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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    I'm just down I-10 in Tucson, the new construction homes from the late 90's are not that bad, here. You will be very disappointed with 4 ton systems. You should be going the other way, as in smaller, longer run times, humidity removal, even temps, etc. I've ran manual J load Calcs for many many homes probably very similar to yours. Keep calling contractors asking for manual J, the quotes you have are way over sized. Try to find a contractor that understands ductwork, 16" flex will require you to turn up your tv when the system runs and short cycles with a 4 ton. The right contractor will also want to "adjust" your flex duct, imagine the ducting is like a freeway the air inside is moving at freeway speeds, the ductwork should look like off ramps, with nice sweeping bends. Not pinched off and making 90° turns too quickly. A lot of benefit to adjusting the existing ductwork to get better more even flow in each room. I've had issues with Trane and York both, but the all aluminum coils are much better than those of the past. Either system you choose, ensure your warranty is registered online. Even if you have to register it yourself, personally verify that YOUR warranty is registered and you get the full 10 years, maybe 12? It's all spelled out in the manuals the installer should provide to you. I installed Trane in my own home, but only because they were the only brand to offer the systems I wanted. I would continue looking for a contractor if I were you.
    There are two ways to do things, Right and Again.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,536
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    in arizona i would not short myself on size . phoenix is hot as hell and bone dry no dehumidification needed at 110 degrees 410a units drop in capacity .

    many years back i put a 4 ton unit in my sisters house in az ,after 15 years it died. the contractor they chose did a load calc and commented on the moron hat put in such a large unit and recommended a 2.5 ton or 3 ton 2 stage . they went with the 3 ton and guess what it will not keep up in the heat of the day they have checked it several times and say its all good . they hate their new properly sized unit .
    Go Trump

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    in arizona i would not short myself on size . phoenix is hot as hell and bone dry no dehumidification needed at 110 degrees 410a units drop in capacity .

    many years back i put a 4 ton unit in my sisters house in az ,after 15 years it died. the contractor they chose did a load calc and commented on the moron hat put in such a large unit and recommended a 2.5 ton or 3 ton 2 stage . they went with the 3 ton and guess what it will not keep up in the heat of the day they have checked it several times and say its all good . they hate their new properly sized unit .
    Manual S should take care of that, my 3 ton Trane dual compressor package unit has had second stage disconnected for many years. This year I had to tie it back in when it reached 130° at my house, indoor temp got to 84°. Set temp at 76°, humidity stays low and "feels" like 72°. 1400 square foot served by that 1.5 ton unit, with 2nd stage disconnected. My home was built in 71, originally with an evaporative cooler, single pane glass, and about 1/2" of insulation in the ceiling. Not very well built at all.
    There are two ways to do things, Right and Again.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    37,796
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    Question...

    Are those 'even ton' units 2 stage?
    If so, they run at about 2-3/4 tons until they will not keep up... then shift to 4 tons.

    If this is indeed what the contractor recommended... I say go for it!

    I would add: Media filters (20x25x4/5) and some additional return capacity.
    And be sure they mount a variable speed (VS) furnaces with these AC's

    Get yourself a really nice thermostat that handles the 2 stage AC.
    Ga-HVAC-tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal, Maui, & Kauai
    Posts
    4,172
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    Remember- we are talking 8 tons of air on a 3000 sq ft.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    3
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for all the replies guys, useful albeit somewhat contradictory advice . I double checked the returns myself, they are indeed "only" 16 inch (they look huge to me, but I've never had a house with central returns before). Worse, at least the one I looked at has a 90* turn almost immediately that constricts the size to about 13" in the turn. Given that, it looks like I should request either upgrade 18" returns or a second set of returns. I'll also be requesting a media filter as the 1" filters get dirty in < 1 month due to our dusty environment here in AZ.

    Someone mentioned new ducts altogether... That'd be great, but _every_ ceiling in the house is vaulted, and there's no basement. I think it'd be expensive to run new ducts, and I'm not even sure how you'd get the ones to the first floor without ripping out drywall, unless you could tie the old to the new and pull them out from the bottom.

