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  1. #1

    HVAC for Dummies?

    Good Morning,

    My central air unit has given up the ghost, and I need to get a new central air unit. So I've been online trying to compare brands, types of freon, etc.

    I see alot about Trane and Carrier, Puron, and Tonage.

    I have a story and a half home, and the attic was recently remodled into a master suite. When that was being done they added a cold air return and 5 vents. My House. (to get an idea of the size of it)

    Above-Grade Living Area: 1,128 SF
    Plus Attic Area: 408 SF

    I know I will need either a 2.5 or 3 ton unit. My question is, which brand should I go with and what type of freon?

    I want to get something that is energy efficient, and will last. My old unit could barely keep my house at 77 on a hot day, so I'm hoping to get something with more power. Also I have NO idea what a fair price is. I know you can't give quotes, but I was kinda hoping for a ballpark figure so I know I'm getting a fair price. Let me know (Or send an email my way)

    Appriciate any help you can throw my way

    ~hvac dummie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,320
    We can't give you a quote, or a price idea. Only a contracto that comes to your house and see's the scope of work can do that.
    Any price that someone would post here, would be a violation of the pricing rules.

    What size is/was your old A/C.

    3 tons sounds like oversized for a 1536 sq ft story and a half.
    Looks like you have good shading. You may have more of a duct issue then a size issue.
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  3. #3
    I didn't know if a ballpark fell under quote or not.

    One of the problems I'm having is, when the heat is on it comes out nicely, you can put your hand in front of the vent and feel it coming out.

    When you have the air on you can barely feel it coming out of the vent. Now I chalked that up to the age and problems with the my old central air. The old unit I had was a 2 ton I believe. They only used the attic as an attic at that time, so it wasn't being cooled.

    In a perfect world I would like to make sure the air comes out as good as the heat! The furance was replaced rght before be bought the place so it's fine.

    Thanks for the reply!

    ~mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,320
    That would be caused by a lower blower speed setting in the cooling mode.
    And probably a lack of return air.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by miholmes View Post
    One of the problems I'm having is, when the heat is on it comes out nicely, you can put your hand in front of the vent and feel it coming out.

    When you have the air on you can barely feel it coming out of the vent. Now I chalked that up to the age and problems with the my old central air. The old unit I had was a 2 ton I believe. They only used the attic as an attic at that time, so it wasn't being cooled.
    If you replace a 2-ton with a 3-ton, and your ducts are marginal for a 2-ton, what are they going to be for a 3-ton?

    You say you know you need 2.5 or 3 tons, how do you know that?

    Do your quotes include both air returns and supplies for the attic?

    Quote Originally Posted by miholmes View Post
    In a perfect world I would like to make sure the air comes out as good as the heat! The furance was replaced rght before be bought the place so it's fine.
    Really? How do you know it's fine? It might be vastly oversized and to compensate the installers turned the blower speed down way low. On heat, natural convection helps carry the heated air up. In cooling mode, the opposite.

    Ask for a Manual J (heat load/loss) and Manual D (duct sizing) to be done on every quote. This will knock most of the wannabes out of the game right off the bat.

    You say you want something efficient, last a long time and more power. If the new A/C is oversized and your duct work is still problematic, you'll achieve none of these goals.

    -HF

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