Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Carrier, Trane or Lenox

josephny
josephny Member Posts: 270
I'm trying to come up with a solution for a 4500 sq ft gut reno (with R49 roof and R25 walls) in weather zone 6 that includes heat, ac, ventilation, humidity-control.

I see Carrier, Trane and Lenox all have complete, central solutions.

Is there a good reason I should go with one of these manufacturers over the other?

The house has 7 bedrooms and 3, 1500 sq-ft floors right over each other.

Can anyone venture a rough estimate what a complete system with variable speed compressor, HRV or ERV, LP heat, and ductwork might cost?

My own (flawed) manual J showed a about 75kbtu for heating and 30kbtu for cooling.

Good idea or deeply flawed?

Thank you!

Comments

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    You probably want to start by researching the local contractors. I have worked all three of those brands in the last 18 years. All three of those do a good job. If you have an above average system installed, a little complexity, you’re virtually going to be marrying the HVAC contractor. Well, not really, but sort of. 

    Your BTUs seem a little light but anything is possible. 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    josephny
  • josephny
    josephny Member Posts: 270
    GW said:

    You probably want to start by researching the local contractors. I have worked all three of those brands in the last 18 years. All three of those do a good job. If you have an above average system installed, a little complexity, you’re virtually going to be marrying the HVAC contractor. Well, not really, but sort of. 


    Your BTUs seem a little light but anything is possible. 
    That's great advice -- thank you.

    It's also incredibly difficult -- we have a scarcity of qualified, experienced contractors in the area and the few that are here have biases.

    Here's my Manual J -- is anything obviously wrong?

    Thanks

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,563
    edited February 2021
    The Latent for AC looks a little low. Also are there exactly 1000 sq ft of wall or is that rounded UP from the actual? Two ton seams really small for 4500 sq ft even in zone 6. Like that is enough to cool the home to 75° when it is 85°. But that is only my opinion. Also, all the glass on the north wall will show no solar gain thru the glass. East and West walls have more solar gain and will increase the AC load.

    There may be more errors but I would need the drawing to go with the numbers to see them.

    Yours Truly,
    Mr.Ed
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    josephny
  • josephny
    josephny Member Posts: 270

    The Latent for AC looks a little low. Also are there exactly 1000 sq ft of wall or is that rounded UP from the actual? Two ton seams really small for 4500 sq ft even in zone 6. Like that is enough to cool the home to 75° when it is 85°. But that is only my opinion. Also, all the glass on the north wall will show no solar gain thru the glass. East and West walls have more solar gain and will increase the AC load.

    There may be more errors but I would need the drawing to go with the numbers to see them.

    Yours Truly,
    Mr.Ed

    The North and South walls are 45 x 22 each.

    The Each and West walls are (34 x 22) + (34 x 7). The 7 is the ave height between 0 and 14' peak. Of course, each of the 4 sides have dormers (10' wide by ~7' high), so that adds something.

    The South side has 850 sq ft of window.

    North side has 200 sq-ft.

    East side has 180 sq-ft.

    West side has 180 sq-ft.

    Does that help?

    Thank you very much!
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    If you have a scarcity of good contractors, you might as well skip the scrutiny on which manufacturer is best. Because it’s not gonna be the manufacturer that bails you out when things aren’t working correctly.

    Costs, welcome to a first world society, (tongue-in-cheek humor). If you think you’re going to try to get the best quality for the lowest cost, extra good luck to you on that. It’s just about impossible to have the best of both worlds. 

    I just did a $35,000 retrofit job, I missed a key detail, I spent almost twice the time there that I expected. Control wiring issues.  Many contractors would’ve “made the system work anyway”. 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • josephny
    josephny Member Posts: 270
    GW said:

    If you have a scarcity of good contractors, you might as well skip the scrutiny on which manufacturer is best. Because it’s not gonna be the manufacturer that bails you out when things aren’t working correctly.

    Costs, welcome to a first world society, (tongue-in-cheek humor). If you think you’re going to try to get the best quality for the lowest cost, extra good luck to you on that. It’s just about impossible to have the best of both worlds. 

    I just did a $35,000 retrofit job, I missed a key detail, I spent almost twice the time there that I expected. Control wiring issues.  Many contractors would’ve “made the system work anyway”. 

    That's good advice -- thank you.

    I don't expect the impossible. What I do expect is really good quality work.

    Given that the house is a blank slate at this point regarding HVAC, there are many different ways my needs can be addressed and they are very different from each other. So, I'm starting with understanding the various types of solutions and I'm heavily leaning towards a single source, variable speed, ducted HVAC solution.

