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  1. #1

    Options for HVAC unit.

    I buying a house in Las Vegas and the builder is only offering an SEER 13 Goodman unit with an 80% Efficiency gas heater.

    I had contacted the contractor to find out what options I had since the builder would not change anything (citing the cost by the contractor to engineer the system for these upgrades). The contractor ignored my, without any call back or email and talked to the builder who told him to IGNORE me.

    Well they installed their base unit in the attic space. The roof has gone on and once the wallboard goes up, I know you will have to rip a lot to make any physical changes to the unit.

    I had wanted to go with a Lennox dual-stage compressor, high efficient A/C with the 98% fully variable heater since I had this combination before and the quiet, subtle performance was awesome.

    I realize that is probably not going to happen now without a LOT of extra cost.

    Is there anything I can do upon closing to swap out the evaporator/condenser units to higher efficiency. What about the variable speed high efficiency DC motor replacement? Can I at least upgrade to the SEER 16 or 18 unit with the same air handler?

    I really cannot believe that in a part of the country with the highest AC demand they are not required to ALLOW me to pay at MY COST for upgraded units. There will be a big difference between SEER 13 and SEER 21. That is about a 40% less KWH usage for the same cooling.

    Your opinions are welcome. I understand the cost savings aren't going to be huge enough to ever pay for the Lennox premium especially since a unit is already in there, but it is about consumption and doing my part to be more efficient.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Hopefully you found your thread in the proper location here.

    That's pretty sad that in your climate they only offer 13 SEER stuff. You sure don't need a higher efficiency furnace but a high SEER A/C which would require a furnace with a efficient blower motor would make a lot of sense. You can have the PSC motor swapped for a high efficiency motor, a couple of brands make a motor for that purpose. That would unofficially bump a 13 SEER to a 14 SEER and save a couple hundred a year if you run the fan constantly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Down by the river
    Tell tjem to stop work until you are answered. I mean hell its your house...shut the project down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Fort Worth, TX
    Unless you can get the equipment you want written into the builder's contract, I don't see him budging an inch.

    As for doing it after closing, it can be done. I also can't see how a 90 + furnace is justified in Las Vegas. Yes, it can get cold there, but you're in a brand new house that hopefully was built with some energy efficient qualities, such as good insulation and windows. I have two stage a/c in my own house and love the comfort it delivers. I have also installed an Evergreen ECM motor in my 80% furnace, and already operating costs are dropping. It works very well with two stage systems.

    You would need to work with a good contractor who can look into whether any two stage equipment could work with your existing air handler. You will already have to rip out a brand new condenser, which maybe you could donate to a charity of some sort.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.

    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    loose your pen to sign checks...... get what you want ...its your home
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  6. #6
    Thanks for all the feedback. I was surprised at their "customer service" skills.

    They have installed two units, Goodman GSX13030xxx and GSX13036xxx for two zones. I have asked the A/C company for the model numbers of the evaporator coils to see if the condensor/compressor units can be simply swapped out to a higher SEER/EER unit. I have had this done before, but the engineering has to work so I asked them about this as well.

    I am hoping the Goodman GSX16 (at least) will work with the evaporator coils. That combined with the DC motor will help lower the Kwh usage.

    So I was wondering. In areas where Kwhs are expensive and natural gas is cheap in the summer has anyone ever installed a Generac 22 KVA Natural gas generator to supply the power for the A/C units when they run? I worked at Home Savings of America where they were under SCE (Southern California Edison) and they would have to go OFF GRID at peak times for the data center and run their generators to supply the power, so this got me wondering if there is a $$$ savings with this setup when the utility is charging you peak $$$ for the usage. The benefit is having your back up power all the other times of the year too.

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