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Heat Pump Install Questions

Posted by jojogirl (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 17, 13 at 11:34

We're getting a new heat pump compressor. I've read a proper install is crucial in order to get the best performance. We're buying a new Lennox or Trane (salesman appointment has been made), but I don't know what questions to ask to determine which installer to use. The salesman's company has been in business since 1912. Does anyone know install questions to ask? Thank you.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Additional info to my prior email about Heat Pump compressor install questions... live in Harrisburg PA area. Currently have a 1996 heat pump (Lennox) for 1st floor / basement (2500 combined sq ft), plus a 1996 heat pump for 2nd floor (2000 sq ft).


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

What size are each system? Do you plan on replacing both? What size heat strip do you have?

What are the issues if any with these old systems? How have they performed? I assume you are in an all electric situation.

When I see a post like yours I get a bit annoyed. If you want to know about a good install, then take a course at your local tech or community
college. A homeowner generally is not qualified to know what constitutes a good install. A dealer who wants to take shortcuts can do this very easily to unsuspecting homeowners. I personally like to use authorized dealers for brands and preferably NATE tech certified. Check Angies list and neighbors for dealer recommendations. I recommend small independent dealers where the owner is actively involved in all aspects of the business. I think you stand a better chance of a good install. Use a dealer who has a history and standing in the community that he serves. A good dealer will do a good job simply because call backs cost money.

Here is my general checklist.

There are three equally important aspects of a new installation. Correctly sized and quality HVAC, the install itself by the dealer and his techs, andbfinally and perhaps the most disregarded and overlooked is a decent ductwork system.

Here is my general spec sheet for new 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 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.

IMO


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Thanks so much for all the information. The HVAC men are here now inspecting the existing units, duct work and measuring. I just told them about hot/cold spots based upon your instructions. Your other information will be used as my guide when discussing their recommendations. I've been reading online the last few days trying to figure it out, but your condensed version is a blessing.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Good luck!

IMO


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Well Tigerdunes, do you think your checklist helped? You bet! In case you were wondering how the first dealer visit went, I'll give a rundown. First, here is the recommendation: XP16 for attic 4T (since it handles 2nd floor and 1st floor addition) and basement 3T (1st floor and basement. Needless to say, it's more than a mouthful of $$$. Attic: $8892, Basement $7179. Can't do them both at once, that's for sure. The dealer has been in business since 1912 and one of largest in area; they emphasized their install.

16 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 8.5 HSPF
best matching VS air handler = VS handler included but he didn't say what kind.
full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size (don't think we talked about; I really don't know what it should be)
R-410a refrigerant
Copeland scroll compressor
electronic demand defrost preferred = yes
thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature = brochure says VS for 'dehumidification.
programmable thermostat - actually already have 1 for each unit
staged backup heat strips - 2 stage system so he said it was covered (??)
new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset (the existing lines for the current Lennox units will be used since they're embedded in an exterior wall. Lines will be flushed.)
10 yr warranty on parts and compressor = yes
2 yr warranty on service, plus annual checkup.

you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc. = he did a visual check of duct work and measured the house. No recommended changes.

any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed. = the back two north facing bedrooms are hot/cold. He suggested adjusting supply run dampers closer to furnace as to push air to back rooms. New HP units will not help cold/hot issue he said.

Well, there you have my first QA with dealer #1. Monday Lennox dealer #2 comes for price and install compare.
Both companies have been in business at least 30 years.

Any suggestion as to whether a 3rd estimate by a non-Lennox dealer is needed ? He said the embedded lines would be an issue for non-Lennox, although exterior lines with siding to cover could be added.

Thanks in advance for all responses.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

JoJo

Which system do you plan on replacing?

Never accept a quote that does not include complete details including model numbers of both outside HP condenser and inside air handler. Please provide.

What size heat strip? Is it staged?

Do you already have in place a whole house air filter cabinet? How is your return air filtered? If not, you should add one.

How many returns do you have for each system?

Just so you know, refrigerant lineset must be sized correctly to the manufacturer spec. Close does not count if you expect to achieve the performance/efficiency numbers that new system is capable of achieving. Not opposed to flushing existing as long as it's properly performed. But I want to know that existing is correct size. Do you know your size? If not find out.

Now is the time to address hot/cold spots in your home. Usually this is due to poorly designed and/or sized ductwork. Ask for recommendations to improve.

Obviously, you should seek several more quotes. I would want to hear from a Trane or AmStd dealer.

IMO


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Did this HVAC contractor do a load calculation? You have a total of 7 tons of cooling. This seems oversized for this size house and location.

What are the areas of the first and second floors each area will serve? Does the current second floor unit service the first floor addition? Where are the units currently located? Is the contractor proposing any zoning?