    As far as tonnage, should I split the difference of opinions and mention to the contractor a 4 ton upstairs and 3 ton downstairs? Also, does anyone know (or know how to find out) what percentage the 1st stage is on the York vs the Trane? If I end up slightly oversized, I at least want to make sure there's a decent drop in capacity with the first stage, as I've read that some other units only have a small step between the two.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Billington Heights, NY
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    13,720
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    you can do classy exposed/painted spiral duct:

    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"

    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

    Jtrammel - "I’m going to sell hvac systems derp derp derp"
    BBeerme - "every time he opens his mouth, he reminds me of a cow without the fart bag."

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnb5 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies guys, useful albeit somewhat contradictory advice . I double checked the returns myself, they are indeed "only" 16 inch (they look huge to me, but I've never had a house with central returns before). Worse, at least the one I looked at has a 90* turn almost immediately that constricts the size to about 13" in the turn. Given that, it looks like I should request either upgrade 18" returns or a second set of returns. I'll also be requesting a media filter as the 1" filters get dirty in < 1 month due to our dusty environment here in AZ.

    Someone mentioned new ducts altogether... That'd be great, but _every_ ceiling in the house is vaulted, and there's no basement. I think it'd be expensive to run new ducts, and I'm not even sure how you'd get the ones to the first floor without ripping out drywall, unless you could tie the old to the new and pull them out from the bottom.

    As far as tonnage, should I split the difference of opinions and mention to the contractor a 4 ton upstairs and 3 ton downstairs? Also, does anyone know (or know how to find out) what percentage the 1st stage is on the York vs the Trane? If I end up slightly oversized, I at least want to make sure there's a decent drop in capacity with the first stage, as I've read that some other units only have a small step between the two.
    I would want more returns added rather than increasing the duct on the ones already there. Probably another 16 on each one.

    8 tons is grossly oversized, even for Arizona. You need someone to do a manual J and use manual S to select equipment. Otherwise you're pissing into the wind.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
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    Agree on LOTS more return capacity... and the media filter is always a good choice.
    Look on Amazon for the replacements.

    As to tonnage...
    In my area (mid/higher 90's and humidity in the 60-70-80% range...
    A 3000+ ft house with vaulted ceilings... would be MINIMUM 5 tons...
    Now 2x 4 ton 2 stage units both in low stage would blow about 5.5 tons...
    Now if the upstairs ramped up... that would raise it to 6.75 tons...
    And if both ramped up... that would raise it to 8 tons... like if someone had a party in August and had a dozen warm bodies in the house...

    Different folks have different wants/needs... In my area... most of my customers want the reserve capacity... they do not like the house to warm up on really hot days. OTOH... some folks do not care... so not having as much reserve does not bother them.

    I would research the idea of 2 stage a bit more... to become familiar with the comfort features.
    Ga-HVAC-tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
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    96
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    York's warranty policy has been fine for me.
    Have you had any issues with the new Stoplight warranty policy?

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngore152 View Post
    Have you had any issues with the new Stoplight warranty policy?
    What Is that?

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
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    Heed the warnings to pay attention to and improve the ducting, especially if you feel a blast of hot air when the systems start up - this tells us your returns are leaking and you are feeling attic air. The infiltration does not stop even though the cooling dominates after a few minutes. You are likely cooling the attic as well with leaking supply runs.

    Trust them when they talk to you about duct work and air flow...it's the part of the equation that makes the whole thing work.
    "IMO...The problem with that 'equality' and 'fairness' and 'middle of the road' mentality...Is in reality and in history... that thinking = moving towards the left."
    ---The "wisdom" of Ga-HVAC-tech
    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread....mp-News-Thread

    I proudly support DIY - I've got enough calls to run.

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  14. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
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    When you look on Upgnet under the warranty section there is a stoplight once you enter the serial number. York's new policy is once a unit has had two warranty claims the unit goes into a Yellow Light at which point the technician must perform a critical readings sheet before any new warranty parts can be approved. It doesn't matter which part. I have a 8 year old package hp that has had a capacitor and a condenser fan motor replaced back in 12, the evaporator coil just developed a leak and they would not allow me to get a replacement coil without a sheet. I had to pay for the coil, install it, fill out the critical readings sheet and once they "bless it" I will be reimbursed. I told them I would understand if it was say on its third blower motor or something like that, but completely unrelated repairs are ridiculous.

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