Advice on quote Trane and Carrier varying size

Dolphin29November 16, 2011


I am hoping you all can help me. I have met with 3 different HVAC companies and they have recommended fairly varying sizes and/or types of systems. It is very frustrating how they can differ and any input would be appreciated. I live in Annapolis, MD.

We are looking to replace our current A/C heat pump fairly soon. We bought the home 1.5 yrs ago and new we might have to as the system is 19 yrs old. Our current system is a 5 ton air handler, a 4 ton outside unit and 25 Kw of backup electric heat. It is a Trane and we have been quite happy with the temperatures in the house and how it has run. Only issue is that at peak winter my son�s room is a little too cold (we then put a space heater in there when needed) and at peak summer a little too warm. It is next to the garage�s attic. We tend to keep our house 77-80 degrees in the summer and in the 60s in the winter. Our average electric bill over the last year was around $215. (which we are pretty happy with.)

We are replacing it b/c we had a leak/minor flood in the basement that caused a mold issue. We have been told it is better to have the system replaced at this point than pay to have the old one cleaned. Because of the mold issue dehumidification and circulation is somewhat important to us.

We are somewhat in a rush to decide as it is starting to get cold and we have been told not to use our current system. Plus, we would like to get the basement remediated and can't schedule it until we can schedule the replacement of the A/Csystem. I am also 35 wks pregnant and want to get it done before the baby comes.

Some questions:

1. Do refrigerant lines need to be re-sized from those that were used for Freon to those to be used for R410A. Company 3 says definitely or the system will fail prematurely, company 1 says the current size of refrigerant lines is fine.

2. If we were happy with our current system being 5 ton air handler and 4 ton system, shouldn�t that still work? Why would we now need a 5 ton heat pump?

3. Would it be true that the 5 ton handlers matched with 4 ton heat pumps would not qualify for tax credits/rebates?

4. Why has each company recommended different KW for the heaters?

5. Can the XL16i work well if installed correctly? Companies 1 and 3 (both Trane comfort specialists ) seem to think so and seem willing to guarantee it.

I have had 3 companies come out.

Company #1 installed the previous system. Is BBB accredited with A+ rating and a Trane comfort specialist.

He recommended a 4 ton air handler and a 4 ton outside unit and had done load measurements. I am pretty sure he said that he thought 25 kw of backup electric heat was more than we needed, so he recommended 16kw. He highly recommended the Trane XL16i. They can offer a 10 year parts and labor warranty, including other guarantees such as a Total comfort guarantee Total replacement "Lemon" guarantee. Also, if our system break in the first 2 yrs, they will repair the system within 24 hrs or they will give us $500.


4TWX6048 Heat pump (4 ton)

4TEE3F66 Variable speed air handler (5 ton)

BAYHTR1419 Heater

TCONT802 Vision Pro Thermostat

9,771 after company and Trane rebates


4TWR048 Heat pump (4 ton)

4TEE3F66 Variable speed air handler (5 ton)

BAYHTR1419 Heater

TCONT802 Vision Pro Thermostat

8805 after company and trane rebates

I am thinking I may want the 803 or 900 thermostat to get more dehumidification and possible the 900 for more programmable fan, though it is unclear to me how the 803 and 900 differ as far as fans.

When I called company 1 to see if they offer the Carrier infinity he said that they do and it is a good system, too, but he thinks the Trane XL16i is a better system and would do better at dehumidification. The trane also has the solid lid on the outside to protect it from the elements. He says he could install the Carrier infinity for roughly the same price as the Trane (would not have quite the same warranties that they can offer for the Trane).

Company #2 Not BBB accredited, but has A+ rating (though they did have 32 complaints closed in 3 yrs, 18 in 1 yr � size of company may be big. I think it mentioned they service 8 counties.)

