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demi25

Help Choosing Correct Heat Pump System for my house

15 years ago

I have a 20-year old 2.5 ton GE Wethertron heat pump that I am finally going to replace. I live in Sacramento and have a challenge with the way my house is built with high vaulted ceilings. I already received 2 quotes with another 2 on the way. I am having a very difficult time figuring out which contractor to believe and who offered me the best matched unit for my house. I have kept it less complicated by only looking at one brand, Carrier.

I live in the Sacramento,CA area and have a 1500 sq ft house. Half the house, the 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms have normal ceilings. The other half composed of one huge great room that has the living area with fireplace, dinning area and kitchen. This half has high volted ceilings with only three vent registers. The other side doesn't have any registers because of the high ceilings. Thus the bedrooms get nicely heated, but I am always cold in the living area. I get cold very easily and can't tolerate the cold. So the heating part is very important to me. I believe I already have 8 inch ducts. Below is what the contractors proposed:

Contractor A is an authorized Carrier dealer with NATE certification. He walked thru the house, listened to my problems and said that I need to replace all my ducts and that this is better for these new Carrier systems otherwise it would shorten their lifecycle. He is going to re-design the airflow into the living area and install new supply outlets to blow the air more distance into the room to cover the areas that don't have vents. He was also going to install a small air return in the master bedroom. He gave the following three options:

a) Carrier two stage 2 ton condenser 25HNA924, with 3 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF003 and Infinity night set back thermostat. 18.3 SEER,13.5 EER,8.5 HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip) 10-yr parts and labor warranty . MY Cost = $12,944 after the $1000 Carrier rebate.

b)Carrier Performance one stage 2.5 ton condensor 25HPA430, with 4 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF005, standard night set back thermostat. 15.5 SEER, 12EER, 9HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts,(no mention of any heat strip) 10-yr parts and labor warranty. My Cost= $14,597 after the $450 Carrier rebate.

c) Carrier Infinity two stage 3 ton condensor 25HNA936, with 5 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANB006, Infinity Night Set Back thermostat. 18.2 SEER, 13.5 EER, 9.5 HSPF. Installing 10 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip) 10-yr parts and labor warranty. My cost = $16,027 after the $1000 Carrier rebate.

He was pushing me towards option c) saying that I would be the most comfortable with that for my house. Do I really need new ducts?? Am I being taken for a ride with this pricing??

Contractor B is also an authorized Carrier dealer with NATE certifcations. He also just walked through the house and said I didn't need to go to new ducts. They would repair anything that needed repairing and sealing. He also said I didn't need a second air return if I am comfortable in the bedrooms. He is going to enlarge one of the supply vents openings in the great room with new duct to 8 inches to blow more air horizontally to reach the other side of the great room and replace the 3 great room vent registers. Alter return duct system, size to optimize manufacturers cubic foot per minute w/grill. He mailed me the one option below:

Carrier Infinity "S" two-speed 3 ton condensor 25HNA936A003, Infinity variable speed fan coil FE4ANF003, Carrier backup heat strip 5 KW # KFCEH0501N05, and Infinity TrueSense digital thermostat. 17.2 SEER, 12.6 EER and 8.9 HSPF. Carrier Factory 10-year parts and labor warranty. My cost = $8,763 after the $1000 Carrier rebate.

I still have two more quotes coming in from 2 contractors that are Carrier Dealers but not NATE.

Please any advise on need of changing ducts, the above equipment, sizing of equipment for my situation, etc would be very much appreciated.

Also is it better to have scroll compressor vs reciprocating.

Is the 5 KW heat strip big enough

Should the fan coil be more in tonnage than the condensor?

Is it important to have a contractor that is authozied Carrier dealer with NATE? or any Carrier dealer will do?

Sorry for such a long note. But this is such an expensive investment and I don't want to wind up with the wrong system. Please hellllllllllllllllllp.

Thank you

Demi

Comments (98)

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tiger, Ryan, Garyg, Garym,

    This is so exciting. I just received my new quotes from the "professional contractor". He indicated job would take 2-3 days and also reduced his prices.

