View Poll Results: Do I ask my builder/HVAC contractor about the AHRI versus requested SEER rating?

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  • Yes

    6 100.00%
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  1. #1

    Question Requested Versus AHRI SEER rating

    My home builder had the HVAC subcontractor contact me directly, and I agreed to the relatively small upcharge for 16 SEER, 2 stage Heating and cooling. This is what he installed:

    RCFL-HM3617CC (Indoor Unit/Coil)
    RARL-037JEZ (Outdoor Unit)
    RGRM/RGTM GAS 95 Furnace (not sure the size/model, there is nothing written on it, and the coil is below the furnace so I think it is downflow)

    Playing around with the AHRI site, it looks like I actually got a 13.5 SEER combination. Since i am by no means an HVAC expert, I wanted to make sure I had my information correct. As someone with my own profession, which isn't HVAC, I feel frustrated that I have to second guess others, but it seems to be the way of things. I also don't know if this is standard practice, that is to have a significantly lower rated SEER than what was quoted. So, do I have a conversation with the builder and subcontractor? If so, what do I ask? What are appropriate and reasonable questions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    The RCFL-HM3617 is too small to get high SEER out of. I'm guessing they are using a RGTM-06 17" furnace, hence the choice of coil. Also the RGRM/RGTM aren't that electrically efficient hurting SEER as well. The RCQD-3621 A coil is larger and LOTS less restrictive meaning the blower motor doesn't have to work nearly as hard. That's the coil that should have been used. Since it is wider than I'm guessing the furnace is, a GOOD installer would build a transition between the 2. If you do have the RGTM-06 and use the A coil, you can get 15.50 SEER.

    I would not accept what you have. The deal was 16 SEER. If you wanted 13, you could have saved the money and used a RANL and gotten the same 13.50.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Yep,call them. You paid for an upgrade to a 16 SEER and they need to make it right.

  4. #4
    Thanks! l'm tied up with work all day, so I left a note for the builder & printed out a copy of this thread.

  5. #5
    I'm going to go talk to the builder today, is the RCQD-3621 A downdraft? Is that an AHRI approved match? What other questions should I ask?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Seattle WA
    Builders don't think in terms of actual efficiency. They think in terms of rated efficiency and equipment size/cost. I see this same exact thing all the time.
    America; first we fight for our freedom,
    then we make laws to take it away.

    -Alfred E Newman

  7. #7
    Since I often read these types of threads, where people receive good advice and never follow up, I thought I would break that trend. Sometimes, I really do feel as though my only purpose in life is to serve as an example to, rather than for, others, and now is certainly no exception. It is impractical to remove the installed equipment, but there was no real efficiency gain over minimum code. Suppliers provide this rather inefficient combination of equipment, and Rheem warrants it. The installer, I think does a competent job with his work, sells and installs what his supplier provides him with. I don't think there was anything dishonest intended, even though I think it could have been done more efficiently.

    Advice given by the professionals here would have produced a more optimal result. For example, I should have asked for an AHRI certificate for the efficiency of the equipment which was to be installed. At the very least, for what I wanted, I should have asked for something that would have qualified for the tax credit, back when it existed. People in the HVAC business are like people in any business, ranging in their skills and abilities, and especially in their abilities to communicate with their customers. Simply saying something is "16 SEER" is insufficient when that can be defined so many ways, and it's important for everyone to be on the same page. Perhaps I am a bit of an odd duck in that I want to know and understand all the details, such as how the hvac system works together. I'm sure most customers just want things to work, without concerning themselves with the details.

    In any case, thanks all for your responses!

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