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Old 09-19-2009, 03:08 AM   #1
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which is best?


I am rehabbing a small 2-story w/basement home about 100 yrs old, approximately 1250 sq ft plus will be finishing the basement for an additional 500 sq ft. The house is gutted to the studs and has had the old heating unit removed and also the old damaged and leaky ductwork. I am looking to go with a new dual system of heat pump or ac, and furnace. I need a direct venting system as I have removed a old gas heat chimney to open up the floor plan. The house will be spray foam insulated and have new energy star windows and doors. I live in Pennsylvania and it gets hot and humid in the summer. The house had gas heat previously and I believe thats the cheaper option here. -------------------
I have gotten a few estimates and have thrown one out since they barely peeked in the house, and the proposal/estimate was just one sentence long.
--------------------
The other 3 guys measured and spent some time explaining hvac and gave intelligent proposals. I could use some help with figuring which is best for my situation.
1st:
Lennox G61MPV-36B-045 45,000btu, two stage, variable speed 94% efficient unit and a Lennox 13 ACX-025 2.5 ton condensor. All ducting, metal insulated, and returns, digital stat, all condensate lines.
--->$12,852
2nd:
Offers Bryant systems in good, better and best case. On the system they recommend (best) they have listed an indoor coil Bryant # CNPV, which I assume is included in the good and better options also.
Furnace:
Good - @ $13,550 - #340 one stage 90% furnace, #123A 1 stage 13 seer ac
Better - @ $14,500 - #352 two stage 92% furnace, #165A 1 stage 15 seer ac
Best - @ $16,850 - (and recommended system) #355 variable speed 95% furnace, #180A 2 stage 20 seer ac
All include whole house duct work,w/ duct mastic and exterior insulation but didnt mention the stat or the tonnage of the systems.

3rd:
The third says "Iíve sized the air conditioner at 2 tons capacity based on the size of the home, the quantity and quality of insulation, the new windows, etc. If you decide to go with us, Iíll have a formal load calculation done to confirm the proper air conditioning tonnage. If we need to go to 2.5 tons based on a formal load calculation, I will hold the proposed price below. The furnace BTUís will also be confirmed with a formal load calculation, but the price wonít change (our cost difference for a 40k or 60k BTU furnace is negligible).
Heating and Cooling System - $11,816 - Trane model XB-13 air conditioner, Trane XR 95 furnace, R410a, digital stat, all ducting and lines.
------------------
I could use some help figuring out which is the best system at the best price for my application. Thanks!

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Old 09-19-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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Do YOU plan to live in the house or is it going to be a rental? Do you plan to live there more than 10 yrs. THe 20 SEER is overkill in my opinion unless you plan to stay there at least 20 yrs. The G61V Lennox furnace I have sold and seen hundreds of, and has a very good track record for reliability. The variable speed Carrier I have seen a lot of and works well but need to warn you Carrier parts are expensive and they have a VERY expensive ventor fan that costs $800-$1000 to replace. Read the post from Biggerjim about that problem.
lennox vs trane vs carrier
Lennox makes a very good XC15 SEER A/C and I would get a price on it if you plan to stay in the house at least 10 yrs to appreciate the savings vs extra install cost. The heat load and cooling load calc should be properly done and the difference in dealer cost between 2 or 2.5 ton is not that great.

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Old 09-19-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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As someone else has previously discussed about heat loads, you take ten different people doing heat load calcs, you are likely to get 8 different answers.

Personally, I am not crazy about variable speed fans. No need to get into details now, but a replacement blower will be quite pricey. As for S.E.E.R. ratings, it depends on the price difference and how frequently you use the A/C annually. If it's only used for about two months, and the price difference is more than $1,000, then I would just use 13 SEER. You should choose a two stage furnace.

