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deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Posted by cindywhitall (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 5, 12 at 13:45

I live in NJ. There is a program called njcleanenergy that gives rebates based on the percentage of energy saving achieved by upgrading the hvac and doing other items. Reducing usage by 20% gets a $4k rebate and by 25% gets a 5k rebate. Also, there is 10 year financing at 0% for up to $10k. Our home would get energy star certification. It sounds like a good deal.

I have a 16 year old, 2 story, 2800 sq ft house with a 90% heater and standard (80%?) a/c unit. We want to replace the hvac because many neighbors have been having failures, so we thought to do it while the program above exists.

We had the home energy audit and in order to achieve 20% we would have to go with a hybrid heat/ac system and a power vent hot water heater, along with attic sealing and 6" of insulation. This gets us the 4k rebate. If we do the non-hybrid system with a tankless hot water system and attic work, we get the 5k rebate, and somehow the whole job turns out to be 1k less. We think the tankless option is the best move since it is cheaper.

We had also considered just doing the hvac and not participating in the program. That would cost us $3k less than the whole energy star package, and no special financing. Our water heater is 8.5 years old.

My main question is whether it is worth it to spend the extra 3k on the tankless water heater and the attic sealing and insulation?

The unit quoted is Carrier 59TP5A100E21 and 24ABC648.

Any thoughts on the warranty of 10 years complete vs 5 yr complete w/10 yr mfg part warranty? Are hvac likely to have issues in year 5-10 or do most show up early, and then at the end of life span (sort of like cars). I also read that many of these warranties require you to get them serviced every year. I'm thinking the warranty cost for those additional 5 years, plus the mandatory service fees (rather than getting a friend etc to do it) might pay for any out of warranty repairs.

Any thoughts are appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I forgot to put costs....The unit I mentioned is a 2-stage furnace, 1 stage a/c and will cost me 12,750 after the rebate. I get to finance 10,000 at 0% for 10 years. They claim my utility savings will about equal my monthly payment of $83. The hvac alone is about 9500 depending on warranty option I choose. No special financing, minimal rebates included in price.

They say energy star rating will increase value of my home at resale.

Part of me knows the attic work should be done. The other part thinks it is costing a lot. My preliminary estimate doesn't have breakdowns. The guy did basically admit that it does cost $ to run to be in the program (lots of paperwork with the state, energy audit had to be done, etc) so I know it's the cheapest price I could get. I just hope the 5k isn't eaten up in price increases, you know, mark it up to mark it down....


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

What size furnace and AC do you currently have, and what are the sized of the replacement equipment? Has the contractor done a Manual J calcualtion and have you reviewed it?

I looked at the NJ Clean Energy Web site. I am skeptical about these type of programs. I think you pay higher prices in order to fund the energy auditer's work and the rebates. You can save money with the NJ Cool Advantage and Warm Advantage rebates. The Cool Advantage requires a Manual J and S calcualtion by the contractor in order to qualify.

I don't know the sizes of your new equipment, but the quote you received seems high even for NJ. The Carrier Performance furnace is good, but the Comfort series AC is near the low end. This combination does not qualify for a rebate from Carrier. I suggest you upgrade the AC to a 2-stage Performance series. You should also get a price for an Infinity furnace and AC combination. This qualifies for a $1100 rebate from Carrier.

If you plan to live in your house for at least 5 years, I recommend you replace the furnace at the same time. The Carrier 10 year labor warranty is also a good investment. You should have a yearly service check on the equipment, but missing a year will no invalidate your warranty. If you change the filter regularly and don't abuse the equipment the warranty will be honored. Get a 4 inch media filter if it can fit in your set up.

Adding insulation in the attic is always a good thing. You want an insulation value of at least R-30. I am not sure about sealing an attic. I was always told you need adequate ventalation in the attic to eliminate moisture. Perhaps an attic sealing expert can comment on this. How are your windows and doors? I would put the money there before sealing up an attic.

Your hot water heat is only 8.5 years old. It still has 5 - 10 year of life left. I would not do a tankless set up. They are very expensive and you may never see a pay back. The power vent hot water heaters are also expensive. I like the fact you have all the hot water you want during a black out with a conventional hot water heater.

In my opinion, your home will see no increase in value with an energy star rating.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I took the attic sealing to mean sealing the floor of the attic not changing the attic from vented to unvented.

Surely a 16 year old house has R-30 already. I've lived in a few early 90s houses in NC and they look like they had R-30. Obviously NJ should be stricter. R-60 is what is recommended for new houses in your climate and while that is better than R-30, the difference is not dramatic.

Those prices are outrageous.

What do you pay to heat and cool the house now?

You probably have a Seer 10 a/c now.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Attic was supposedly R-30, but it doesn't come up much past the joists. One of the guys that came up said it has settled, not sure if that makes a difference. I think he said it needs to be R-38 at least. One estimate was for 6" of blown in on top of what we have.

Attic sealing meant sealing the floor. He showed me the dirty insulation where the walls below meet the attic. I have seen some ice on the roofing nails in the past, is that from the heat escaping into the attic?

I will look into the Carrier rebate, but the quotes using the hybrid were higher. I will double check. He did say my current furnace is bigger than I need.

Following is the little bit of info I got in response to an email I sent. It is clear that the Navien water heater is way overpriced. I understand they aren't giving me rock bottom prices due to the rebate and the work involved, but it still seems way high. I don't mind paying a little more to get a 5k rebate, but I don't want to be scammed either. Still waiting on estimate #2.

From "home comfort specialist":

The capacity of the systems are 48,000 btu�s (4 tons) 16 seer efficiency for the A/C

The furnace is 100,000 btu�s with 96.1% efficiency

Here are the cost breakdowns:

Full system with tankless water, heater, a/c, furnace, insulation, and air sealing $17,788.00 - $5,000.00 rebate and 0% financing for $10,000.00 leaving out of pocket cost of $2,788.00 and monthly energy savings of $75.00. payment of $83.00 per month.

A/C alone $6,393.00 no rebates available.

Furnace alone $6,219.00 with a $400.00 NJCE rebate net cost $5,819.00

A/C and furnace $10,721.00 includes multi system discount and will get a $900.00 NJCE rebate net cost $9,821.00

We can take the NJCE rebates off of the price and we wait for them instead of you (they take 4 to 6 months to receive)

Insulation and air sealing $2,862.00

Tankless water heater $4,195.00 (includes extra large gas piping and venting that is required)

All these costs are inclusive of everything needed, all materials, labor, permits, sheet metal, electrical, gas piping, and the 10 year complete parts and labor warranty for the furnace and air conditioner.

The 10 year warranty costs are $243.00 for each the furnace and the A/C total $487.00.

