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Ask me anything about HVAC heating air conditioning air quality control

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  • Nov 16th, 2017 9:28 pm
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Sr. Member
User avatar
Sep 15, 2006
964 posts
191 upvotes
Montreal
Hey guys,

Just bought a new house:
- 2006 construction
- Forced air in place with all ducts
- Lennox furnace installed in 2006
- 3600 sq ft with a fairly expensive electrical bill in 2016 (3000$)

In Quebec, we have two programs (Renovert and Renoclimat) that could give me 650$ + 20% (for anything exceeding 2500$) in return. The conditions are:
- SEER of 15+
- EER of 12.5+
- HSPF of 7.4+

I'd like to install a heat pump. The installation itself is not toooo complex, but please note that the electrical panel is roughly 50 ft away and the gas line would be roughly 30 ft long. Most prefer installing a new furnace to perfectly match the coil and also fit into Renovert & Renoclimat.

I picked the 4 best HVAC guys in the area (according go Google Reviews & Facebook & Yellow Pages) who all came up with different options.

HVAC quote #1, from the most established HVAC provider in the area, taking care of most new constructions including the house in question 12 years ago.
Heat pump: Lennox SL18XP-042-230 + snow guard. SEER of 18.5 and HSPF of 10.2
New furnace: Lennox CBX40UHV-042 variable speed + 25 KW
Thermostat: Lennox I COMFORT WIFI
Price: 12 500$ + tax minus 625$ rebate
I would get roughly 3025$ back from the 2 programs
Final price: 9 325$ + tax

HVAC quote #2, also from the most established HVAC provider in the area, taking care of most new constructions including the house in question 12 years ago.
Heat pump: Lennox XP14 without snow guard. SEER of 16 and HSPF of 9.5
New furnace: Lennox unknown model
Thermostat: Basic Lennox (not WIFI)
Price: 9500$ + tax
I would get roughly 2300$ back from the 2 programs
Final price: 7 200$ + tax

HVAC Quote #3
Heat pump: Luxaire hl6b036f3c 36000 btu. SEER of 16 and HSPF of 9
New furnace: Luxaire ahe36c3xh21
Thermostat: Honeywell WIFI
Price: 8 179$ + tax
I would get roughly 2030$ back from the 2 programs
Final price: 6 415$ + tax

HVAC Quote #4:
Heat pump: Coleman (York) TH4B36. SEER of 15.5 and HSPF of 8.5
New furnace: York ae42
Thermostat: Honeywell WIFI
Price: 8 500$ + tax
I would get roughly 2100$ back from the two programs
Final price: 6 670$ + tax

I also received three quotes that don’t fit into the programs restrictions.

HVAC Quote #5:
Heat pump: York YHE36. SEER of 14 and HSPF of 8.2
New furnace: York unknown model
Thermostat: Honeywell WIFI
Price: 7 500$ + tax
Not elligible to any program

HVAC Quote #6:
Heat pump: GREE 13051-15
New furnace: GREE 1305121
Thermostat: Honeywell WIFI
Price: 4 670$ + tax

HVAC Quote #7:
Heat pump: Coleman (York) TH4B36. SEER of 15.5 and HSPF of 8.5
We keep the existing furnace and fit a new coil
Thermostat: Honeywell WIFI
Price: 5 500$ + tax

What do you think? I understand that the first quote (Lennox) is more expensive, but it's the best installer and higher quality components.
Jr. Member
Feb 17, 2009
134 posts
bririp wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 8:31 am
Post a link to the video and I can try to help. It could be a vibration caused by loose screws that is present when the motor turns on or off...?
Here's a few pictures:

Image
Image
Image
Image

Video (the sound is around 30 seconds in):

Deal Addict
Aug 4, 2008
2403 posts
486 upvotes
Toronto
Hey,

I have a 3000 foot home in Markham Ontario.

Installing hardwood floors and stairs this month.

Would you suggest a powered bypass humidifer or a steam based humidifer?

Considering Aprilaire 700 or 800.

I have a Carrier high efficiency furnace that was just put in a year ago.