    Both quotes include new R6 air ducts, new supply grills, larger air return, Manual J and Manual D calcs, Carrier 10-year compressor, parts and labor warranty, added One year preventative maintenance, AC pad, permits and HERS rating must meet 6% leakage and haul away old equipment and trash.

    1) Infinity 25HNA936H30 heat pump, FE4ANF005 AHU fan coil, KFCEH0501N05 5 KW heatstrip, and Infinity control

    Net cost to me after $1500 in rebates = $9,200

    2) Performance 25HPA536H30 heat pump, FE4ANF005 AHU fan coil, KFCEH0501N05 5 KW heatstrip, and Infinity control

    Net cost to me after $950 in rebates = $8,950

    What do you think guys?

    Thank you guys for being with me every step of the way,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    demi

    #1

    you do want a new and properly sized refrigerant lineset.

    what type of pad for the condenser-no plastic or preformed.

    does state of California or utility offer any rebates and/or incentives?

    IMO
    Good Luck!

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  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger,

    I'm not sure what type of pad it is. He mentioned that by code he has to place a pad underneath the condensor unit. I assumed it would be cement. I will ask him about that. What does preformed mean?? (is that like pre-cast) (one of the other contractors had mentioned that Carrier has pre-cast slabs for the condensor units)

    I will also inquire about the new and properly sized refrigerant lineset. (i assumed he would do that, but it is not specifically written)

    My utility company offers a $500 rebate and Carrier offers a $1000 rebate on the Infinity and a $450 rebate on the Performanc series. That is what is included in the rebates I posted above.

    Tiger, I see you chose option #1 for me. I guess it makes sense now that it is only $250 difference (actually i was going to toss a coin to decide).

    Thank you,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "1) Infinity 25HNA936H30 heat pump, FE4ANF005 AHU fan coil"

    36,400 btu cooling, 13.2 EER, 17.8 SEER, 36,000 btu heating at 47F, 9.2 HSPF

    "2) Performance 25HPA536H30 heat pump, FE4ANF005 AHU fan coil"

    36,000 btu cooling, 13 EER, 16 SEER, 33,400 btu heating at 47F, 8.2 HSPF.

    Option 1 for $250 more - easy choice.

    Don't forget the 10 year PARTS AND LABOR warranty.

    Good luck.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "2) Performance 25HPA536H30 heat pump, FE4ANF005 AHU fan coil"

    36,000 btu cooling, 13 EER, 16 SEER, 33,400 btu heating at 47F, 8.2 HSPF."

    Just for accuracy's sake, I believe the above is the "A" series Performance 15.

    see below.

    1258732 Active Systems PERFORMANCE 15 PURON HP CARRIER AIR CONDITIONING 25HPA536A30 FE4AN(B,F)005+UI 36000 13.00 16.00 33400 8.20 19400

    now for the "H" series Performance 15

    1125687 Active Systems PERFORMANCE 15 PURON HP CARRIER AIR CONDITIONING 25HPA536H30 FE4AN(B,F)005+UI 36000 13.00 15.50 36000 9.00 21800

    Big difference in heating BTUs and heating efficiency.
    very good numbers for a 3 ton single stg HP condenser.

    IMO

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger, Ryan, Garyg, Garym,

    I spoke with the contractor today to seal the deal.
    Yes, the slab is cement and he will be installing a new refrigerant line set.

    1) Infinity 25HNA936H30 heat pump, FE4ANF005 AHU fan coil, KFCEH0501N05 5 KW heatstrip, and Infinity control, 10-year parts, labor, compressor warranty and one year preventative maintenance,new ducts, Manual J and Manual D calcs, new air registers etc. etc.

    13.2 EER, 17.8 SEER, 9.2 HSPF

    Net cost to me after $1500 in rebates = $9,200

    Don't laugh at me guys, but I actually did toss a coin to make the choice. The Performance Series H is also a hell of a good system too and did make the choice even more difficult for me. The Infinity Series won the coin toss.

    Contractor is coming out this Friday to do the Manual J calc and the installation will be begin next Wednesday (its a 2-3 day job). Wish me luck guys.