I think you would be missing an opportunity to make a great improvement to your home, increase its value and your comfort with very little out of pocket costs with the state program.

Any choice you make all the work will be done in one day for the least inconvenience to you.

Please contact me with any questions or more information.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I now understand the attic sealing. I have never seen this done, so I can't comment how much it is going to help.

You should forget about the tankless how water heater. You will never see a pay back in its lifetime.

Did the comfort specialist do a Manual J calculation? A 100,000 BTU furnace and 4 ton air conditioner seem a bit oversized. Do these sizes account for the additional insulation and sealing?

How does the contractor know you will achieve an energy savings of $75 per month? Did they review your energy bills from the past few years?

I recommend you get additional quotes for the furnace and AC. Call another Carrier dealer if you want to do an apples to apples comparison. Some HVAC dealers offer financing if this important to you.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

They had my bills which show usage for the past year. I don't know what calculations they did, but they did measure my house. They are a very large company with a good reputation. This one has done the most of these energystar jobs according to the njcleanenergy.com website. They have to do calculations and send them to the state (or somewhere) to get approval to be in the program. They have to be BPI certified.

They calculate an estimated % savings for each "measure" they do and it has to add up to 20 or 25% savings. The air sealing should ave 6%, insulation 2%, upgrade furnace 2.5% (hybrid would be 6%) upgrade water heater 7%, a.c system 2%. Everything has to be submitted and approved. One company did do a blower door test already. I believe it is required before and after. The air sealing is a requirement for the program.

I have one more quote in process and I will call for another today.

The tankless water heater was to meet the 25% savings requirement. If I choose hybrid system I can meet 20% with a power vent water heater, or I can meet 25% with non-hybrid and tankless. The non-hybrid w/tankless comes out cheaper. The 25% w/ tankless gets me $1000 more of a rebate
Does that make sense? Is a hybrid that much more? Maybe the install of a hybrid is more labor because I don't have that type now?

This is a little about the program:

Here is a link that might be useful: njcleanenergy.com


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

air sealing and duct sealing is the best investment for the buck.
making the house tighter, and ducts delivering all the air into the home is a no brainer.
tighter houses are easier to heat and cool, having all of the air supplied going into the house saves money and adds comfort.

the water heater question would be better answered
by what type you currently have.
I see on their site they have gas tankless and heatpump
water heaters.
http://www.njcleanenergy.com/files/file/Residential Programs/HP/2012NJHPwESEligibleMeasures122811.pdf
what type water heating do you currently have?

usually the software does a load sizing for you.
information about the house is gathered on site
visit. size, orientation, window size & shading
overhang of roof..elite software is incorperated into
the software used to do ratings/audits.
the difference is that you can't print the load calc
seperately from the rating forms. (or this is how
it is with RESNET)

I'd have to think long and hard before investing $17,000
are you going to be in the house long term?
this would add weight to the argument for the investment.

I find that utility companies cap the improvement at
20-25%. of course they are in the business of selling
energy so they don't want to save you 50%!

do you have any comfort issues now? if your existing
a/c is 10 SEER then upgrading to the minimum they
recommend (14.5) SEER will provide you a savings.
80% to 90+ afue heating will do the same.

did they test the ductwork? physically seal off
supplies and test through the return to measure how
much air is being lost?
do they recommend hvac companies to do the work?

did they show you house leakage sites? or just give
you the amount of leakage?
what were the numbers anyway? and what is the about
square footage of living space of your home?
knowing this information would be helpful.

its a big investment. slow down and educate yourself
before signing up.

best of luck.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I have prices from 2 places and an informal price from a third. It seems that the third place is less $, and they are smaller. One of them does a lot of advertising, and the 2nd is building a new showroom. I think that is why the third is cheaper, less overhead. Still A+ bbb rating. I'm getting another smaller company out because they are very close and also have a good rating.

This 4th company told me on the phone that the hybrid system is more than the system I mentioned in my original post (16 seer , 4ton, 1-stage, 96% 100,000btu 2 stage) but he made it sound like it is not a lot more.

My current question is how much more would you expect a hybrid unit to be that provides the same heat/cool as the quoted units? I would choose hybrid if I could get greater enough energy savings that would enable me to get a powervent water heater instead of a tankless. The tankless is running about $3700, but it gets me a %5000 rebate with the program, while the hybrid with powervent hot water would only get me a 4k rebate, that's why I need to know the price difference between hybrid and conventional. I feel like they may be overcharging for the hybrid because they think I am captive to getting it so that I can get the rebate.

Odds are I will miss Carrier's rebate deadline of June 30 unless I move fast. So far the extra cost to get infinity system and controller that would get me the rebate doesn't seem to be worth it anyway. I don't need a Cadillac system, a nice Toyota will do...(my old "ford" system works just fine!)

I'll post back soon. calling company 3 because I never got his formal proposal, only a copy of numbers he hand wrote while he was here and we discussed options.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Guys here can probably tell you differences in price for a 4-ton AC vs a 4-ton HP. But I would expect it to be in the range of $300-$800.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Guys here can probably tell you differences in price for a 4-ton AC vs a 4-ton HP. But I would expect it to be in the range of $300-$800.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Guys here can probably tell you differences in price for a 4-ton AC vs a 4-ton HP. But I would expect it to be in the range of $300-$800.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Cindy,

You should compare notes with nms21. He is located in Cherry Hill, NJ and is also considering the NJ Clean Energy program. He may have gotten quotes from the same Carrier dealers.

Please keep us up to date on your decision. I am curious to learn more about the program.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

So cindy

If you elect to use the special NJ incentive program, what is the net out of pocket cost to you on the Carrier system?

Post back.

IMO


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

It will cost about 12500 for a 2stage 96 eff carrier w1 stage comfort ac, .66 eff power vent water 50 gallons, 1000 sq feet of R19 blown insulation and sealing of all gaps and cracks in attic.

About 13000 for the above but with a tankless 98 eff water heater.

These are round numbers from memory. That is the after rebate pricing, there is 10,000 financing at zero percent for 10 years...$83 monthly payment. Our estimated energy savings would be around 72 monthly, so they say.

I have 2 meetings on Monday and should be able to have it down to 2firm options. .

The water heaters are power vent. I need their efficiency to meet the rebate and apparently by sealing the attic I need the power vent for proper venting...

Seems like a pile of $ to me. I have read NJ is pricey for this stuff....


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Update,

the company that was most expensive initially has been working with me. My most attractive option right now seems to be the tankless after all. All the posts I read about the defrost cycle of Carrier, the run time of the units, and the obvious fact of my furnace being 95% eff got me wondering about it after all.

