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rich10509

Advice/Suggestions for replacing Heat Pump system

14 years ago

Hi Everyone, My Lennox heat pump and air handler are almost 25 years old. The compressor is starting to go in the outside unit and the motor in the inside unit died over the summer so I've decided to replace rather than repair.

My condo is two levels and about 1400 sq ft. Current system is 2.5 ton. I live in New York so want to get something that will keep me warm in winter without my electric bill going through the roof.

The job will be fairly extensive as all the main supply and return ductwork in the attic needs replacement and I will be running new linesets between the units.

Ive received three quotes so far; 2 from Lennox dealers and one from a Trane dealer.

One Lennox dealers calculations had me on the border of 2 and 2.5tons. I asked to get quoted for the 2.5 ton unit if he saw no issues. The $11,800 quote includes all the ductwork and running the lines as well as the 2.5 ton:

XP15 Condensor

CBX40 air handler with 8kw heat strips.

I will be supplying the thermostat.

The second Lennox dealer, who I didnt ask about the j calc, quoted me $13,400 for the ductwork, including adding two new supply ducts for the 2nd floor, running new linesets, and:

XP16 3 ton Condensor unit

CBX27 3 ton Air Handler with 10kw heat strips

The Trane Dealer, well, he was quoting me for a dual zone system (a $2500 option for the other guys)and told me the total for the dual zone 2 ton system with ductwork and line-set was going to be $10,xxx (i forget the exact number). He was gong to email me a quote with details but I told him I would get back to him for that info.. it just seemed like a very low quote, although the Lennox quotes could be over inflated...

Any feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

Rich

Comments (74)

  • 14 years ago

    Hi ryan...

    thanks for getting back to me. i will bring up the matching issue tomorrow now that i am sure there is nothing on ahri. the first lennox dealer that was here over the summer also came up with the 2 ton system after a manual j calc so i am fairly confident in the sizing. the trane dealer does offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee..just have to see what that means. these guys are very reputable and respected in the area so that makes me feel good.

    thanks for the t stat info as well..i realized after i posted that the 2 stats are essentially the same..

    have a good night..

    regards,
    rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    of course you want an AHRI matched system and as Ryan pointed out, the two ton XL15i system as listed above is not a match.

    Let's go back to the 2 1/2 ton system as configured below.

    1382160 Active Systems XL15I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX5030A1 4TEE3F39A1 30000 13.00 15.75 30000 9.00 18000

    how did your existing system cool? was it satisfactory? have you seen the recent load calculation in writing? what does it say for heat gain(cooling) and heat loss(heating). It's my opinion that going down in size will hurt you significantly in heating operating costs and you need to be very careful with correct size being very important especially taking into consideration your winter climate.

    just for information, is your condo an interior unit or exterior unit?

    IMO

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  • 14 years ago

    Hi tigetdunes..

    definitely looking for the AHRI match so I am temporarily back to the beginning. I have an interior unit, East and West walls are interior, front and back face North and South, respectively

    the existing system..well, it didnt cool well, and since I was never a big AC person I just used the fan most of the time in the summer. heating was my main concern, and it didnt do a very good job of that either so thats when I purchased the pellet stove to handle the whole house heating in winter.

    i didnt see the load calc in writing yet. I emailed the rep this morning and he sent me a nice thorough reply stating that the load calc suggested less than 2 ton for my unit and that the system he put in the proposal was based on that info and no, it doesnt qualify for the credit. he wants to discuss the equipment with me in detail and we can see about equipment size, communicating AH, and the thermostat.

    i did mention that i was mostly concerned with heating in the winter, without blowing my utility bill through the roof and asked again about the 2.5ton system you suggested. just waiting for a reply back...all in all, i enjoy dealing with this company and the reps...

    regards,

    rich

  • 14 years ago

    It's possible the contractor meant to propose the XR15 system:

    4TWR5024A1000A
    4TEE3C01A1000A
    etc..

  • 14 years ago

    hi ryan..

    i forgot about the XR series.. the rep did mention them when he was going over the Trane product line. I am waiting to talk to him more about the equipment, but looking at the 2 ton XR system ratings compared to the 2.5 ton XL and XR ratings, it appears that a 2.5 ton system will give me better heating performance, so that may be the way I go as long as it will work for me...

    thanks again..

    regards,
    rich

  • 14 years ago

    Ok, tell me Im not going crazy.. I just found this on the AHRI site and it qualifies for the tax credit..I guess theyre constantly updating?

