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
and the Infinity Series Central Air Conditioner (21 Seer)
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.
I have both the Infinity furnace and matching A/C and like them very
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
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
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.
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.
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.
And just what do you think that the combination suggested is going to
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
Your Summer Outdoor Design Conditions in Maryland are very similar to SW WI.
I personally would not go above a 14-SEER Airconditioner.
The payback that is claimed might have some credibility in a dry climate
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
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)
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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