Rheem Value vs. Classic vs. Prestige
I've been quoted the following system, and I'm trying to decide if I want to upgrade the compressor.
RGPE 07EAMKR furnace
RCFL 2417 coil
Pro 8000 Stat
2100 AprilAir cleaner
After doing some research, I found that I was quoted one of the high end 80% prestige furnace components, but the lower end value AC. When I contacted the contractor about my concern he seemed to stand behind his original proposal quite firmly. Perhaps the contractor felt there was something with the prestige furnace worth having, but that the prestige/classic AC didn't offer much over their value brother?
Looking at the Rheem website, the Prestige furnace does have a variable speed motor that appears to be unique to the Prestige line. The Prestige/Classic both have lifetime warranties on heat exchanger and both come in 2 stage. Looking at the ACs, all 3 lines appear to have a "Copeland scroll compressor", but each provides additional functionality. The classic adds "low & high pressure controls", and the prestige additionally has "active protection" and "comfort control system". Are these just diagnostic features, or are these features worth paying for?
If cost were an issue, would meeting in the middle and getting the classic line for the furnace and compressor be more sensible?
Also, this system was quoted as 16SEER. Looking at the spec sheet for the 14AJM AC, the 14 stands for 14 SEER, but it also shows how when mated with the coil/air handler I've been quoted, it is effectively 16 SEER. Is this a typical and/or good way of obtaining a higher SEER?
Thanks in advance!
14AJM is a low end no frills unit. The combo quoted get 15.50 SEER, 13 EER which isn't too shabby for the price. If you need 16 to get a rebate, you won't.
RAPM-24 is the next level. Single stage, 16.00 SEER, 13 EER. The JAZ does have the compressor protection switches. They shut off the unit if you run low on refrigerant or have very high pressures for whatever reason. The Prestige JEZ adds a diagnostics board which gives monitors the pressure switches as well as compressor operation for more protection. It has an LED readout of any problems for ease of diagnostics. There is a hard start kit which assists the compressor in starting, possibly longer life. Compressor cover and 5 year replacement warranty.
RARL-24 is the 2 stage model. 16/13 efficiency with a more efficient coil required. JEZ model like the RAPM, also have the JEC which is communicating and will tie into the furnace and Rheem's communicating control so error messages are passed on to the thermostat. Also the control gives more control over airflow, dehumidification. Similar to the Carrier Infinity but not near as fancy.
Now that you know Rheem's A/Cs inside & out you have to see what's important to your wallet. Sound level is comparable between the 3 except on low cool with the 2 stage, that's got an advantage.
That's interesting about the rebate, b/c he definitely showed that we'd get one for the 16SEER.
All of the AC units seem to have the same compressor warranty, but I'd assume that if the compressor fails b/c of low/high pressure that it wouldn't be covered under the warranty? Might be good reason to pick that feature up.
I mentioned during our walk through that we typically experience issues with humidity and comfort especially on humid days where the temp is just high enough to cause the unit to kick on, but not hot enough for it to want to run for a long time. It probably doesn't help that it's a circa '91 unit, but are you saying that a 2-stage would benefit us more on these types of days, or would a single stage with some direction from a nicer stat be able to cope with the humidity? He said the Pro 8000 was "top of the line".
I guess the diagnostic feedback is pretty cool with the prestige series, but I'm not sure it's something that I have to get. If something is wrong with the unit, regardless of the diagnostic feedback it gives me, I'm probably calling a service tech out to take a look.
What are your thoughts on the difference between the ECM 2+ motor with the prestige furnace and the PSC motor on the classic furnace?
I guess I found my own answer on the Pro8000 humidity control with the value AC. Sounds like one model of the Pro8000 has humidity control that basically requests the AC to keep running and will allow temp to fall -3 degrees from set temp to attempt to reach desired humidity level. Does anybody know if this proves to be a comfortable approach to cooling? I live in Raleigh, NC if that helps.
With the variable speed furnace, I would want a control that reduces the blower speed if it gets too humid. There are many like the Vision Pro IAQ, Aprilaire 8910, etc. You can use the Rheem communicating control with that furnace, it also talks to the RARL-JEC.
As for efficiency, there's a new model out in the value line, 14AJM25 and with the proposed furnace and the bigger RCFL-HM2617 you will get 16.00 SEER and 13.00 EER. But not with the smaller coil quoted.
I went with the original quoted system, but replaced the Pro8000 with the Prestige IAQ to control the variable speed motor, which I hope helps lower the humidity on mild humid days. The "high definition" display on the Prestige seems like overkill, but being able to modify settings remotely is pretty cool. I showed the contractor the spec sheet showing that it was actually 15.5 SEER, and his sales binder actually showed 16, but he confirmed that Progress Energy would still give me the rebate.