notionally the same price band.

Here is a link that might be useful: original MLS listing

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Size HVAC you are replacing.

Price is on high side.

Don't care for the 80% eff furnace.

I would recommend the 2 stage Performance 17 AC condenser as a less expensive alternative.

Any rebates involved? Any state tax credit?


    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 6:50AM
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My recommendation would be to down grade the AC to the Infinity 24ANB7 AC condenser. It is also a 2-stage model with a SEER rating in the 15-17 range depending which furnace you pick. The 24ANB6 is a single stage version. The Performance series is also a good choice.

I think you are making a mistake by not getting a 95% efficiency furnace. You will qualify of a $150 tax credit and possibly local utility rebates.

Get the Infinity thermostat if you are getting an Infinity system. You don't have to spend the extra money on the wireless version.

You should get a 4 inch media filter. Get a quote on the Carrier 10 year labor warranty. This warranty will be honored by any Carrier Factory Authorized dealer. The labor warranty you have been quoted is only supported by your contractor.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 8:47AM
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Performance 17 Mdl 24acb7

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Christopher von Simson

Thanks everyone.
Size HVAC it is replacing - also a 3 ton.
I looked at the Performance 17 Mdl 24acb7 and it looks pretty good. In the summers we have a hard time keeping the upstairs below 80 on a 90+ degree day.
I agree I'd prefer a more efficient furnace.
These prices involve any applicable rebates and state tax credits... I agree the 95% furnace is a better bet.

Maybe it is time to get a second Contractor's idea. I'll let you know how that goes.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Christopher von Simson

Feedback from bidding company number 1 is
FURNACE: They chose that 80% furnace bc it will work with our existing "common flue", and that, yes we could go for a better 90+% efficient furnace, but those require a different separate flue. Cost for the better machine and including a new flue would be $1500-2000 extra, after including a rebate.
AC agreed, he had more happy customers in our sultry humid DC area summers with the Carrier 24ANB136 3 Ton.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Your contractor wants to save you money on selling you a lower cost furnace, but has no problem selling you a top of the line AC condenser which in my opinion is overkill for your area and will not make feel any more comfortable then the other models that have been suggested. I had the same system presented to me by one contractor when I was in the market for HVAC four years ago. It was one of the reasons why I did not choose that contractor.

You should calculate how long it will take to recover the additional cost of a 95%+ furnace. I think he is over pricing it to discourage you from buying it.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:04PM
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The price you were quoted for an external vent is nonsense as long as you have close proximity to an external wall either in basement or crawlspace.

Regarding condenser selection,I completely agree that the Mdl 24ANB136 is overkill.

You need to get another dealer involved. An 80% eff furnace Infinity or otherwise is a dinosaur for your location.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Christopher von Simson

Thanks mike_home. Agreed. I'm running the numbers on the 95% furnace as a replacement for an 80%. I see at useful table at energy.gov that I've linked to that shows we might save $15.80 per year for 15 years of boiler life. Plus the environmental benefit... As you say, likely it might come out cheaper.

Here is a link that might be useful: Energy.gov page

This post was edited by BritCvS on Tue, Nov 12, 13 at 12:27

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Christopher von Simson

Thanks tigerdunes. Getting the second company involved ASAP. They are coming to look on Friday PM.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:34PM
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"energy.gov that I've linked to that shows we might save $15.80 per year..."

That savings is for every $100 of energy you use. It costs $1000 per year with heat the house with a 80% AFUE furnace, then you would save $158 per year. If you out of pocket cost is $1200 more then you will see a pay back in about 7.5 years.

Don't forget about the $150 tax credit.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Christopher von Simson

Doh! Thanks again mike_home. The furnace is right next to an exterior wall. I'm wondering if the first company over-bought the 80% efficient furnaces... Oh well. More on Friday.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 1:04PM
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