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  1. #1

    Help with New A/C Decision!!!

    I'm a newbie here and would appreciate any help I can get. I am in the midst of getting quotes to replace my 16 year old Comfort Maker 3 ton system. The system is being held together with chewing gum, toothpicks and duct tape.

    Here are my questions:

    1) I live in Tampa, FL and have a 1786 sq ft single story block home with vaulted ceilings. Do I need a 3 ton or a 3.5 ton unit?

    2) I have gotten quite a few quotes and have it narrowed down between a Trane or Carrier Unit. The prices are comparable, but I'm not sure which to go with. I've heard that the Trane units use aluminum coils and that can pose problems, but that's the only negatives I've heard and have only heard mostly positives on both manufacturers. Any thoughts either way?

    3) Units quoted:

    Trane: 3 ton, 14 Seer, Condenser 4twr3036A, Air handler 4teh3f36A

    Carrier: 3.5 Ton Carrier Heat Pump condenser model 25HBA342 , air handler FY4ANF042

    As I said, both units have comparable prices. Can anyone help shed some light on what would be the better unit or some pro's/con's of each? This is not a long-term house for us. We expect to be here less than five years but are tired of our OLD unit crashing every summer and want to replace before it gets too hot and want to make sure we make a good decision.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Western NC
    Your Trane quote is a 13 seer. not a 14 seer.

    The aluminum coils are an improvement over copper for several reasons. The only downfall to aluminum coils is not many people can braze they automatically call it a bad idea. But the alum. coils won't corrode out as quick as copper.

    As fas as unit size, no way of telling from here. Proper load calc and duct design will be the determining factor there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Central, FL
    I would of gone with a Carrier/Bryant FV model(FY4ANF042)which gives you variable speed motor. With the proper t-stat you can get dehumidification feature, which is so necessary in florida. I have this unit at home I can set my T-stat at 78 in the middle of summer & its so nice in the home. Also Bryant is build by Carrier its basicly clone equipment for less price, you may even get a better deal . Keep in mind a there are rebates and tax credits for new units

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Quote Originally Posted by iraqveteran View Post
    Your Trane quote is a 13 seer. not a 14 seer.
    According to ARI the 4TWR3036A1 with the 4TEH3F36B1 (although his/her quote says *A1--not sure if this makes a difference in regards to SEER) gets 14.00 SEER, 8.20 HSPF and 11.80 EER. Those 4TEH air handlers can boost the SEER.

    ACDoc, I think you meant to type FV4BNF005, which according to ARI when matched with the 25HBA342 (builder model heat pump--you might want to consider at least the 25HCA342) gets 14.00 SEER, 8.30 HSPF and 12.10 EER

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    The South

    Don't care for either system but if it is one or the other, I would go with Carrier. At least in cooling, you get the full BTUs for the rated size in the Carrier while the Trane is light by 2200 BTUs in the 3 ton configuration. Of course, you need a load calc for correct sizing. Heating eff is very poor for both systems but for your area/climate, this is really a small concern. The Carrier has the Performance model var speed air handler which supports their thermidistat which I strongly recommend you purchase. I would have your refrigerant lineset replaced. What size are you replacing and did it cool properly?


    3 1/2 ton Carrier Base Model
    1381434 Active OEM BASE 13 PURON HP CARRIER AIR CONDITIONING 25HBA342A31 FV4BN(B,F)005 42000 12.10 14.00 40500 8.30 25800

    3 ton XR13 Trane
    1106134 Active OEM XR13 WEATHERTRON TRANE 2TWR3036A1 2TEH3F36B1 33800 12.00 14.00 29600 8.50 18300

  6. #6
    Ok, I'm not seeing much of a consensus here, but thanks for the replies thus far. I'm quickly getting an education. To answer a few of the questions/replies:

    Existing unit is a 3 ton unit/16 years old and cools the house ok.....but it's old. I would assume a new 3 ton unit would do much better......correct me if I'm wrong.

    Heat function: I rarely use the heat function, so that's not a big deal here. The big deal here is cooling in the summer when it's miserable outside.

    When I did a little more research last night after posting, it appears that the Carrier quote is on their base unit (below their comfort series, I'm assuming builder grade) and the Trane Units seem to be on a little higher end units. I asked the guy who quoted me on the Carrier unit and he said to upgrade to the Comfort series that I'd be paying another $700.

    I guess I'm looking for the best replacement unit that will be somewhat fairly priced. If I need to get more quotes and on products other than Trane or Carrier, I'm fine with that.

    Any suggestions and advice are appreciated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Whichever one you go with I'd opt for the variable-speed air handler (4TEE for Trane and FV4 for Carrier).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Marco Island, Fl
    I am south of you, and recommend Carrier, but not the system they choose for you.

    Both Trane and Carrier will serve you well if installed correctly. Make your choice based on how much faith in the dealers you have, and their level of customer service.

    Neither will perform well if installed poorly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    i do not think that trane air handler has a aluminum coil in it

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