The original quote was for a TP%A 2-stage heat with a 24ABC a/c. I didn't like the 24ABC too much as I think it is barely above bilder grade (correct?).

The new quote is for the 59TP5A, the 24ACB7 (2-stage) the tankless and all the air sealing and insulation. The quote with the higher grade a/c is $450 lower than my original quote.

The tankless will plug into an outlet and can easily be used with a generator (which I can get for a decent price after all--considered Harbour Freight, but the reviews are scary even for something we'll barely use!)

Anybody care to comment on this system? Everything will cost me 12k (10k to be financed). How much do you think that hvac system alone (new lineset etc) should cost me here in NJ??

I think this is how I will go....the lowest heat pump option was with a 25HCC which I wasn't loving that HP model...For the same money I will get 2-stage a/c and tankless....Tankless with a generator could be a nice option in the event of a prolong winter power failure! I have a big bathtub!

I didn't ask what thermostat....In his original quote they listed a honeywell vision pro 8000, do I want that or a carrier one?


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

A tankless hot water heater requires more natural gas input than a conventional tank. Does the installation include upgrading the gas line as necessary?

Did the installer explain what is required to maintain the tankless system? Have you factored in these costs? Will you have enough capacity to take a shower and wash dishes at the same time?

In my opinion you are better off getting the heat pump and keeping your current hot water heater. Spend a little extra money and upgrade the heat pump to a better one. You don't have to use the condenser as heat pump. It can be used for cooling only.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

The price includes all the necessary work. This is one of the biggest companies around here and they have done way more of these projects than any of the contractors listed on the njcleanenergy website (within 20 miles of my zip). I am comfortable with them being able to do the job. He says they have put many of the tankless in and that people are very happy and they can do multiple tasks at once.

No matter what, my water heater has to be changed to either a power vent or a tankless. I did do reading and it has to do with air quality because the natural draft will be reduced raising the risk of the exhaust not properly venting. I am left with choosing heat pump or tankless to meet my rebate levels and today I am thinking the tankless might be less potential headaches compared with the heat pump and it's defrosting and shorter life compared to a/c. The tankless water should have a long life if properly maintained. Luckily, my neighbor is a plumber who has put one in his own home and he will guide me on maintaining it, and will help me do it if we can't handle it ourselves.

If it weren't for the the rebates I wouldn't do any of it except the hvac! I think the heat pump vs tankless is a debate I could have with myself forever! They are charging me too much extra for the heat pump for me to not use it as one, which is why I'm thinking I might get more perceived bang for my buck with tankless. Yes, as someone said, I AM CONFLICTED! But at least my prices are a little better now :)

Any input on what 2 stage heat and air in Performance level Carrier with new lineset and condensation removal etc would/should cost? Comparing it to neighbors paying 9000 for single stage Lennox a/c and 80% furnace, or the $8000 someone else paid for brand I never heard of, I would guess maybe close to 10000 with new lineset and condensation removal etc?

I would be happy with either setup. Looks like the same price either way I go...


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Until I see some operational cost numbers that justify a HP, I think it's a waste especially with this homeowner.

As far as stat, I would want a true two stage thermostat that controls the staging of heat based on demand, not a cheap timer setup on the control board. Discuss with dealer. Carrier site says this furnace will accept the Infinity control but Carrier is mighty frisky with price. An in between substitute would be HW VP IAQ latest version.

IMO


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

You should be able to get the Carrier furnace and AC you listed above in the $8000 - $8500 range. This set up should qualify for the NJ Warm Advantage and Cool Advantage rebates. These rebates are $400 and $500 respectively.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

mike, I'd love to get it for that price...Wouldn't do air sealing or anything else at this point. I don't know how I'd get it that low. The neighbor who paid in the mid 7000's only got Tappan or something and I don't think she got hi-eff furnace...The other neighbor with Lennox paid in the 8000's and he got his own permits, did his own electric and got 80% furnaceand 1-stage air. He paid 8200 after rebate.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

If you want better prices you need to wait until the fall. The time to get quotes is September 15 - October 15 when the HVAC business slows down. We have had one of the hottest months of July on record. It is not a time to be shopping.

Don't go by your neighbor's prices. They may have had a difficult installation or duct work modifications. Don't be surprised if you get quotes which vary by 20% for the same equipment. Prices will vary between contractors.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

If you want better prices you need to wait until the fall. The time to get quotes is September 15 - October 15 when the HVAC business slows down. We have had one of the hottest months of July on record. It is not a time to be shopping.

Don't go by your neighbor's prices. They may have had a difficult installation or duct work modifications. Don't be surprised if you get quotes which vary by 20% for the same equipment. Prices will vary between contractors.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

If you want better prices you need to wait until the fall. The time to get quotes is September 15 - October 15 when the HVAC business slows down. We have had one of the hottest months of July on record. It is not a time to be shopping.

Don't go by your neighbor's prices. They may have had a difficult installation or duct work modifications. Don't be surprised if you get quotes which vary by 20% for the same equipment. Prices will vary between contractors.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I agreed to the 2-stage heat/air and the tankless, air sealing and insulation. The company came down from their original price AND upgraded the size of the tankless (strength?) and upgraded the model of the a/c, so I feel I am at least getting a more reasonable price.

He will come by with the official quote or whatever for me to sign on Thursday. I am confident that this company will do the job correctly.

The tankless will have a power cord and an outlet so it will be easy to use the portable generator I am considering buying anyway for tailgating and power failures. Just need to buy extension cords or an interlock to the circuit breaker panel. I decided to do tankless because of the initial appeal to me. I will be able to fill my large tub immediately after both my boys take their showers. Many a cold night I've wanted a bath and had to wait to make sure there would be enough hot water. That is more of a tangible benefit than the heat pump would have been. The furnace I will be getting will heat me fine!

Is it true that my humidity in the winter might be higher once the house is more sealed and insulated? That would be nice.

Is this info about blowers correct? I had different quotes (and they have to do Manual J for the rebate so I know that was done) and am apparently in between 80,000 btu and 100,000. The contractor said that the 100,000 will (can?) use a stronger blower which should help in the summer with getting the cool to the second floor. In the winter it will likely run more in the 1st stage than the 80k would.
My old furnace was 120,000 and 90% eff. It seems to me like the 100,000 would be the right size. Not sure if or how the manual J works and how the pending air sealing etc figures in the calc.

Anyway, the decision is made. Details can be changed.

Thanks for all the advice. I think it did help me ultimately make an informed decision. I may be still paying too much but I think I'm in a fair price for everything I'm getting and even if I'm not "saving" that much with the rebate I still get the financing and the increased efficiency and less energy out the roof. At least I'm not paying the first price they offered for lower equip.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

What is the final list of equipment and services you are getting and the total price?