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Hi Tigerdune. Thanks for the response. The basement unit needs to be replaced first since it's short 8 lbs refrigerant. Running on electic backup at this point -$$$. Tomorrow will be a second quote from Lennox dealer #2. As suggested,I'll also get a Trane/American Standard quote. I'll circle back with the first Lennox quote to get the details you outlined, as with all other quotes. Time to get down and dirty with all this!

Hi Mike_home:
Lennox #1 dealer took measurements - I'll ask for them, the zoning and load calculation. He recommended: 4T attic unit to service 2nd floor and 1st floor addition. 3T basement unit to service 1st floor and basement recreation area. Currently, basement unit = 4T and attic unit = 3T.

Thanks to everyone. I need to keep telling myself; I can do this... I can do this...


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

This message is for Tiger dunes, do you do installations in northern va you seem very knowledgeable. Let me know.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

For Phillip,

Luv Va because I went to college in that state.

But unfortunately I live many miles South.

Wish I could help you even long distance.

IMO


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Hi TigerDune and Mike_Home. Just finished the last of three assessments this week; Lennox, American Standard and Bryant. Proposals are expected by early next week. Even ventured out into goethermal territory, since both heat pumps will need to be replaced soon. I expect a proposal shortly.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

JoJo

If going conventional HP system, I would not purchase one that did not have electronic demand defrost.

EDD eliminates/reduces unnecessary, nuisance, and expensive defrost calls. Not to mention the extra wear and tear to the condenser.

IMO


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Will do. Thanks


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

I would meet or exceed Tigers specs because that is the best bang for the buck and usually when you venture into the 15 seer range electronic demand defrost and a txv rather than piston orifice come standard because these are two items that are the biggest boost to get good enough numbers to get into the 15 seer range of performance numbers.

I am sure if someone took the time with a decent numbered 13 seer piston orifice unit with timed defrost and added a txv and set it up correctly and added demand defrost that the numbers would climb into the lower 15 seer range but the cost to do so would be high.

What I am trying to say is it seems like tiger is asking for a lot of options that might be hard to achieve but they are options that make it easiest for a unit to produce good numbers.

I am sure there are 16 seer units that have piston orifices or timed defrost but the real performance numbers will stink.. This is why I say that what he is posting for a target to meet or beat is the best bang for the buck for the cost of the unit and the cost to operate and honestly the comfort level is increased tremendously. With better real humidity control of the txv and variable speed blower many times the old favorite summer temp of 74 might be 76-77 which saves even more $$.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

I would meet or exceed Tigers specs because that is the best bang for the buck and usually when you venture into the 15 seer range electronic demand defrost and a txv rather than piston orifice come standard because these are two items that are the biggest boost to get good enough numbers to get into the 15 seer range of performance numbers.

I am sure if someone took the time with a decent numbered 13 seer piston orifice unit with timed defrost and added a txv and set it up correctly and added demand defrost that the numbers would climb into the lower 15 seer range but the cost to do so would be high.

What I am trying to say is it seems like tiger is asking for a lot of options that might be hard to achieve but they are options that make it easiest for a unit to produce good numbers.

I am sure there are 16 seer units that have piston orifices or timed defrost but the real performance numbers will stink.. This is why I say that what he is posting for a target to meet or beat is the best bang for the buck for the cost of the unit and the cost to operate and honestly the comfort level is increased tremendously. With better real humidity control of the txv and variable speed blower many times the old favorite summer temp of 74 might be 76-77 which saves even more $$.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Tigerdunes, I have organized all proposal info. into a word chart format, which can't be uploaded to the post. If you don't mind reviewing it, you can contact me at glk54@live.com.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

mike_home and countryboymo; my error to have not included you too. Your input has been helpful and is welcome. Contact me directly at the above addy to get the comparison chart of the 3 proposals.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Well, no one seemed interested in viewing the 3 proposals I laid out in chart form via email, so I'll just give the American Standard heat pump proposal I'm leaning toward. Thoughts?

BACKGROUND: Basement unit covers 2400 sq ft (includes 600 sq ft finished basement). Attic unit covers 2540 sq ft. for 2nd floor and 1st floor addition.

CURRENT BASEMENT HEAT PUMP: Lennox 42000 BTU, 13.05 SEER, 11.25 EER, 8.25 HSPF.

CURRENT ATTIC HEAT PUMPS: Lennox rated at 35,200 BTU, 12.5 SEER, 11.05 EER, 8.2 HSPF

CURRENT ATTIC INSULATION: R-19 (6"). An energy audit recommended R-38 (10-12") which will be done after the ducts are modified.

DUCT WORK: new ducts R-8. Current ducts are 4.2. Increase trunk duct size, increase branch duct size on attic system, change ducts to facilitate better airflow to end bedrooms. Duct work cost = $2250.00.

