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  1. #1

    Evaporator Coil: replace only or replace furnace

    Hello all, newbie here. We live in North Texas, have a 5 ton heat pump. Evaporator coil is rusted pretty bad, almost certainly out of warranty.

    Unit quit cooling last week, called A/C man from church(he owns his business). He cleaned the evap. coil and added refrigerant. The next afternoon, probably 30 hours later noticed problem, unit stopped cooling again. I talked to him and he suggested turning the fan on, to help defrost the system. He was going out of town, this was Friday. Also, he mentioned he cleaned the outside of the evap. coil, but mentioned something about it being extremely difficult to get to the inside of the coil.

    I turned on the fan and heard some "rain" coming from the unit. (we had small problem with a condensate line stopping up before) I was unscrewing the return air in front of the unit when I heard a crash. It was ice that had come from the unit.

    We went without A/C all weekend, he called today, asked if he could come tomorrow. Yes, of course! He told me the price of a new evap. coil would be almost as much as a furnace. After digging around on the net, I think he meant as much as an air handler?



    Is it easier on the A/C man to install an air handler than an evap. coil?

    Are air handlers rated for SEER by themselves, or does it matter?

    If we're looking at buying an evap. coil only, does it matter what brand?

    If we're looking at the air handler, I assume the brand does matter?



    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,875
    Get a new air handler....matching an outdoor unit with just a replacement coil for an air handler is rough. I would suggest upgrading to a variable speed blower in that new air handler as well!!
    I need a new signature.....

  3. #3

    What about SEER ratings and brand?

    Thanks, I_bend, what do you think about the other questions I asked?

    And one other, if we put in a variable speed motor, will the efficiency improve drastically?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hollywood, MD
    Posts
    44
    A variable speed dosn't drastically improve efficency but usally increases seer rating by 1. 13 to 14 or a 14 to a 15

  5. #5

    Answers to questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by orangecat View Post
    Hello all, newbie here. We live in North Texas, have a 5 ton heat pump. Evaporator coil is rusted pretty bad, almost certainly out of warranty.

    Unit quit cooling last week, called A/C man from church(he owns his business). He cleaned the evap. coil and added refrigerant. The next afternoon, probably 30 hours later noticed problem, unit stopped cooling again. I talked to him and he suggested turning the fan on, to help defrost the system. He was going out of town, this was Friday. Also, he mentioned he cleaned the outside of the evap. coil, but mentioned something about it being extremely difficult to get to the inside of the coil.

    I turned on the fan and heard some "rain" coming from the unit. (we had small problem with a condensate line stopping up before) I was unscrewing the return air in front of the unit when I heard a crash. It was ice that had come from the unit.

    We went without A/C all weekend, he called today, asked if he could come tomorrow. Yes, of course! He told me the price of a new evap. coil would be almost as much as a furnace. After digging around on the net, I think he meant as much as an air handler?



    Is it easier on the A/C man to install an air handler than an evap. coil?

    Are air handlers rated for SEER by themselves, or does it matter?

    If we're looking at buying an evap. coil only, does it matter what brand?

    If we're looking at the air handler, I assume the brand does matter?



    Thanks

    Can anyone answer these four questions above?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,903
    Quote Originally Posted by orangecat View Post


    Is it easier on the A/C man to install an air handler than an evap. coil?
    Sometimes its just as easy to do the one as the other.

    Are air handlers rated for SEER by themselves, or does it matter?
    No, they do not have their own SEER rating.

    If we're looking at buying an evap. coil only, does it matter what brand?
    It matters. Mismatching, could cost you by way of loss of cpacity.

    If we're looking at the air handler, I assume the brand does matter?
    It does matter, same reason as coil.

    Now for the offensive part.
    The guy you had out, knew he didn't do a good job, and didn't tell you. Until you had a problem.
    Thats not a good sign. Get some estimates to replace the whole system.