    I can't thank you all enough for all the advice you've given me and being with me every step of the way. I couldn't have done this without your expert help.

    Tiger, Ryan, Garyg, Garym, you're the greatest !!!!!!

    I'll keep you posted on how the installation goes and about the new system. I'm so so excited!!!

    Thank you all,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Demi

    Congrats!

    the correct decision and really the only decision you could make. If there was a $1000 difference between the two models, then that would make me pause and consider the Performance 15 Mdl.

    One question. I can't remember but are you doing anything about a whole house air cleaner cabinet? Or just replacing 1" filters in a central return/s?

    If possible, install the Infinity control on an inside hallway wall away from any heat/light source/window, etc.

    Let us know how install goes and your initial impression.

    IMO
    Good LucK!

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger,

    I don't know anything about a whole house air cleaner cabinet? What is it and where does it go?

    I asked contractor if I needed special air filters for this new system and he said I would just use the disposable ones like I already use ( 20" x 25" x 1").

    My current thermostat is in the hallway between the 2 bedrooms all low ceiling. So I currently set the thermostat to 80 degrees in the winter so that i can get warm enough in the living room with the real high ceilings.
    So, contractor suggested placing the Infinity Control in the living room near the air return. The windows and sliding door will be on the other end to the left of the control? Does all this sound ok??

    Thanks for pointing this stuff out Tiger,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    First, I AM very impressed with the tencity some of you exhibit in helping Demi out. You guys are clearly knowledgeable and service oriented-or you have way too much time on your hands! But gee, does anyone really have to go to the trouble she has to put in a decent system? This is not reassuring to me as I need a new HVAC system for a 1941 cape cod in Cincinnati, Oh (1,200sf). The house has little insulation compounded by a finished upstairs attic bedroom that gets real hot. I don't plan to keep this house so I am not excited to insulate the house as it should be.
    The present heating is an old gravity flow system. Still, works but not well, and I want air conditioning.
    Thought I might try to use the "gravity ducts" to run smaller ducts to a forced air system. I have a heat pump now in another temporary home, which I like(until it gets below 30F) but a suggestion was made to go to a ductless mini-split system, which lead me to another place on this website. There is about an equal amount of discussion that appears on that forum about ductless systems and it seems appealing. Right now I am looking at a Sanyo Mini-split ductless multi-zone heat pump and four interior units. The compressor will be as an inverter. Because many homeownwers appear to be happy with Sanyoon (on their site), they appear to be service oriented, it can be homeowner installed (the attached install manual does not appear overwhelming),and any certified tech can verify the final work to authorize the warranty: it APPEARS to be good way to upgrade the old system w/o lots of additional work, but before y'all start in I have two basic questions: What should I consider for heat on days where the temp will dip down to zero, and what am I missing here? Thoughts please.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A ductless mini-split system is a good way to avoid the hassle of installing ductwork or using old ductwork that may not even be sufficient. I can't comment on brand as I'm not sure what's the best for mini-splits (I don't read-up much on mini-splits). Mini-split heat pumps can provide good heating I believe (like I said, not an expert on these things), but I don't think many, if any, have the ability to have electric backup heat. You need to talk your situation over with a contractor who can evaluate your home.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger,
    I'm repeating this followup so you don't miss it. (someone got in the middle of my post)
    I don't know anything about a whole house air cleaner cabinet? What is it and where does it go? What do you recommend if it is something I need.

    I asked contractor if I needed special air filters for this new system and he said I would just use the disposable ones like I already use ( 20" x 25" x 1").

    My current thermostat is in the hallway between the 2 bedrooms all low ceiling. So I currently set the thermostat to 80 degrees in the winter so that i can get warm enough in the living room with the real high ceilings.
    So, contractor suggested placing the Infinity Control in the living room near the air return. The windows and sliding door will be on the other end to the left of the control? Does all this sound ok?? What do you think?

    Thanks for pointing this stuff out Tiger,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Is there something really neat about an 'Infinity control'? I keep seeing that in posts. Does it also have a remote control?

