Replacing GE Heat Pump with gas furnace

It was due to happen sometime, the blower motor died on my 20 year old 3.5 ton GE heat pump. I'm planning to switch to natural gas because we like the warm air feeling of gas heat and we had the gas line plumbed into the area already. The installer will only need to add the PVC exhaust pipe to complete the conversion.
We've owned this house in Maryland for 7 years, and we plan to stay here indefinitely, so we want to install a reliable efficient system. The full system will cost a little over $8000 so I want to be sure I do this right.
The company is recommending the Carrier Infinity 96 Gas Furnace http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/furnaces/gas/infinity96.shtml
and the Infinity Series Central Air Conditioner (21 Seer) http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/acheatpumps/ac/infinity.shtml
Does anyone have experience with the Carrier Infinity products? Any recommendations for a nice system? Should I look into buying the air cleaner add-on, we have hay fever in the spring and fall?
I have another company coming out on Monday to quote a Trane system.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

much. By all means get the air cleaner, not much initial cost compared to benefit. The variable speed blower is nice though a little noisy on the rare occasions when it hits high speed. I got the humidistat, I don't know it it is part of the package, but worth adding if it isn't. You can set it to run on low to dehumidify at a given level. I got the 96% furnace and the 18 seer A/C about 2 years ago and have yet to regret it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paulaner wrote:

why not replace the blower motor?
even if you get a gas gurnace, the heat pump works as AC in the summer on heats well on days that are just chilly, not cold..
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paulaner wrote:

Where do you live??
Have you considered a ground source heat pump??? Installing a 3.5ton gshp would not cost an arm and a leg more than what you are considering. check out WaterFurnace and ClimateMaster. EER is running in the 27-30 range with COP of 5.0 (5x more efficient than electric resistance)
Unlike your 20 year old GE air source heat pump, you are not likely to need a backup heater, but these two companies offer it if you want/need it. I correspond with folks in Quebec who have a 2 ton gshp and they don't need backup heat until the outside temp goes below -20F and stays there for more than 48 hours.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm in Maryland. My old heat pump used the backup electric heat in Jan & Feb, especially at night.
I asked about geothermal and this installer told me that the installation would be over $20,000 here. I don't have a well, a large yard, or pond nearby. Maybe I'll ask the next guy that comes by on Monday to see what he says.
I would be willing to pay more to for a geothermal, especially if it will pay for itself in lower costs over time, but the $23k price tag says to me I should wait a bit longer.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Solar panels would be a great investment also. The price has come down a lot. Packages that provide most of your power are 20k-25k now. Pay for itself in 10 years, then the savings after that is all profit.
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paulaner wrote:

cost???
I did it a few years ago and got a Trane 12SEER and 80% gas furnace (Hah, at 60% and today's natural gas prices it costs less than $125 for the entire heating season). With install, it came to almost $8,000.
The combo you mention is likely to price out over $10K with install.
And access to a pond, lake or stream is NOT the issue. Most of today's installers will be very reluctant,if not flat out REFUSE to do a geothermal job with well water, lake water.. They want to control the water QUALITY that goes into the heat exchanger. Open loop usually means regular visits to take the system down, flush the heat exchanger with an acid cleaner, rinse it out thoroughly, and restart the unit. Sand, mud, dissolved minerals wreck havoc on the long term performance of the unit.
So in your case, depending on the size of your lot, your gshp installer is suggesting 4 wells 200ft deep spaced 25 feet apart, or is suggesting a somewhat longer length of pipe buried in trenches in your yard at least 6 feet deep. Go talk to well driller and ask about the price of 200ft deep wells, just for drilling and sealing. The heat pump price will vary but should be under $10K. The $23,000 figure sounds a bit high.
My installer here in Houston TX (we run the AC several hours a month,each and EVERY money of the year) keeps his thermostat set to 72F year round. WORST case power bill for his 3000 Sq Ft house $175
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paulaner wrote:

I personally would not go above a 14-SEER Airconditioner.
The payback that is claimed might have some credibility in a dry climate desert zone, however those in the know will tell you that they would not go to a 21-SEER in your climate zone. According to the Airconditioning & Refrigeration Institute (ARI), even a 13-SEER could take up to 20 years to yield any payback in your climate. It takes a lot of run hours a year & even then unless the installation, ductwork, etc., are all perfect, it will not get anywhere near its SEER Rating!
Do a lot of reading & then continue to shop around for the best company to do everything right! - udarrell
--
Air Conditioning\'s Affordable Path to the "Human Comfort Zone Goal"
(Resolving ESP - External Static Pressure)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 16:38:35 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

That's what I have and love it, 4 years now.

I have a less expensive a/c unit and the new (replacing, GACK, electric wallboard heaters) attic install cost $6k in 2002. I'm a real fan of forced air heating, and this is the sweetest system I've ever owned. It's very quiet, too.

I got the electrostatic filter element style and it works very well for me. My allergies are 1/4 of what they were in CA, though.

Carrier and Trane are the top 2, but I trusted Carrier more, and the salesman/engineer was a bit more savvy. Trane wanted about $1k more and I wasn't happy with his ducting suggestions.
======================================================== Save the Whales + http://www.diversify.com Collect the whole set! + Website design and graphics ========================================================
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well the Trane installer came by today and we decided to go with this company. They are a bigger company in the area and seemed slightly more professional. Both companies I looked at have been in the business a long time. One thing I liked was their quality install checklist that gets repeated by a supervisor a week after the installation. I read that installation quality is really important. They also gave me a 2 year labor warrantee instead of the one year the first company offered; but let's hope I never need it :)
We ordered the variable speed furnace and a two compressor a/c unit. http://www.trane.com/residential/products/Furnaces/XV90.aspx http://www.trane.com/residential/products/AirConditioners/xl19i.aspx
The combination of these components means they will be running slightly larger pipes to the compressor instead of reusing the 30 year old lines on my GE heat pump (that sometimes rattled when going on/off). They will run some PVC pipe for the furnace input & exhaust also, so I'll have some ceiling drywall work ahead of me. This system will be 100% new, so if anything goes wrong I only have to call one number.
The A/C unit has 2 compressors, a two ton and a four ton, so hopefully I'll save some money next summer on the bills. We don't like a cold house so we normally keep the thermostat at 78 in the summer, but we really need the dehumidifier often here in Maryland. I'm hoping the four ton compressor only comes on in August.
As I mentioned before, we decided that we wanted warm air in the winter so we went with the gas furnace instead of a heat pump. It has a couple levels of gas usage, so we hope that will save energy also. We didn't even turn the heat on until November last year.
We also added the air cleaner since the wife and kids have allergies. I'm told that we can leave the fan set to on all the time and it uses about 40 watts to circulate the air. We will most likely turn this off in spring and fall if the pollen isn't bad. I like having windows open when we can. http://www.trane.com/Residential/Products/AirCleaners/CleanEffects.aspx
All in all it looked like the Carrier system is more modern and high tech. The 21 seer a/c unit looks great. I'm guessing my old GE unit was like 8 seer, but wow that system was reliable. We think it was the original unit installed in 1977. The Trane system has a better service reputation from folks I talked to, and apparently Trane bought the GE business some years ago. The Trane system came in almost $1000 more than the Carrier, but I'm hoping it will last 20+ years. I really could have gone with either system.
Since the furnace will sit on the basement floor, we asked if they can raise it up a few inches in case of water leaks. They said no problem, it can sit on 4" risers similar to the outside unit.
They have a guy coming out tomorrow to measure stuff, and they put me on the install calendar for later this week. I'll post back with any news about the install. I'll be here for the installers if they have questions, but I plan to stay out of the way. If anyone has any tips for me I'll take 'em.
I plan to ask them to cut the ceiling drywall over the beams so it will be east to screw the pieces back up after they go.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.