He strongly recommended against the Trane XL 16 I saying that they have seen a lot of complaints with the upstairs being a lot warmer than the downstairs (?in the summer) They say that with the trane 2 stage, it comes on slower and the first floor temp is met before the upstairs is and it turns off (hence the upstairs stays warm.) They say the Carrier is better b/c it has the 80 degree lockout, so this does not occur. (The two Trane companies I spoke with deny this.) Until Nov 15, they could offer 10 year parts and labor for the carrier, then it would be 10 year parts and 2 yr labor. He also said Carrier would be better b/c they patented puron.

Carrier (heat pump) 25HNB648 4 ton

Carrier (air handler) FE4AN8005 ?ton

Carrier (electric heater) 20 ?W

Media Filter 2210

Carrier Infinity Thermostat

Includes New exterior fan, snow legs and disconnect box. Electric feet to hair handler.

$8897 after Carrier and company rebates before tax rebates and utility rebates

For a Trane 15, they could install it for about $9061. Warranty would be 10 yr parts , 2 year labor.

Company 3. BBB accredited , A + rating

Did a lot of examining and calculations. He only supplied Trane systems and is a Trane comfort specialist. Because the previous air handler was 5 ton, and given ductwork, he felt we would likely need 5 ton air handler. His calculations showed that the existing 4 ton unit is slight undersized, so he would recommend a 5 ton outside unit. He also said that when he looked at 4ton unit matched with 5 ton air handlers , none would meet tax credit standards.

He also recommended adding a return to the finished part of the basement and felt that the refrigerant lines would need to be replaced as the current lines were made for Freeon. He said that if the line sizes weren�t changed, then the system would fail in a few years.

He was also the only one who tried to give input to help with my son�s room. He said that the duct to his room was flexible 6 inches and should have been a flexible 7 inches. He said that could easily be changed.

Warranty would be 10 year parts, 2 year labor, but could buy extended warranty for $580.



BAYEVCC25BK1AA 25 kw trane strip heater for series 7 and 8 air handlers with circuit breaker

TCONT803AS32DA thermostat

TAM7AOC60H51SA 5 ton series 7 Trane air handler

Base system price: (not including changing ducts or returns, etc) 9700.95 +580 (extended warranty) = 10280.95

XL15i (he said that the 5 ton is actually a 2 stage outdoor compressor)

4TWX5061E1000A Trane 15 SEER XL series heat pump 410A (5 ton)

BAYEVCC25BK1AA 25 kw trane strip heater for series 7 and 8 air handlers with circuit breaker

TCONT803AS32DA thermostat

TAM7AOC60H51SA 5 ton series 7 Trane air handler

Base system price $9095.25 after rebate , but before tax credits or rebates. Adding the $580 extended warranty to more match that of Company 1 would be 9675.25

Thank you!

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I will offer my heat pump checklist.

there are three equally important components-quality HVAC, the install by dealer, and probably the most overlooked and disregarded is the ductwork system.

these are my minimum specs for a new HP system. 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 compressor and parts

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.

I would only use authorized dealers for the various brands that provide quotes. see mfg websites.

I would look at Trane/AmStd,Rheem/Rudd,Carrier/Bryant.

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

1. Refrigerant line sets must be sized correctly to the new HVAC. This can vary between brands, models, and size of the outside condenser. I prefer that new lineset be installed. However, depending on condition of old lineset and that it is the right size (close does not count), it is common to flush and reuse the old lineset.

2. It is quite common to have a larger air handler and a smaller outside condenser in a system. Main reason usually is better efficiency numbers. If your 4 ton performed satisfactorily, then I see no reason to go to a 5 ton unless you were having cooling/heating problems that might indicate a need for more BTUs. What size is your home? How are it's insulation properties? If a dealer quoted a larger size, then I would ask him to support that with a full load calculation in writing. That's never a bad idea if in doubt.

3. As far as rebates and credits, you need to understand what the minimum metrics are to qualify and then look up the AHRI Directory number to verify the proposed system qualifies. Fairly simple to do. In fact ask quoting dealer for the AHRI number on system quoted. Then you can go to directory and punch number in the directory.

