Matching Heat Pump with Generator
Sheryl lives in Charlotte, NC.
She's got a unique issue with her heating system. Let her tell you all about it.
"I have a very old generator which is not matched with the heat pump that was installed in my two-story town home in 2008. All works well with cooling and heating, but upstairs gets all the heat in winter.
I'm thinking of installing a Carrier Infinity 16 SEER unit however I've been told that I can't do up and downstairs zoning because my duct work is in the flooring. The downstairs has vents in ceilings. The bedrooms on second floor have vents in floor.
This problem home was built in 1970 with old ductwork. If I replace the heat pump and generator to match, how could I have new duct work installed to make the equipment run optimally since there are probably lots of leaks etched in the old duct work. I was told by one installer that duct work in Florida can not be upgraded. Can you help me out? Thank you so much."
Well Sheryl, you've got me pretty confused! You said you live in North Carolina, but then you mention Florida ductwork! Alas, I don't feel that's an issue.
There are many houses that have vents and ductwork blowing forced heat and cooling down from the ceiling that work fine. All the houses I built for all my customers, and even my own home, had the vents in the floor blowing up.
Even if there are tiny leaks in the joints of the ductwork, that air is still within the house envelope and it's not really being wasted to a large degree.
The point is, you can have a comfortable house with the vents in either location.
I feel the biggest issue is that you've not taken the time to get THREE independent bids. You MUST DO THAT.
When they come, do NOT tell them what the other ones have already told you.
Print out the following and hand it to each contractor that shows up:
- One Carrier Infinity or York equivalent heat pump with a SEER rating of 16 or better
- Perform new heat gain/ heat loss calculation to make sure that enough heating and cooling Btus are making it to each room
- Provide recommendations as to what needs to be done to make sure each room is within 2 degrees of thermostat setting
- If new ductwork is required, please provide a simple drawing of new ductwork layout including sizes of duct and trunk lines
Let me know what all the contractors say. The professional contractors will LOVE the specifications you print out above. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if one says, "Are all the other contractors providing you with this information?" The reason they'll say that is because then they know their bid will be taken seriously.
If a contractor REFUSES to give you all the information above, that tells you they're not professional.