    3591482 Active Systems XL15I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX5024A1 4TEE3C01A1 25000 12.50 15.00 23000 8.50 13500

    Anyway, BTU's on that unit arent that great but the dealers load calc recommended lower than 2 tons. I know oversizing isnt a good thing and I did notice a neighbor who replaced his HP 3 years ago has a 1.5 ton unit! I need to talk to him about this and see how its working out.

    Dealer has a 100% comfort guarantee so if the unit doesnt perform, they will replace it for the equipment upgrade cost, no labor.

    Still working out details on the proposal and waiting for Carrier's quote so will keep you posted.

    Thank you again.

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    That is a good system, and the btu's on that heat pump are not all that bad--good for a Trane heat pump actually, with a little extra cooling capacity and not too short on heat (you always have electric backup heat to make up for any additional heat loss). Keep us posted. Are you comfortable with the Trane dealer so far?

  • 14 years ago

    Hi Ryan...

    Thanks for the reply.. I should have clarified what i meant about the BTUs.. by not that great, i meant not as high as the 2.5 ton unit pairs. The rep (who is also the company owner) has suggested I get something between the load and the current system, which would be 2 ton. I just emailed him back with a few more questions, one of them being that Im confused with the high and low BTU ratings for the matched pairs. The pellet stove that I use to heat the house in Winter gives off about 40,000 BTU's. On its high setting the downstairs is over 80 degrees while the upstairs gets to about 67. Before bed I turn the stove to the next to lowest setting and that keeps downstairs about 66 and upstairs around 59. Soo, 40000 BTUs is a lot of heat. Half that number would seem to give me a consistently comfortable environment upstairs and downstairs. Im just wondering if a system with higher BTUs would use the aux heat strips less often, thus saving some electric costs.

    The rep has also mentioned that he likes Comfort R and if humidity is a concern, he will install the indoor/outdoor sensors and configure Comfort R to control the humidity.

    All in all, these guys are really knowledgeable and have been extremely responsive to my questions and concerns. The owners are NATE certified and its easy to see why they've achieved Trane Comfort Specialist status. I may just stick with the Trane...

    I will keep you updated

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Hi Ryan and tiger...

    One final thought... There are currently three matched XL15i 2 Ton pairs from Trane that qualify for the tax credit and have decent ratings... I would more than likely choose the pair with the air handler that could handle a larger heat pump if it ever becomes necessary. What are your feelings on these systems?

    3591482 Active Systems XL15I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX5024A1 4TEE3C01A1 25000 12.50 15.00 23000 8.50 13500
    1383391 Active Systems XL15I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX5024A1 4TEE3F31B1 25200 13.00 15.25 24000 8.60 13900
    1382158 Active Systems XL15I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX5024A1 4TEE3F39A1 25000 13.00 16.00 24000 9.00 13800

    And thanks again for taking the time to offer your advice and suggestions..its very much appreciated...

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    I still question the wisdom of going down in size-refer back to Tuesday post.

    An 8.5 HSPF is rather poor to mediocre. If two ton is your choice, then the third configuration with a 9 HSPF would be my selection because of the better heating efficiency and your location.

    1382158 Active Systems XL15I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX5024A1 4TEE3F39A1 25000 13.00 16.00 24000 9.00 13800

    Have you seen the load calcs in writing on the Man J software letterhead?

    IMO

  • 14 years ago

    Hi tigerdunes...

    I havent received the load calc numbers yet but I did ask for them last night..

    I remember your post from Tuesday and I do like that matched pair, primarily for the heating efficiency. My dilemma is that if I go against their Manual j readings and the dealers suggested system it will somewhat void their equipment upgrade warranty which would make me responsible for equipment as well as labor costs should I need to change equipment due to a potentially oversized system. As I had mentioned in the first post, the Lennox dealer said that their Manual j calc suggested a 2 ton system but it was close enough to go with a 2.5 ton, but they didnt do near as detailed home inspection as Trane...

    I will post the manual j numbers as soon as I get them for your review as well...

    Thank you again!

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    If they accurately did the load calc, and it says 2 tons is what's needed at max design conditions with adjustments for sensible/latent heat ratio, then that's what should go in. You would know that--as you say--if they were wrong and it does not perform fully to your expectations, then the right size unit would go in. No system will be more efficient overall than the one sized properly.

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks Ryan...