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

What is the final list of equipment and services you are getting and the total price?


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Hi - I am in the exact same spot that you were in deciding HVAC replacement. Can you share the equipment list and final price - please.... Seems like you went for Carrier and what thermostat did they give you?

Thanks a ton !


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Are you doing the clean energy program or just hvac? My price was a one price for several items. I think I overpaid, but if you are doing the whole progam let me know and I'll email you my details.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I am looking at the celan energy program. Need to replace water heater and furnace anyway and its not a whole lot less than the Whole house with the AC and insulation.

Appreciate your help - you have done a very detailed analysis..

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

RJ,

Let me tell you that I think I made a mistake by starting this process in the summer (hi demand season) and by not getting a quote for just hvac from someone not participating in the program, or from someone in the program--but not as part of it. I honestly had no good way to judge the prices which me and another member who did the program feel are jacked up due to the rebates. I suggest you start NOW. Another mistake was getting a little caught up in price and forgetting details. I got a "Multiple" speed blower which is fine, though I confused it with "variable" which is better. Multiple is still better than my old one...so it will be fine. I will be cool or hot and that is the main goal isn't it? I used a BIG company in south Jersey that starts with an "H." Their price was a bit better than the company starting with an "S" They weren't as good as I thought and I should have gone with "S"...Also, "H" initial quote was highest, but at the end of summer they lowered it.

The upside is that I did get air sealing and insulation which I never would have bothered with if it weren't part of a package. I would not have gotten a tankless water heater either which I think I will love in the winter when I take hot baths more often. Neighbor has had one for several years and loves it and says his gas bill loves it too.

Also, I already had a 90%, so in order to reach 25% I needed a tankless water heater AND insulation (in addition to air sealing). H could only get me to 20% with a heat pump and power vent water heater instead of tankless, but S claimed I could get 25% with heat pump...I opted for tankless due to higher rebate with chosen company and due to gas prices with a 96% furnace I thought the tankless would be more useful day to day with not a great payoff on heatpump unless gas went up and electric stayed same or went lower (as gas went up--very unlikely). H said S must have played with the numbers to get me 25% with heat pump...I'm not so sure....

Carrier 59TP5 100k btu 2 stage, multiple speed (2800 2-story) probably a little oversized but my old one was 125k at 90%...
24ACB7 4ton ac. 2 stage
Navien tankless 210A NG. nice but pricey, figured rebate took some of that cost away.
air sealing attic and some air seal in basement.
6-8" of blown insulation in attic
10 year parts and labor
total 17k, less 500 rebate = 12000 cost with 10000financed for 10 yrs at 0%

neighbor paid 8200 for Trane after rebates, similar size, 80% 2stage and 1 stage ac high seer. He did his own elec and permits so that wasn't in his price. He did not get air seal,insul or tankless or financing, and I don't think he got 10 year FULL warranty. I figured if he had gotten 97% and paid for elec , permits and warranty he'd have been close to 9500..compared to that I think my price is "ok". "H" clearly made a high profit with the rebate (though the salesman would have you think they made pennies on me). I computed the value of the 0% interest and it is quite a savings vs financing at higher or pulling it out of savings and losing investment opportunities.

Bottom line, I could have spent less than 12k, but I would have gotten less. Did I get value of at least 12k? Certainly. If you allow 3k for the tankless that brings the hvac down to 9k and doesn't even include cost of air seal or insul or financing.

Hopefully you are a better negotiator and can find a smaller reputable company. I think a large part of my indecision was not knowing what just hvac would have cost, and there are many choices within hvac (heat pump, stages, blowers...)Brings to mind...it you can get a less eff furnace than 95% then maybe heat pump would make sense. I'm not sure the program allows that though.

It's funny because some things you get better at doing the second time around, like raising kids (I call mt first son my practice child), buying a home, buying a car...you learn from mistakes and learn more about what you're doing. I've never bought hvac before and now I know what I'd do differently. Good luck.

Oh yes...assuming you are not already at 90% with furnace you will achieve 25% quite easily and heat pump or tankless probably won't even be needed to get you to 25%. Odds are you won't need insulation either. Another member here paid about 9700 for a system similar to mine, without tankless or insul, just a power vent hot water heater and air sealing. his screen name is nms21...I looked up an email from him and he did pay $9800 after rebate for hvac, air seal and hot water (not tankless). Not bad since it can all be financed at 0%.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Cindy and other Gurus

Sorry to drop off for a while - had too many things going on and finally got my second quote yesterday after a week of follow ups. Its still quite confusing and will appreciate your comments and guidance.

I have a 2300 /2400 sq ft house, 2 storey OIL heat (don't ask me why) with a Carrier AC that is running great but about 14 years old.

Option 1 (Rheem equipment)
- RGFG09 95% Furnace,
- 14AJM Condensor Coil 16 SEER/13EER,
- Evaporator Coil AHRI Match Rheem, ADP - seems this is some matching equivalent of Rheem
- Hot Water Heater 40 Gall Rheem 43Vp40E2-E, EF 0.67
- 13 inch blown fibreglass insulation and sealing in attic to R51.1 spec
- 10 year ltd manufacturer warranty / 1 year labor wty on Furnace and AC
- 6 year mfr /1 year labor wty on hot water heater
- New Thermostat (whatever is on Rheem site for high efficiency or Honeywell equal)
- Oil Tank removal
- Note � Sealing and Insulation only in Attic and not anywhere else(basement)
**** All to be done for $10,600 after NJ state rebate of 5K

Option 2A (Carrier)
- Carrier 59 SP5A080E1716 99.5 ECM Var Sp
- Carrier 24ABC636 1 stage AC 36000 BTU
- Carrier CNPV3617 15.2 SEER 12.5 EER AHRI#4744800
- VisionPro 4000 Thermostat
- Carrier Humidifier 12 Gall
- 50G Water Heater Power Vent Eff 0.63
- 5 year complete warranty/10 years parts
- oil tank removal
**** At the same price � approx. 10,600

Option 2 B (Carrier with Tankless and higher efficiency)
- Carrier 59MN7080-14 - 97.4% Mod/Var Sp Furnace
- Carrier 25VNA036 � VARI-SP Heat Pump 36,000 BTU
- Carrier CNPV3717 19SEER 13EER
- Infinity Controller
- Humidifier 12 Gall
- Navien Tankless Water Heater NNR-180_ANG � Eff.9
- Oil tank removal
- 10 year complete warranty
**** Cost after rebates 18,671, NJ loan of 10K, total due 8,67

I think this Option 2B is close to Cindy�s equipment list (not sure if it is of the same capacity since my house is smaller) and even allowing for 1000 for oil tank removal and humidifier - it seems a very high price to be $8,670 -1000 =$7,670.