    Using someone from your church is not always a good idea. Its hard to get a good idea how well he knows, and performs his work. Most church members won't give a bad reference about another member. Atleast not at church.



    Thanks
    Remember, if he was too busy getting ready to go away to take the time to pull your coil. If you get a system from him. He may be too busy to take care of it when you need it looked at on a hot weekend, and you'll have to do without A/C.

    Oh, thats right, you already did.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  7. #7

    comparing air handlers

    Thanks, now I'm on the right track. I asked one of his employees if he was allowed to use any other products than Lennox or Carrier, and she said yes, he can install any brand. So I've been looking and one of the best deals with the longest warranties, 10 year, appears to be Goodman. They've got a 5 ton handler, for a very reasonable price, that they can ship to us in two days.

    How much labor do you think it would take? I plan on calling several different companies in the area to see what they would charge in terms of labor.

    Also, are there any problems putting in a different air handler than the outside brand? We have a Carrier.

    Any comments on Goodman are appreciated. They were rated highly by some HVAC person and I have noticed they are about 1/2 the price of Carrier.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,875
    Are you buying this unit off the internet and then trying to hire a contractor to install it???
    I need a new signature.....

  9. #9

    buying an air handler

    yes, kindof. I'm hoping my A/C guy will come pretty close to the price I'm going to quote him. If he doesn't go for that fine. I have a couple of other A/C guys coming out to give me an estimate on Friday.

    Something else has popped up, though. In talking to a couple of these guys, they mentioned that after 2010, you won't be able to use R-22 refrigerant, so the next time either the air handler or the compressor goes out, we will have to replace both. I guess that means that even if there a small leak after 2010, we will have to replace both the inside and outside at the same time? The other option is replace both now, which is pretty much out of the question financially.

    What do you think about Goodman? I saw one site that had Goodman rated pretty high, and one of the guys I just talked to acted like it was a pretty low-rated unit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,903
    Both R22, and R22 parts will be made after 2010. Just new systems won't be made utilizing R22.
    Read the Goodman warranty. If you buy it off the Internet, Goodman does NOT warranty it.

    Don't mix match indoor and outdoor units.

    You may be able to find a contractor that will install equipment you provide. But they don't have any responsibility to to provide labor warranty ot repair Your equipment that you provided.
    That warranty is provided by a contractor when you buy teh complete system from him, its part of the price.

    Check this thread ouot, about a home owner provided system, and a tech that was not familiar with the brand.
    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=171620


    Using a contractor that doesn't like Goodman to install it is a BAD idea.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    Get several quotes. Do not buy from the net. Its hard to get a GOOD contractor to install a unit that you purchased.

    You purchase the unit, and chances are the contractor won't warranty it. Goodmans have a 10 yr part warranty on Compressor. But so do Trane on XL series systems.

    Don't look at the manufacturer warranty. You can purchase extended warranties that cover parts AND LABOR for most systems. Very highly recommended to get this. Labor is expensive.

    Goodmans are a good product for the price. But the price isn't very high. Get the picture?

    Get what the contractor sells. Because then you know the contractor knows the system. Different brands have different corks about them. And the contractor will carry his brands on his trucks. If you go with a Trane dealer, get a Trane....cause he won't be stocking Carrier parts just for your system.
    I fully support the military and the War on Terrorism.


    If you don't know, then don't do. If you don't know and still do, then be prepared to pay someone else a lot to undo what you did and then do it right.

    If you do know, then do. But do it right. Otherwise, you may not be doing it long.

  12. #12

    Update: Payne

    I got three "ballpark estimates" and they were all way over what my A/C man came up with. He likes Payne, as an alternative to Carrier, says he knows the heat strips already in the unit will work well with the Payne unit he is installing. Says the Payne unit has a five year warranty, and a one year labor warranty. We're getting a standard speed motor, he's not comfortable installing the VS because we have two zones.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,903
    Thanks for the update.

    Paynes fine.
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