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Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Posted by zeke67 (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 13:42

I am looking to replace my current Heatpump. I have a dual zone heat pump with a Rheem for the top floor that is 14 years old and a Trane for the main level that is 10 years old. The Rheem is 12 SEER and the Trane is listed at 14 seer. My electric bills in the winter are very high so was looking to save money by switching to more efficient system. My house is 3400 sq ft. The rheem is 3 ton and the trane is 2.5 ton. I live i Southeastern PA.

I had a contractor out to get an estimate on switching to geothermal. He was suggesting a vertical closed loop system. In the process of discussing options he mentioned the Carrier Greenspeed as a cheaper option. He stated the energy efficiency was close to geothermal.

I am still waiting on the quotes but was interested in what others felt about geothermal vs greenspeed. I would like a ROI within 10 years. My other question is whether I should get an energy audit and if yes how do you find someone to do them?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

www.resnet.us

Call more than one and do a phone interview to see how they react to your description of your home and problems. Choose based on that.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Do a search on the Carrier Greenspeed on this forum. People have posted very good results on energy usage. Greenspeed uses inverter technology which makes it more efficient than a standard air sourced heat pump. In you case it will be expensive if you plan to replace both your heat pumps. I doubt you house needs 5.5 tons of cooling. Hopefully your contractor will do a load calculation.

The geothermal is very expensive even with the tax credit. I would curious to see your quotes. You will not have a 10 year ROI on either system.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Both geothermal and the Carrier Infinity Greenspeed are very good. Knowing both, I would still put my money into geothermal when considering energy efficiency and length of life cycle.

The main difference in price will likely be the ground loop. Perhaps with zoning you could have just one system? There are geothermal systems today that have both a variable speed compressor and blower just like the Greenspeed. Also keep in mind that only the geothermal system can provide domestic hot water production as well, further reducing your energy cost.

Even the Greenspeed will likely need replacing in 15 years - there’s the cost of your ground loop! The geo will only be about 1/2 way through its life cycle.

Geothermal will also give you MUCH better resale value!

IMPO

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: International Ground Source Heat Pump Association at Oklahoma State University


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

So am I better waiting until my system goes to replace it since I am not looking on ROI anytime soon?
And, specifically fsq4cw, what is your opinion of closed vs open loop.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I would advise NOT waiting till you’re backed into a corner by a non-functioning system to do the change - especially for geothermal. I would want to be in a position of control, not desperation.

You’ll have the best ROI the sooner you do it.

Regarding open loop, I would not advise this method unless there were already mitigating circumstances in its favour, such as existing wells that might be used, a high water table so that pumping energy cost won’t be excessive, enough and suitable water.

Open loop will require more maintenance and more energy. Even a 450ft deep closed loop usually requires less pumping energy than even a 100ft open loop well because the closed loop system is ‘balanced’, much like an elevator with counter weights canceling the weight of the car so that just the contents (people) have to be ‘lifted’; weight of the water going down cancels out or ‘balances’ weight of water coming up. Open loop is likened to the same elevator without the counter weights; the whole ‘thing’ (car & contents) has to be ‘lifted’.

Open loop requires monitoring of mineral, biological, and bacteriological content of the water as well as periodic flushing of the heat exchangers will chemicals that might shorten life cycle due to harshness, particularly if not used as per manufacturer’s instructions. Responsible disposal of ‘Leaving’ water should be into a second well returning the water to the SAME aquifer, unchanged except for a few degrees in temperature.

You have to be positive that you have enough water available, as even a 5 ton system might be required to draw over 17,000 gallons per day on extreme weather days. This is in addition to all your other water needs. If you live in a rural area, you must also ensure that you will not be drawing the level of water table of that aquifer below the levels at which your neighbours might be drawing water or else you will have a problem with your neighbours when they discover that you are the cause of their wells running dry!

Consult with a certified/accredited well driller/geothermal loop installer! Dot every ‘I’, cross every ‘T’ BEFORE proceeding with open loop! Imagine the electrical cost of pumping 17kgal/day from a depth of 400 to 600ft. I’m not saying don’t do it - just know what you’re doing. I visited one site where they had about 20-open loop deep boreholes, each one about 1,800 (one thousand, eight hundred!) feet deep and they were STILL saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on space-conditioning AND maintenance costs!


IMPO

SR


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

"Consult with a certified/accredited well driller/geothermal loop installer"

Is there an independent organization that certifies contractors in this or other areas of HVAC work?