I note that Option 2B specifies a heat pump with a Infinity Controller whereas Option 2A does not specify a heat pump and no Infinity Controller

I am thinking to go with Option 2A � not sure if the Tankless is worth so much more. I am asking the contractor to see what they can improve on Option A or even take off the Tankless heater and try to bring it as close to 10K mark as possible.

Other questions
1) is the contractor required to share the Manual J calculation � not that it would make sense to me.
2) Any thoughts of Rheem v/s Carrier quoted equipment in terms of performance and reliability

Let me know your thoughts and sincere thanks for your time.

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Cindy and other Gurus

Sorry to drop off for a while - had too many things going on and finally got my second quote yesterday after a week of follow ups. Its still quite confusing and will appreciate your comments and guidance.

I have a 2300 /2400 sq ft house, 2 storey OIL heat (don't ask me why) with a Carrier AC that is running great but about 14 years old.

Option 1 (Rheem equipment)
- RGFG09 95% Furnace,
- 14AJM Condensor Coil 16 SEER/13EER,
- Evaporator Coil AHRI Match Rheem, ADP ADP Coil RE47636 - seems this is some matching equivalent of Rheem
- Hot Water Heater 40 Gall Rheem 43VP40E2-E, EF 0.67
- Knauf Jet Stream Fiberglass insulation 13 inch blown fibreglass insulation and sealing in attic to R51.1 spec
- 10 year ltd manufacturer warranty / 1 year labor wty on Furnace and AC
- 6 year mfr /1 year labor wty on hot water heater
- New Thermostat (whatever is on Rheem site for high efficiency or Honeywell equal)
- Oil Tank removal
- Note ��" Sealing and Insulation only in Attic and not anywhere else(basement)
**** All to be done for $10,600 after NJ state rebate of 5K

Option 2A (Carrier)
- Carrier 59 SP5A080E1716 99.5 ECM Var Sp
- Carrier 24ABC636 1 stage AC 36000 BTU
- Carrier CNPV3617 15.2 SEER 12.5 EER
- VisionPro 4000 Thermostat
- Carrier Humidifier 12 Gall
- 50G Water Heater Power Vent Eff 0.63
- 5 year complete warranty/10 years parts
- oil tank removal
- Insulation (attic and some basement)
**** At the same price ��" approx. 10,600

Option 2 B (Carrier with Tankless and higher efficiency)
- Carrier 59MN7080-14 - 97.4% Mod/Var Sp Furnace
- Carrier 25VNA036 ��" VARI-SP Heat Pump 36,000 BTU
- Carrier CNPV3717 19SEER 13EER
- Infinity Controller
- Humidifier 12 Gall
- Navien Tankless Water Heater NNR-180_ANG ��" Eff.9
- Oil tank removal
- Insulation ��" Attic and some basement
- 10 year complete warranty
**** Cost after rebates 18,671, NJ loan of 10K, total due 8,670

I think this Option 2B is close to Cindy’s equipment list (not sure if it is of the same capacity since my house is smaller) and even allowing for 1000 for oil tank removal and humidifier - it seems a very high price to be $8,670 -1000 =$7,670.

I note that Option 2B specifies a heat pump with a Infinity Controller whereas Option 2A does not specify a heat pump and no Infinity Controller

I am thinking to go with Option 2A ��" not sure if the Tankless is worth so much more. I am asking the contractor to see what they can improve on Option A or even take off the Tankless heater and try to bring it as close to 10K mark as possible.

Other questions
1) is the contractor required to share the Manual J calculation ��" not that it would make sense to me.
2) Any thoughts of Rheem v/s Carrier quoted equipment in terms of performance and reliability

Let me know your thoughts and sincere thanks for your time.

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Option 2B is ridiculous in my opinion. You are being quoted a Carrier Greenspeed heat pump and a 97% efficiency furnace. This combination makes no sense given the high price of electricity in NJ versus the low price of natural gas. I also question the wisdom of getting a tankless hot water heater.

Option 2A is a Carrier single stage furnace and a base model condenser. The furnace does not a variable speed. I suggest you spend a little extra money and upgrade to a 2-stage furnace and a comfort or performane model condenser.

Option 2A shows a conventional 50 gallon hot water heater.

The equipment on Option 1 is better, but I would not accept the ADP coil. Get the Rheem coil.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

It's hard to compare, my equip is better than 2A, but not as high as 2B. 2B is costing you over $8000? NO WAY!

WITH the program the one thing that MUST BE DONE is air sealing, so I assume that is part of all your quotes? Are your contractors authorized as part of the program (listed on njcleanenergy.com).

Is 2A a powervent water heater? I think you wrote it was.I was told mine had to be, though I have heard opinions on both sides of the argument. Powervent is a tank with a fan to blow the fumes out instead of relying on natural draft. It does seem safer in terms of health and safety and I think is required ( or tankless) if hot water is done within the program.

Tankless is part of the large cost of 2B. Only you know if you would want it for the price. I would go with a 2 stage heat, 1 stage air (I got 2 stage air and doubt it was worth it)

How much does oil tank removal run? That is a cost I didn't have. I think the tankless was about 2000 more than non tankless, so figure if you weren't having the tank out it would be 9600, but then add 2000 if you go tankless which puts you back at 11,600, which is close to my price, but I got 2 stage heat and air.

If you like the Carrier guy, I would go to Carrier website and study the models, then ask for the next model up for the same price. (or 2 models up if you want negotiating room!)

Tankless will me more and I would not do it unless I had extra $ and/or I REALLY wanted it. I only got it because I was spending the same on either the heat pump OR the tankless as I needed one of them to reach my efficiency. MOST people won't need to make that jump since their old furnaces are 80%.

My early bids were "ABC" but I got "ACB" the second letter if it's "b" means base and "c" means comfort. It's better than what I had but not anything amazing. http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/acheatpumps/ac/comparison.shtml Click on the heading that names the series and you will bring up a page where you can view specs to get even more info. I got the ACB7 because I wasn't springing for Infinity. (had to draw the line somewhere! using the extra $ to buy a portable generator so I have water and TV in power failure)

HERE http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/furnaces/gas/comparison.shtml is the furnace page. If you click on the heading (yours is Performance single, mine is Perf 2-stage) it will show you another page. Clicking on specs will show you model numbers within each heading. I think you will be good to get the 2-stage heat and at least the next model up in air (C as second letter in model)

This is based on MY personal decisions. I think you are right now paying about 9600 plus oil tank and as I said the tankless would pop you up to 11,600 or so, which is in the ballpark of what I paid for slightly better equip.including tankless. You might be getting more insulation. The unknown is the cost to remove tank. The higher that really costs, then the better your deal looks.