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    for garymunson

    Carrier Infinity Control

    the best, most comprehensive residential HVAC control on the market.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Carrier Infinity Control

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Demi

    I am glad a new concrete pad will be poured and that you confirmed a new and properly sized lineset would be installed. Everything points to a very good dealer you are working with.

    I did see your post and was hoping that Gary or Ryan would make a comment plus you have navigated a very difficult decision and are close to your install that I did not want to complicate matters.

    However, many people say it's all about the install. I disagree. It's about good equipment, a good installation by qualified techs, and just as important and usually the most overlooked is a properly sized/designed ductwork system.

    I will assume from your post that you have one central return. Is this correct? If so, please state location and if location is in a central part of the home. If you have more than one return, please state its location and relative to the other return.

    "So I currently set the thermostat to 80 degrees in the winter so that i can get warm enough in the living room with the real high ceilings." This situation indicates poor ductwork design for this room. Now is the time though to point out any hot/cold spots in your home. Obviously a room with a 10-12' ceiling will require more CFMs than a standard 8 ft ceiling.

    Ductwork should be sized to the system along with the necessary CFMs required to heat/cool a room according to your design comfort requirements. The Man J and Man D will indicate the size of your new equipment and the size of ductwork to carry the CFMs to meet the comfort requirements of the homeowner. Keep in mind that a three ton system should have a minimum of 1200 CFMs for supply and the same or slightly more for return air. They should be in balance to minimize and reduce noise. A central return/s in my opinion should be centrally installed in home to provide good airflow exchange. I prefer returns in all rooms but bath and kitchen but you rarely see this anymore except in your most expensive homes or older homes when individual returns were the rule rather than the exception.

    Ideally, I prefer that a new stat be placed in an inside hallway near a return away from any light/heat source or window. Sometimes this is not practical which may be your case. I would not place a stat on an exterior wall. I would discuss this with your dealer before the install and if you only have one return, you might ask him about the feasibility of adding another return, the best location, and how this would improve overall comfort of your home.

    Now to filters. Indoor air quality has become a thriving part of new HVAC installs. Lots of choices and improvement of filters. There is nothing wrong with using 1" throwaway filters in your return as long as they are sized correctly,not too restrictive, and are changed out on a regular schedule.

    Some people use whole house air filter cabinets like a 4-5" pleated model or the more expensive EACs ( Electronic Air Cleaners). These 4-5" pleated models usually just have to be changed out once a year depending on number of people/pets living in home. They are very easy to change out and have no maintenance compared to EACs which also can be problematic.

    There are several third party brands like Honeywell or AprilAire. Not an endorsement, just providing information.

    You want this new system correct and I want it correct for you. One suggestion. You should review the Man J in writing with your dealer before he gets started and it should be broken out room by room. Pay close attention to the main room with the high ceiling.

    IMO

    Here is a link that might be useful: Carrier Air Filters

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Very good advice from Tigerdunes. A new system with a variable-speed blower can only do so much. It's important to have your ductwork fixed and balanced now if necessary. Share your concerns with the professional contractor. I agree with getting a 4-5" pleated media filter. I also strongly suggest more than one return for a 3-ton system--better air distribution and probably less noise.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tiger,

    I only have one central air return and it is located at the beginning of the living room with the high ceilings. This location is right in the middle of the house.

    I had already asked him about a second air return and he said that he didn't feel it was necessary. I will ask him again on Friday when he does the Manual J calc.

    The contractor is proposing to place the thermostat on the wall perpendicular to the air return. This wall is an inner wall and away from windows and heat/light source.
    He only proposed this move when I explained to him about my current situation with the thermostat picking up the temperature from the small hallway and ofcourse it would always be much colder in the living room and that is why I would set it on 80 degrees to target a more comfortable temperature in the living room with the high ceilings. Is this logic correct? (that the thermostat in the hallway would always be picking up the temp of the small hallway which is very different temperature than the huge living area with the vaulted ceilings). Maybe with the right ducts, air flow and system, I wouldn't need a new location for the thermostat. But then the thermostat would always be picking up the temperature from the small hallway.??