    My dealer is rewriting the proposal for me, still with the 2 ton system, but will be swapping out the communicating air handler at my request. I wont have a matching comfortlink II heat pump and I dont plan on using or needing TAM so he agreed that I could save some $$ by going with a basic 4tee variable speed unit. Im also going to have the Man j numbers that I will share with you all..

    I will admit that it's frustrating thinking i know what i need but being told otherwise by a professional. I just need to step back and let him do his job. I can relate to that since Im in the IT field. Im always giving people advice as to what type of computer equipment they need but many of them disregard that advice and do what they think is best, and get stuck with problems...but that gives me the opportunity to say, "I told you so". I just dont want to give anyone an opportunity to say that to me. :)

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Hi tigerdunes/Ryan,

    I just received the manual j calculations from the dealer for the eight rooms (including powder room) of my condo..theyre a bit confusing though so let me know if you need any other info.

    To summarize the numbers:

    Total BTU Heating = 51600
    Total BTU Cooling = 10638
    Total Sensible Cooling = 7963
    Total Latent Cooling = 2675
    Total CFM Cooling = 377

    Also, I called the Carrier dealer yesterday and they still did not have a proposal for me since coming by last Monday (9/28) for an estimate..they said theyre still working on it...

    Thank you again..

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    I read your latest post and was hoping Ryan would reply before I did.

    I have to admit I find these load calcs highly suspect.

    Were these on the software letterhead or just verbally given to you? My suggestion is to either pay $50 and perform the calcs yourself or have another dealer perform this chore. I don't mean to muddy the water but I would not purchase new HVAC based on these numbers by themselves.

    TD

    Here is a link that might be useful: Hvac Load Calc Software for Homeowner

  • 14 years ago

    Hi tiger..

    thanks for the reply and feel free to speak your mind with me anytime. I dont take offense to your advice.

    The load calc summary was given to me in a pdf and there was also a detailed Excel spreadsheet with all the room sizes, doors, floors, infiltration, etc. created using Comfort Optimizer 2.04. Opportunity Interactive Inc., www.Opactive.com.

    My floorplans list my unit at 1380 sq ft. The dealer measured 1080 sq ft, and last night at 2am I re-measured the open spaces, including stairwell, and came up with almost 1200 sq ft. Not sure if that makes any difference.

    So in this case looking at my Man j summary sheet, am I correct in assuming that (worst case scenario per dealer) 51600 BTU's are required to heat my house to 70F when the outside temp is 9F? If this is the case and the 2 ton units that are being proposed output 24000 High BTU's and 13900 Low BTU's, will the aux heat strips be required bring the BTU's up to the requested temp? If so, I would expect this setup to use a lot of electricity on those cold days.

    OTOH, the 2.5 ton matched pair, whether I use the 4TEE3F31B1 or the 4TEE3F39B1 air handler will give me at least 30000 high BTU's and 18000 low BTU's. Am I correct to assume the aux heat strips would be utilized less since the Heat Pump will be providing more heat on its own?

    As always, thanks again for your input..

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Oh, and not sure if the infiltration calculation helps to figure things out at all but here is the info copied and pasted from the worksheet as well:
    ___________

    Procedure A - Winter Infiltration HTM Calculation
    Winter Infilitionation CFM
    1.2 AC/HR x 8664 Cu. Ft. x 0.0167 = 173.627 CFM

    Winter Infiltration Btuh
    1.1 x 173.627 CFM x 61 TD = 11650.342 Btuh

    Winter Infiltration HTM
    11650.342 Btuh / 125 Total Door & Window & Skylight = 93.2 HTM


    Procedure B - Summer Infiltration HTM Calculation
    Summer Infiltration CFM
    0.5 AC/HR x 8664 Cu. Ft. x 0.0167 = 72.344 CFM

    Summer Infiltration Btuh
    1.1 x 72.344 CFM x 14 TD = 1114.104 Btuh

    Summer Infiltration HTM
    1114.104 Btuh / 125 Total Door & Window & Skylight = 8.91 HTM


    Procedure C - Latent Infiltration Gain
    0.68 x 31 Grains x 72.344 Summer CFM 1525.02 Btuh
    _________

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    load calculation software is only as good as the accuracy of the info being inputting and familiarity with that specific software. I am not familiar with Comfort Optimizer. WrightSoft seems to be leader in this field. I am not saying one is better than another. In your case, I would strongly recommend another load calc for comparison purposes.

