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  1. #1

    Quick Fix, or go bananas??

    Our compressor went out on our 18 year old Carrier Duel Fuel Heat pump over the 4th of July.

    3 professional quotes later, I am still having a hard time making a decision.

    Option 1: Builders model Carrier 13SEER R22 Compressor/Coil/Furnace
    (This will tap my budget, but I won't need any financing)

    Option 2: Go the the new stuff. Rheem 16SEER 410A Compressor/Coil/Furnace
    with new lines.
    (This goes over my budget, will need to finance somehow, but we do plan on staying in the home for at least 10 years)

    Option 3: One dealer had a used 10SEER Heat Pump compressor that he could swap out with the bad one. The compressor has 1 year left on a warranty, but of course the rest of my unit is vulnerable if things go wrong.
    (initial price is well within my budget)

    One other question. Can you clean your existing lines instead of replacing them if you are going from R22 to 410a??

    Thanks in advance for your time,
    Robot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889
    you might live long enough to regret gamble #3.

    in mho the correct size refrigerant lines are most important. There are r410a systems 9 and 10 years in operation and the line set wasn't replaced.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    I replaced my own system this past fall. I pulled out a 10-SEER AC system and replaced it with a 18-SEER Hybrid Heat system. Best money I've ever spent. Yes, I did the job myself, since I own a PHVAC business but that's not the point. Because of my wife allergies, we operate the blower 24/7/365. I've tracked the electrical useage and am averaging a 34% reduction in my electric bill since we fired up the new system. That might not sound like much but over a period of 15-years or the average life of a system, I'll realize a savings just in electric company overpayments of over $7,500! Our house is much more comfortable now with a 2-stage outdoor unit, much better dehumidification and I'm also lowering my greenhouse footprint by using 34% less electricity. In fact, if all the 10-SEER and lower rated units were replaced with 18-20 SEER units, the electric utilities could breathe easier for a long, long time. As it stands in our area, they electric usage was within 500 GW of capacity during a hot spell last summer. Now our electric utilities are offering $900 rebates for replacement of 10-SEER or less AC/HP units, for obvious reasons. So, as you can see, my recommendation is to get the most energy efficient system you can. You'll gain in comfort physically and your monthly electric bill will be more comfortable too. Whether R-410A or R-22 is your choice (if you can find a high efficiency R-22 system) but doing a quick flush on the old lines and reusing them, if properly sized for R-410A, is not a problem.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    I replaced my own system this past fall... tracked the electrical useage and am averaging a 34% reduction in my electric bill since we fired up the new system. That might not sound like much but over a period of 15-years...

    Please don't think I want to give you a hard time but... it is not elementary how you measure this and I would like to ask your method. 34% is a big deal after all (I am a homeowner in S.Texas and paying 17 cents/kwh). One of the pitfalls I see is adjusting for weather, average conditions could be different in the before vs. after test periods. It is a rare electricity user who even goes as far as you do.

    Myself, I got a 17.5 SEER combo installed at the beginning of summer 2007, and tried to track my own usage. Thought it would be good to attempt to normalize it by KWH per degree-day. My usage was *way* down but so far that I suspect my methodology was not good enough. That summer was actually mild and I think KWH is not linear with respect to degree-days. Still saving a lot of money, just not sure how much until another summer or two goes by.

    Best wishes -- Pstu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,548
    I wouldn't replace the compressor unless you have serious plans to replace everything soon or go into it with your eyes open as to what will happen soon enough. Don't buy more than you can afford is all I tell people.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    33
    Throw option 3 out the window. That falls in the I told you so category. Spend the money, get a good system with as high seer rating as you can afford. You won't regret it. You definitely get what you pay for in this situation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    439
    Quote Originally Posted by Robot Robot View Post
    Our compressor went out on our 18 year old Carrier Duel Fuel Heat pump over the 4th of July.

    3 professional quotes later, I am still having a hard time making a decision.