4. I noticed that you have 25 KW heat strip. That's very large and pulls a great deal of electricity. Each KW of heat strip yields apprx 3400 BTUs of heat. Remember that heat strip serves three functions. Auxiliary or supplemental heat, for defrost cycles to temper AC cool air, and of course emergency heat when you have outside malfunction. Regardless of size, heat strip should be staged and it is possible a 25 KW is too large.

5. Not a particular fan of the XL16i mainly because of lacking dehumidify on demand feature. I assume your current HP condenser is a sgl stg model. Correct?

As far as first floor and second floor temp comfort, you need damper control on the supply lines. If you don't have it, then it should be added.

Your comment about son's room being hot in summer, cold in winter suggests insulation and/or ductwork sizing design issues. Is this room the farthest from air handler or perhaps a finished room over garage (FROG)?

On thermostats, at the minimum for Trane you want the 803 or direct equivalent mdl 8321 from Honeywell. BTW, HW makes Trane stats and the 8321 is identical to the 803 and is less expensive.

If leaning toward Trane, then I would ask for quotes on the sgl stg XL15i and XR15 paired with the new TAM var speed air handler.

Adequate return strategically located is a big deal for each floor and basement.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:25AM
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Thank you tigerdunes.

Our house is about 2400 sq ft not including the basement that would likely be another 1200 sq feet.

The old HP is a single stage 8 SEER heat pump (19 yrs old).

My son's room is on the sunny side of the house, so I think that contributes to the heat in the summer. It is not directly over the garage, but next to the attic over the garage and also next to nothing on the front side and another side (b/c the garage attic stops lower that the rest of the house.)

Our house seems well insulated. The previous owners also go Pella windows and (without any heat the past few weeks) I have found that even with the temp getting down to 30's and 40's some nights, our house will only drop to 58 or so degrees (though we might have 2-3 small space heaters going.)

If the XL16i is paired with the 803 or 900 type thermostat wouldn't that offer "dehumidify on demand?" How would the 15 have more dehumidifying than the 16?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:48AM
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I picked up some comments in your post:

"When I called company 1 to see if they offer the Carrier infinity he said that they do and it is a good system, too, but he thinks the Trane XL16i is a better system and would do better at dehumidification."

The Carrier Infinity AC is excellent at dehumidification. I assume the heat pump vesion would also be very good. For me this would raise a concern about this contractor.

"They say the Carrier is better b/c it has the 80 degree lockout, so this does not occur."

An 80 degree lockout does not make sense for a heat pump. Did you meant to type 30 degrees? I don't understand how the lockout temperature would affect the comfort throughout all the rooms of the house. This statement also would raise a concern about the contractor.

Also the R410A refrigerant (Puron) was invented and patented by Allied Signal (now Honeywell). Carrier has trademarked the name Puron. Carrier does have the most experience with Puron. Trane was late in switching over to the new refrigerant.

To address some of your specific questions, the lineset should be changed mostly because your are changing refrigerants. If they are not changed, then they have to be flushed. I would be concerned about the contractor not doing a proper job of flushing.

Ask the contractors how they calcualted the size of the heat pump. Your experience shows a 4 ton unit is sufficient. The federal tax rebate has been significantly reduced. Don't oversize the unit just to get the rebate. In the long run it is not worth it.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Thanks mike for saving me some typing on the puron....(I enjoyed that one)As far as carrier being better than Trane or Trane better than Carrier.... Matter of opinion and you can't go wrong with either.

No matter what system you get ,if you oversize it, it won't dehumidify good at all. So DON'T go bigger just to get rebates for sure....your comfort will suffer.

XL16i is a good system. Will need tcont803 for dehmidify. Neither one of your A/H quoted are communicating A/H's that use the tcont900. You can use a 900 but it requires buying a kit.... meaning more money

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 10:09AM
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The XL15i (4TTX5061E1) air conditioner model has a 2-stage compressor, but the heat pump model you were quoted (4TWX5061E1) does not, as far as I can tell. This may be something to investigate further if you planned on going with the XL15i (which is a good single stage system).