I thought all the different org memberships contractors cite are essentially industry or trade organizations that accept anyone willing to pay dues.

That's a problem with all the trades. While state licenses (mostly) keep nincompoops from endangering themselves and others, most are ultimately not too hard to get. The mere possession of a contractor's license does little to insure the customer that the provider is doing the best possible job in all significant respects.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Thanks for all the advice! I just had a second company come. He states based on our township, very strict code, I may not be able to drill holes as I am less than 100 ft from wetlands. He states he would recommend keeping the current Trane that is 10 years old and replace the Rheem that is 14 years old with a Greenspeed.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Re Snidely:

By clicking on the IGSHPA link in my post above anyone can select from a number of Certified GeoExchange Designers, Accredited Geothermal Installers or Vertical Loop Installers in their area. These are all people that have attended IGSHPA courses and have passed their rigorous exams - at no small personal cost or involvement. This was serious and very stressful! A passing grade was 80 or 85% if I remember correctly - lots of math!

Another place to find well drillers and geoexchange installers is through the National Ground Water Association, web site:

http://www.ngwa.org/

In Canada through any of the above mentioned sites or through The Canadian Geo-Exchange Coalition in either English or French:

http://www.geo-exchange.ca/

Re zeke67

The Carrier Infinity Greenspeed is a great choice for something other than geothermal.

I’m a bit skeptical of the info regarding wetlands. While it might be true, would that mean that you couldn’t drill a well for drinking water if municipal piped in water was not available? How about a septic field if no municipal sewage line is available? Just asking.

I would speak with the municipal engineer in the permits department as well as a National Ground Water Association Certified well driller/geoexchange ground loop installer for the rest of the story just to be sure this contractor is not one of those that Snidely is concerned about.

IMPO

SR


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I am a big fan of the geothermal system, you will have no outdoor unit noise, higher resale value and longer life out of your system. You could always replace the 14 year old system now and install a ground loop that would be sufficient for the future geothermal system that will replace the 10 year old Trane unit. While the greenspeed does get closer to the efficiency of geothermal, in my area, geothermal still has a payback of less than 10 years vs the cost of a greenspeed, but this can be a very regional difference based on drilling and installation costs.

You might also want to consider the Trane XV18 or XV20i variable capacity heat pump.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

" in my area, geothermal still has a payback of less than 10 years vs the cost of a greenspeed"

From what I have read on this forum, I would expect a Geothermal system would be twice the cost of a Greenspeed even with the 30% tax credit.

Can you post some typical costs in your area and the expected saving which could achieve a 10 year pay back on the differential of the two systems?


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I finally have quotes. Geothermal cost is $45,000. Cost to replace the older unit with carrier greenspeed is $12,500. To do both would be around $24,000. I am leaning toward replacing the older unit only.

What do others think?


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

My geothermal quote in NYC was 55K (after rebates and 30% Fed tax credit) vs. 11K for the Greenspeed. Ouch.

BTW, the Greenspeed is rated at a conservative lifetime 15 years or 40 million cycles. Along with Copeland variable speed's longer cycle times, the system could conceivably last 20+ years with proper installation and maintenance.

In twenty years, we'll likely have linear compressor systems, which will easily beat today's best variable-speed and digital compressors -- not just in efficiency but in longevity. We'll also likely have much more affordable solar in fifteen years.

I personally believe geothermal linear compressor systems will be the world's future in the next decade.

Just a little additional food for though.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

"My geothermal quote in NYC was 55K (after rebates and 30% Fed tax credit)"

Are you saying without the federal tax credit the geothermal quote is about $78K?


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

The Greenspeed is the 20 SEER, the 18 SEER is about $2500 cheaper. Is it worth sticking to the 20 SEER?


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I can only give you a real-world informed opinion. If you aren't using the Greenspeed heating portion and/or don't have good installation, then no, the anything above 15 SEER isn't worth the additional money. You won't get anything close to 20 SEER without good insulation.

I would actually go with the Carrier Comfort series and insist that Carrier send you the soundblanket for free, Have your dealer install it under the guarantee. A soundblanket over the compressor is the main difference between the Performance and Comfort.

For additional comfort consider a whole house dehumidifier and/or a variable speed blower in the attic and maybe a nice filtration cabinet, like an electronic Aprilaire 5000 or a Lennox LC16. That's the most bang for the buck.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

"Are you saying without the federal tax credit the geothermal quote is about $78K?"

