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dscott76 01-29-2011 08:37 PM

New HVAC system comparison.
Iím planning to replace a hot water based heating and air conditioning system and have received a couple of different system configurations. I live in Northern VA in a 1700 square foot, three story townhouse. Iím looking for assistance on the pros and cons of each system configuration so I can make my final determination. Thanks!

Configuration 1
Hot water tank: Apollo; A6 50 YRDS (direct vent, gas)
Air conditioner: First Company; 24WCK12-AB (23,800 BTU, 12.0 SEER)
Air Handler: First Company; 24HBQB (High Efficiency, 35,300 BTU, 2.0 TONS)

Configuration 2
Hot water tank: Bradford White; DH1-504T6FBN (direct vent, gas)
Air conditioner: National Comfort Products; NCPC-430-1010 (27,500 BTU, 12.0 SEER)
Air Handler: First Company; 36VHBQB (Variable Speed, 46,700 BTU, 2.5 TONS)

***One company (of the 4 I talked to) also recommended the additional of a mixing valve to the hot water tank. Is one necessary with the type of system I'm looking to install? ***

Please help! Thanks in advance!

unicursalhex 01-30-2011 01:48 AM

Don't get hung up on brands, get hung up on the company. Who will be doing the install? The sales person, or a couple of goons? Did any company do a heat loss analysis to properly size your equipment? (they would have spent 30 min to 2 hours measuring up your house) Tallying up heat registers does not count and is laughable to real professionals. These are the two most important questions to ask and they are all too often overlooked. If none of the companies you talked to did a heat loss start over. Call companies and ask them how they size their equipment, if they say anything other than "heat loss" "manual J" "computer program" then tell them thanks but no thanks. If someone knows that they need to properly size your equipment the odds are they know other important installation procedures that will make all the difference. I will always use smaller companies, this way you know exactly who is doing the job and you get more attention which means a better experience. Check out yelp and see if they have any bizarre reviews. Do not choose one company over another to save a couple of beans, you may get lucky but most likely you will cry into your corn pops before long. Also, it would be stupid not to get a heat pump in your climate, they are virtually the same as an air conditioner but do heating as well. Even if you have radiant heat I would consider heat pump as primary heat source and radiant as the backup because of the vast savings compared to an 80% or 90+% efficient boiler.

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