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 10:28AM
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ryanhughes: Interesting that the XL15i they quoted was a single stage even though he had told me the 5 ton would be a 2 stage.

tigerdunes: I believe company 3 gave a quote for the XL15i (5 ton, though) with the TAM. What is the difference between the TAM and the TEE air handlers. Is the TAM just telephone access? Not sure if I need that.?

harlem: Good to hear that I can't go wrong with either. I am not as comfortable with company #2 and don't want to have to get more estimates from different companies for Carrier factory dealers at this point. Looking like remediation might be done this Tuesday. I am not sure I understand what the benefit of communicating is, but if it is just to get the more programmable fan of the 900, then I don't need it.

mike_home: Not sure if I completely understood COmpany 2 , but he was saying that the a/c would be on stage 1 (which would be slower/weaker) until the temp is met and if the thermostat is on the first floor and temp is met there, it will stop a/c and upstairs may still be warmer. If the temp is above 80, the Carrier would automatically go to full on 2nd stage and get the upstairs better whereas the Trane would not.

We are leaning towards 5 ton inside and 4 ton outside as we have been happy with what we have. I am leaning towards company 1 as they installed the current system and we have been happy with the performance of it and their guarantees. Company 1 said that the lines were appropriately sized (though it must have used freon before). He said "We will flush the line set with RX11, pressure check and recharge the system with R410A."

How are these newer TAM variable speed handlers different from the one quoted by company 1?

Also, I did a typo on the 15 by company 1. That should be an XR15 not XL.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:21AM
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Don't confuse the TAM "telephone access module" with the new Hyperion Air handlers.

It is clear that Trane is moving the air handler product line to the new Hyperion models away from the older TEE series.

TAM 7 Hyperion mdls are var speed
TAM 8. Hyperion models are also var speed and also communicating.


Here is a link that might be useful: Trane Hyperion Air Handlers

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Tigerdunes gave you a helpful link to the new hyperion A/H. They are phaseing out the TEE A/H. the new hyperion A/H are almost all plastic inside and can be wiped out or easily cleaned if mold is a problem again. plastic means less chance of cabinet sweating also.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:53AM
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The company 1 guy said that none of the TAM 5 ton air handlers would match with the XL16i 4 ton heat pump. He said using the TEE one would be more efficient (if I understood him correctly or at least that they have been matched for the tax credits) and would also qualify for the tax credits. He agreed that the new A/H were all plastic inside, etc, and would be more ideal for not getting mold. He still felt the TEE would be cleanable if mold were to get in it. I can see where it would be nice to have one, but is it worth the extra $$ for the system and the loss of tax credit (possibly 400 utility rebate and 350 tax credit)?

I am also trying to figure out the filters, etc. I definitely don't want this mold situation to return. I do now have 2 dehumidifiers in the basement and will be getting the 803 thermostat to help decrease humidity a little more and plan on having the air circulating more often. We are debating about the Media filter $600, the clean effects ?1300, and the UV germicidal light $805. Given the amount of money we are shelling out for the remediation and the HVAC system I also don't want to/can't pay for cleaners I don't really need.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 3:19PM
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Technically your dealer is correct about the 5 Ton TAM 7 Hyperion air handler not being a match for the 4 ton XL16i HP condenser.

However meaning no disrespect, you are getting down in the weeds on subject matter that is above your pay grade.

You should be more concerned about matching numbers and the associated performance/efficiency within the number.

Here are the systems you should take a look at for a 4 ton XL16i system.

4385664 Active Systems XL16I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX6048E1 � *AM7A0C48H41 � 47000 12.50 17.00 46000 9.00 30000

3934499 Active Systems XL16I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX6048E1 � 4TEE3F66A1 � 47500 12.50 17.00 45500 9.00 30000
� The first system is paired with the new Hyperion air handler; the second system is the old series TEE air handler.

Both have excellent numbers. One is not more efficient than the othe according to the AHRI Directory. I would prefer the Hyperion air handler.

I prefer the Perfect Fit Media cabinet with the UV light as an option. Up to you.

I fail to understand the statement on the tax credit and rebate. And I would not pay more for the Hyperion air handler. tell the dealer that's a deal breaker.