Sorry, that should have read *before* any rebates and Fed tax credit, so 38K. I have a smaller backyard and would need a vertical loop and drilling in NYC is VERY expensive.

Although I just decided to get a second quote on geothermal. This authorized Carrier and Climatemaster dealer has done TONS of Greenspeed and geothermal installs and is very excited about both tech. Climatemaster does manufacture variable speed units.

I am going to ask for real world examples of bills in my area.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Thanks for all the advice. My father in-law just informed me that Bryant products are equivalent to Carrier but less expensive. Is this true? If yes is the Evolution Extreme the equivalent to the Greenspeed?


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Yes, Carrier owns Bryant and uses the brand to infiltrate the markets of other value brands. The Evolution is around 98% identical, the performance is 100% the same to the Greenspeed. The main differences: the Carrier has a baked on enamel finish, better compressor and cabinet damping/insulation and is overall quieter by several dB... not sure about the differences between the air handler. The t-stat is also identical.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

The Bryant equipment may be a little cheaper but after the installation costs by contractor the price could be the same or higher than the equivalent Carrier equipment.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Essentially one authorized dealer told me there is a much higher/rigid standard to become an authorized Carrier dealer vs. Bryant. Although they both require the same specialized training overall and NATE certification. His company won the President's Award four years running, so his statement holds some weight.

I personally compare it to making a pizza, where the ingredients and equipment might be identical, but the results between two piemakers are very different. You have a greater chance of getting a better pie with Carrier.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Not to be disagreeable but I totally disagree with that broad brush post above.

Show me some empirical evidence to support that. The fact is you can't.

TD


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Part of the problem of the HVAC industry are oblique, incomplete and just plain factually incorrect statements. Although with what exactly are you in disagreement with Tigerdunes? Not quite sure.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Hmmm.... interesting, I just had one in-home quote cancelled from a Carrier/Climatemaster authorized dealer. They stopped doing geothermal this year. After 3 years of Greenspeed installs, they felt geothermal doesn't represent nearly the same value in my region and far more upfront costs.

A second Climatemaster geothermal installer called this morning and said they're booked till August, if I do decide on a geothermal installation with them. I'm hoping to get an estimate from him soon.

Anyhow, I'm starting to think it makes more sense to go with the Greenspeed for a year and gauge the savings. Then take the upfront costs of geothermal and invest them instead in solar, either leasing or owning. ConEd is actually allowing net metering now and is launching an initiative this year to increase solar installs and eliminate red tape delays

This post was edited by bsmith on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 13:07


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I am going to get a Bryant quote to compare. Will post when I get it.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Sounds good zeke.

Just to clarify a few things. I truly believe an excellent HVAC system is less about the equipment and way more about the installer. You could easily take a 18SEER system and turn it into a 13SEER.

Secondly, there's no President's Award for Bryant, which is basically one way that Carrier incentivizes good dealers and their installs with perks... huge difference.

Thirdly, Bryant's rebate program is way less funded than Carrier's. Therefore some dealers might try to cut corners in order to provide a better value over a Carrier system.

You are definitely going to get a different install based on whether you purchase Carrier or Bryant. Good or bad? That remains to be seen.

Anyway, all of the Bryant dealers in my area are energy providers with a secondary focus on HVAC installs. Bryant also only ended up being a few $100 less in total. Made my decision easier.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

For those following this thread and the above post, above is pure nonsense.

What is the difference between Carrier's Presidential Award and Bryant's Medal of Excellence?

Look for Factory Authorized Dealer (FAD) and NATE certified, way more important than a company marketing awards ploy.

IMO


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

First of all tigerdunes, the Internet needs less rhetoric, not more, a polite disagreement will suffice. I was told some of this info by not one but two engineers and owners of their respective companies. They likely have more experience than a handful of us combined.

I know the President's Award was established around 2007, the Bryant Medal must have come later. Just to give you an idea, there isn't a single such Medal dealership in my area.

It's an either or proposition, and I pretty sure it makes sense to become a dealer for the brand with way better exposure.

Anyhow, the Carrier Greenspeed has a better cabinet and is noticeably quieter and will better withstand the elements. This could be a deciding factor to some.