    I want to go back to your pellet stove. With a new high eff HP system, there should only be two situations that you would use this.

    1. because you want to
    2.because you have a power outage or mech problem with your new HP system.

    Three questions.

    1.you are certain existing system is three ton?
    2.any idea of size of heat strip(KW)?
    3.how would you describe the insulation properties and envelope of your unit?

    as you know, heat pumps are normally sized for cooling.
    your case and location/climate does not make that practical since heating is probably far more important than cooling.

    back to your questions/statement.

    "So in this case looking at my Man j summary sheet, am I correct in assuming that (worst case scenario per dealer) 51600 BTU's are required to heat my house to 70F when the outside temp is 9F? If this is the case and the 2 ton units that are being proposed output 24000 High BTU's and 13900 Low BTU's, will the aux heat strips be required bring the BTU's up to the requested temp? If so, I would expect this setup to use a lot of electricity on those cold days.

    OTOH, the 2.5 ton matched pair, whether I use the 4TEE3F31B1 or the 4TEE3F39B1 air handler will give me at least 30000 high BTU's and 18000 low BTU's. Am I correct to assume the aux heat strips would be utilized less since the Heat Pump will be providing more heat on its own?"

    you are exactly correct. the more one has to utilize heat strips will cost you in electric usage and cost. I would recommend that your heat strips be staged; ie if you need 10KW, then install two 5 KWs and have them wired staged. ask dealer about this.

    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks tiger...

    The pellet stove will only be used for aesthetics, IF i use it at all after the HP system is installed..Im thinking of removing it completely and putting the fireplace back in service.

    To answer your other questions:
    1.you are certain existing system is three ton?

    The existing system in my unit is a 2.5 ton
    I've had proposals from Lennox and Trane for replacing with a 2 ton up to a 3 ton unit.

    This recent Trane dealer who,as I mentioned, did the most thorough inspection, says all I need is 2 ton.

    any idea of size of heat strip(KW)?

    I believe the Lennox dealer told me I have a 10KW strip installed in the existing system

    how would you describe the insulation properties and envelope of your unit?

    I've always felt that the unit wasnt well insulated. the front and back outside facing walls are 2 x 4 construction so not very thick. They also feel very cold in winter which leads me to believe the insulation job isnt that great.

    I did ask about getting the heat strips staged. The dealer replied: "They will be staged in a sense. Primary heat with the heat pump, and emergency as the backup."

    I wasnt sure how to better explain it to him.

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    any update on your project?

    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi tigerdunes...

    My dealer and I spoke on Tuesday. He sent me a revised proposal with the 2.5 ton Trane system you suggested above and I let him know that I wanted to better understand what issues I may have if I oversize the cooling to get my heating requirement. He said that I may have dehumidification problems and short cycling of the compressor and incresed electric costs in the Summer. We had a nice talk and he told me that he was going to contact a friend who is also in the business to get his opinion. Well, the consensus between them is that the 2 ton system would be fine for my heating needs if I installed a dual zone system. My unit is only about 1200 sq ft with two bedrooms/bathrooms upstairs and the kitchen, dining, 1/2 bath, and living room downstairs. I just feel that a dual zone is not really worth the extra money for this size house, but I asked to see what the total cost would be. I should hopefully have what I need to make a decision next week and get the project moving. It's getting colder so the pellet stove has been keeping things warm.

    Regarding the Carrier dealer, I called them again today and left a message with the receptionist. Its been three weeks since they were here to inspect and measure for a proposal and I still dont have anything from them. They never called me back. I was hoping to see what size they were going to recommend for me.

    Thank you again for the message.

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Hi td and Ryan,

    Well, the Carrier dealer that stopped by in September finally sent their proposal. They quoted me for a 2.5 ton Performance system and Edge stat. The cost for that system was about $3300 more than the Trane system and they werent even replacing the refrigerant linesets. They also didnt quote me the 'H' model systems as I had asked for during the consultation.

    I will be accepting the proposal from my Trane dealer after receiving the final contract this morning. The proposal is for AHRI #1382160 along with the VisionPro IAQ Stat/EIM/Outdoor sensor (Authorized Honeywell dealer/installer as well) and includes complete replacement of the attic supply and return ductwork, two additional supply ducts in bedrooms, new linesets/drains, pad, drain pan, etc...

    Installation is scheduled for next week so I will let you know how it all goes and how it operates once it's finished.

    Thanks again for all the support and advice.