What does this dealer propose on the heat strip size? Trane offers a 10/15 KW two stg heat strip that might be the OK.

� �

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 4:28PM
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I TEE A/H is full of fiberglass insulation. You aren't cleaning mold out of it to easy. I get the feeling that your Trane dealer doesn't like the Hyperion A/H. The Hyperion A/H has an EEV expansion valve, which I have found works great. Tigerdunes has given you a match up that is excellent for the Hyperion A/H. They cost a FEW dollars more, but your dealer should give it to you for the same price as the TEE b/c we are talking dollars here.

As far as the filtering. I have the Clean Effects in my home, probably not worth the $1300. But I would recommend an uv light of some kind.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:51PM
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I really appreciate everyone's input.

I have pretty much agreed to go with company 1. Did not feel comfortable with company 2 and with company 3,the HP seemed like it could be oversized. I have remediation scheduled for Tuesday and removal of air handler prior. I do need to make decisions on units, etc prior to Tues.

Tigerdunes: I agree that and feel like I am in over my head. It is so difficult when all 3 companies gave different system sizes. At least I feel I have that squared down.

Are you saying I should just go with the XL16i and TEE that Company 1 suggested? I would be ok with that, too,but it seems like you all really feel the hyperion is better/newer and I see how it could be more difficult for mold to grow on them. (They are both still variable speed?) Or, do I show the dealer the numbers of the systems you suggested and see if he can do that? I take it your numbers are for a 5 ton air handler and 4 ton heat pump. Some of the numbers or letters are not coming through. Do I just get rid of the strage characters? (I see some of my posts have them in there, too.)

4385664 Active Systems XL16I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX6048E1 � *AM7A0C48H41 � 47000 12.50 17.00 46000 9.00 30000

3934499 Active Systems XL16I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX6048E1 � 4TEE3F66A1 � 47500 12.50 17.00 45500 9.00 30000
� The first system is paired with the new Hyperion air handler; the second system is the old series TEE air handler.

It does sound like the heat strips are staged. He was recommended 19kw. He was in the car, so he wasn't sure if they were multiple 5's or 10's.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:40PM
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Hyperion air handler

5" pleated filter media cabinet

803 or 8321 thermostat

UV lights option

And if operating costs are important to you, then staged heat strip. Ask dealer how he proposes to do this.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 7:50AM
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I know this will muddy the waters a bit, but if it were me I would go for the single stage HP (15) and use the $1000 savings for the media cabinet and UV light options. The variable speed handler will take care of the humidity problems.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 4:33PM
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A good idea from last poster.

However, OP seems to want the XL16i.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 4:39PM
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I am still waiting to hear back (via email) about the heat strips.

I sent him the numbers, but I am confused. The 1st system you showed looked like a 4 ton Heat pump and a 4 ton Handler and I need a 4 ton Heat pump with a 5 ton air handler, right?

The 15 does seem to muddy the waters. Are we speaking XR15 or XL15i? I take it we mean more b/c it will be cheaper.... or is it that a 4 ton 15 might match up with a 5 ton Hyperion air handler? As far as saving the 1000, If the 16 would be more efficient and provide more comfort than the 15, I was thinking that I would buy the 16i now and still get the media filter and could add in the UV light later. (whereas I can't go from 15-16 later) I guess I am trying to understand the benefit of the 15.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 1:45AM
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I don't understand how pairing a variable speed air handler with a single stage heat pump will take care of the humidity problems. Assuming a 4 ton heat pump, will air handler vary the air flow between 1400 and 2000 CFM? Is that sufficient for humidity control?

The air handler size needs to be whatever is the correct match for the heat pump. If a 5 ton handler is an allowable match, and it is rated a higher efficiency than the 4 ton, then it makes sense to get the larger unit. The higher efficiency is coming from the larger coil. The fan should be running the same speed in each unit.

If there are summer humidity problems, then I would spend the money on a two stage heat pump.

I am also curious as to whether the UV lights actually work. Perhaps you don't need these if you can get the humidity in the 45-50% range.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:12AM
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