Thanks
Newbie
Oct 11, 2013
64 posts
4 upvotes
Markham, ON
Hi, I have some decisions to make with my central AC and I am looking for some advice. It was purchased in 2007 and it has been crap pretty much since the beginning. The first summer it was installed, it seemed fine. Then the next year it seemed like it was struggling to cool down the house and was running almost constantly. I called the guy and he gave me some BS about how the new refrigerant needs to be recharged. When I called him out on it he started yelling at me, so I was done with him.

I called another technician, and he put Super Seal into the line and topped up the refrigerant. It was the same story where it seemed to work fine at first but then the next year it was not cooling properly. Over the years I have called in different technicians, they try something and top up the refrigerant, only for the same thing to happen again.

The last time I called a technician he changed the evaporator coil because the old one looked rusted, and he also topped up the refrigerant. Now that the same problem is still happening he is suggesting changing the condenser so it would be like getting a whole new AC.

I am looking for advice on what I should do. I put so much money into it already, it would be painful to basically scrap it and get a whole new unit. On the other hand, I don't want to have to keep sinking money into this current unit.

To further complicate things, I want to dig up my lawn at the side of the house and put interlocking, but the condenser is sitting on a pad. It seems everybody in my area had it mounted to the foundation at the side of their house, but I didn't because it was more expensive and I read that it causes vibrations when it is running. If I change the condenser I am thinking I would get it mounted, but if I keep my existing unit, I am not sure how to deal with that.
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Member
Oct 9, 2011
255 posts
60 upvotes
OAKVILLE
jk43234 wrote:
Aug 27th, 2017 1:51 pm
Hi, I have some decisions to make with my central AC and I am looking for some advice. It was purchased in 2007 and it has been crap pretty much since the beginning. The first summer it was installed, it seemed fine. Then the next year it seemed like it was struggling to cool down the house and was running almost constantly. I called the guy and he gave me some BS about how the new refrigerant needs to be recharged. When I called him out on it he started yelling at me, so I was done with him.

I called another technician, and he put Super Seal into the line and topped up the refrigerant. It was the same story where it seemed to work fine at first but then the next year it was not cooling properly. Over the years I have called in different technicians, they try something and top up the refrigerant, only for the same thing to happen again.

The last time I called a technician he changed the evaporator coil because the old one looked rusted, and he also topped up the refrigerant. Now that the same problem is still happening he is suggesting changing the condenser so it would be like getting a whole new AC.

I am looking for advice on what I should do. I put so much money into it already, it would be painful to basically scrap it and get a whole new unit. On the other hand, I don't want to have to keep sinking money into this current unit.

To further complicate things, I want to dig up my lawn at the side of the house and put interlocking, but the condenser is sitting on a pad. It seems everybody in my area had it mounted to the foundation at the side of their house, but I didn't because it was more expensive and I read that it causes vibrations when it is running. If I change the condenser I am thinking I would get it mounted, but if I keep my existing unit, I am not sure how to deal with that.
If it was me, I wouldn't bother with fixing it any more since it is 10 years old. I'll bet every time you had someone look at it, it probably cost you at least $150. 10 years @ $150 = $1500. You're almost at the price of a new unit! I would wait until next spring and buy a new one. Use the next several months to find a reputable installer. There are a couple on here who seem to be quite knowledgeable and offer group buys.

You do not say when you plan on doing your walkway, but maybe what you can do is to have the unit disconnected so you can do your walkway without it being in the way and have the new unit mounted against the side of your house when you do replace it.

I have my a/c mounted against the side of my house and I do notice a vibration when my a/c starts, but once it gets going, I don't notice it running at all. It also gets it off the ground and debris doesn't collect around it and I "feel" there's better air circulation around the unit.
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Newbie
Oct 11, 2013
64 posts
4 upvotes
Markham, ON
dpw198 wrote:
Aug 28th, 2017 8:05 am
If it was me, I wouldn't bother with fixing it any more since it is 10 years old. I'll bet every time you had someone look at it, it probably cost you at least $150. 10 years @ $150 = $1500. You're almost at the price of a new unit! I would wait until next spring and buy a new one. Use the next several months to find a reputable installer. There are a couple on here who seem to be quite knowledgeable and offer group buys.

You do not say when you plan on doing your walkway, but maybe what you can do is to have the unit disconnected so you can do your walkway without it being in the way and have the new unit mounted against the side of your house when you do replace it.

