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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    71

    Looking Into New Full System

    First post, so I hope I am in the right section. If not, please point me in the right direction.

    I live in a 1500 square foot, single story ranch home with a crawl space. The home and the AC/gas furnace is 14 years old.

    I have had several issues lately with both systems and I am looking at replacing them both.

    The units are probably "builders grade", because I can not find a manufactures label of either. I only know the furnace is 80.0 AFUE. I am guessing the AC is 2-ton, but that is just a guess. Sorry I don't have any more details than this.

    I'm going to have a HVAC company come out and evaluate my system and give me some options/prices. So until then I just have a few general questions.

    1. With my units being so old, will upgrade make much of a difference in my electrical/gas bills? If so, is there a general % of savings? I ask about % because I realize energy costs are different for everyone.

    2. I am pretty sure the HVAC company coming out are Trane dealers, but may also offer other manufactures as well. Again, I know this is subjective, but are there certain manufactures rated above others or are they all pretty much the same?

    3. What should I look for? I know I can not afford the best there is, but there has to be a strong middle of the lineup product that is both cost worthy as well as a solid build.

    4. Is it best to go with a matched system and not mix and match?

    I certainly appreciate any help you can give me. This is a huge deal for me because the money is tight and I need to be frugal but also educated into not wasting my money.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Zomby; 09-20-2012 at 02:08 AM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    3,003
    where do you live? at 14 years your a/c should not be failing, unless it's not been serviced regularly, or storm damage has hurt it. what are the "several issues lately" ? what ever you decide to do, be certain you get the ductwork tested, sealed, and be sure it can properly handle the distribution of air in your home. also I recommend getting an energy audit done on the house to properly evaluate the problems in the house itself, so money you spend on the a/c stays in the house!
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
    The three big summer hearththrobs...
    Mel Gibson
    Dwane Johnson
    The A/C repairman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    where do you live? at 14 years your a/c should not be failing, unless it's not been serviced regularly, or storm damage has hurt it. what are the "several issues lately" ? what ever you decide to do, be certain you get the ductwork tested, sealed, and be sure it can properly handle the distribution of air in your home. also I recommend getting an energy audit done on the house to properly evaluate the problems in the house itself, so money you spend on the a/c stays in the house!
    I would agree ,You can pay for the most extensive system out there and end up spending more in utilities if not sized and installed properly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,145
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    where do you live? at 14 years your a/c should not be failing, unless it's not been serviced regularly, or storm damage has hurt it. what are the "several issues lately" ? what ever you decide to do, be certain you get the ductwork tested, sealed, and be sure it can properly handle the distribution of air in your home. also I recommend getting an energy audit done on the house to properly evaluate the problems in the house itself, so money you spend on the a/c stays in the house!
    +2, if the upgrade isn't done right then your efforts are wasted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Always a good idea to have everything evaluated before you decide. There are alot of options out there. Good equipment on poor duct equals marginal system and little or no operating cost savings. In the end it's a $$ thing. What you can afford or are willing to spend. Upgrading to highest efficiency with all the bells and whistles will likely require much more then just equipment to achieve desired ratings. This can be very very expensive and may take some time to pay off. As far as different manufacturers, well you are correct. You will get alot of different opinions on that. Carrier dealers love carrier. Trane dealers love trane. Etc etc. Best advice, get evaluation to see where u are. Decide what you can or will spend then get at least 3 bids and toss out the lowest. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    71
    Great advice from you all. That is why I asked! Thanks a lot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    71
    I live in Missouri, so our weather is unpredictable season to season.

    The duct work I have now is that flexible insulated tubing stuff. Is that a bad thing?

    Also to address the above question about the problems I have been having.

    I will admit that the only PM done to the AC unit was me spraying off the coils outside. No PM has been done to the furnace.... I know, I know...

    The AC unit has blown the capacitor coil 3 of the past 5 years, and has a very slow leak.

    The Furnace has had some kind of ignition problem three different times over the past 6 years, sorry I am not sure what it was called. Also there has been issues with the drain pan.

    Like I said, this stuff is old and cheap builders grade. I guess getting 14 years was a bonus.
    Last edited by Zomby; 09-20-2012 at 11:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,607
    Part of your problems probably have been due to the quality of replacement parts. At 14 years old and a refrigerant leak a new system is best .ask the company that is proposing to perform a static pressure test on the duct system to verify proper air flow and also they should do a heat loss heat gain load calculation .depending on your gas price and electric price a 95 % furnace and or a dual fuel unit will save money on your utilitys . Myself i like Trane and Carrier and dislike goodman
    We really need change now

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,145
    I like the Rheem/Ruud/Thermalzone (all the same thing). They offer the most for the money IMHO. Priced a little higher than Goodman but much better quality. Carrier/Trane/Lennox are your premium brands. Everybody has their favorite, look at the specs for the units you are buying and do the comparison yourself.

    In our area the 14-15 SEER A/C offers the best value, and gas prices are so cheap that going over 80% AFUE doesn't make sense. Dual Fuel doesn't makes sense for us either due to low gas prices. Our gas supplier has a hefty $28/mo meter/delivery fee but sells the gas at cost. Gas for us is 50 cents per therm.

    13 SEER is your builder grade stuff, 14-15 SEER gets you scroll compressor, and increases the coil size. 16+ SEER gets you dual compressors for better efficiency during low load conditions. No matter what you buy it should be a R410a systems. There are a lot of contractors still putting in R22 "repair units".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tyler, Tx
    Posts
    560
    When the dealers comes ask them about the Ameristar product if you are on a budget. Very well built low cost product. But ASK the questions the other techs on here pointed out first. Duct work verification and HVAC load calculation need to be done. And duct work verification is not just popping their heads in the attic to look around!
    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things in him that strengthen me.
    Apostle Paul inspired by GOD.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,607
    Ameristar is made in china ,just another comany putting americans out of work
    We really need change now

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    71
    Thanks again for your help and advice. Greatly appreciated.

    So is the insulated flexible duct any good? This stuff in my my crawlspace, not my attic.

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