If you go with option 1, get a 50 gal water heater. Also, you'll need a 2stage thermostat, but they aren't that much (except for those special Infinity and super deluxe types)

Hope that helps you to at least think it through. Try not to go crazy like I almost did!


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Mike and Cindy,

Thank you and I am surfacing after a while. Got some updated quotes meanwhile, so the options are

Carrier 59MN7070 97.4 Mod/Var Spd Furnace, Carier 25VNA036 heat pump (check it at http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/acheatpumps/heatpumps/infinitygs.shtml), Carrier CNPV3717 + oil tank removal (typically costs $650), air sealing and insulation and 50 G Power Vent Eff 0.63 Water heater - for just over $14 K and Infinity Controller

My thought is to (a) ask this contractor to drop the heat pump to 2 stage AC 24ANB (so it will still retain the Infinity controller), check the price and (b) further drop to 2 stage AC (24ACB) and 2 stage furnace (59TP5) and also drop the Infinity since it would not be supported but get a 2 stage thermostat (essentially Cindy's config without the tankless) and see between (a) and (b) what makes sense.

Essentially I figured it should be possible to get Cindy's config without the Tankless (usually a $1600 top up) just over 10K.

Let's see..let me know if I am missing anything.

Cindy - your information has been extremely helpful. Many many thanks...

Mike - just curious about your last comment "you are being quoted Carrier Greenspeed heat pump and a 97% efficiency furnace. This combination makes no sense given the high price of electricity in NJ versus the low price of natural gas." What does electricity have to do with this - please pardon my ignorance..

Truly appreciate your help.

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Greenspeed is a high cost heat pump that is very useful in areas without NG. It makes zero sense to pair it with NG with a very efficient furnace. You have 2 expensive efficient options when most people have 1 less efficient option.

Greenspeed great function is working with low outdoor temps. When you have NG also, you just use NG at low temps.

A heat pump makes no sense in NJ anyway since your electric is so high. I have $.10 electric and I am experimenting with shutting my heat pump off and just using my 90% furnace. You have way higher electric rates and a more efficient furnace - so there is no way to make a heatpump helpful at any outdoor temp. So you are spending $3k extra on a system that does not help. The only benefit would be the flexibility if NG went up in cost by 5 times and electricity magically didn't go up at all. Or if your NG gets knocked out and magically your electricity does not.

Lots of magic to prepare for.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

David has explained it well. The furnace and heat pump form a dual fuel system. The idea is you use the system which costs less to run for a given outside temperature. The cost to run the heat pump is depends on the cost of the electricity and the outdoor temperature. The cost to run the furnace depends on the cost of natural gas only.

Using the Coefficient of Performance (COP) of the heat pump, electricity rates, natural gas rates, you can calculate the temperature where the heat pump can produce heat more economically than the furnace. When gas rates are low as they are now, and when electricity rates are high as they usually are in NJ, you will see the heat pump has a very small temperature range where it can beat the furnace. The small savings is likely to never pay back the additional cost of the heat pump.

Some will argue having a dual fuel system is protection in case the cost of natural gas rises. In my opinion the using of fracking in the US will keep gas prices low for the foreseeable future. If gas prices do rise, then electricity rates are likely to also rise since power plants are moving to gas and away from coal and oil.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I agree with the guys. Why get heat pump AND amazing furnace when one or the other would do? Your 3 4 paragraphs are headed the right way. Obviously more $ will get you somewhat better stuff and you have to balance wants vs. needs with what you want to spend. Tankless was a 'want' for me and a heat pump wasn't. Ask for the price on what you wrote and if you get a killer price on what i got, i will be happy for you, but wish you hadn't told me!

I wonder if the contractors are incentivized to push certain equip? You might want a price on10 year labor! I think mine was about 500, but not sure. You listed 5 so that's ok, but 5 more might not be much $. Any opinions from mike or anybody? When do problems arise?


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Mike and Cindy,

Thank you and I am surfacing after a while. Got some updated quotes meanwhile, so the options are

Carrier 59MN7070 97.4 Mod/Var Spd Furnace, Carier 25VNA036 heat pump (check it at http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/acheatpumps/heatpumps/infinitygs.shtml), Carrier CNPV3717 + oil tank removal (typically costs $650), air sealing and insulation and 50 G Power Vent Eff 0.63 Water heater - for just over $14 K and Infinity Controller

My thought is to (a) ask this contractor to drop the heat pump to 2 stage AC 24ANB (so it will still retain the Infinity controller), check the price and (b) further drop to 2 stage AC (24ACB) and 2 stage furnace (59TP5) and also drop the Infinity since it would not be supported but get a 2 stage thermostat (essentially Cindy's config without the tankless) and see between (a) and (b) what makes sense.

Essentially I figured it should be possible to get Cindy's config without the Tankless (usually a $1600 top up) just over 10K.

Let's see..let me know if I am missing anything.

Cindy - your information has been extremely helpful. Many many thanks...

Mike - just curious about your last comment "you are being quoted Carrier Greenspeed heat pump and a 97% efficiency furnace. This combination makes no sense given the high price of electricity in NJ versus the low price of natural gas." What does electricity have to do with this - please pardon my ignorance..

Truly appreciate your help.

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

So here is my latest update, still working on pricing but reducing it to 2 Options (eliminated the heat pump)
(A)
Air Conditioner 24ANB7 - 2 stage (http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/acheatpumps/ac/infinity.shtml)
and
Furnace 59TN6 - 2 stage var speed (http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/furnaces/gas/infinity96t.shtml)
+ Infinity controller

(B)
Furnace 59TP5 - 2 stage var speed (http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/furnaces/gas/performance95t.shtml)

and Airconditioner - 2 stage
24ACB - (http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/acheatpumps/ac/performance.shtml)
+ Vision Pro controller.

From what I can check, I don't think Option A is a heat pump so no usage of electricity...

If prices are very close, am inclined to go for Option A over Option B

Cindy - you did get a good deal ..

Hope to close now and thank again to everyone.

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Looks good from here. If prices close get A, if not, you will have to choose. I have B, and it works, I'm warm and that was the goal. Can't say if I would notice A or not...maybe for 500 dif....

Hers a thought...why not tn6 with acb7? Does the anb7 give you much more? Both are 2 stage. That would be a nice system, imo.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

TN6 with ACB7 would probably mean that Infinity Controller will not apply - since it is not supported by ACB7.

Let;s see what the contractors say. Again - I think you did the smart thing by moving to 2 stage AC and 2 Stage furnace - usual configs proposed usually are single stage. This is a good learning.

