How To Compare Heat Pumps?

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  #1  
Old 08-06-06, 07:37 PM
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How To Compare Heat Pumps?

I have bids in hand and am attempting to evaluate my choices of heat pumps. Problem is that I can't seem to find a good, unbiased source for comparison. I religiously consult Consumer Reports when making large purchases, such as this. Unfortunately, CR does not have any ratings on heat pumps.

The choice is between a 16 SEER Trane, or Lennox system to run with our current gas, forced air, system.

Can anyone direct me to a source for comparing?

Does anyone have any feedback about their personal history with either brand?

Any repair techs have advice to offer?

Thanks in advance,

Andy
 
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  #2  
Old 08-07-06, 04:34 AM
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There both very good units. Top of the line I may add. The only thing is that with Lennox you are stuck with a Lennox dealer for repairs and they can be costly.
 
  #3  
Old 08-07-06, 04:42 AM
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island

What area of country do you live?

What kind of furnace do you have? You want a dual fuel system?

Keep in mind that 2 stg heat pumps/AC condensers require a var speed air handler or a var speed furnace, ie Blower must be var speed and should be a compatible match with outside AC/HP unit.

I personally believe Trane/Am Std make the best heat pumps in their high end line but their controls are from the Middle Ages.

Carrier/Bryant have the best system controls in their Infinity/Evolution line.

My opinion.
 
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Old 08-07-06, 08:57 AM
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Tiger, Mattison,

You both rasied some really good points that I will discuss with the remaining bidders.

I live in the Seattle Area so a/c is only really needed here 2-3 days a year. Actually, it's been quite warm this summer. I work from home 80% of the time so the lack of a/c at home can really get miserable, hence, the bids for a heat pump.

FTR: The other bid we will likely not consider is a Rheem.

The furnace is ~12 year old Carrier. I am told it would normally last 20 years (efficiency be damned). I believe it is a single-speed unit, so this raises some good questions. All of the bidders have looked at the furnace and none have mentioned anything about variable speeds. The furnace recieved a clean bill of health at its last checkup so we aren't too eager to replace it. And it will be a bugger to replace given its location in the attic. Part of the incentive for the heat pump is extending the lifespan of the current furnace.

Andy
 
  #5  
Old 08-07-06, 10:07 AM
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islandinthesun

For the Seattle area which has mild winters and normally moderate summers, a heat pump is a perfect choice. Because nat gas is no longer a value fuel for winter heating, I would consider chucking your furnace and installing a var speed air handler. Dual fuel though for your climate is simply overkill. If you don't want to do this and intend to keep existing furnace, then you are limited to a single stg heat pump that won't provide a 16 SEER. I would recommend Trane XL14i or XR14,Am Std Heritage 14, and Carrier's Performance line. Of course you will require new stat and a matching evap coil sized correctly for outside unit. You should also have a new refrigerant lineset installed. Type of refrigerant does not matter.

IMO
 
  #6  
Old 08-07-06, 12:17 PM
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I live in the Seattle Area so a/c is only really needed here 2-3 days a year. Actually, it's been quite warm this summer. I work from home 80% of the time so the lack of a/c at home can really get miserable, hence, the bids for a heat pump.
Go to http://warmair.net and compare fuel cost for where you are first . To see if you should keep the gas furnace or not.
For the AC just 2 too 3 days Id go for The Trane XL15i That will give you a seer of 15.10 and on the heat pump at HSPF of 8.05. Put it on what you have if you want. The V /S blower is a dream to have but you dont run that much you say. Stay with R22 freon it will be made till 2030 and the R410a cost to much.

ED my .02 cents
 
  #7  
Old 08-14-06, 09:22 AM
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Hey Andy,

I also live in Seattle and am currently gathering quotes for a heat pump system for our home. Would you care to compare quotes and/or information?

Thanks,
James
 
  #8  
Old 08-15-06, 02:51 PM
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Forgive me if this is repetitive, but an earlier attempted post vanished.

Thanks again to all who offered input in comparing heat pumps. It was all very useful in making a decision. This was a difficult decision, but we opted to go with the Lennox dealer since they had done work for us previously. Both the Lennox and Trane bids were a dead-heat (no pun intended); Trane had a better warranty, but we have history with the Lennox dealer. We also have additional electrical panel work required for this job and that portion of the bid was slightly better with the Lennox dealer. Overall, I think we would be happy with either contractor.

JRoss, feel free to PM me and I will be happy to discuss my bids and experience with the dealers.

Andy
 
  #9  
Old 08-16-06, 08:33 AM
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islandinthesun

Did you go with a heat pump?
If so, what model and size?

Did you decide to keep furnace or discard it for a var speed air handler?

Post back and let us know how everything is working?
 
  #10  
Old 08-18-06, 10:46 PM
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Yup. Went with a heat pump, the Lennox HPXA16, 16 SEER. We will keep our single-speed, forced-air, gas furnace as there is ample life remaining in it, giving us dual-fuel capability. Installation is 7-10 days out.

I'll post back with a report after it's in and functioning

BTW, I noticed last winter when I was under the house, that it was quite warm and cozy, but chalked it up to "good insulation". Hah! Should have known better. Today, by chance, I found a duct disconnected from the supply-side of the plenum. Curious to see how that improves the heating/cooling bill. I'll be checking every remaining duct now, too.

Andy
 
  #11  
Old 08-19-06, 06:41 AM
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islandinthesun
I noticed last winter when I was under the house, that it was quite warm and cozy, but chalked it up to "good insulation". Hah! Should have known better. Today, by chance, I found a duct disconnected from the supply-side of the plenum. Curious to see how that improves the heating/cooling bill.
Dont know how your crawl space is. But we put 2 registers outlets and one return in the duct work in the crawl space. No insulation in the joist. But all vents sealed insulation on the walls and on the sill plate in the joist space all around the home. 6 mil poly on the ground. This way the crawl space works as a heat sink for the home. Go to
http://aboutsavingheat.com/crawlspace.html

ED
 
  #12  
Old 08-30-06, 11:08 AM
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heat pump, too, in Indiana?

I've been following this thread and its relevant for us - building a new house and mulling the choice of heat pump versus geo-thermal? If heat pump, what brand/type?

i've been told if we go with a geo-thermal we'd need to go with electric backup heating. Is that accurate?

If we go heat pump, can I assume living in northern Indiana means we'll need a gas furnace back-up for the pump?

In the summer, would be need a standard AC backup?

thanks in advance.
 
  #13  
Old 08-30-06, 12:02 PM
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doc go to http://warmair.net and compare fuel cost for where you are. Here in Missouri all that we put in for years has been air to air heatpumps thats with electric back up. On that AC ? A heatpump is also your AC unit.

ED
 
  #14  
Old 09-28-10, 08:53 AM
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I too am trying to decide on new heat pump in VA

I just sent a sep thread to this forum about making buy decision on new elect heat pump for new 950 sf addition to my one story rancher in Hanover Va area. also, next year I hope to replace the 20 y.o. Rheem for existing 1700sf house but hoping tax credit program will be extended to help offset cost of that. My builder's package incl Rheem 15 seer w value of $5K which incl ductwork for new addition. we got price for Trane 15 seer XB for $5700 or XL15 for $6200 w $200 rebate. we like XL for quiet feature. But we are very overbudget for proj so I am asking advice on what we should go with. I could go out for more bids if needed.
 
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