I have my a/c mounted against the side of my house and I do notice a vibration when my a/c starts, but once it gets going, I don't notice it running at all. It also gets it off the ground and debris doesn't collect around it and I "feel" there's better air circulation around the unit.
Thanks. Yeah, in hindsight it would have been better to replace the whole thing from the beginning. I was planning on digging up the grass and putting the base down this season, then putting the stones down next year.

If I were to replace the whole AC unit, it sounds like a good idea to do what you said to get it removed now and a new one installed next spring. Roughly how much should it cost to try and repair it and get it mounted at the same time? Any AC Technician I call seems to either take a shortcut or say to replace the whole thing.

Also, what's the problem with Super Seal? When I have mentioned it in the past I have been advised to replace the whole thing.
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Deal Addict
Aug 27, 2009
1121 posts
258 upvotes
Oakville
Brian, what do you think of the newer Trane or American Standard "S9" series (e.g. S9V2, S9X2, etc.) furnaces?

In past products outside (i.e. cold) combustion air was brought into a sealed burner box (that silver box with round sight window at top) separate from the rest of the furnace internals. This was a feature of the better furnaces.

Image



With cheaper furnaces (e.g. Keeprite) the outside air was brought into the furnace upper cabinet which was open to the burners. The furnace door provided the (generally poor) sealing from the inside.
Image

With the new S9 furnaces it seems like Trane/AS have done away with the separate burner box as well as the typical two sections - combustion stuff on top, blower & electronics on bottom.
As such outside air is brought into the furnace cabinet and exposes everything (draft inducer, electronics, lines & hoses, etc.) to the cold.

Image


I'm sure Trane has done lots of testing on the new furnace but I'm not thrilled about subjecting some of the less robust items to the cold air.

... or maybe I'm just overthinking this?
Newbie
Jul 22, 2003
53 posts
2 upvotes
Malicious wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 7:55 pm
Here's a few pictures:

Image
Can't wait to see what the pro's say, but that looks completely wrong to me.
The humidifier should be on the cold air return & supplied by hot air from that white flex pipe. The opposite of the way it's installed now.
Deal Addict
Aug 27, 2009
1121 posts
258 upvotes
Oakville
nighthawk26 wrote:
Mar 15th, 2017 9:43 pm
No different than the note I made above. The Variable is not what would make it more unreliable if that`s what you are getting at. It`s the complete redesign. This is Tranes FIRST set of furnaces built without sealed combustion burner box. As mentioned, this is their first year with them. There is not nearly enough data to suggest it`s reliability.
Hey Nighthawk, thanks for your informative posts on this forum.

I'm interested in getting your opinion on Trane's removal of the separate burner box (see my post #8002 above). What's the advantage of having a separate burner box even though their new furnaces are still sealed combustion?

I wonder if they are doing this to remove cost, save space, or both given their new furnaces are 6" shorter (40" vs 34"). Lower cost + smaller size allowing it to fit into tighter spaces = more sales.

Bottom line: Today would you buy an older model (assuming availability) vs the newer S9 models?
Newbie
Dec 25, 2013
35 posts
4 upvotes
BRAMPTON
Hi, I am currently remodeling a raised bungalow in Nova Scotia. Heat pump first as there is no other source of heat. 30×25 is the size and it is insulated but not well, say R12 walls and ceiling. It's is on piers with no insulation on the bottom. So...
I am looking for an efficient heat pump to heat and cool the place. Looking for suggestions. I've heard Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and LG quite often. Would spend a little extra to save down the road. Any input is welcome. TIA, Dave. Also size of unit which would be a mini split.
Jr. Member
Feb 17, 2009
134 posts
StarGehzer wrote:
Aug 29th, 2017 6:46 pm
Can't wait to see what the pro's say, but that looks completely wrong to me.
The humidifier should be on the cold air return & supplied by hot air from that white flex pipe. The opposite of the way it's installed now.
Well, curious to see what anyone has to say about that, but solved the other problem.

The white thing turned out to be a condensate pump after spending some time looking into it. I took it apart and cleaned it out (doubt it had ever been done) and it seems to be working properly now after manually pouring water into it. I'm pretty sure the float was stuck in the up position and was causing the pump to kick on constantly.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
114 upvotes
Markham
genesis1234 wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 8:49 am
I have tried numerous times, and they basically have only offered me $100. This does not come close to covering the cost to hire an electrician and repair the dry wall...
I am sorry you aren't haven't a good experience with your installation.