American Standard Heat Pumps:
HEAT PUMPS: Basement and Attic Unit are both 3.75 Ton, 17 SEER, 12.5 EER, 9.2 HSPF. Model: 4A6H6048/ATAM7A0C42. Variable Speed.

AIR HANDLER: atam7a0c42h31
HUMIDIFIER: APRILAIRE 600A (basement only)
AUXILIARY HEATER: ABAYEVBC15BK1AA 15 KW with breakers
AIR CLEANER: APRILAIRE 2210 MERV 13 Media Type
THERMOSTATE: ACONT802AS32DA. American Standard manuf. by Honeywell TH8320U
BTUs: 51,195
STAGED BACKUP: 15kw as 5-5-5
LINES: current lines can be used for attic since pipe is in the drywall. Basement lines will be replaced.
WARRANTY: Dealer registers products, provide all labor and freight for 1st year. Responsible for preventative maintenance 1st year. 10 year extended plan years 2-10 for repair labor and parts. Compressor 4A6H6 warranted for additional 2 years without labor.
PRICE: Basement $8975.00 Attic $ 9805.00 (not including insulation)

I'm good with the product and dealer has good reputation. However, the cost for both units and duct work is more than I can handle. Does this price seem reasonable? Any modifications to bring down the cost? For example: omit the humidifier (I don't have one now). Thanks.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

I will ask this question again, was a heating and cooling load calculation done? Your contractor wants to increase your 7 tons of cooling to 8 tons! In addition you want to increase your attic insulation. This would decrease your load.

Properly sized equipment would reduce the cost. If you think your house is not dry, then you don't need a humidifier. You could reduce the cost by going with a single stage heat pump.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Any reason for the 3.5 ton air handler with a 4 ton heat pump? It is a match, but I would not go this route... Unless ~5" of height was an issue.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

JoJo

First of all, I sent my email address to you but never rec'd proposal.

Several things.

I agree about the sizing questions. You need a load calc for both heating and cooling both zones performed and given to you on the software letterhead in writing.

I prefer the Heritage 15 over the Heritage 16 that was quoted. With the best rated matching VS air handler.

I prefer the AS Perfect Fit air filter media cabinet over the AprilAire.

I prefer the 803 stat, HW mdl #8321 with outdoor sensor.

For ductwork, specify type. You want R-8 insulation or better. How many returns do you have on lower system?

Just a few random thoughts.

IMO


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

"DUCT WORK: new ducts R-8. Current ducts are 4.2. Increase trunk duct size, increase branch duct size on attic system, change ducts to facilitate better airflow to end bedrooms. Duct work cost = $2250.00."

There is a proposal to improve the duct work.


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Put it another way. Is flex involved? What about returns?


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RE: Heat Pump Install Questions

Hello, I really appreciate your follow-up to my questions. I reached out Friday to American Standard for answers listed in your emails and info. about the Heritage 15. I'm also requesting load calcs for proposals. I'll be in touch on this.
Monday is a conference call with Lennox. Proposal for both units is below. He will work with me on labor cost if both units are installed at same time.

Basement: XP16-048 2 stage /4 Ton/ 47,000 BTU, 16 SEER, 8.5 HSPF, 12.5 EER with R410A
AIR HANDLER: Lennox Signature CBX 32MV-048 VS ECM motor.
Lennox Signature CBX 32MV-048 VS ECM motor.
HEAT STRIP: Lennox 20k electric. Model ECB40-20CB with circuit breaker.
Plastic Condenser pad
Snow Legs
EZ trap
Electric disconnect and whip
THERMOSTAT: Lennox Comfortsense 7000 programmable electronic thermostat with outdoor sensor.
Lennox Merv 10 filter 20x25x5
All necessary condensate piping and connections
All necessary electric connections
All necessary duct alternation and connections
Insulated copper line set
WARRANTY: 10 yrs parts and 10 year compressor. ! year installation materials and workmanship.
Optional: Honeywell Power Humidifier Model HP300 rated 18gpd - $600.00
COST: $7173.00

Attic: XP16-036 2 stage /3 Ton/ 16 SEER, 12.5 EER 8.5 HSPF/ 36,000 BTUs, 2 stage with R410 A
AIR HANDLER: Lennox Signature CBX40UH-036 VS ECM Motor w/ Merv 16 air cleaner
ELECTRIC STRIP: Lennox 15Kw strip Model ECB40-15CB w/ circuit breaker
THERMOSTAT: Lennox Comfortsense 7000 programmable electronic thermostat with outdoor sensor
DUCT WORK: Replace flex in attic with RB; Increase alternations and connections (I asked for specifics in writing)
LINE: Reuse existing line and flush out, leak test.
OTHER SPECS: Same as for basement unit
WARRANTY: Same as basement unit
Optional: Healthy Climate Merv 10 Air Clearer
COST: $7854.00

Any suggestions/comments are welcome. Once again, thanks!


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