    I will ask him for a copy of the Manual J calcs and will look for the CFMs you suggested and for balance.

    Tiger and Ryan, lets talk air filter cabinet.
    I currently use a 1" pleated disposable air filter that fits in my air return. Are you saying that I should get a 4-5" pleated filter instead? Would it go into that same air return?? or the 4-5" pleated filter require their own cabinet? (why do i have the feeling that its not that simple and requires its own cabinet)

    I looked at the Carrier link you provided me Tiger. They show 3 models. Those Carrier Cabinets are all EACs correct?(Infinity Air Purifier, Performance Electronic Air Cleaner, Performance EZ Flex Cabinet Air Filter). I also looked at the Aprilaire 5000 and that is also an EAC and has its own thermostat.
    I am interested in someting that is simple, will do the job, and will not be problematic like the 4-5" cabinets you mentioned. So what brand/model do you recommend?

    Also this cabinet would go in the attic with the fan coil? So you would have to go into the attic to change the filter once a year.

    Thank you for pointing this out to me. I need to sort out the air filter stuff before Friday when the contractor comes to do the Manual J.

    Thank you so much guys,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When the guy comes to to the calculation Friday, tell him all of your areas of concern as far as temperature goes. It's a good idea to put the thermostat near a return in general. You could change the media filter once or twice a year. I prefer them for better filtration with fan running at low speed 24/7. The EZ Flex cabinet should do the job; I'm not sure what kinds of replacements it takes, though. This is something you need to talk to the guy about to see what he has to offer. A Honeywell F100 would be fine as well. I believe the thermostat can remind you to change the filter as well. An electronic cleaner probably isn't necessary, and they require more maintenance. I don't know about you, but I probably wouldn't want to climb into the attic every month or whatever it is to clean the collection cells. Explain to the man coming Friday that more return is a good thing, as it provides for better temperature consistency and airflow. I would prefer at least one more return for a 3-ton system. Otherwise, that's 1200 cfm or so through one grill--noisy if you ask me.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ryan,

    I guess from your answer the 4-5" pleated filter is not something that I can use instead of the 1" pleated air filter I currently use in my air return. I have to get a cabinet like the Performance EZ Flex cabinet, correct?

    Does this cabinet have to be attached to the fan coil in the attic or is this something that can be placed inside the air return and I can change the filter from the air return?

    Also are these cabinets expensive? What price range are we looking at? I want to be prepared when I mention the cabinets to my contractor. I will also mention to him about the second air return and noise factor.

    Thank you,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, the 4-5" media filters typically go in cabinets. They don't go in return grills. The cabinet will be in the attic with the unit. Price to consumer should probably be around $200-300. You're buying a top of the line system from him; he better not mark the price up a lot!

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Demi:

    A 1" pleated filter, MERV 8 (not too retrictive) will work just fine. I use NaturalAire Standard made by Flanders. $8 for a 3-pack at Home Depot. Change 'em monthly.

    Take care.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I use the same thing as Gary, and it works great. However, if I were replacing my system tomorrow, I'd want a media air filter. With your system being in the attic, you may like the convenience of 1" filters. Media filters are nice in my opinion (if the ductwork can handle them), but they aren't a necessity.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ryan and Gary,

    Thanks so much for clarifying about the air filters. Now I understand. So basically, since I am getting a new system and air ducts then optimimaly I should be getting the media filters that go in a cabinet. The complication is that the cabinet will be in the attic and I would have to do a service call every time I need to change the filter because I know I won't be able to go into the attic myself.

    It sounds like I can get almost the same benefit from using the 1" pleated filter by Flanders that you mentioned, not have the attic complication and be able to change the filter monthly myself. So it looks like I should forego the cabinet and 4" media filter.

    Is my logic correct or will there be such a bigger benefit from the cabinet 4" air filter that it is worth the yearly service call expense to have someone come out and change the filter for me?? Ryan, I know you said they aren't a necessity, but I just want to make sure since Friday is the last day that I can pull any changes on the contractor.