This post was edited by bsmith on Tue, Apr 22, 14 at 16:55


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Manufacturers' awards, seals, Silver Club, etc. as are given to businesses that sell their products, are usually based on sales volume and little else. Some "factory authorized" suppliers get good because they have high volume, some have high volume without being good, it's irrevent in most cases.

bsmith, I'm going to guess that where you live is more describable as a small town/rural setting than as a large city. If so, that's why your choices are limited. If not, you just may have the bad luck of living where competent and knowledgeable HVAC contractors are scarce.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I entered my NJ zip code on the dealer search page of the Carrier web site. A list of 24 dealers appear. Of those dealer 8 of them are President's Awards winners. A one third ratio does not seem it is a very exclusive club. These type of awards have a heavy emphasis on the annual sales of the dealer.

I took a look at the product data sheets for the Carrier Greenspeed and the Bryant Extreme. The first thing you notice is that it is the same document. The only thing that is change are the words Carrier, Bryant and the photos of the unit. On page 7 of each document are the sound specifications. You will notice that every value is the same for both units. The data does not show one is noticeably quieter than the other.

Both cabinets have a bake-on finish. One is called DuraGurad and the other is Weather Armor Ultra. Both of these name have been trade marked.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I've stood next to each unit, the Greenspeed is quieter enough to be noticeable. I might even have to get out my sound meter. The award is based on both volume sales and customer satisfaction. We're talking about businesses both around since the early sixties, which is an accomplishment that can't be gotten without satisfaction/word of mouth. Didn't say it was an exclusive club. Apples and oranges, not Mercedes vs. Yugo.

This post was edited by bsmith on Tue, Apr 22, 14 at 18:19


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Again, the above post is nonsense.

If following this thread, please disregard the comments from this poster. He is obviously not a pro in the HVAC business and is just offering an uninformed opinion from a novice.

TD


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Do you have an engineering degree tigerdunes? Because I have known plenty of HVAC dealers with trade school experience and very little practical knowledge about equipment they are installing/servicing and don't like questions directed their way.

Meanwhile this work is not rocket science and the Internet is forcing dealers to get better informed and become more transparent, otherwise plumbers might be in the waiting to take their business.

As for the Copeland's variable speed life expectancy, it's theoretically possible for a brushless DC motor to outlive most other heatpumps by many years, another thing to consider.

The Carrier product also offers more rebates than than the Bryant, and this could effect how both are pushed and priced by your dealer. I actually had several Bryant quotes that were almost 10% higher than the Carrier in my area.

And yes, the internals are likely 100% the same, the housing is clearly different between the Carrier and Bryant especially near the top grill... this could easily affect the sound characteristics of the unit.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

"bsmith, I'm going to guess that where you live is more describable as a small town/rural setting than as a large city. If so, that's why your choices are limited. If not, you just may have the bad luck of living where competent and knowledgeable HVAC contractors are scarce."

I live in the heart of NYC and have now gotten ten quotes including Carrier, Bryant and geothermal. This is how I have formed my opinion, which is extremely relevant to the topic.

Anyhow, knowledgeable HVAC contractors are scarce, period. Most are probably content not even bothering with load calculations, simply dropping an identically sized unit into the same area with existing leaky ductwork and calling it a day. The industry has hardly changed since I last went HVAC shopping ten years ago, except now the push is for ductless.

This post was edited by bsmith on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 7:13


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

I just got Bryant quote. With rebates there is a difference of $1400 with Bryant being cheaper. I have gotten a solid recommendation on the Carrier installer. The Bryant installer has good Angie's list reviews but don't know much more about them.

From prior experience I know installation can be variable so leaning towards the Carrier but also considering waiting until the upstairs unit goes as I have my downstairs unit as a backup.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

You're very lucky. I got my third Bryant quote, and it's $1000 more (after rebates) than the identical Carrier. I have personally found Carrier dealers (with the exception of one) to be way more knowledgeable than the Bryant.

Yet, I would probably go with any Bryant dealer with good Angie list reviews for $1400 less, as long as s/he allowed a very hands-on homeowner approach. I personally vetted contractors by asking very pointed questions.

In the end, I went with the dealer who wanted to work with my needs and answered all of my questions in a timely fashion, someone who was willing to do everything by code without any shortcuts.

The dealer who's booked for weeks in advance is usually the one you want. Not the one that calls/e-mails every few days asking if you have seen the contract and is desperate for work. :)


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

One other thing to consider on the loop is I believe the warranty on the pipe can be as high as 50 years. Of course replacement cost would probably not be included but it stands to reason that if installed properly and with plenty of bentonite it will more than pay for itself. I wonder what the rates will be in 50 years..


