Replacement System - Overkill?

Old 01-20-07, 03:43 AM
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Replacement System - Overkill?

I am about to refinish our basement. Our home is 2 stories and 5300sf with volume ceilings and the finished basement area will be 2200 sf. Our home is in the New York metropolitan area. Our gas furnaces (2) are Carrier Crusaders (larger one for 1st floor) with Lennox and Carrier Condensers. All equipment is original to the house (17 years old) except the Lenox, which is 7 years old.

Our upstairs has a bonus suite that is on a separate zone with electronic dampers. No other zoning. One of the bedrooms upstairs and one of the rooms on the first floor gets very in winter and hot in the summer we fix with an electric portable heater. Balancing manual dampers does not help.

We are looking to (i) fix the existing heat and cooling problems, (ii) make things reasonably efficient and (iii) provide heat and cooling for the basement.

A recommended contractor has evaluated our home, needs and system spending many hours over 2 visits (we are paying him for his time whether or not he does the work). He seems very competent and thorough, but we are far from knowledgeable about this trade. His estimate seems very high, but it may be reasonable for what he is proposing. Perhaps we should change the scope. Here is his proposal:

All new equipment:
1st floor and basement: Trane 2 Stage XV80 95,000 BTU furnace with XL19i 4 ton condenser - $10,450 installed

2nd floor Trane 2 Stage XV80 80,000 BTU furnace with XL19i 4 ton condenser - $9,200 installed


Replace 1st floor ducting and duct basement with 4 zone Honeywell electronic system (basement, 1st floor front, first floor back and 1st floor master suite) - $7,900

Replace 2nd floor ducting with 2-3 zone Honeywell electronic system (basement, 1st floor front, first floor bask and 1st floor master suite) - $6,500

The new ducting is to provide for larger supplies and correct the flow problems, and the damper system will be to better control the evenness and balancing, especially since the dicts will be largely inaccessible after renovation. In order to create the zoning, he tells us that we cannot properly use the existing system, and he says the existing system is pretty old anyway. He has also recommended the Carrier Infinity system but has not yet priced this out.

Thoughts on these prices (other than it being a lot of money)? Suggestions on alternatives? Also, at these prices, should we be buying 90% efficiency systems?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Old 01-20-07, 12:36 PM
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New systems

I do not like zoned warm air systems. The furnace is going to put out X btu/hr. That heat has to go somewhere. With only one zone calling for heat, you either have to dump the excess somewhere or the furnace will overheat. Two stage furnaces help only to a small degree. My preference would be a hot water boiler (modulating) with several air handlers with hot water coils in each.
Old 01-20-07, 05:50 PM
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Pricey Perhaps

I'm glad I moved 2,500 miles away from where I grew up. Still sounds pricey out that way.

With some excellent guidance from this forum, I did a DIY replacement of our equipment three years ago. Two sets of Comparable brand, 95% two stage, variable speed 95K BTU, 4 ton condensors and coils, spent about $5,000 on the hardware and $500 to a pro to light/adjust the burners and charge the freon. I spent about 3-4 days of actual work after the research and prep time.

The most time consuming for me was routing the PVC direct vent for the HE furnace.

That leaves about $15K for his labor and profit by my math.

I can't answer the zoning issue, but the two stage and variable speed was worth every cent we paid. - It provides a much more consistent temp in the house.

Sounds like a few more bids on the same spec may be in order. Good Luck.

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