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  1. #1

    Replacing HVAC with New Unit.

    Hello All,

    I just recently bought a house which has a 16 year old Rheem A/C. Location is in Miami, FL. As per the inspection report "System has reached the end of it’s useful life and not operating as intended. Water damage observed throughout return box. Air handler closet return rebuild and system update is recommended due to age and present condition."

    I got the quote from few Contractors for the replacement unit for current 5 Ton; around 2200 sq ft living area. Everyone quoted for the lowest model for each company.

    Contractor 1 :
    Rheem
    Air Conditioner 14AJM56A01 Value series single stage
    Air Handler RHLLHM6024JA
    Thermostat - No clue - must be a basic one.
    Warranty : 10 year for Parts & Compressor and 1 Year Labor only

    Trane
    Air Conditioner 4TTB4061E - XB14 Series
    Air Handler TAM7A0C60 - Hyperion XL Series
    Warranty : 10 year for Parts & Compressor and 1 Year Labor only
    Quote higher than Rheem by 35%.

    Contractor 2 :
    Rheem
    Air Conditioner 14AJM56A01
    Air Handler RHLLHM6024JA
    Thermostat - No clue - must be a basic one.
    Warranty : 10 year for Parts & Compressor and 10 Year Labor too
    -- Was quoted higher than 1st Contractor but agreed to price match Contractor 1 provided I get UV Light also with them as well. I guess the additional 10 year labor maybe worth it.


    Contractor 3 :
    Bryant
    Air Conditioner : 116BNA0600 Legacy Series (5T / 15.5 Seer)
    Air Handler 5X4CNF060T00 Legacy Series
    Thermostat - No clue - must be a basic one.
    Warranty : 10 year for Parts & Compressor and 1 Year Labor.
    Quote was lower than Rheem by 10%; but if I have option too buy the 10 year labor which will bring it to the same price as Contractor 2.

    The Outdoor Unit is sitting very close on Couple of Bedroom windows - so I don't know if Noise from the New Unit should be a big concern. Air handler closet is only 24.5 inch wide, hence Bryant 16 Seer Air handler wont fit it, but 15.5 would. Rheem is at 24.5 inch wide and Trane was less than 24 inch wide.

    Thanks for any suggestion and advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,489
    Did any of them do a manual j load calculation? If not find a contractor that will.

  3. #3
    None of them did that.

    Even a Contractor that was send via HomeDepot didn't even mention anything about it - I didn't include their quote because its double from any other quotes I have got. Maybe I got to ask the next estimator if they can do the j-load calculation? How important is J-load calculation ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,051
    5 tons is too much.

    Ive yet to find a residential ductwork system that is capable of delivering the 5tons. Especially in a 2200sf home.

    Can I strongly recommend a 2stage unit whatever you decide?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    1,330
    i would certainly obtain 10 years labor warranty..... anything can go wrong..... I also am struggling with the 5 tons.....
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  6. #6
    Thanks for the info; I was looking at the 2 stage too; but is it for the outdoor unit or the air handler or both.

    The current unit was a 5 Ton; so everyone said you will need 5 Ton as well. It think its around 2200 sq ft to 2400 sq ft but not more than that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,008
    I got the quote from few Contractors for the replacement unit for current 5 Ton; around 2200 sq ft living area. Everyone quoted for the lowest model for each company.
    Never replace A/C equipment without doing what you can to the home & ductwork to reduce condenser sizing!

    If you live in or near Miami, FL, summer design is only 90F dry bulb 77-wet bulb; that is a high humidity which means you don't want an oversized A/C. That is only a 15F differential to 75F indoors.

    Also, with a smaller condenser the entire duct system & Return Air filter area will be better sized.

    Oversizing A/C units in your climate is a huge mistake, as long runtimes are required to handle the humidity.

    I would have a Home Energy Efficiency Audit performed & reduce air infiltration down to the allowable minimum amount.

    The duct system has to be sealed & well insulated when needed.

    When you get the home properly insulated & energy efficient; usually 750-sq ft to the A/C-Ton will handle the heat load. However, a room by room heat-gain calc is always called for.

    2200-sf / 700 or 750-sf, would be will under a 3.5-Ton condenser, no way above 4 ton; what the calcs call for is what should always be properly installed.

    However, you will have to go with what is determined by you & those doing all the calculations. You need to be the final decider!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,489
    Quote Originally Posted by manu.miami View Post
    None of them did that.

    Even a Contractor that was send via HomeDepot didn't even mention anything about it - I didn't include their quote because its double from any other quotes I have got. Maybe I got to ask the next estimator if they can do the j-load calculation? How important is J-load calculation ?
    A load calculation is the only way to as accurately as possible determine the size requirements of an hvac system for a building.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,319
    14AJM big ones I've heard have a lot of fan noise. That's an X13 fan motor inside not variable speed like the Trane. Bryant is fixed speed too. I think the Rheem can do on demand dehumidification though, might be of interest but would need a special control, not a generic stat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,732
    the trane is a 2 speed system and thats what i would get, and also would get a 10 art warranty
    We really need change now

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by udarrell View Post
    If you live in or near Miami, FL, summer design is only 90F dry bulb 77-wet bulb; that is a high humidity which means you don't want an oversized A/C. That is only a 15F differential to 75F indoors.

    2200-sf / 700 or 750-sf, would be will under a 3.5-Ton condenser, no way above 4 ton; what the calcs call for is what should always be properly installed.

    However, you will have to go with what is determined by you & those doing all the calculations. You need to be the final decider!
    Is there any online site where I can enter all information to do the Load Calc? Or Only a Pro in HVAC can do that?

    Summary of the house : Its from 1983 and its West Facing, with Vaulted Ceilings around 750 sq ft of the house. It has 3 sliding glass door leading to patio each 8ft vs 7ft.

    I called up one of the Bryant Contractors and he said I will need around 5T, because he told me its around 400 to 450 Sq Ft per Ton for our location. Add more for West Facing houses.

    I called another Contractor today for the estimate and he said I will need 5T as well and he gave me a quote for that. He told me he would do a Heat Load Calculation only; if I decide to go with his company and he will give a quote for 4T; if 4T would suffice the needs of the house.


    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    14AJM big ones I've heard have a lot of fan noise. That's an X13 fan motor inside not variable speed like the Trane. Bryant is fixed speed too. I think the Rheem can do on demand dehumidification though, might be of interest but would need a special control, not a generic stat.
    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    the trane is a 2 speed system and thats what i would get, and also would get a 10 art warranty
    Is it important for to buy 2 Stage for Outdoor Unit or Indoor Unit Or Both must be two stage for a better match.

    Thanks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,337
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,051
    Ok so everyone wants to sell you a 5 ton but you will probably only get 3.5 to 4 tons worth of airflow delivered.

    It makes sense that you can put whatever size equipment you desire but it is still limited by how much cooled air actually comes out of your hvac ducts.

    So a big part of your journey is finding someone with airflow knowledge who can determine your ducts and airfilters airflow limitations.

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