Are complete systems just better for gas than oil these days?


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Old 09-02-12, 07:09 AM
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Are complete systems just better for gas than oil these days?

Replacing the oil furnace and A/C in my CT house. Weighing a propane furnace/heat pump setup vs. oil furnace/heat pump setup (I don't currently have access to NG). I think it's a tough call on oil vs. propane:


For oil:
- Oil seems cheaper historically, though it's close right now in this area (though the heat pump will mitigate this difference).
- I already have an oil tank.
- Safety.


For propane:
- Cleaner and quieter.
- Slightly cheaper system.
- Can changeover to NG if/when they pipe it to my street.
- Can eventually use it for grill, generator, hot water, appliances, etc.


Considering a Carrier Infinity system, because my contractor of choice sells that line. But it seems like they don't offer an oil furnace for that line, only gas. Does that mean the system (Carrier 16 SEER Infinity heat pump) won't really interact properly with their non-Infinity OVL oil furnace? Can you use the Infinity control properly with this? I want to enable a control via phone/pc but the oil system quote includes Honeywell wireless (Truezone/Red Link?), while the propane uses Carrier Infinity control. I called Carrier but they were no help at all. Despite the slightly "lower level" furnace and my existing oil setup, the propane system is 10% cheaper (though I will have to install a new tank).


Are gas furnace systems just better these days because oil is so unpopular in most of the country? How does the Infinity control compare with the Honeywell control? Which direction would you go?

Thanks very much in advance. I've already learned a lot from this forum.
 
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Old 09-02-12, 11:19 AM
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What is your electricity rate up there? It may be more economical to go with an all electric system (HP and electric back-up heat). Just throwing that idea out there. Gas is much easier to work on. Propane is costly though. I HATE the infinity control. Depending on the model of honeywell wireless you will like it. Any redlink capable t-stat can be accessed through wifi. The infinity control MUST have a communicating air handler/furnace in order to work. However, the infinity system does NOT require the infinity control to work. I would recommend getting quotes from other contractors to not only price compare, but to compare brands as well.
 
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Old 09-02-12, 05:25 PM
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I think we're at about $0.145 per kwh for electric, including all the taxes, etc, so I think it will be expensive for all but the heat pump. Propane is expensive when you consider the cost/btu but I'm hoping we'll get natural gas int he next couple years. In the meantime, I think I can mitigate the diff by using the heat pump above 40 or so. For whatever reason, the propane setup (starting from scratch) is about 10% less using an all inifinity setup than simply replacing the oil furnace with a new one and adding the new heat pump unit outside. Adding propane also requires that I spend another $800 for supports to protect the new tanks from erosion. I've priced out a few other brands, Lennox is competitive, Goodman and Rheem are cheaper, Trane is more, but I like the contractor here best. So am I correct in saying that you would get a Honeywell thermostat even if you had all Infinity equipment?
 
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Old 09-02-12, 05:35 PM
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personally, yes I would. I am a trane dealer and am building a house. I will not even be using Trane's top of the line (communicating) thermostat. I am installing a honeywell prestige IAQ 2.0.
 
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Old 09-02-12, 05:49 PM
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Thanks very much. It was my natural inclination to think Honeywell would do a better job with the thermostat (though I have no experience here) -- why such a strong preference?. Are there cost, functionality or other compatibility considerations I should consider?
 
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Old 09-02-12, 06:00 PM
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From my point of view I can control the system more to my liking with said thermostat. It will operate my furnace, HP, Humidifier, Dehumidification with ac, and ventilation all from 1 control and I can acess it via wifi. Dont get me wrong, I would be using the Trane thermostat, but they charge for wifi access. Manufacturers make great thermostats for their communicating systems, but personally I like to be able to check signal indication and be able to manually tell my system what to do instead of relying on a communication to be outputting the correct signal for what I want the system to do.

For you, you will need to verify with your installer that an aftermarket thermostat can be used with your quoted system. I am not a carrier/bryant dealer so I dont know everything about their high end equipment.
 
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Old 09-02-12, 06:06 PM
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You've given me some great questions to ask. Many thanks.
 
 

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