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  1. #1

    Time to replace central AC that has super seal in it?

    Good day all, hoping to get advice and opinions on whether or not to replace my existing central AC system.

    A little background:

    I live in Ottawa, ON - cooling season is about 3-4 months, where it can get up to nice humid 35-40C (95-105F) for weeks at a time.

    We moved into a new place last November, about 1100sf. Current unit is a Lennox 10ACB18, installed 1998. It didn't start up right away this spring (~May 2012 - tripped a breaker), so we had an HVAC technician come out. There was a note on the unit outside indicating that there was "super seal" (probably one of these products: http://www.cliplight.com/hvacr/produ...27&upperCatID=) put in Sep 2011. The miracle touch of the technician being there made the unit start up fine without any breakers blowing, but he did recommend that we start shopping around for a new unit.

    He also mentioned that there is a (higher?) risk of ice build up, and if it built up on the coil inside the furnace it could lead to additional damage there. He recommended keeping the blower motor on all the time as that would hopefully blow the water away from the internals of the furnace until we noticed the ice build up.

    The unit ran fine all summer without any further issues (and no ice build up ever).

    It's fall now, I've gotten several quotes with seasonal deals/rebates on all of them, but it's hard to justify spending that much money to replace something that has worked fine and a new, more efficient one will probably only save me about ~$30 / year in electricity costs (by my back of the envelope calculations).

    So, with all that, 3 questions I would appreciate any feedback on:

    1) Is there really a much higher risk of ice build up inside the furnace, and what kind of damage could that possibly cause? Could it completely ruin the furnace, or just some small repairs?

    2) Based on the details here, would you recommend replacing now? Do you think it will last many more years with super seal in it? My main concerns with waiting until it dies are: not likely to get any rebates and it will likely happen at the height of summer, so we could be waiting a few days to weeks to get the job done.

    3) If I were to get it done now, are there any recommendations of which make/model to go with, out of the following:
    a) 2t York YCJF24S41S1
    b) 1.5t Lennox XC13-08
    c) 1.5t Lennox XC14-018
    d) 1.5t Trane XR15
    e) 1.5t Amana ASX14

    From what I can dig up on the contractors, I like the one selling the York unit the best. It's an older, local company with excellent BBB record.

    The other sales guys said things that didn't jive with things I had heard elsewhere which reduced their credibility (IMO) - were either of them on the right track with the following?: The Lennox guy said that the refrigerant hose between furnace and outside unit is "too short" and they would leave a 'loop' in it. The Trane/Amana guy said it wasn't a good idea to have the furnace drain straight into the basement floor, whereas the York guy said that was preferred.

    Furnace is York, installed 2004 and still under warranty by the same company that gave the york AC quote (so there shouldn't be any he said/she said if there were any issues).


    Sorry for the long post, I figured the more details the better. Any thoughts and opinions are welcome!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,176
    Scratch the XR15. You're paying lots extra for it and it won't get 15 with a Trane high efficiency motor furnace inside.

    Why is the York dealer going 33% bigger? Seems that nobody else agrees with him. Bigger isn't better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,524
    New linesets are a must if a sealer is in the system.
    Don't put all your faith in a good BBB review. Their ratings are for sale to those who pay the game.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Scratch the XR15. You're paying lots extra for it and it won't get 15 with a Trane high efficiency motor furnace inside.

    Why is the York dealer going 33% bigger? Seems that nobody else agrees with him. Bigger isn't better.
    I know we aren't supposed to post costs, but I'll say that the quotes for all of the above systems are close enough (except the XC13) that it isn't a major factor.

    I asked the York guy why 2t (the current one is only 1.5t as well). He said it was due to large western facing windows at the front, but another factor may be that it's the smallest one for that model (at least it's the smallest one on the brochure he left).



    Quote Originally Posted by precision hvac View Post
    New linesets are a must if a sealer is in the system.
    Don't put all your faith in a good BBB review. Their ratings are for sale to those who pay the game.
    They've all got new linesets in the quote, the lennox guy was the only one who said the current one was too short - I asked the York guy about this and he said shorter is better and the other company probably just doesn't want to do a custom size line.

    Ack on the point about BBB, I'm sure money can buy just about anything, but at least it's something...


    Another issue between them was yearly maintenance. York guy claims no yearly maintenance required other than hosing down the outside unit, maybe get it checked out by an HVAC tech every 10-15 years. Lennox guy literally got squirmy when I asked if yearly maintenance was required to maintain the warranty. I did a quick search on the forums, not sure if there's a general consensus here about the necessity of yearly checkups on AC units or positive/negative experience doing warranty work with any of the manufacturers? I've read in a few places that York is really good to work with.

    Thanks for the replies!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,046
    I sell York, the LX line is a great value for the quality. Not sure about the 1/2 ton upsize if the one you have is working well for cooling why would he upsize. If it were my house I would wait til the leak stop kills the compressor to change but I could also install a new one the same day it died.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    I sell York, the LX line is a great value for the quality. Not sure about the 1/2 ton upsize if the one you have is working well for cooling why would he upsize. If it were my house I would wait til the leak stop kills the compressor to change but I could also install a new one the same day it died.
    Unfortunately I don't think I would be able to replace it the day of


    Based on the super seal being in the system, does anyone believe there is a (higher) risk of if/when the unit fails, it could damage the furnace as well?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,046
    No, ac has no effect on gas furnace unless the ac coil above furnace freezes repeatedly and leaks water on the heat exchanger and rusts it out, but thats unlikely. The ones I've seen that are ruined by stop leak seize the compressor and it won't run at all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    94
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 10-21-2012 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,665
    i would add a start kit to the compressor if not already installed and see if it starts next spring.
    We really need change now

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    If its got super seal in it it's going to die!! When? At the most inconvenient time possible. Will the furnace be damaged by a freezing coil? Possibly. If ice blocks the drain water will find its way into the damnedest places and start letting the smoke out of things, water damage voids warranty. Should you replace? I would. Good investment and piece of mind. What to get? 6 of one half dozen of the other. What size? Get a load calc done so you know what you need. Replace line set? Hell yes!! Replace everything that super garbage touched. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Lancaster PA
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    68,087
    BMrak, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary, or ask questions in another person thread here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

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