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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    24

    Replacing 2 28 year old Carriers - most important factors in choosing equipment?

    My two 28 year old Carrier HVAC systems are still running but I think it's time to replace both. What factors should I consider the most important in choosing the replacement systems: manufacturer, type of compressor, blower motors, warranties, etc.? I've gotten two proposals so far, both Lennox, but I've read some nasty reviews about Lennox systems. Any general advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,743
    You can find nasty reveiws about any product. People usually complain when there is a problem. Most problems are caused by incompetent techs as opposed to faulty products. You can buy whatever product you choose, the important thing is to find a company that has a solid reputation and will offer you a product that will fit your needs. There is very expensive high seer equipment or lower line models that will serve you needs. Get a whole house energy audit with a manual j calculation then do what needs to be done to bring your house up to standards and you will be happy with the results. If you put the a/c in without proper insulation, ductwork and proper sealing and windows you will sell yourself short.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    24
    Thanks. As a follow on question, I've read that scrolling compressors are definitely something to consider. Is it worth the extra money?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,743
    If someone offers you equipment with a recip send them packing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,744
    I agree with toocoolforschool. Installation and truthfulness is everything. Where do you live? How large is ur home? What is the layout of ur home? Do you have furnaces or air handlers? Where are the "blower" units located, i.e, basement, crawl space, garage or attic?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,750
    Most units come with scroll compressors now, especially higher efficiency stuff. Any compressor will function it is mainly the installation practices, sizing and ductwork that will shorten the life of any type of compressor. The key is finding a contractor who will do the job properly, not the manufacturer or "bells and whistles"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    24
    What's a 'recip'? What's best way to find a contractor who will do the job properly? Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,743
    reciprocating compressor

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,750
    A reciprocating compressor has pistons like a car engine to compress the refrigerent, a scroll uses a spring like centrifugal motion to compress refrigerent. You need to do your homework ie. ask for references of customers, ask friends and family, see if the contractor will set you up with one of his customers to go see some of their work, Angie's list, BBB, contractor map on this site, www.bpi.org www.comfortinstitute.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    24
    Thanks again. One last question, please. I live near Atlanta and have a three story home. For main floor and finished basement, one of the contractors proposes either a 2-ton or a 2 1/2 ton. The other contractor proposes a 3 ton. Should the size be dependent on the number and sizes of the supply ducts, or on the square footage of these areas. Can I go wrong in getting a 3 ton if it's a little overkill (not that I know it is)?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,750
    Yes, over sizing kills comfort and efficiency. I'm in Anderson sc, there are quite a few good contractors in the Atlanta area. The first one that comes to mind is Este's heating and air. Call and ask about a home energy audit and manual j. The contractors that are going to do it right are not going to be the cheapest but it is definitely worth the extra expense. A high efficiency unit will not perform as efficiently as a standard efficiency unit If its not sized, sealed, ducted and installed properly. www.estesair.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,750
    The size should depend on a manual J calculation. It is science but the science is only as good as the numbers input into the formula so a home energy audit is needed to make the calculation as accurate as possible. You may want to look into a whole house dehumidifier as well bc our climate is rather humid and humidity has a huge effect on comfortability, more so than temperature.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    24
    The current unit is 2 1/2 ton. Is there any reason the contractor would recommend a 3 ton? He says there's not mych differnce in price and he would not charge the difference.

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