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Replacing the home AC

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Replacing the home AC

Old 06-15-2015, 08:59 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Replacing the home AC

My homes AC unit (heat pump) is now 15 years old and getting a little heavy in the wallet to keep running all the freaking time. So looking into new units to start having quoted and wondering what others may recommend. Leaning at this time towards a Trane unit.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:27 AM
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How many square feet? Electric or gas? My brother's best friend owns/operates a residential HVAC business. I can ask his opinion. Have no idea myself.

Besides the unit, the business you buy it from/get to install it will make a big difference. Even though the unit may be under warranty, the companies don't normally cover things like Freon. They have a choice of either absorbing the cost, or passing it on to you. If they warranty the part, make sure things like Freon, labor, etc. are also included. Get it in writing. My guy has absorbed the cost twice when a part failed and all our Freon leaked out...but he didn't have to. Wasn't his fault anymore than it was mine, but the manufacturer doesn't cover it. It would have cost us around $1,000 if he had charged for it.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:04 PM
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I installed a Trane packaged unit 6 or 7 years ago. I bought it through the company I worked for and did the installation myself. I saved over $2000.00 based on quotes I got from 2 other dealers. I built my own plenum and ran flexible duct to my existing duct. The first year I had it, the air handler fan failed and they replaced it under warranty. 2 years ago, the fan control board failed and it cost me $30 for a new one. The units come precharged and ready to hook up.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:34 PM
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Trane AC is a good choice buddy. I got one installed last year and it really is a very cost effective and efficient air conditioner. I was in a dilemma over what kind of ac would be suitable for my home but my friend who works for ac installations nj recommended me to go for Trane as it suited the layout of my house. You can check out this company if you want some installation and other help.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:59 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by johnhartsell View Post
Trane AC is a good choice buddy. I got one installed last year and it really is a very cost effective and efficient air conditioner. I was in a dilemma over what kind of ac would be suitable for my home but my friend who works for ac installations nj recommended me to go for Trane as it suited the layout of my house. You can check out this company if you want some installation and other help.
No particular brand of HVAC equipment is better suited to a home layout than the other. Each brand outputs the energy they are sized for, which is calculated to the size of your house. HVAC equipment is sized in tons of refrigeration for cooling, btu's for gas heat, and kilowatts for electric heat.

Duct work on the other hand is specifically crafted to the layout of your house.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:31 AM
  #6  
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Well, sorry it has taken me a moment to get back and thanks everyone for the input so far. I am going with a Trane unit. 1. Have never had an issue with one and neither has most people I have talked to that also have one. Even if they did, the 10 year warranty always covered the part that failed early. 2. The current rates they have made it the best choice.

House has several issues all accumulating at once it would seem. My unit right now is a 2-ton which 15 years ago probably seemed the normal as the rule of thumb (explained by friend) is 1-ton for 600 sq ft. 1275 sq ft home would equal 2-ton. Problem is the layout of my home really called for a 2 1/2 ton unit. So under powered for the home is one issue.

Next issue would be the duct work the developer did was spotty work. 10" tube to fed 7 smaller vent tubes is too restricting. The return is bent in a complete 180 and connected directly to the air handler and this is causing more restrictions. Basically too many restrictions and air uses path of least resistance so one side of the house was being cooled the other at the furthest range was lacking.

Last issue is my ridge vents are not working as they should be. When in the attic space we are not seeing any light through the soffit vents which means there is no airflow up there. My attic the other day was over 160 and the air-handler up there was being killed by the heat as well.

Oh and both my unit outside and inside the copper is separating from the coils and loosing efficiency. Outside unit probably could have done better without the dogs pissing on the unit and corroding the bottom section. Also the outside unit gets hit with the sun all day long, no breaks and a little shade I put up to keep it covered has actually helped.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:47 PM
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Replaced my last year with a Carrier. Gots to have a decent AC here! Set me back 5K but worth every penny.
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Old 06-24-2015, 04:51 PM
  #8  
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First of all,if your "friend" has told you that a 1 ton is for X amount of square feet and a 2 ton is for Z amount of square feet, he has no idea what he is talking about.
You need to get in touch with someone who knows how to do a heat gain calculation.
Only then will you truly be able to get an A/C that is properly sized for your home.

Think about it this way....lets say your house is 1,000 square feet. You have trees all over your yard and over your house....the sun never shines directly on it.....then imagine the same house with no trees whatsoever and the sun shines on it 30 hours per day....which house needs a bigger A/C??? Same size house......

A properly sized A/C not only cools the air in the home, but also reduces the humidity in the home. Go too big and it will not reduce the humidity and you will have to set the thermostat lower just to feel cool. Get one too small and the unit will run non stop.
Get the heat gain calculation performed on your home and get the right size.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:35 AM
  #9  
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I never heard of sizing A/C equipment based on 30 hours of sunlight a day, lol! You are getting into ambient outside temperature and housing insulation issues on top of sizing an A/C unit. Do most non-engineer residential contractors know how to address those issues?

Most go by a rule of thumb on tonage equals x square feet. On top of this, after seeing higher sized units on taller non-dwelling structures, a mechanical engineer told me cubic feet calculations are needed because they include the total building volume, specifically adding ceiling height to the equation. I got tall ceilings and a bigger unit.
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:39 AM
  #10  
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thundermug, what you mentioned is what we actually went over, humidity included. I am not the expert so did not try going into the explanation as I would simply mess it up. But yes my house sits in the sun for most of the day and the outside unit sits in direct sunlight nearly all day except in the evenings. This was a contributor to I guess the units efficiency as explained. If it was in the shade or the house was in the shade then the unit will not have to work as hard and I would not need a bigger unit. The other issue in regards to the way my house is, is one side of my home is all open space, 13' ceilings in the living/ dining room, 9'ft in kitchen (all 3 rooms connected with only fireplace separating them), with two sets of glass doors and big open windows (not the efficient kind either). Other then my friend that came out, I had two other a/c companies come out and all 3 have said the same thing, the unit is working, poor duct work, old unit, and attic space not venting properly.

I am reading up on different things I can do to get the attic space to vent better at this moment. Found out if you add attic fans your insurance may actually drop your fire coverage, go figure.
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