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Just got off the phone with the Bryant dealer. I asked him what he would recommend, the 16 or 20 SEER unit to replace my second floor heat pump. He felt not much savings being the second floor unit, he stated if 1st floor would definitely recommend the 20 SEER. He also states he suspends the air handler in the attic, ours is currently on a platform sitting on the joists.

Curious what others think about the above?


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

The advice the Bryant dealer you makes no sense to me. The second floor will have the higher heat load so you want the more efficient AC on the second floor and not the first.

The other question is what is the price difference between the 16 and 20 SEER units? Depending on your electric rate and location it may not be worth the extra money.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

The price difference is about $2000. My AC bills in the summer are not bad, it is the heating that is about 2-3x the AC. So his point is that using a more efficient unit for heating is going to get me more bang for my buck then for AC.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Absolutely depends on the price difference.

I personally think a 15-16 SEER HP is a better value than the 20+ SEER which rarely has that AHRI rating anyway.

If going GreenSpeed you want to pay attention to the AHRI HSPF efficiency rating. That's what you are paying for and that's where the bang for the buck is. You want 12-13 HSPF.

Now if going conventional air source heat pump, for your location, I would stay away from Carrier/Bryant and look at Trane especially for their electronic demand defrost feature which Carrier and Bryant do not offer.

Thoroughly confused? Sorry. Come back with questions. And I will say again, the Carrier GreenSpeed and Bryant Extreme HPs are the same except for cabinetry assuming equipped with same FE air handler. Despite what others might say.

Both have had noise related issues just so you know.

IMO


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

The 16 SEER is 8.5 HSPF and the 20 SEER is 13 HSPF.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

"And I will say again, the Carrier GreenSpeed and Bryant Extreme HPs are the same except for cabinetry assuming equipped with same FE air handler. Despite what others might say."

First of all, you have a bias against my opinions and try to discredit me while yourself having poor reading comprehension.

I wrote this, “The Evolution is around 98% identical, the performance is 100% the same to the Greenspeed.” How does my opinions/facts even differ from yours? I go on to say only the cabinet is different. We can agree to disagree where the differences lie. Again, where’s the beef?

I’m sure lots of people appreciate your well-intentioned 'expert' advice you give here, maybe even those not knowing any better. Except what are your credentials? You still haven’t answered as to whether you have an engineering degree.

From reading your (at times) very definitive advice, you seem like an average well-intentioned homeowner with a passion for HVAC. Just keep on posting those IMOs.

Been here since 06, and plan on posting here for many years to come. :)


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Zeke67, I'm in the same boat as you. There are more choices than ever and you want the best money value.

Except you can cull enough Internet info to become your own expert.

I personally would use these two calculators. They are professional tools, one of which is used by my Carrier dealer every day.

Carrier installation cost calculator
http://sagoro.wrightsoft.com/Carrier/Default.aspx

http://www.tools.carrier.com/greenspeed/

Here's the installation manual
ftp://ftp.mingledorffs.com/Tech_Service/Variable-Speed-HP/Bryant-Evolution-Extreme-Training-Manual.pdf


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

So far, the Greenspeed and brand new Sunrise windows are exceeding my expectations. In the same 4 month billing period last year, I used 4160kwh vs 1950kwh this year, or 53% savings. Granted this summer was much milder than last year.

However the real test will come this winter. So far, I was nicely surprised at the volume of hot air generated and the stingy amount of energy used. Yesterday cost me $1.23 to heat my home (67F day/60F night during a 50F average temp day.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

If you plan to reside there less than 10 years neither. More than 10 Geothermal. The loop system will last through multiple systems usually and the unit is almost always out of the weather.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Just read through this thread... so much BS posted. The Evolution Extreme does not have "a better compressor" than the Greenspeed. Engineering degree? Give me a break! Someone with an engineering degree and no practical experience would be eaten alive by this trade, or any trade for that matter.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Sat, Oct 25, 14 at 15:39


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

Does anybody know if this is correct.

ClimateMaster’s relationship with the Carrier corporation ended on May 11, 2014. As a result, on May 12, ClimateMaster stopped building Carrier/Bryant-branded residential geothermal units.
ClimateMaster distributors will now process warranties and sell parts for Carrier/Bryant residential geothermal units built by ClimateMaster.


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RE: Geothermal vs Carrier Greenspeed

That is posted on ClimateMaster's own website... if that's not correct, I don't know what would be.

The more interesting question is, who's building Carrier's geothermal HP's now?


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