Of the three brands, I like Trane.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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Variable speed fans (ECM) save LOTS of $$ in electricity vs the PSC if you use it for continuous air circulation and in general. They add 1 SEER rating to a furnace/AC pkg. Your average PSC uses about 360 watts continuously and the ECM 80 watts. Saves about $275/yr in electricity where I am. The cost of the motors is coming down and they have ball bearings /better quality motor. There are some other advantages like constant air flow/static pressure which a standard motor does not have.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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I like the Trane guys attitude. And his method.
Sounds like he's been around the block. And knows what he is doing.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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Too many quotes can be confusing but here is something to think about. go to energy star.gov and look under tax credits. I am not sure why a contractor at this point would offer you anything less than what qualifies for the tax credit. If you are going to spend that kind of money you might as well take advantage of the tax credits and get back $1500.00 of your money back from the governmaent. Minimum requirments are 95% efficient furnace and 16 S.E.E.R A/C.. That way you can get the best for the price of the better. The Bryant guy is over the top with the 20 S.E.E.R A/C for such a small home but if you can get him to give the same quote with a 16 S.E.E.R A/C it will bring the cost down and balance the cost out with the Better system. I would not even consider a quote that does not qualify for the tax credit.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsheatcool View Post
Too many quotes can be confusing but here is something to think about. go to energy star.gov and look under tax credits. I am not sure why a contractor at this point would offer you anything less than what qualifies for the tax credit. If you are going to spend that kind of money you might as well take advantage of the tax credits and get back $1500.00 of your money back from the governmaent. Minimum requirments are 95% efficient furnace and 16 S.E.E.R A/C.. That way you can get the best for the price of the better. The Bryant guy is over the top with the 20 S.E.E.R A/C for such a small home but if you can get him to give the same quote with a 16 S.E.E.R A/C it will bring the cost down and balance the cost out with the Better system. I would not even consider a quote that does not qualify for the tax credit.

Just to clairify you do not get back $1500 from the government. You get a tax credit towards you taxable income. So on $1500 you would save 15-20% of $1500 depending on what tax bracket you are in so you would save between $225 to 300 in paying taxes to the Gov.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:04 PM   #8
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Actually it is a Tax Credit - I had to look it up
So it is a $ for $ savings
If you spend up to $4500 you "save" $1500 in taxes
If you owed $1500 in taxes for the year your taxes would be paid by the Tax Credit & you would receive a refund for any other $$ you paid in taxes

http://www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm

Quote:
Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits
Consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in existing homes can receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, for improvements "placed in service" starting January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. See EnergyStar.gov for a complete summary of energy efficiency tax credits available to consumers.

About Tax Credits
A tax credit is generally more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction because a tax credit reduces tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only removes a percentage of the tax that is owed. Consumers can itemize purchases on their federal income tax form, which will lower the total amount of tax they owe the government.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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The IRS confirms this info:

Quote:
Q. Who qualifies to claim a residential energy property credit? Are there limitations?
A. You may be able to take these credits if you made energy saving improvements to your personal residence. This credit is limited to improvements placed in service during 2009 and 2010 up to a total credit of $1,500 for both tax years combined.
The residential energy property credit is non refundable. A nonrefundable tax credit allows taxpayers to lower their tax liability to zero, but not below zero.


http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...206875,00.html

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...211307,00.html
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:16 PM   #10
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He states that he is rehabbing this house. It sounds like he is fixing it to re-sell it. If this is the case I think it nullifies all of the above info regarding the tax credits. They all state for a personal house. Just FYI
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:40 PM   #11
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I do not see anywhere in his post that he intends to sell it

It does not say PRIMARY residence.....
As long as he is living in & renovating the house it is his residence
Anyone at any point can sell their house
That does not prevent them from qualifying for the credit

I'm rehabbing my house, no intentions of selling
But if my wife were to lose her job we might be forced to sell
That would not invalidate our investment or tax credit from what the IRS has posted on their site

Quote:
Q. Who qualifies to claim a residential energy property credit? Are there limitations?
A. You may be able to take these credits if you made energy saving improvements to your personal residence
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:44 PM   #12
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you are 100% right Dave....my apologies...you know what happens when you assume.....
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:50 PM   #13
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It's a good point to bring up
By personal residence the IRS may very well mean Primary residence
You know how straightforward the IRS is
So if someone IS buying something to flip & not living in the house that may disqualify them
My last house my neighbor "lived" there for the 2 years they renovated
Once the 2 years was up (tax requirement) they sold the house
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:33 AM   #14
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It was our original plan to rehab the home and then sell it to move to a newer house but with the market being as it is, we will probably stay in the home 5 years or so possibly longer.

I am spray foaming the whole house at a cost of 7k which will use up the 1500 tax credit if I calculate it correctly. There is also a $300 credit from my utility company I think I can qualify for. That being the case I am looking for the best balance between making the home comfortable in all seasons and cost. In my area, and how I feel the heat and cold, I use the a/c from approx mid-May to mid-Sept.

@ beenthere ... were you the trane guy?? lol
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:52 AM   #15
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It is a tax credit, not a deduct.

It is only for primary residence.

If you don't own another home, you can claim it, as long as you move in by 12/31/2010

Check for credits on other improvements you are making. You can spread the tax credit claim across this year and next.
Talk to your accountant. You may be able to claim somethings, and your wife other things.

After you spray foam. Your house will be fairly tight. Are you also installing an HRV or ERV so you have enough fresh air in the house.

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