Please advise which HVAC system should I choose.

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Old 05-08-19, 04:19 PM
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Please advise which HVAC system should I choose.

I am replacing my 5 ton 14 SEER Carrier system (outside & inside units). I sÍlected a company that gave me 3 options below. Please advise which system I should pick if you work in this field. Thank you very much for your time.

Option 1: $6,000
Lennox Merit Series 14SEER 5ton A/C
Lennox Merit Series 80% with high efficiency blow motor 110,000 BTU Gas Furnace

Lennox Merit Series A/C: 14ACX-060
Lennox Merit Series Furnace: ML180UH110E60C
Lennox Evaporator Coil: CX35/60C

Option 2: $7,900
Lennox Elite Series 16SEER Two Stage 5ton A/C
Lennox Elite Series 80% 2Stage Variable Speed 110,000 BTU Gas Furnace

Lennox Elite Series A/C 16ACX-060
Lennox Elite Series Furnace EL280UH110E60C
Lennox Evaporaotr Coil CNPVP6024ALA

Option 3: $6,300
Carrier Comfort Series 14SEER 5ton A/C
Carrier Comfort Series 80% 110,000 BTU Gas Furnace

Carrier Comfort Series A/C 24ACC460A003
Carrier Comfort Series Gas Furnace 58STA110-1-22
Carrier Evaporator Coil CNPVP6024ALA
 
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05-08-19, 10:09 PM
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80% refers to the percentage of heat the furnace produces which actually heats the house. 20% gets wasted up the chimney.

A modern high efficiency unit which starts at 92% wastes under 10% of the heat produced.

Only issue is venting -> they use plastic pipes which have to be run.

You may only need 4 ton systems, or depending on the load, one 3 ton and one 5. Or maybe the house does in fact need 5 tons of cooling.

A load calculation needs to be done. Without it so have no idea.

I see no reason to replace 11 year old furnaces unless their heat exchangers are cracked and there are other issues. You can replace just the leaky coil or the entire a/c and leave the furnace alone. (limited to 14.5 seer , single stage though)

Also, smaller than 110 000 btu input furnaces are available with blower sufficient for 5 ton.

As far as repair goes, the r22 phase out isn't a good reason to not repair an a/c. They make higher margins on replacement than repair and will use any excuse to put in new equipment.

R22 is still available and there are drop in replacements available at a lower cost. Most of the cost if labour and markup, not materials at contractor's cost.

11 year old a/c is "middle age", new enough to be reasonably efficient and could be worth repairing. If it was closer to 15 to 20 years I would say change it out for sure.
 
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Old 05-08-19, 05:07 PM
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What kind, size and age of house do you have? Where are the ducts located?


5 ton and 110k is a lot. Do not assume what you have now is correct.

It's more important to use a contractor who will properly size, install and setup than get high end equipment. 2-stage is nice, but it's a waste if the job isn't done right.

Oversized systems short cycle, use more energy than necessary, are noisy, drafty, and reduce comfort.

Why are you only being quoted 80% furnaces? Virginia looks north enough to justify 90%+ and the price difference isn't great. It only makes sense to get mid efficiency if the furnace is in a place that drops below freezing like an attic or in the middle of a finished basement and running new venting means opening ceilings.
 
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Old 05-08-19, 06:19 PM
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Who came to the conclusion that you need 110k btu of heat and 5 tons of cooling?
If nobody did a load calculation, then I wouldn’t choose any of the above options as they could possibly all perform poorly.
 
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Old 05-08-19, 07:30 PM
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Thank you User 10 and roughneck77 for your replies. I am sorry i didnt give enough information. The house was 11 years old, close to 8,000 sf and has 2 5-ton hvac systems. One for the main floor and basement and one for second floor and finished attic. This broken hvac system is in a room in the finished attic (loft). It provided heat/cool air to the loft and second floor. I am the second owner, just moved in last year and I assume they made the load calculations when they built the house. Two different technicians checked and told me that the evaporation coil leaks and since it uses the old freon and it costs a lot to fix it (not worth it). They both suggested me to replace it with a new system. I dont know what is meant by "80% furnace" and I dont know why he suggested "80%" rather than 90%. I will ask him when I have a chance. Thank you again.
 
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Old 05-08-19, 07:40 PM
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Never assume that the builder put the right size in. More often then not, it’s wrong.
You could very well be able to downsize in equipment size, save money on energy and be more comfortable.
A larger unit is never to be considered an “upgrade” of any kind, and is by no means better.
Manual J will show the heat loss and gain for the space.
 
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Old 05-08-19, 10:09 PM
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80% refers to the percentage of heat the furnace produces which actually heats the house. 20% gets wasted up the chimney.

A modern high efficiency unit which starts at 92% wastes under 10% of the heat produced.

Only issue is venting -> they use plastic pipes which have to be run.

You may only need 4 ton systems, or depending on the load, one 3 ton and one 5. Or maybe the house does in fact need 5 tons of cooling.

A load calculation needs to be done. Without it so have no idea.

I see no reason to replace 11 year old furnaces unless their heat exchangers are cracked and there are other issues. You can replace just the leaky coil or the entire a/c and leave the furnace alone. (limited to 14.5 seer , single stage though)

Also, smaller than 110 000 btu input furnaces are available with blower sufficient for 5 ton.

As far as repair goes, the r22 phase out isn't a good reason to not repair an a/c. They make higher margins on replacement than repair and will use any excuse to put in new equipment.

R22 is still available and there are drop in replacements available at a lower cost. Most of the cost if labour and markup, not materials at contractor's cost.

11 year old a/c is "middle age", new enough to be reasonably efficient and could be worth repairing. If it was closer to 15 to 20 years I would say change it out for sure.
 
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Old 05-09-19, 09:22 AM
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The technician told me that my existing is 80% (metal pipe) and to do 90% (PVC pipe) he has to get new pipe work and about $1500 more. Further it costs about $500 more for the 90% unit. So it's not worth it.
I decided to get a new system because of the good warranty (3 years labor, 10 year parts, 10 years for compressor, 20 years for heat exchanger) and the extremely high cost to repair (replacing the expansion coil, high cost of old R-22 freon).
Any preference between Lennox and Carrier? Only $300 difference between Options 1 and 3.
Thank you again for your time.
 
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Old 05-09-19, 10:00 AM
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Stop focusing on unit brand. Focus on sizing instead, and how well the unit will be installed.
What did he say about manual J?
 
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Old 05-09-19, 04:47 PM
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The technician told me that my existing is 80% (metal pipe) and to do 90% (PVC pipe) he has to get new pipe work and about $1500 more. Further it costs about $500 more for the 90% unit. So it's not worth it.
Find another contractor, 1500 to run some pvc pipe is absurd. They'll bullcrap you just to get away with doing less work and move on to the text customer.

Mid efficiency is pretty much obsolete unless you're in an area with a very short or non-existent heating season. We don't have them available in canada any more.

It doesn't really make sense to replace a perfectly good furnace just for the warranty, better to just put the money aside for repairs. As previously state, you do not need to get a new furnace just because the a/c is being changed.

It makes even less sense when the new unit will be the same size, efficiency and single stage.

I would stay away from the low end merit lennox ACX units but really, a low end unit properly sized and installed is better than a high end one done poorly.
 
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