One of the most important things is to manage expectations. The salesperson should have realized that fishing would have been required and discussed this at the point of selling the product. Fishing can be a timely project and we will offer customers different options, at different costs. A straight forward job will not cost the same as a more difficult job...but as I said, this should have been discussed prior to the installation date.

Having said that, there are issues that come up during the installation that are unforeseen. Issues that won't be "issues" until the intended route for the wire is tried and then found to be impossible for one reason or another. Most contracts include a clause that explains that if something comes up that is not able to be seen that additional expenses can be incurred. It shouldn't be used often but we do not have xray glasses :)

It is a shame that you weren't explained that this may become a more difficult installation etc.

I am not sure what company you used, nor do I need to know, but I would speak to them. By them offering you $100 rebate it shows that they are trying to work with you on it even if it is not to your satisfaction.

I would think if you cut the drywall out behind the wire and around the bend that is repaired that they wire should be able to be fished behind and then have a handy man come and repair the drywall.

I would suggest the company comes back, cuts the drywall out and re-runs the wire, and you compromise and cover the cost of having the drywall repaired...my 2 cents.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
114 upvotes
Markham
For your sized home a fan powered or steam humidifier would be best suitable. I am a fan of the Aprilaire 800 steam humidifier myself but it requires dedicated power from your electrical panel so you will need access.
rebel_rfd wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 8:01 pm
Hey,

I have a 3000 foot home in Markham Ontario.

Installing hardwood floors and stairs this month.

Would you suggest a powered bypass humidifer or a steam based humidifer?

Considering Aprilaire 700 or 800.

I have a Carrier high efficiency furnace that was just put in a year ago.

Thanks
Providing Customers with the highest quality Home Comfort Products, and service! http://www.homestars.com/companies/2781 ... ly-med-air
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
114 upvotes
Markham
RETD wrote:
Aug 29th, 2017 5:11 pm
Brian, what do you think of the newer Trane or American Standard "S9" series (e.g. S9V2, S9X2, etc.) furnaces?

In past products outside (i.e. cold) combustion air was brought into a sealed burner box (that silver box with round sight window at top) separate from the rest of the furnace internals. This was a feature of the better furnaces.

Image

I am a huge believer of sealed combustion chambers. Lennox is one of the only companies who have kept the sealed chamber. Usually these furnaces come with a selection of plugs and gaskets that are used to seal the entire cabinet. Most calls we see do not have them installed, and I am not confident in the seal, but I am sure they have been tested to show that they can in fact seal to the standards that are set out. Myself...Ill stick with Lennox and their sealed chambers :)





With cheaper furnaces (e.g. Keeprite) the outside air was brought into the furnace upper cabinet which was open to the burners. The furnace door provided the (generally poor) sealing from the inside.
Image

With the new S9 furnaces it seems like Trane/AS have done away with the separate burner box as well as the typical two sections - combustion stuff on top, blower & electronics on bottom.
As such outside air is brought into the furnace cabinet and exposes everything (draft inducer, electronics, lines & hoses, etc.) to the cold.

Image


I'm sure Trane has done lots of testing on the new furnace but I'm not thrilled about subjecting some of the less robust items to the cold air.

... or maybe I'm just overthinking this?
Providing Customers with the highest quality Home Comfort Products, and service! http://www.homestars.com/companies/2781 ... ly-med-air
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
114 upvotes
Markham
StarGehzer wrote:
Aug 29th, 2017 6:46 pm
Can't wait to see what the pro's say, but that looks completely wrong to me.
The humidifier should be on the cold air return & supplied by hot air from that white flex pipe. The opposite of the way it's installed now.
Typically we try to install on the return air duct, but it is approved to be installed on both the supply or return duct work as per most manufacturers (check each brand/model). Bypass humidifiers work with a difference of positive and negative pressure. Either way the air will go from the supply air, through the water panel, and into the return air. This will happen either way.

I will have to revisit the video once I am in the office as I don't have speakers where I am now.
Providing Customers with the highest quality Home Comfort Products, and service! http://www.homestars.com/companies/2781 ... ly-med-air

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