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    1382160 Active Systems XL15I WEATHERTRON TRANE 4TWX5030A1 4TEE3F39A1 30000 13.00 15.75 30000 9.00 18000

    Congrats

    a heck of a nice system if sized correctly. Plus the electronic demand defrost is an excellent feature for your area/climate and will eliminate unnecessary/nuisance defrost calls. If practical, it would be helpful to have two returns-one on each floor. I assume you will have a 10 KW heat strip-2 fives staged would be preferred.

    let us know how things go and your impressions following install. how much time for the install-two days?

    Good Luck!
    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi td..

    Thanks for the reply. I think im about .5 ton oversized on cooling but I felt it was the only option in order to ensure I had the maximum heat output without excessive use of aux heat on those cold days/nights.

    There are three returns in the house. One large downstairs and a smaller in each of the two bedrooms. There will be a minimum of 2 x 5KW heat strips, staged as you have recommended. The installer will be performing a walk-through this coming weekend to confirm everything for me.

    I didnt get any information as to how long it would all take. There is a mess in the attic (fiberglass ducts, uninsulated ductwork, etc.) that they will need to clean out first so I am going to guess 3 days minimum to complete.

    I will keep you updated once things start.

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    one more thought. not certain what code is for your area but I would want attic ductwork both supply and return to have the max.

    TD

  • 14 years ago

    max

    max as in insulation value

  • 14 years ago

    >max as in insulation value

    Thanks td..the proposal talks about full insulation of the ductwork but doesn't give values. I will confirm that they use the max required under code... anything to ensure theres no heating/cooling loss in the attic since its all unconditioned space. :)

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Hi everyone...

    My system is scheduled to be installed in about a week or so. I just wanted to confirm something about the VP IAQ and Comfort R....

    I've read posts recommending that Comfort R be disabled when installing the VP IAQ stat to let the thermostat control the fan speed/dehumidification. While I do care about humidity control, I would say i'm more concerned with even heating through the house and minimal cold air blowing through the vents in Winter.. would the Comfort R's fan control excel in this respect?

    Thanks for the input.

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    any update on your install?

    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi td...

    Well, it's scheduled to be installed this week..from the 9th thru the 12th. Been a frustrating few weeks watching the weather deteriorate. Just trying to finalize the electric strips now. Contractor emailed me Friday asking me what we decided on for the electric aux heat and I reminded him that he was going to determine this at the walkthrough a few days before the install. The walkthrough isnt happening now so I reminded him that I wanted the 10kw (2 x 5kw) strips staged. He said that he didnt believe Trane made anything except a 15Kw that could be staged but he was going to look into it more today for me.

    In the event he comes back saying it isnt possible, do you or anyone else have recommendations for an 8-10kw electric strip that can be staged and will work with my Trane unit?

    Thanks again..

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    don't let this dealer off the hook or allow him to snooker you on staging heat strip. It can be done and if he does not know how, he should call Trane and find out.

    Sizing heat strip correctly and staging heat strip correctly can help you in operating cost.

    you know your area and climate best. what outside design temp and inside design temp for heating are being used?

    at 17 deg fah outside temp, heat pump without backup will produce 18 KBTUs. Each 5 KW heat strip yields 17 KBTU. My suggestion would be two 5 KWs staged(total 34 KBTUs) or a 7.5 and a 5 KW(total 42.5 KBTUs). dealer should check your breaker box for circuit capacity availability.

    TD
    Good Luck!

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks TD...

    I wasnt able to contact the dealer yesterday but sent him an email this morning to see what he came up with...I think the breaker box can only handle 10kw max so that will be the limit.

    re: the design temp, dealers survey calculations show that 51600 BTU's are required to heat my house to 70F when the outside temp is 9F (worst case scenario)

    Thanks again..

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    if 51 KBTUs at 9 deg fah is correct(and BTW may be on high side), you will be short on BTUs with 10 KW backup, probably about 5%-10%. you won't freeze though and there is always the possibility of cranking up your wood stove.

    Best regards,
    TD

  • 14 years ago

    hi td..

    yeah, that was going to be the worst case scenario per the tech.

    He is currently communicating with Trane to get a definitive answer about the staged heat strips and I asked him to keep on top of them because it is something that can be done. I also suggested that he inspect the existing air handler and my breaker box (as he said he was going to do) when he stops by tomorrow a.m. to see what's currently there.