    Thanks so much guys,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    demi

    I regret bringing up the issue of whole house air filter cabinets. Put it out of your mind. Don't fret about this and just continue using your 1" throwaway filters. There is no justification to have to call an HVAC company in expensive California to change out a filter cartridge. I would not want my spouse going to the attic or crawl space to have to change it out especially if you are not experiencing any indoor air quality or excessive dust issues. Keep in mind, you will need the throwaways to protect your blower motor/evap coil.

    Concentrate on the Man J, ductwork sizing and CFMs especially for your large main room with high ceilings, and the feasibility of another conveniently located return which I think is much more important for good airflow exchange and improved comfort.

    I don't want to drive you crazy-you've come too far!

    IMO

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Agree with Tiger. Just use 1" pleated MERV 8 filters and change them every 4-6 weeks. Hope the new system goes well!

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tiger, Ryan,

    Thanks so much for the advice. I'll forget about the cabinet and use the 1" pleated filter and religously change it monthly.

    I will concentrate on the areas you suggested above.

    You guys are so wonderful. I can't wait until next week when the system gets installed.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "The complication is that the cabinet will be in the attic and I would have to do a service call every time I need to change the filter because I know I won't be able to go into the attic myself."

    - A side note. You should have access to your attic, even if you have to install a pull-down stairs. You'll have places for additional storage plus you can check out your new air handler. A once/year trip into the attic to change the 4" media filter is no big deal once you have access.

    Take care.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks Ryan for your reply on the Sanyo ductless system.
    I need to look more into the ductless technology but i should have mentioned I do not plan to stay for more then a couple of years and do not want to spend $10 K for a system.
    I just want to replace the 50 year old gravity system and get air Cond in the process. Sounds like i am on the right track.
    By the way, I have been following Demi's adventure and I amazed at the help you and others have offered.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned using a return air filter grille. Along with a thermostat with a wireless remote and a heat recovery unit on the condenser, that's a must for me. I leave the filter in the air handler also (but with the pre-filtering provided at the return air grille, It lasts all year. Much easier to change the filter when it's right there at the grille. Also harder to forget since you're dusting the grille anyway.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ooops...I see it was mentioned... Time for new readers.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger, Ryan, GaryG & GaryM

    The contractor came out on Friday and went through every room and measured all the walls, rooms and windows and looked at all the air registers. He said will plug the info into the computer at the office. I asked him to give me a copy of the Manual J Calc.

    So, so far its going well. I'm expecting to see the Manual J Calc when they come on Wednesday to start the install.

    GaryG, thanks for the idea about the pull-down stairs for the attic, but I really am too afraid to go into the attic. (guess, i'm a wimp)

    Will keep you guys posted on what happens Wednesday.

    Thank you all,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Demi- May I ask who the contractor you selected is? I am in Sacramento, and have had several extremely outlandish quotes for work over the past few years, including $18k (YESTERDAY) to add a 2 ton system to my existing 4 ton (and thus redo SOME ducting).

    Manual-J calcs for my house shows it needs a minimum of 4.94 tons... and the builder (KB Home) put a 4 ton unit in it (2004). Don't even get me started on the pile of spaghetti that is the ducts (twists, turns, flips, harsh bends). Thank Beutler for that work.

    Needless to say, on the hot days, we are miserable in our house.

    Thanks,
    Glen

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "$18k (YESTERDAY) to add a 2 ton system to my existing 4 ton (and thus redo SOME ducting)." --- Highway robbery.

    Proper ductwork is key, goglen. I would try some smaller, local shops as they can often provide lower pricing than those other big shops with large overhead. Finding a good contractor can be a difficult task, and unfortunately, from what I hear, pricing in CA is high.

    A properly-sized, efficient ductwork system and equipment should be able to provide proper comfort. You'll need a good pro to analyze your situation. That's the problem with low bidders and builders nowadays it seems.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Glen,

    Yes, 18K is outright robbery. I wound up using Air Solutions Heating and Air Services. The owners' name is Tom and their phone number is (916) 392-2444. You can tell them the person from Rose Tree Way referred you. By the way, you can negotiate price with them. He went down $800 from the initial quote for my job.

