HVAC Heating Zone question

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Thanks, your explanation is better than mine. Ed
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We use heat pumps in the midwest where its plenty cold, mine is a 3 ton,16 seer and heats a 1600sq ft ranch main level and 700 down stairs, holds 69 degs, when the outside temp is 17degs.
Tom

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What's your Kwh rate? In the NE it can be as high as .18 per Kwh. How often do your backup elements come on, and how often does the unit go into defrost mode?
Heatpumps in the Northeast are only used because builders are cheap, want the cheapest heating/cooling plant, and don't want the "hassle" of providing things like fuel storage, chimneys, or natural gas. In addition, the inside air handler can be located just about anywhere.
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]

At 17 F your "heat pump" is just an electric heater. Most likely you are describing an air exchange system with electric backup heating strips. In the Northeast, where the original poster is located, electric heat is generally very expensive to operate.
gerry
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TN wrote:

This can easily be done using one furnace with one air conditioner (and if needed, a 2 to 3 zone zoning system).
I assume you are speaking of a natural gas fired furnace, and using an electric air conditioner.
Technology today is more advancede and because of that, easier to manage home comfort.
This is what I wold use in your situation. A 96% AFUE gas furnace with a variable speed fan system. An 18 SEER 2-speed electric air conditioner, (yes, with TXV on evaporator) A Thermostat that not only controls desired heating and cooling comfort levels, but controls humidity levels in the home as well. (dehumidifies via the A/C as well as operates an add-on humidifier)
If the furnace is to be located at one end of the basement, and you have difficulty with airflow to a room over the garage at the other (far) end, you may want to split those difficult areas into "zones" If so, an effective way to do so is using Arzel Zoning Technology.
I would get another opinion from a contractor who is experienced in zoning needs.
Someone who knows how to correctly calculate the required heating and cooling loads in your home, understands how to size the ductwork required to move the air which will carry those loads, and if need be split the system into zones - all using one furnace and one airconditioner.
Just last month, I removed 2 furnaces, and 2 airconditioners from a building (beauty solon) installed one furnace, one air conditioner, and an Arzel AirBoss 3-zone panel. We used 3 programable thermostats using the existing ductwork and improved the "irregular heating/cooling" in the various parts of the structure, while saving the customer $$$ on their monthly fuel consumption. The furnace was a 96% 120K-BTU 2-stage heat, with a 5-ton single-speed air conditioner, a Thermidistat in the "main zone" and 2 standard programable thermostats for the other two zones. we also properly sized the required fresh air intake into the system for the needs of the business (in acordance with local codes).
Here is the equipment I would reccomend, if I were speaking to you "person to person."
Air Conditioner: http://www.residential.carrier.com/res/details/0,1992,CLI1_DIV109_ETI8228_MID3966,00.html
Furnace: http://www.residential.carrier.com/res/details/0,1992,CLI1_DIV109_ETI8542_MID3736,00.html
System: http://www.residential.carrier.com/res/details/0,1992,CLI1_DIV109_ETI8551_MID3655,00.html
Thermostat: http://www.residential.carrier.com/res/details/0,1992,CLI1_DIV109_ETI8524_MID3835,00.html
Read the brochure: http://www.xpedio.carrier.com/idc/groups/public/documents/marketing/809-50038-012904.pdf
Zoning: http://www.arzelzoning.com /
Want help? Call a Factory Authorized Dealer in your area: http://www.residential.carrier.com/res/details/0,1992,CLI1_DIV109_ETI8442_MID4032,00.html
good luck!
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]

It is fairly unlikely the A/C does a very good job at dehumidifying. High SEER units tend to be poor at latent heat removal.

And I would research costs associated with captive designs (proprietary repair parts) with Carrier and a few other big names.
I am not suggesting they are not good units, just lifetime cost of ownership (repairs and service) tend to be higher with some brand name equipment.
Thus, add the cost of a long term service contract when getting quotes.
gerry
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gerry wrote:

snip
I suppose you are not familiar with the equipment I've referenced. The system actually has desired humidity level settings and will maintain them, so say for example in the summer time, the sensible is steady but latent has increased, the system will remove latent without noticible change in sensible.
Another words... The thermostat will operate the A/C strictly for dehumidification without allowing the room temperature to decrease.

possibly. but that holds true with *any* brand of equipment you would purchase. I will be quite honest here in saying that years ago I was against Carrier/Bryant equipment for over-usage of controls, etc; and the same went for Lennox and Trane as well. I would install units that were less complicated, etc; and yeah - they were cheap. Coleman, York, Goodman (Janitrol), Comfort-Aire, Nordyne products (Miller, Kelvinator, Westinghouse), Heil, I could name several more.
Times have changed, Carrier has changed, and for the most part to the better. Carier listened to contractors when they redisgned their entire product line. Better built, less callbacks (warranty calls) equipment that actually reduces customers utility bills.
As for zoning needs... You can't beat Arzel (http://www.arzelzoning.com /) No electric motorized dampers, very intuitive control panels, no need to redisgn and reInstall ductwork (existing ducts can be split into various zones with no problems - as long as they are accessible).
A little FYI: You use computer technology to access this newsgroup. You may want to print a post for whatever reason, and your printer is connected to the CPU via a USB connection. Carriers Infinity Control/Furnace/Air Conditioner/Heat Pump are connected basically the same way: via a universal serial buss where only 4 wires are needed even for 2-stage heating and 2-stage cooling. A 24vac (+), common (-), and two data terminals. The system is self-diagnosing. We have been putting them in since they came out, and have 0 service calls on them so far.
peace, -Gate
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]

You are correct that I'm not familiar with that particular system. Thanks for the info (and that below)!
I'd love to know how they control latent heat without a noticeable change in sensible AND operated at the specified SEER. That is an incredible amount of stuff to juggle ;-)
gerry

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gerry wrote: clip

S.E.E.R - "The total cooling output of a central air conditioner in British thermal units during its normal usage period for cooling divided by the total electrical energy input in watt-hours during the same period. The test procedure is determined by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute."
Latent Heat - Is defined as the heat which flows to or from a material without a change to temperature.
Sensible Heat - Is defined as the heat energy stored in a substance as a result of an increase in its temperature.
Heat - Is a form of energy that is transferred from one body (system ) to another body (system or surroundings). Heat transfer can occur when there is a temperature difference. Assume two bodies with different temperatures are brought into contact with each other. The heat transfers from the hotter body to the colder one. This will continue until the temperature of the bodies are the same (thermal equilibrium). The SI unit of heat is joule (J).
If you need to know more of the "basics" try here: http://www.taftan.com/thermodynamics /
Ummm... what does the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of equipment have to do with dehumidification?
The difference between air conditioning and dehumidification is: Air conditioning changes sensible by transferring heat and lowering the temperature of the air in the conditioned space where dehumidification removes latent heat without a noticable change in sensible.
Example. You have a basement. In your basement you have a dehumidifier operating to remove excessive moisture [hence dehumidify). Does that dehumidifier make your basement and colder?
In my remarks I stated that the system I referred to enabled your home air conditioner to act as a "whole house dehumidifier." So it removes latent (moisture) without changing sensible - which is exactly what a dehumidifier does...
Looky here: http://www.residential.carrier.com/res/details/0,1992,CLI1_DIV109_ETI7884_MID3703,00.html
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