Thanks.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I believe the Performance condensers are compatible with the Infinity controller. I don't know if the furnace must be an Infinity model.

The 59TP5 is a multi-speed furnace, not variable speed. Check the Carrier web site for the details.

My recommendation would be Option A. I have the previous generation of this equipment. It does a great job of humidity controller in the summer.

Did you miss the Carrier rebate window?


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I am looking at closing Option A now. Not sure if I missed the Rebate, have to talk to the contractor tomorrow.

In principle, I will end up paying $700 to $1000 over Option B - thought it would be good to go with Infinity equip and Infinity controller - though am not sure that it will actually provide significantly incremental savings in operating costs. In fact I believe I can probably get Option B as the same cost as Option A but with a bypass humidifier and duct cleaning included.I had my ducts cleaned about 4 to 5 years ago and did not notice any difference. There is no smoker/pet in the house. EPA site also is non-commital about value of duct cleaning and the contractor says with Option A - you don't need a humidifier.

Thoughts?

Thanks !


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Don't waste any money paying for a duct cleaning.

If your windows are tight then you probably don't need a humidifer. It can be added it later if you feel the house is too dry.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

When I purchased my home I had horrible low humidity issues in the winter so I jumped and installed a nice humidifier which solved the symptom but not the problem. I started duct and home sealing and even though I still have to finish the attic and a few other places. I have cut the amount the humidifier is in use by half or more.

We as humans make and produce a lot of humidity with cooking,showers/baths, cleaning, washing clothes. I agree that in many climates and homes a humidifier is needed but if it runs constantly with the furnace even in mild weather some home sealing is in order.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

countryboy,

Sounds like Mike was right again about humidifiers. I think he had suggested to others on other threads not to jump to the humidifier until the house is sealed, because you may not need it. If he didn't say it, I bet he would say it!

My house has been around 50% since the heat has been on, maybe in the high 40's. I guess that is ok. I don't have humidifier


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I would recommend to ride out a winter and keep an eye on RH before jumping on the humidifier bandwagon. There is nothing wrong with a humidifier other than usually a caulking gun and some foam will make a huge impact.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Mike, Cindy,

Everything else being the same (air sealing, insulation, 50G Power Vent water heater, oil tank removal, and 10 year full warranty) I have a 2K difference between 59TN6 - 2 stage furnace and 24ANB7 + Infinity Controller and 59SP5 and 24ABC air conditioner - both single stage with the Vision Pro controller.

I figure the majority of my savings are simply from oil to gas conversion and primarily in heating and not that much from air conditioning costs. I spend about 200-250 per month on electricity and about 2000 per year on oil. The incremental saving from spending another 2K may take at least 5 to 10 years to recover as a payback period at about $15 to $25 per month and I am thinking of saving that 2K to use for other priority items. I will be covered anyway with a 10 year full warranty, so settling for single stage equipment would be a better economic decision. (Incidentally, the contractors absolutely refused to give me the 59TP5 and 24ACB two stage at a decent in between price - it seemed only about $300 short of the 59TN6 and 24ANB).

Do you agree or am I missing anything critical?

Thanks again.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

There will be a small savings by moving up to the 59TN6/24ANB7 combination versus the 59SP5/24ABC. You may not even see a payback in 10 years.

The extra money does buy you additional comfort. If you like the fact that you will hardly ever hear your furnace or AC running, have better distribution of air flow throughout the house, and have better control of humidity in the summer, then the extra money would be worth it.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

That is crazy that they won't give you the in-between models at an in-between price. Did they give a reason? I think they make a lot on the Infinity control.I did not get an Infinity control (been told they are $500!) but I do have a 2-stage thermostat.

Have you tried a little hardball yet? Do you have comparable prices from another contractor you could use? I don't know the comparable costs to the contractor but you could just give them an offer of giving you the TP5 and ACB7 for 1000 more than the lower or less than the higher. I finalized my deal by calling or emailing (I forget) and saying what models I wanted and what I would pay. I told the salesman that if he couldn't agree to it that he should ask whomever he needed to if they could give me that deal and said that I would commit to it if they did. They did and I did.

I think they just want you to go for the higher price. I wonder if they get incentives for Infinity from the mfg? By giving you Infinity vs 1-stage they are hoping you will think 1-stage isn't good enough. That's my suspicious guess...No reason they shouldn't offer you something better. You got offered "good" and "best" and they skipped the "better" level, which is what mine was offered as...You might tell them you don't want just "good" but you can't (or just don't want/need) best and you would like to pay $x for "Better"...the TP5...

Have fun. Try not to stress over it and don't let them beat you down! My 2 stage non -infinity is keeping me warm....that was the goal. I just bought a new 60" TV with the $ I could have spent on a higher level hvac....rather have the TV and the hvac I got.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Thanks.. your advise is much appreciated.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

You could also wait until March when the rebates start again. The Infinity system usually has an $1100 rebate. The dealer funds half the rebate so you may not see all the savings.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Cindy,

Just saw your last update after responding to Mike.
My options were (a) 59TN6 + 24 ANB + Infinity Controller at 12K, (b) 24ACB and 59TP5 at 11.7K (your config)and (c) 59SP5/24ABC at 10K. I figured that if you had your config at 12K which included a Navien them I could get mine with a Powervent heater - which usually cost about 1600 less than the Navien i.e. at 10.4K and then add an additional 600 for my oil tank removal so asked for your config with a Powervent heater at 11K and they absolutely refused. So finally I dropped down to 10K for the single stafe stuff 59SP5/24ABC, but got the 10 year full coverage included. Its a different matter whether 10K is overpriced and that wpould require more research, but I figured that I am getting the AC, Furnace, heater, insulation + sealing, oil tank removal and 10 year full coverage, plus the incremental savings in energy bills in spending another 2K would be very marginal. Also, found the 2K saving very useful to replace my fridge with a nice French door bottom drawer model..

I did try with another smaller contractor who quoted even higher consistently for all configurations...

So that's that. Thanks again for some very valuable insights.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Mike,

Thanks - but the NJ program at 0% may not be available next year, plus till March I may burn at least $800 of oil - therefore needed to do it this year.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I think you will be doing ok with that. Any chance they will bump just the furnace to 2-stage for you for maybe $500 more than the 1 stage? The guy I know who got it all for 10k didn't have an oil tank removed but I think he got the 2 stage heat and the ABC air (1 stage). So it sounds like you are in line with his price. Hey, you're getting rid of the oil tank and getting a new system and air sealing for $83 month and nothing out of pocket, and you can use your $ for a new fridge.

I want one of those french door ones too! I hate my side by side but it is only 11 years old and running strong... Did you pick one out yet? Are you doing much research? Maybe you can save me some time and let me know what's a good one and where has the best price!


