Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 54
  1. #1

    Question 16 SEER vs. 13 SEER in Houston

    I am in the process of replacing my residential HVAC.

    Existing Unit Data:
    • Houston, TX.
    • 1500 sq ft, single story; ceiling fans in each room.
    • Existing unit is 3.5 tons York H2RC042S06 A /C; 80 kbtu furnace; York database shows the unit is 12 SEER, but local tech said it was 10 SEER.
    • Existing unit is 10 years old.
    • Evaporating coil leaking.
    • Existing furnace gas control (winter) unreliable.
    • Plan to stay in this house for several years (single, retired).

    I have been quoted a couple of installations to replace everything: condenser, evaporator, furnace, etc. The contractor is suggesting:
    • 4.0 ton Lennox A/C; either 13 SEER or 16 SEER; for example XC16 Condenser unit.
    • 90 kbtu furnace; for example G60UHV furnace.

    The 16 SEER unit is considerably more expensive than the 13 SEER, but I am drawn to it because of the really hot summers we are having in Houston, and electric costs are going up a lot.

    So, my question here is whether it makes sense to go with a 16 SEER replacement unit in Houston vs. a 13 SEER unit?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kathleen GA
    Posts
    236
    Rextex:

    1. Did the 3.5 ton unit cool the house adequately (except maybe on the hottest two or three days of the year)
    2. What is electrical rate there?
    3. What was your highest electrical bill last year?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,000
    Quote Originally Posted by retexan599 View Post
    So, my question here is whether it makes sense to go with a 16 SEER replacement unit in Houston vs. a 13 SEER unit?

    Thanks.
    I personally don't think in "Houston" you will benefit from a 16 seer system, we try and push 14 seer at most here, but as always us a/c companies have various opinions.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  4. #4

    16 SEER vs. 13 SEER in Houston

    1. Did the 3.5 ton unit cool the house adequately (except maybe on the hottest two or three days of the year)

    Generally in the summer afternoons I strip down to skivvies and run the ceiling fans faster. It is quite possible that my refrigerant was low last summer.

    2. What is electrical rate there?

    Approximately 14-16 cents/kwh.

    3. What was your highest electrical bill last year?

    August 2007 my bill was $220. However, I kept the thermostat at 81 to minimize the electric bill.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,176
    4 tons for 1500 sq ft? WOW! That the norm for Houston?

    I think you need Al, Mr. Bill or Jason out there to do it right!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,323
    Quote Originally Posted by retexan599 View Post
    1. Did the 3.5 ton unit cool the house adequately (except maybe on the hottest two or three days of the year)

    Generally in the summer afternoons I strip down to skivvies and run the ceiling fans faster. It is quite possible that my refrigerant was low last summer.

    Forget about last year how did it function in the past. You need to have a proper load calculation performed and have the supply and return ductwork assessed. Most homes in Houston have A/C systems that are too large but they function way below spec because of poor quality ductwork. If it can't breathe correctly it can't provide all that it should.
    2. What is electrical rate there?

    Approximately 14-16 cents/kwh.

    You need to find a provider other than Reliant you can find a better rate. Look at Ignite or Dynowatt.

    3. What was your highest electrical bill last year?

    August 2007 my bill was $220. However, I kept the thermostat at 81 to minimize the electric bill.

    Mr. Bill likes 14 SEER I sell more 16+ SEER than lower end. The higher SEER equipment will not save you a significant amount over 14-15 SEER equipment but will greatly increase comfort.


    Thanks.
    ok

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    Trival Pursit Question: What is the most air conditioned city in the world?? Houston, Texas it was a question in the FIRST game they put out!!!
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,323
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    4 tons for 1500 sq ft? WOW! That the norm for Houston?

    I think you need Al, Mr. Bill or Jason out there to do it right!
    There are older homes here that yes 4-tons would be correct. However a newer home with good windows and proper insulation can take a 2.5-ton unit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    189
    In theory, going from a 14 SEER to 16 SEER, you will consume about 13% lesss electricity for the same BTU's of cooling.

