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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    9

    Cool Advice on 3.5 Ton 15 Rheem Unit

    Hello,

    I live in Northeast Florida and I am in the market for a new Air Handler and Compressor. I have been researching Rheem and Carrier 3 Ton Units. I did some cost analysis on both and found that the 15 seer Comfort Series unit was the only cost effective unit. It would only take me 4.7 years to recoup the difference in cost between the 15 seer unit and the 13 seer unit. I used a calc I found on line at XYZ.com to determine how long it would take me to recoup my initial cost of the units compared to the minimum 13 seer Unit. I could not justify spending $$k vs. $k for the less expensive units. With the 16 seer it would take me 30 years to recoup my initial outlay. With the 19 seer a little over 19 years and the 20 seer 20 years. The units just do not last that long this close to the beach to justify spending that much money for a unit that probably at best will last me 10-13 yrs. Any thoughts on this? My calc is as follows:

    -36,000 BTU divided by Seer Number= Watts
    -Watts divided by 1000 = x thousand watt units which is the number of kwh your air conditioner consumes each hour
    -Then Determine the number of hours annually that your unit will be operational based on your geographic location. In Florida it is about 2500 hours annually.
    -Multiply the number of kwh your air conditioner consumes from step 2 above x the number hours annually your unit is operational = KWH annual consumption
    - Now you convert this figure to annual cost. You take the KWH annual consumption and multiply it by cost of each KWH which can be found on your electric bill. In my area of Northeast FL the cost is .12041 per kwh
    Last edited by beenthere; 01-26-2013 at 05:00 PM. Reason: prices

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,381
    If initial cost is an issue, Rheem's 14AJM value line gets 15-16 SEER with high efficiency air handlers. Yes, above 15 SEER getting into 2 stage units, the price gets steep and the payback isn't there. The 3 ton with RHKL-HM3821 you get 16 SEER rather affordably and a nice 13 EER. I think that gets you some tax credit and check for utility rebates.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    5,987
    TRANE XL15i if you are within 2 miles of the beach. Durability (Life ) is Much better.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    9

    Answer to my question on finding most cost effective three ton ac unit

    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    If initial cost is an issue, Rheem's 14AJM value line gets 15-16 SEER with high efficiency air handlers. Yes, above 15 SEER getting into 2 stage units, the price gets steep and the payback isn't there. The 3 ton with RHKL-HM3821 you get 16 SEER rather affordably and a nice 13 EER. I think that gets you some tax credit and check for utility rebates.
    Thanks BaldLoonie for the information. Cost should always be an issue with everyone. If it is not you probably will end up paying too much for something. I like to purchase things that bring me value. There is just no value in those higher end Infinity units to me. I will take a look at the Rheem product you suggested and run a cost analysis on it.

    I do have another question for you if you do not mind? Is there any credentials that a good HVAC installer should have. I have been reading that most of the lower end units components are very similar and what really matters is the installation and warranty. I am just wondering how I know when I choose a AC contractor that his install people are going to know what they are doing. Is there any license or certificate they should have? Thanks for your help. Also do you recommend purchasing an extended warranty on a new AC unit?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    5,658
    NATE certified technicians, BPI certification, and of course there's the BBB and Angie's List. Also read the salesman during the quote, you can usually tell if someone is sincere or just out to make a quick buck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    5,987
    http://www.trane.com/residential/pro...r-conditioners

    Climatuff® compressor
    Spine Fin™ outdoor coil
    Comfort-R™ Mode approved for better humidity control
    Full-side louvered panels protect your investment
    WeatherGuard II™ top shields unit from debris and damage

    Baked-on powder paint resists rust

    Unique DuraTuff™ non-corrosive basepan
    Advanced fan system

    The XL15i is built with an Electronic Demand Defrost in case of extremely cold weather.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    5,987
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    Thanks Dan.I will have to get some prices on this unit. It looks like it would be very durable to the weather here. I do live within 2 miles to the beach. I currently have a 10 seer 3 Ton Carrier outdoor compressor that is really rusty. I replaced the motor in it about three years ago. My HVAC repair guy told me not to replace it until I have to. My plumber built me a T-bar on the indoor handler so I can put bleach in it every six months. Since I have done that, I have had no service calls on the unit. Once it needed more freon. Do you know what the cost should be arond on this Trane Unit? Also I have had a load calc done and it came out that I needed a 3.67 Ton Unit. Does that mean I need to move up to a 3.5 ton or a 4 ton unit? Right now my outside compressor is a 3 ton and my indoor handler is a 3.5 ton. Do they have to match? I have had no problems with this configuration. Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    9
    Thanks jtrammel. I will make sure I ask the installers if they are NATE certified with BPI certificaton. I have already checked BBB and Angies list. All the salesman so far want to sell me a 16 seer unit. Which I found to be the least cost effective unit out there for Carrier anyways.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    9
    Make-up Requirements? My make-up requirements are pretty specific so that will be easy. Moisturizer, Concealer, Powder, Blush, and Mascara. LOL. Thanks for your help Designer Dan. I only had one salesman actually measure all my windows and do a count on them. He has yet to provide me with a load calc though. Two salesman told me it is a requirement to have a return in every bedroom now and advised I would have to add these on with the new equipment for an additional $1200.00. One saleman told me that is not true and is only for new construction. Do you know anything about this in Florida? Thanks again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    9
    Cool Dan - This link is great. So I need to make sure that I have E coated Aluminum Fins right? You are grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    5,658
    If you are on the coast get a trane, this is the ONLY time I reccomend trane equipment but it does stand the test of time in coastal regions, also American standard is the same as trane just a little cheaper price point for the exact same equipment usually. It's best to have a return in every room but I don't beleive its code for existing structures, I could be wrong though I'm not located in Fl and do not know they're codes. 2 stage and inverter equipment is for comfort (dehumidification and long run times) not savings. Carrier greenspeed is some cool technology if you're interested in going high end. Check out the posts started by FloridaJoy a few months back, just put in FloridaJoy in the search engine on this page.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    9
    Thanks jtrammel. I put FloridaJoy into the search and all I got was my post here because you wrote FloridaJoy in it. Any other suggestions? I am not interested in going high end because it is not worth it. I will never get my return on investment during the life of the unit with the high end products. If I get a unit that has E-Coated Aluminum Fin with a Copper Tube why do I still need a Trane? Does Trane have E-Coated Aluminum Fin and Copper Coil? I know their exterior covering of the outside unit is plastic which ofc will not rust. Thanks Again.

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