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Spacepak upgrade advice

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Hi

Have a cooling only 3 ton Lennox condenser with spacepak esp-E series (r410a). Both about 15-16 years old. Works well from what I can tell but I am newer to the home. I was investigating changing to a heat pump for heating during cold shoulder season days (have steam cast iron radiators for heating season) and I have gotten all kinds of crazy responses. Even one of the big HV installers said you can’t have a heat pump with HV duct work. Another company was pushing me a high seer variable speed heat pump. From what I read HV can’t benefit from those. What I’d like is just some answers from pro’s who actually know what they are taking about. I want to know if it’s worth upgrading my air handler to the latest spacepak or unico model with an ECM motor compared to what I had now. And if so what is the ideal heat pump that plays along with the latest HV blowers. Is it a 2 speed? A a variable speed? If my current spacepak is still in good condition should I just go ahead and get a single speed heat pump? Or are the advantages of the newest models worth getting. Any advice would be appreciated. And just to clarify I would never want the HV to be the primary heating system in the dead of winter with a hot water coil. It’s just too noisy to hear that year round.

Comments

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,173
    edited July 2023
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    I have no idea why they were saying you can’t have a heat pump with a high velocity system. I have a SpacePak ESPJ paired with a Goodman two-stage heat pump.  System performance is excellent although I only use the heat pump in shoulder season or failure over mode. 
    Have you call SpacePak directly for their recommendations?

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
    edited July 2023
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    Look into a Bosch inverter heat pump only big change will be upgrading the existing outdoor units power from possible a 30 amp to 40 amp and personally a new line set or a real power flush and nitrogen purge then a pressure test . I ve only heard great things about the new Bosch inverter heat pumps which will work w just about any standard control thermostat unlike carrier or trane which is only 2 stage as far as I know and use there priority controls ,stuck to them .
    The installer is the biggest hinge pin find yourself some one well versed and familiar w the equipment the higher seer Bosch is a little bit more $ but compared to the major American brands it’s on top of the heap, being us companies are not offering anything close to it again as far as I know . Be sure to have a surge and voltage protector adding to protect your condensing unit control and inverter boards highly recommended . There’s really no one offering anything close to the seer numbers of Bosch that will work w off the shelf thermostats and can operate using 2 control wires from the indoor unit nothing I know or heard of anyway .
    If no one is interested trying looking at bosch,s site for a installer or try giving Johnston’s supply a shout they are stocking an d selling them ,they may have some one to recommend,it seems not to many big companies have jumped on being there usually tied to a us companies and been dealing them for ions and are not ready to jump ship but there all installing some vrf and mini split stuff using similar tech . I personally cannot believe every ac system split or espically package roof top residential and commercial is not using this technology wonder about saving the environment and energy well some thing that controls compressor capacity according to load by reducing capacity it’s a no brainer , some areas of the Hvac world will always lag a bit behind unfortunately Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    PC7060
  • bombaloo
    bombaloo Member Posts: 30
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    clammy said:
    Look into a Bosch inverter heat pump only big change will be upgrading the existing outdoor units power from possible a 30 amp to 40 amp and personally a new line set or a real power flush and nitrogen purge then a pressure test . I ve only heard great things about the new Bosch inverter heat pumps which will work w just about any standard control thermostat unlike carrier or trane which is only 2 stage as far as I know and use there priority controls ,stuck to them . The installer is the biggest hinge pin find yourself some one well versed and familiar w the equipment the higher seer Bosch is a little bit more $ but compared to the major American brands it’s on top of the heap, being us companies are not offering anything close to it again as far as I know . Be sure to have a surge and voltage protector adding to protect your condensing unit control and inverter boards highly recommended . There’s really no one offering anything close to the seer numbers of Bosch that will work w off the shelf thermostats and can operate using 2 control wires from the indoor unit nothing I know or heard of anyway . If no one is interested trying looking at bosch,s site for a installer or try giving Johnston’s supply a shout they are stocking an d selling them ,they may have some one to recommend,it seems not to many big companies have jumped on being there usually tied to a us companies and been dealing them for ions and are not ready to jump ship but there all installing some vrf and mini split stuff using similar tech . I personally cannot believe every ac system split or espically package roof top residential and commercial is not using this technology wonder about saving the environment and energy well some thing that controls compressor capacity according to load by reducing capacity it’s a no brainer , some areas of the Hvac world will always lag a bit behind unfortunately Peace and good luck clammy
    Thanks for the advice. I assume the new inverter Bosch would only work with a new Ecm spacepak. The latest J model. The E model I have is a single speed motor so wouldn’t take advantage of that correct? I think Bosch only comes in 3 and 5 ton. True?
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,881
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    BOSCH make 2 units, 1-3 tone and 3-5 tons. Once installed there set to the capacity required.
  • bombaloo
    bombaloo Member Posts: 30
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    pecmsg said:
    BOSCH make 2 units, 1-3 tone and 3-5 tons. Once installed they’re set to the capacity required.
    So the 3-5 ton model would pair with a 3-3.5 ton spacepak looking to get 3.5 tonnage or roughly 25 supply runs?
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,881
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    How often did that 3 1/2-Ton system cycle on hot days?
  • bombaloo
    bombaloo Member Posts: 30
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    It’s currently a 3 ton compressor and I have 23 supply runs. I don’t set temp particularly low. Like 72-78 depending on my mood but when it’s very hot and I set it low it doesn’t short cycle. Runs pretty consistently. When I set it to 77 or 78 it might run for 10 mins then stop. Then run again after 15 mins or so. I never actually times it. I’m not sure if it’s short cycling on little cool demand but def not when it’s very hot and I want the temp lower. 
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,881
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    Based on that I'd consider the 1-3 Ton unit.
    PC7060
  • bombaloo
    bombaloo Member Posts: 30
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    I actually was curious and checked the ahri website and the 5 ton unit is matched to the 3-3.5 unico blowers. The 3 ton unit is matched to the 1-3 ton blowers. 
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
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    Personally I would go w the 3 ton unit especially w only 23 registers using the 5 ton u it would not shorten any of your system short cycling and really not take advantage of the cooling modulation . Over sizing in ac is worse then over sizing a steam boiler being over sized ac does not run long enough to lower the humidity and you end up w cold air and a higher indoor relative humidity and not as comfortable as you should be . To use the heat pump you will have to be sure to use a indoor coil rated to for heat and the correct bi directional filter drier preferable installed indoors not out by the condensing u it as in just about every manual .
    If you don’t have a hepa filter on your space pak air handler I would highly suggest you have one installed keeping your indoor coil as clean as possible is extremely important and nobody likes or does a indoor coil cleaning properly usually without some mess that’s saying a good washing off w water when done w any chemical cleaner even no rinse stuff. Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    PC7060pecmsg
  • nSTP
    nSTP Member Posts: 10
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    Can anybody confirm that Bosch Inverters will work with Spacepak ESP-J air handlers? I know they work with Unico but I think I'm stuck with Spacepak. I don't need the heat, would only use for AC, but I want a quiet AC unit since it's sitting right outside a bedroom window.
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 611
    edited January 12
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    https://www.spacepak.com/AHRI-Search

    https://www.ahridirectory.org/NewSearch?programId=68&searchTypeId=3&productTypeId=3500

    That's all Spacepak will assist you with. Rest is informed/educated guess by the technician, basically if it's not compatible in above list, at best it will run at some degree of seer loss. No guarantees from anyone.