    Now lets hope that the winter storm hitting us tomorrow morning doesn't bring the 3"-6" of wet snow and ice that they're predicting. :(

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Hi Ryan and TD...

    Well, the work started today on schedule. I went out first thing after the snow stopped to shovel the grass where the heat pump was going to be so it would be ready to go.

    The guys were up in the attic at 8am removing all the equipment and ductwork. Right now the new AH is suspended in place and all the ductwork is being installed.

    My dealer checked the old air handler and confirmed it had 15kw strips installed. He also received confirmation from Trane that they can help him to stage the electric strips so he's waiting for them to get him the details.

    Things are falling into place now so I'm feeling better about the whole thing...

    I will update you tomorrow afternoon with the progress..

    Thank you again for your help.

    Regards,

    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    two suggestions.

    1.make certain install techs set dip switch settings correctly. unfortunately, Trane techs have bad habit of overlooking this and/or not doing it correctly. Default settings from the factory are rarely correct.

    2.since you know you have 15KW heat strip and the capacity in your breaker box, I would install a 7.5KW plus a 5KW to kick in on those very cold days. that should cover your heating needs nicely.

    your install timing seems a little close. what low temps are you currently dealing with?

    Best Rgds,
    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi TD,

    Thanks for the suggestions. The dealer was her today discussing the configuration of the system so we're set with the dip switch settings. I will pass along the info re: the strips to him as well.

    Timing is VERY close. LOL I has some minor issues that caused the install date to get pushed into December, forcing me to miss the mild November weather. Daytime temps have been in the upper 30's, low 40's but nights are dropping from the upper 20s the past couple weeks to the teens starting tonight...fortunately I bought some pellets for the stove in anticipation of issues so i've been keeping warm. :)

    I was going to take some pics of the work in progress but the guys did a thorough job of taping up the attic ceiling access (to prevent heat loss) and I dont want to go tearing it apart... I will post some pics once the job is finished.

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Hi TD..

    Second full day of the install and I would say the guys are about 95% finished. The ductwork is all in place, the heat pump is installed and connected.

    Tomorrow is the completion of some electrical work, the VP IAQ install, and the heat strips. Then a test run...

    As for the heat strips, the contractor will be using a Trane 15KW which is split 60/40. What's the best way to stage this? Does the higher kw strip get set as primary to supplement the HP?

    Anyway, everything looks great and the guys have been taking the time to enure everything is installed cleanly.

    Oh, and the Heat Pump is a MONSTER! :-D

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    I will readily admit I have not heard of a 15 KW Trane heat strip with a 60/40 split. I assume this is a single module that is prewired. This would give a 9 KW/6 KW split. Makes sense. The 9 KW should be the primary with the 6 KW kicking in on those extra cold days.

    I will try to make a call in the morning to verify.

    Carrier has a prewired staged 9 KW heat strip that operates in 3 KW increments that is nice and simple.

    You are correct-the XL15i is a physically large condenser.

    I am sure you will be glad when they are finished. It is preferred that HPs not be charged in cold weather so your dealer may need to come back in late spring for adjustments.

    Best Rgds
    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi TD..

    I believe the strip will be model BAYHTR1415 from some info I found on the internet last night. There was a person on another DIY forum looking to replace his Trane tstat with the VP IAQ and he had the above 15kw strip.
    The info given for hooking up the strip is:

    Your heater is 15kw, so another word, it has two banks.
    (on VP EIM), W1 is for the first bank, and W2 is for the second bank. W1/first bank would be used more... and W2 would only be used only in emergency heat mode, or when W1 can't keep up.

    I remember you discussing the Carrier 9kw strip..I mentioned it to the installer and he said that if Trane couldnt help using one of their elec strips he was going to look into whether there was any compatibility with the Carrier unit.

    Anyway, Im glad everything will be working by tomorrow because Winter has arrived and even tho its only been in use for 3 weeks, I'm getting tired of feeding the pellet stove. :)

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    One nice thing about Trane is they usually have a residential specialist on staff at the area wholesale distributors for technical help/backup. These guys are a great resource.

    I did call the distributor this AM and he confirmed the 15 KW two stg heat strip. Part number is BAYHTR1415BRKC. It is a 10 KW and a 5 KW which is a big improvement over a straight 15KW and will save you some change in operating costs. Actually I would prefer three 5KWs but Trane is hardheaded over many issues. In fact, the 15 KW staged is the smallest staged module Trane offers.