    Is it worth it? Plug in the numbers...and tell us how many months it will take to pay back:

    (Cost of 16 SEER - Cost of 14 SEER) / (Current Annual HVAC electric cost / 12) / 0.13

    If this wasn't so promising, then try this

    10 SEER to 16 SEER = 37.5% less electricity.

    Cost of new system / ((Current Annual HVAC electric cost / 12) + (Average Annual Repairs of old system / 12)) / 0.375

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    537
    Quote Originally Posted by retexan599 View Post
    I am in the process of replacing my residential HVAC.

    Existing Unit Data:
    • Houston, TX.
    • 1500 sq ft, single story; ceiling fans in each room.
    • Existing unit is 3.5 tons York H2RC042S06 A /C; 80 kbtu furnace; York database shows the unit is 12 SEER, but local tech said it was 10 SEER.
    • Existing unit is 10 years old.
    • Evaporating coil leaking.
    • Existing furnace gas control (winter) unreliable.
    • Plan to stay in this house for several years (single, retired).

    I have been quoted a couple of installations to replace everything: condenser, evaporator, furnace, etc. The contractor is suggesting:
    • 4.0 ton Lennox A/C; either 13 SEER or 16 SEER; for example XC16 Condenser unit.
    • 90 kbtu furnace; for example G60UHV furnace.

    The 16 SEER unit is considerably more expensive than the 13 SEER, but I am drawn to it because of the really hot summers we are having in Houston, and electric costs are going up a lot.

    So, my question here is whether it makes sense to go with a 16 SEER replacement unit in Houston vs. a 13 SEER unit?

    Thanks.
    Retexan599, if you would like a thorough evaluation of your whole system and what you need, just click on my name, 5 star, then click on view public profile and you will find my email and can email your contact information so we can contact you.

    Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kathleen GA
    Posts
    236
    If this were my house I would:
    1. Caulk windows
    2. Add insulation to ceiling
    3. Add radiant barrier to ceiling where ever it is easy
    4. Invest in 15 or 16 Seer 2 stage AC unit

    After I did the above I would have a load calc done. You might could use a 3 or 3.5 ton unit. Oversizing cools faster but leaves humidity higher leaving you less comfortable. A two speed uses less electricity and removes more humidity.


    Gonekuku's math is corrrect - but the theory is inadequate as the SEER ratings do not take into account the inefficiency during startup. It takes 1-5 minutes for an HVAC to reach rated efficiency. Thus a 4 ton unit runing 10 minutes uses more electricity than a 3.5 ton unit running 11 or 12 minutes.

    If electricity goes up then higher SEER becomes more valuable. A two stage unit will provide more comfort and lower you electricity costs and help minimize the oversizing if you go with a 4 ton unit.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,082
    but the theory is inadequate as the SEER ratings do not take into account the inefficiency during startup. It takes 1-5 minutes for an HVAC to reach rated efficiency.

    SEER allows for cycling.

    EER doesn't.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    352
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    4 tons for 1500 sq ft? WOW! That the norm for Houston?

    I think you need Al, Mr. Bill or Jason out there to do it right!
    That sounds normal if it's a BARN.

    A load calc is needed, it would normally be around 3 tons. The high seer isn't the most important thing here. You can crunch kw numbers until your fingers hurt, if it isn't setup properly inside, the 16 seer unit will take 20 years to pay for the upgrade. (that would be it's expected life plus 5 years.)

    Why is it the condenser the main topic of discussion. Sure this is what the homeowner sees most, and it comsumes more electricity than most things in a home. If it isn't connected to a system that will perform, it is like a race car with no tires.

    Maybe "attic rats" are a dying breed.
    Just try to communicate with the subs about the attic work, then connect your 19i?...lol
    Last edited by Skip 2 my lou; 04-24-2008 at 07:19 AM.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event