    Option 1: Builders model Carrier 13SEER R22 Compressor/Coil/Furnace
    (This will tap my budget, but I won't need any financing)

    Option 2: Go the the new stuff. Rheem 16SEER 410A Compressor/Coil/Furnace
    with new lines.
    (This goes over my budget, will need to finance somehow, but we do plan on staying in the home for at least 10 years)

    Option 3: One dealer had a used 10SEER Heat Pump compressor that he could swap out with the bad one. The compressor has 1 year left on a warranty, but of course the rest of my unit is vulnerable if things go wrong.
    (initial price is well within my budget)

    One other question. Can you clean your existing lines instead of replacing them if you are going from R22 to 410a??

    Thanks in advance for your time,
    Robot
    My suggestion is possibly get a couple of more quotes, heck most are free.

    And yes the exsisting lines can be used if they are of the correct size required by the 410a systems specs. It just requires flushing them out with nitrogen and using some RX-11.

    But in my opinion I would go with a R-410a system, yes the equipment is a little more costly up front. But in the long term it could be more cost effective over a R-22 system, especially since the price of R-22 will be going up.
    When you do a job, Always make it easier for the next guy, because you may be the next guy working on it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelPaladin View Post
    My suggestion is possibly get a couple of more quotes, heck most are free.

    And yes the exsisting lines can be used if they are of the correct size required by the 410a systems specs. It just requires flushing them out with nitrogen and using some RX-11.

    But in my opinion I would go with a R-410a system, yes the equipment is a little more costly up front. But in the long term it could be more cost effective over a R-22 system, especially since the price of R-22 will be going up.
    What is the correct size of the line? Is it more cost effective from a labor standpoint to flush the existing lines if they meet the requirements or is it just easier to run a new line? Only one of the three estimates even mentioned being able to use the same line if upgrading to 410a.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Robot Robot View Post
    What is the correct size of the line? Is it more cost effective from a labor standpoint to flush the existing lines if they meet the requirements or is it just easier to run a new line? Only one of the three estimates even mentioned being able to use the same line if upgrading to 410a.
    It is my understanding that you absolutely do not want to risk mixing r-22 with r-410a. This is a potential for many future problems, just one being a failed compressor. Even flushing lines does not guarantee every bit is out. The oils are very difficult to completely clean out.
    And how would one know if a line is clean inside?
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  10. #10
    So focusing on option 1 and 2.

    What are the real pros/cons to staying with an R22 13SEER system?

    What are the real pros/cons to changing over to a 410a 16SEER system?

    Is it an irrelevant concern of mine to focus on the coolant?

    I really appreciate your time,
    Robot

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    33

    Thumbs up

    R-22 is only going to get more and more expensive as they phase it out. If you get a leak after the warranty runs out, it will cost an arm and a leg and maybe more. 410 is the present and future. It's economically and environmently friendly. A higher seer unit will save you on utilities. if you pay $4500 for a cheap r-22 system, you get a new air conditioner that cools just fine. If you get a $6000 410A system, you get an air conditioner that pays for itself over the life of the equipment. Once you cross sides to a variable speed blower motor, you'll never go back. They are wonderful. Short story, 410 15 + seer is the way to go.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889
    make yourself a little decision matrix such as

    Dealer, dealer, dealer, dealer then make your choice; as suggested talk to another dealer or two. some folks get too many bids and get confused then end up not getting what they thought because they mix their flavors.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    281
    Are option 1 & 2 still Duel Fuel systems?
    If you chose option 2 and its Duel Fuel, make sure you ge the variable speed furnace, or you won't get all the benefits of the 16 seer system.
    Regardless of which you choose between option 1 and 2 you'll save money over that 18 year old system.

    I've sold several Rheem Duel Fuel setups over the last few months, including 3 16 seer Duel Fuels. For the older generation they like the fact they still get to keep their gas heat, but they like the energy savings they get from the heat pump.
    The Eco Friendly younger generation like the benefits of dehumidification, energy savings (gas and electric) and the ozone friendly refrigerant.
    whaaaaa, you let all the smoke out

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