    Since you are installing the HW VP IAQ stat with outdoor sensor, have you discussed with dealer/installers about locking out the aux strip at a specific temperature? The idea here is to minimize the use of the heat strip if not necessary. I would think 30-32 degrees might be a good starting point and you could adjust as necessary as you learn your new system. just a thought.

    Good Luck today.

    Best Rgds
    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi TD,

    Thanks for checking into the strips for me. The electric strip that was installed today is the same model that you mention above. I agree that three 5kw would be ideal, but I'll settle for this over no staging at all.

    Bit of a setback today. First, installer forgot the outdoor sensor so that's going to be installed tomorrow. Second, the IAQ kept displaying "Error 89" after configuration. Installer was on the phone with Honeywell tech support almost 2 hrs and was told that there was interference in the wiring from the attic to the living room causing the error. The installers brought the tstat to the attic, connected it directly to the EIM unit and received exactly the same error. After doing a voltage test, they found the readings between the tstat and the EIM unit were way off and Honeywell recommended replacing both devices.

    So, looks like we try again tomorrow morning. Hopefully they'll get it all working because it just keeps getting colder out!

    Have a great night/weekend.

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    sorry for your trouble with the HW VP IAQ. It is rare but you do hear about this type problem-something HW should solve.

    Better to know now than at a later date.

    I would think about about locking out your auxillary at a specific temp.

    Good Luck on completing your install today.

    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks TD,

    yes, better to have it fail now than in the middle of winter!

    Aux strips will be locked out as you suggested. Will set 360 on IAQ to 32 at first to see how things go and how the HP keeps up. Can adjust from there.

    Thanks again for your help and advice.

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    any update?

    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Rich

    any update?

    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi TD..

    Haven't been on the boards in a bit so I apologize for the late response.

    Everything is working perfectly since the tstat was replaced on the 12th. System was charged and turned on and the difference from the previous system is amazing. The temps in the house are much more consistent and the upstairs is actually warm now. I think the replaced ductwork has made a big difference. The air flow upstairs seems a bit high compared to the downstairs (than the old system) so Ive got it on my list of things to ask the dealer whether it can be adjusted. They did install dampers on all the supplies so I'm sure something can be done. I am glad I followed the advice of many here and got the VP IaQ. It's full featured and very easy to program. I've set the Aux heat to only come on if outside temps are below 35 degrees and it seems to be working well so far. Will be interesting to see my first full month electric bill for January usage so I can compare it to the old system.

    And regarding the VP IAQ, maybe someone can answer this question for me. Over the weekend I noticed that the touch panel/display of the IAQ is loose inside the plastic frame. That is, when I tap it to change settings, it will move about 1/8" in all directions. Is this normal or should it be securely attached within its plastic frame?

    I am completely satisfied with the system and the installation performed by the dealer.

    Many thanks to you and Ryan for all your help during this process. It is greatly appreciated.

    Happy Holidays!!!

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    rich

    glad to hear you are satisfied with your new system.You have great equipment and with a new ductwork system, this can make a large difference.

    If your system is maintaining your inside thermostat setting without aux strips at and above 35 degrees, then I would consider changing lockout to 32 degrees. The more you can keep those aux heat strips from running, the more operating savings you will enjoy.

    As far as HW VP IAQ, I would notify dealer to stop by and take a look. That certainly does not seem right.

    Take care.
    Merry Christmas
    TD

  • 14 years ago

    Hi TD...

    Thank you... I'm really happy with the equipment choices.

    I have been keeping the stat low... 65 during my waking hours and between 60-62 when im not home and overnight. There really hasnt been much of a chill yet so I think im going to end up raising the inside temps slightly once the deep freeze hits.. will have to look more into changing the aux lockout as I want to take advantage of as much energy savings as possible.

    I called Honeywell about the IAQ.. the woman I spoke to told me that the screen should not move within the frame. I called the dealer and explained the situation. They told me that every IAQ they've installed has been the same and that the 'floating' of the touchscreen is normal.... I may just start a new topic to query some IAQ owners as to their units and then go back to the dealer with that.

    Thank you again and Merry Christmas to you as well!

    Regards,
    Rich

  • 14 years ago

    just a bit of info.. i searched over at hvac-talk to see if there were any reports of the loose touchscreen over there. Sure enough I found a post by someone who has the same issue.. and it appears that its normal for the IAQ...

    makes me feel a bit better. :)

    Regards,
    Rich