    Good Luck,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi all,

    I am on day 2 of the job. They finished all the ductwork and placed the fan coil in the attic. Now they are testing the ductwork. It seems they are currently 30 off, whatever that means (they said this is a minute amount). They are working on getting a better number before the HERS inspector gets here in a couple of hours.

    The condensor just arrived and they brought a plastic pad. I refused it and told them we agreed on cement. They said that they don't make one that big for this unit. I insisted on cement. So they said, we'll have to pour one and that would add another day to the job. I said fine, I don't mind another day. Then they asked what makes me think that cement would be better. They said they always use the plastic ones and they are better than the cement. I answered this is what I was advised by the professionals and I will noct accept anything else. I think they got pissed off at me. Anyway, they went to buy cement.

    Thank so much guys for guiding me through this.
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    demi

    I assume you were aware that these Infinity condensers are one of the largest residential units on the market. They probably weigh 300-400 lbs. The installers like the plastic and preformed concrete pads. Why? Because they are easy and less work. Better? Not in my opinion. A properly poured and cured pad will last a lifetime. They need to be sized and leveled so they drain correctly. They will not crack like the plastic ones. The downside? A pad is rather permanent and can't be moved. Depending on weather/temperature and size/depth, a poured pad can take some time to cure. The installers should have poured the pad first so it would be ready. This may hold up completion of your install. If this is the worst event that happens, you'll be OK.

    Keep us posted.

    IMO
    TD

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger,

    The inspectors just left. It passed. They found the leak. It was from the air return on both sides. When they taped it correctly, the numbers got better.

    As for the cement pad, well he showed up a couple of hours later with a prefabricated cement pad with foam inside. He said they just got delivered today (right!!!) It is better than the plastic one he brought earlier (which i noticed was hollow in the middle). He said that this was the best he could do for me and that it was too late to pour concrete and the city inspector is coming tomorrow morning. My problem is i'm travelling on the job the next two weeks and I couldn't hold up this installation into next week. So, I'm sorry I had to accept. He kept insisting it would be just as good as the poured concrete (although I know better)

    So that's what happened so far. Right now they're working on the electrical boxes and lines outside.

    Will keep you posted,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    demi

    not to worry. I don't care for the preformed but it's better than the plastic as long as its sized right. make certain the installers level it properly. you may want to put some decorative stone around the sides to keep dirt from splashing up on the condenser. and the condenser should be located centrally on the pad to leave a 3" frame around the condenser sides. the condenser should definitely not hang over the pad.

    IMO

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tiger,

    I ran outside to check right after I read your note. Yes, the pad is larger than the condensor and is level. There is almost 3" clearance on two of the sides and more on the other two sides. (the pad is rectangular)

    Thanks for the great idea about the decorative stone. I will certainly pick some up and place it around the sides of the pad.

    Tiger, you're wonderful. Thanks for hanging in there with me every step of the way.

    I can't wait until the condensor is connected and they fire it up!!! Man, it is huge!!!!

    Thanks,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Any chance you can take some pictures of the install and upload them to imageshack.us for some critique once it's done? If not, no problem. Enjoy the new system!

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Ryan,

    I can't do it right away. I'll have to borrow my friend's digital camera. I'll only be able to take pictures of the condensor outside. The fancoil is up in the attic and I won't be able to go up there (attic phobia...lol).

    I'll let you know when I post them.
    Take care,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger, Ryan, GaryM, GaryG,

    The big moment arrived and they fired up that big mama and it works just wonderful. Inside the house you can barely hear anything from the air registers. The main sound was coming from the air return and that is quieter than before.

    The air was flowing just beautifully throughout the whole house and even to the other side of the living room with the high vaulted ceilings. The whole house felt fresh and crisp. I just loved it.

    The condensor outside was noisy. I guess maybe because of its big size. The noise was about the same as my old unit.
    When it ran at a lower speed it was less noisy.

    The Infinity Control is awsome!!! The screen is nice and big and pretty easy to program. I programmed a schedule for the weekdays, weekends and vacation. The only thing I wasn't sure what value to set was the humidity. What is a good value to use to protect the furniture??