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I did ask them to quote just for the 2 stage furnace since the heating is used much more than the AC and the quote was 11300 ! - not worth paying 1300 more - would make sense to then spend 2K more - for true 2 stage with Infiniti, so dropped the idea and am staying with single stage at 10K

Fridge: Samsung samsung Model# RFG297HDRS

We got this fridge at 1699 + Tax and shipping at Sears - list price is $2800. $1699 was the price all thru this week and not anything specific for Black Friday.

I just noticed it is at 2609 on CYBER Monday(!) at Sears, BUT Amazon has it at $1699 - site says only 4 left so perhaps you can order and then cancel later if you wish.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_04681093000P?lid=IExTrans_ItemNumber_link&rioptype=SC&sid=IEx20121125TransSearsOrderConf&eml=

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Stainless-Steel-French-Refrigerator/dp/B004X0AC38

or you can wait for a few days and I am sure it will come back on sale around Christmas.

You also get a $50 rebate from NJ if you trade on a working fridge and Sears picks it up for $10.

Re reviews- my wife had researched Side by Sides as a replacement since we were not sure of the space needed and found Samsung highly rated but when we saw that the French door was only about 3 inches deeper and therefore not much of a space issue, it became a candidate. We loved the Fridge, got it delivered yesterday and the reviews also seem good.

Using a Sears Card gives an additional 5% off. I also found a coupon for an extra $35 off.

Good luck..


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Mike,

Thanks - but the NJ program at 0% may not be available next year, plus till March I may burn at least $800 of oil - therefore needed to do it this year.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Cindy,

Sears also has Model RFG296HDRS at 1699 on cyber Monday.
check http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_04608323000P

I am not sure what is the difference from Model RFG297HDRS now listed at 2809 !


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Cindy, to supplement the posts on air sealing and humidification (too many to read in detail), I encourage the air sealing, but I too advise holding off on humidification.

When you were shown dirty attic insulation, that's an indication of inside air leaking into the attic, with the insulation as an air filter. Leakage of warmed air does two things. First, it costs you a lot of heat. Second, that air is being replaced by cold, dry outside air leaking in elsewhere (below the neutral pressure plane), and that air, when warmed up, has very low relative humidity.

If you reduce the air leakage, you raise the interior RH. In a two-story house, there is considerable "stack effect," driving force to move air through your house. Air at 0 F is about 15% more dense than air at 70. If your house were immersed in water, you'd see where all the leaks are, and where the displaced air is bubbling out. You mentioned seeing frost on roofing nails in winter. That also is an indication that interior air, with higher humidity than outside air, is leaking into your attic. Air sealing the attic will shut this off. I hope that your attic has ridge and soffit ventilation, to keep the roof deck dry. I hope, too, that you don't have any bath fans dumping into the attic.

Finally, on humidification, consider where that added moisture ultimately goes - out through the walls and into the attic, both places where you don't want excess moisture. Moisture in exterior walls and in the attic can lead to mold and rot.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

Wood or gas burning fireplace? Convert wood fireplace to gas?

Mike - maybe you can advise on this.

Am thinking of converting the wood fireplace (never used in 8 years since we moved here) t0 a gas fireplace, using gas logs.

Does the fireplace/chimney need to be lined at all? Does it matter if I use vent free logs or Vented logs?
Is either one better than the other?

I would need to run a gas line from one end of the house (supply in point), around the house and under the deck to the other side and punch a hole in the chimney wall and place the end in the fireplace where I could connect it to the gas logs. Do you see any safety concerns in laying a gas line around the edge of the house or should I simply run it off propane cylinders placed outside the fireplace exterior - see somebody has done that.

Anything specific like min # of BTUs for gas logs that I shouuld look out for?

Is this best done by a fireplace service provider? I am planning to ask the HVAC contractor give a quote for running a line to the other end of the house.

Appreciate your advise.

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I also feel that the cost of hooking gas logs to propane cylinders would be the cheapest option - in this case does the Chimney need to be lined / vented?

Thanks,

RJ


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

If the chimney is made of brick, then it made have to be lined. Even if it is brick, I think a gas fireplace runs hot enough so it would not be a problem. Whether it is gas or propane should not matter. You should ask these questions to a company which specializes in fireplaces.

My suggestion is to spend the extra money and run the gas line to the fireplace. It will be cheaper to operate and eliminate the issues of dealing with propane cylinders. I would rather have the gas pipe in the basement as much as possible.

The other option is to burn wood. My neighbor and I split a cord of wood each year. This year we paid $200. It is a little more work, but you can't beat the smell, sound, and warmth of a wood burning fire.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

You should post your question in the fireplace forum to get lots of opinions. There is such a forum on gardenweb.

My neighbor had some sort of deluxe fireplace installed. Not sure if it was an upgrade or if he never had one. He goes through mountains of wood but says it heats his whole house. He has a family room with a cathedral ceiling that has an opening to the second floor hallway and since heat rises...I think he said he used 5 cords of wood. I'm not sure, but I do recall thinking it was a lot of wood and it wasn't free (maybe one batch was free). I don't know how healthy that is to heat your house all the time with wood. Maybe it has doors and a filter...I don't know.

He just got his gas bill and it was $50. Mine was $115, but I did have my mother-in-law here for a week with her "thin" FL blood so we had to keep the heat at 70-72 rather than 66-68. Neighbor and I both have tankless water heater.

You might consider wood as a cheaper back up option and also ask on the other forum about a unit that can use gas and/or wood. That's what I would do if I had the $.

On another note...MY gas usage on the current bill was higher than last year. Last year we used 65 ccf for a 28 day bill period with avg temp on bill listed as 49.6 This year we used 82 Ccf on a 33 day cycle with a temp of 45.5. The longer bill cycle, lower temp and mother-in-law makes it hard for me to see if my 97% heater,air sealing and tankless SAVED me anything over my old 91% furnace without air seal and my 57% water heater. I have to wait for a bill cycle that more closely matches the temp etc to tell if it helped or not.


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RE: deciding to do energy star program, or just hvac

I once read, forget where, that $1 of natural gas contains more BTUs than $1 of wood. So in addition to being a cheaper source of heat, using natrual gas is also a lot less work.

If he's cutting down his own trees, it's a different cost story. But who wants to have to do that?

Replacing a 91% furnace that was working fine with a 97% furnace will never pay for itself.


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any resale or salvage value for Trane XL200

I am replacing my HVAC as part of the Energy Star program. The AC is Trane XL1200 (unit says 1997 - could be a bit younger) and it works absolutely fine.

Is there any trade-in or resale value for this?


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