I have to replace my 11yrs. old 3ton Rheem heat pump(inside and outside
I have contacted several companies and most are reluctant to do a room by
room load calculation. Will the load calculation act as insurance in case
the unit fails to perform adequately and is it something I should definitely
What SEER and HSPF rating should I select? I live in southern Maryland and
was considering a unit with a 10 SEER rating and 7-7.5 HSPF.
Your input will be greatly appreciated.
The hvac 'experts' around here will tell you it is important to have a load
calculation done. If you were happy with the performance of the present
one, a similarly sized unit will be ok. I suspect that is what most
contractors will quote you. Theoretically it may be possible to drop to a 2
1/2 because of the higher seer rating in a new one but if you want a 10 seer
I don't think I would. If you conside a 12 or 14 seer then I would ask the
contractor if they think a 2 1/2 would do the job? The load calcualtion is
not insurance, finding a good contractor is the best 'insurance' you can
Spend as much as you can, do not get the most expensive unit nor the
cheapest. Look for something in the middle. I believe you will need to
replace ton for ton. More seer will only serve to have the unit cycle less.
If your rooms were good before then they will be good again. If you had a
room that was warm or cold when you did not want it now it the time to look
at the duct work. IMO more air rarely cures poor installations.
A room by room calculation in a home seems a waste to me.
I would look more toward the 12-14 seer units. I have read about 18's for a
3 ton. I have one that is a 12 and it is 8 years old. Look at the amp draws
between the units. More seer usually less amps. Cheaper to run.
You have gotten two other replies, one of them is slightly incorrect.
To answer your questions, in order, here goes.
A room by room manual J will insure that they can do a manual D, and thats a
duct calculation to insure that you have proper BTU delivery, and airflow to
each room based upon its load and size.
No, the manual J, or T in the case of a heat pump, will NOT act as insurance
to anyone but the installing company, as if you are not satisfied, they can
say, well, we sized it correctly.
It can, also, act more as a piece of mind to you, since at 11 years old, you
have no way of knowing if it was sized correctly from the start or not.
As far as SEER and HSPF...easy enough...as high as you can afford. The price
of electrical is never going to be as cheap as it is today. Who knows what
may happen in a year or so? 10 SEER is the bottom of the barrel, and the new
standard is 12, or even 14. I dont even mess with the 13SEER units as there
is literally not enough of a difference to matter. Start looking at 12 and
go from there. All of the units we sell carry the Energy Star rating now,
and you should look for that as well. Not all 12 SEER units are created
Now...keep in mind, that the higher the SEER, the LONGER the units going to
run in the summer time. Why? Simple. Humidity removal. Most brands get the
12 SEER rating with a larger outdoor coil, and the next size up air handler.
The idea is to reduce load on the compressor, and it works. The longer run
time will not cause your bills to go up, provided that the unit is installed
Many, like the new Twin York, actually will have up to 75% fewer
starts...and thats due to the longer run times. It benefits you in heat mode
as well, and unless someones got something new I dont know about, (and we
check weekly) they are the only ones advertising a HOT heat pump...as most
people know a heat pump is designed to provide a constant heat...not the
sudden hot blast from a gas or oil unit...the new units confuse even the
inspectors here...they take a duct temp reading, and go....Its GAS right??
Nope...good old electric :)
Now..the MOST important thing is this...forget the name on the unit (unless
its Goodman or Janitrol, then run) and look for an installing company that
listens to you, and does what you want. The install is the most important
part. All units are literally garbage till they are installed in the manner
they are designed, and trust me, there is more than one way to install any
of the units.....right way, kinda right, maybe right, and wrong.
Make sure that the company is insured, and licenced. Without that, you have
almost no fallback in case he bails, or does a very bad job, or just in
general f*cks up.
Make sure that if the electrical needs to be upgraded, that he provides his
own electrican, or is licenced to do the electrical work, as in most states,
it is illegal for the HVAC contractor to do anything but take the unit
out...NOT make the final connections to the unit, or run new wire.
Make sure that HE pulls the permits, and calls for inspections. IF they ask
you to pull the permits, stop and find a new company right then.
Make sure that you are getting a service contract included for at least 2
years after the installation at no cost. A legitimate company will offer
this for a couple of reasons....one, it gets you used to the fact that the
unit must be serviced at least one time a year, prefer 2X in this climate a
bit farther south of you, and it allows them to get used to you and your
habits with the unit.
IF you are going to be using those damn 3M type Filtrete filters, make sure
they know that up front, as they can create a hell ofa problem if the duct
return is not sized correctly to compensate for the added restriction they
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