    The inspector came a half an hour ago and ofcourse it passed with flying colors. I am so so excited.
    I can't wait until winter to see how well it keeps me warm in the living room.

    This week the weather in Sacramento has been pretty moderate in the high 80's (the installers lucked out). I think I'll have a big smile on my face with my unit when the temperature hits the 100's.

    You guys have been just awsome. Thank you so much for your help,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    demi

    Congrats!!!

    Humidity can be adjusted to your comfort level. you might start with 48 RH and maybe adjust inside temp level up one or two degrees. keep in mind there is a relationship between inside humidity, temperature and comfort.
    experiment and you will find the correct level for your home.

    let us know about your electric usage-you might want to record your meter reading today so you can at least have some idea of your savings. just a thought.

    IMO

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks tiger,

    I'll play around with the humidity setting as you suggested. I just went outside and recorded my meter reading. Good idea, it would be nice to know the difference (savings $$$).

    By the way, one thing did surprise me about the ducts. My old ducts were metal and the new ones are plastic. I guess they don't make things like they used to. I asked the installer about it and he said that's what they use now and that they work and last just as well and are quieter. I hope he's right.

    Can't wait till next month to see how the meter reads and the $$$ savings.

    Take care Tiger and thanks,
    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hey Demi

    well it's been about a week from your install and hope things have been going well with your new Infinity HP system. Perhaps if you see this post, you can provide an update.

    what kind of outside temperature have you had this week?

    Yes, flexible duct commonly called flex is fast becoming the norm.

    TD

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Are the trunk lines (if you have them--main ducts coming off of the plenum) insulated metal at least? I prefer insulated metal trunk lines with flex connectors (what you have) for reduced noise and ease of installation (they of course need to be installed properly and not strewn all over the place).

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OK - when is party for the new system?

    Best of luck, Demi.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Tiger,Ryan and Gary

    Happy 4th guys. Hope you're out there partying!!

    The Infinity system is running just great. Its so quiet inside the house that I can barely tell its on. I am so so happy with it. Its a real sweet baby.

    The temperature in Sacramento has been very nice these past two weeks, just in the 80's. Its kind of weird because last month we hit the 100's. I am confident though that this baby can handle it when we go back up to the 90's and 100's.

    As for the ducts Ryan, the flexi is attached to metal, but I don't know if its the insulated kind. But it is very quiet. I don't hear noise from the vents. I did take a peak into my attic from the ladder and the flexi is nicely layed out, no spagetti up there. Also all direct from the airhandler and no Ys.

    Well i've been partying all week Gary. I love this baby. But the real big party will be in the winter when its real cold outside and my living room will actually feel warm. For me that will be the biggest test because I can't handle the cold and like it very warm in the house. My old heat pump always blew in cool air when its below 45 degrees outside.

    If any of you will be in the Sacramento area in the future, let me know and we'll have an Infinity party or we can party Infinityly!!

    You guys take care and thanks again for all your help.
    I'll be travelling quite a bit on the job from mid July until late September, so if you post something and I don't get back to you please know that I'm on the road.

    Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi all,

    Well so much for the beautiful 80's Sacramento weather. Starting Sunday the temperature started kicking up and yesterday was 104 and today is supposed to go up to 110!!!
    The Infinity system is working like a charm, like any other day. The house is nice and cool and the system quietly cycles on and off as needed. My old system would have stayed on the entire day and night, non-stop!!!

    This whole week is expected to be hot as hell, except I will be in paradise with my Infinity System. I'm so glad I got it installed before the heat spell.

    "Cool" Demi

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Isn't it a great feeling when you did your homework, got a good contractor, got a great system, paid a reasonable price, and are living happily ever after?

    You should see a nice reduction in your monthly electric bill also.

    Fantastic.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, it is a great feeling Gary. Thank God for this forum and you guys. Can't wait to see the $ savings too...icing on the cake!!

    By the way today is supposed to be a little cooler, only 109 degrees!!

    "Cool" Demi

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