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Thread: HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    HELP!

    I am so confused! I need to replace my 20 yr. old 3.5/3 ton Trane AC unit (or so I am told - it still works, but my electric bills are high and they say the coils are very clogged, possibly with mold and my son and I suffer from allergies & asthma). I am comparing an Amana ASX0361/AEPF303616 with 3 different Trane models (14 & 16 SEER) 2TTR3036/2TEH3F36B, 4ttr3036A/4TEH3F36B, & 4TTR4036C/4TEH3F36B (if I am reading his writing correctly) and a Rheem # ton 14 SEER (not sure of the model #). There seem to be many opinions on which brand is best and how to choose brand and dealer. Can anyone advise? I am a single mom and afraid I will make the wrong choice for this big investment that I can't afford to begin with. P.S There is a good possibility I will be selling my home in a couple of years. Thank you! (Sorry about the price info - I missed that in the agreement)
    Last edited by Ossipe; 07-31-2008 at 12:35 AM. Reason: remove pricing and add model #s

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    2,246
    No pricing allowed! please remove. Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,368
    Ossipe,

    As 21degrees said, pricing can't be discussed here per site rules (can't see the job from the internet and prices vary from dealer to dealer, area to area). Just hit the edit button in the bottom right of the post.

    Can you provide the model numbers given with the Trane and Rheem products?

    The Amana you were quoted is a nice system with a variable-speed air handler.

    Did any dealer to any sort of load calculation to determine siznig? Did they look at your ductwork to make sure it was in good condition and sized correctly?

  4. #4
    The most important issue you should be concerned with is the contractor. A bad installer can screw up the best unit on the market. Find someone you trust!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5
    Thank you and sorry about the price info. I added what info I have on models and I think they looked at the ducts, but I did not get a load calculation, that I know of. The house is about 1675 sq. ft. and I live in S. FL, if that makes a difference. This is obviously pretty much way beyond my scope of knowledge and everyone I ask has a different opinion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,368
    How did the old 3 ton cool and dehumidify? You should find out the Rheem model numbers to make a more accurate comparison. Also, ask the Trane dealer if he can give you the variable-speed air handler instead model 4TEE (of course at an extra price). As it stands, the Amana seems like the better option with the R-410A 14 SEER condenser with variable-speed air handler (should get you to 15 SEER).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    33

    you said the system was running good

    just clean or change the coils and use all the extra money to replace your duct which i can almost guarantee filled with mold and or other things

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5
    Thank you - I'm not sure about the old unit - it is still working but I don't know what the efficiency is. I was told the old compressor is pulling 26.7 amps and the coil is rusted and corroded and full of build up. Air handler reportedly has fungus and mold.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5
    Will that improve the efficiency? I was also told that cleaning the coils uses a corrosive acid that weakens them and it a unit this old (20 yrs) it would not be a good thing. It also was quoted at 25% of the cost of a new unit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Based on your last two posts ,I'd get a second opinion.True your equipment is at replacement age,but get a second opinion.

    Where in south Florida are you located?We have some forum members there,that might be in your area.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    53
    A 20 year old system is going to fail eventually. Cleaning is a good idea, but the system has definitely exceeded the life expectancy of an HVAC system. I would say that the system is on borrowed time. I always recommend changing it out on your schedule rather than waiting for it to fail, and having to make a decision when you're uncomfortable and need to move fast.

    As far as finding the correct dealer, check with the Better Business Bureau. This isn't infallible, but will let you see if they have any complaints against them. Also, get referrals from the HVAC company. They should be willing to give at least 3 other customers that you can contact.

    They should provide a Manual J heat loss/heat gain to make sure the system is sized properly. The capacity of the system is divided into 2 categories. You have a sensible capacity and a latent capacity. The sizing of the system should take this into account.

    A 20 year old duct system is probably dirty, and chances are that it will be undersized for a new high efficiency system. I would definitely recommend replacing it. If you have allergies, you may want to think about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as well. Might look into an air cleaner, whether it's an electronic air cleaner or a 6" filter media type.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5
    Thank you! Southeast Florida - South Palm Beach County. I have gotten quotes from several of the major AC companies and all agree it is probably time to replace, though most don't bother to look at the coils or open up the air handler.

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