    Thanks.
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 754
    I have been using Carrier systems for the past 15+ years ... because they make a great zoning system. From all accounts Trane now does as well. With Zoning you need to use the better variable equipment and make sure the installers know what they are doing. You end up with quiet and comfort.

    My last thee projects used the 5 speed rotary unit -- nice compromise. Planning and install is so important ... so getting the proper contractor is key
  • josephny
    josephny Member Posts: 270
    TAG said:

    I have been using Carrier systems for the past 15+ years ... because they make a great zoning system. From all accounts Trane now does as well. With Zoning you need to use the better variable equipment and make sure the installers know what they are doing. You end up with quiet and comfort.

    My last thee projects used the 5 speed rotary unit -- nice compromise. Planning and install is so important ... so getting the proper contractor is key

    So would you say that for an environment like mine, going with a central HVAC makes sense?
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,744
    Look for an energy company that will do Manual's J,D, and S for you. They're out there. Bring your prints. 
    If it's a HERS rated house, you'll need to incorporate the necessary air exchanges as well.
    josephny
  • josephny
    josephny Member Posts: 270
    HVACNUT said:

    Look for an energy company that will do Manual's J,D, and S for you. They're out there. Bring your prints. 
    If it's a HERS rated house, you'll need to incorporate the necessary air exchanges as well.

    I'm curious if the results of a Manual-J/D/S might change whether a central system or split system made more sense?

    Thank you.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    Central ducting versus non-ducted, there’s no right or wrong answer to that question. Pros and cons in every little nook and cranny. If money is no object, put heat in all the floors. For AC, build a ducted system, or put some minis in. 

    If the money tree is not in full bloom, you basically need a ducted system to handle heating and cooling, and not spend a fortune.


    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • josephny
    josephny Member Posts: 270
    GW said:

    Central ducting versus non-ducted, there’s no right or wrong answer to that question. Pros and cons in every little nook and cranny. If money is no object, put heat in all the floors. For AC, build a ducted system, or put some minis in. 


    If the money tree is not in full bloom, you basically need a ducted system to handle heating and cooling, and not spend a fortune.


    Money is a major consideration. Sounds like a full ducted system for heating, cooling, fresh air and humidity control would be less expensive?

    So, the results of the heat load tests wouldn't change the decision of ducted vs. ductless, right?

    I'm a little confused about the "put some minis in" comment: Do I understand correctly that not every room needs a minisplit head? I've seen reference to this, but I can't say I understand. with 7 bedrooms, if bedrooms 1, 3, 5 and 7 have minis, would bedrooms 2, 4 and 6 still be cooled (with leaving the bedroom doors open)?

    Thanks.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    Yes, it’s all a matter of context, I was making a very general statement. If you have seven bedrooms, and you want all seven rooms that have AC, you would need seven mini split units in that case. If doing a hydronic heating system and a separate AC system is too much money, then you’re definitely back to a ducted HVAC system.

    Try to resist the urge of wanting 1 million zones. It will add a lot of complexity, costs, and repairs down the road may or may not be digestible.

    mini split systems are growing in popularity. Some people are installing these in brand new homes as their “primary heating” an cooling systems, which, for me, it’s a little bit too aggressive. If I’m going to get a no heat phone call when it’s 15° outside, I don’t wanna be working outside. But hey that’s just me, call me a softie. Maybe your HVAC sales man will convince you that their technicians will😀. 


    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 754
    You only get to do it once ... You want someone who knows what they are doing to look it over .... the house design determines what you do. With spray foam insulation I reduced a project with 6.5 tons of cooling to 4 while pushing it out over 4k sf. All properly zoned. Had I not spray foamed my guess is 5T would not have been enough and zoning it would have been more of an issue with the larger unit. My goal with that project was to get the second unit out of the attic. This is is a common occurrence -- two units recommended and I never like to do it ..unless the load call for it.

    A properly designed duct system doing the whole house is going to be the cheapest way to go ... often a heat pump is included because of rebate requirement along with an efficient furnace.

    Mini splits are great for odd rooms or strange houses .... they are wonderful problem solvers. Also for open energy efficient homes.

    My current project is a converted church -- so while it has a ducted system for much of the house ... I still need 3 mini-splits to properly cover three odd areas where I could not get ductwork. It also has radiant .... doing all of it is extremely expensive ..

    My beach house is a big old expanded cape and I put two ceiling units in to do the two big rooms on the second floor w/ common big bath ... that's another house were I took out the attic unit. The house determines what you use