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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    9

    Amana, Kenmore, Trane?

    Please help due to my lack in experience buying HVAC systems. I am a first time homeowner and never had to deal with this before.

    First of all I must say I own a home built in late 2001 (1200 sq. ft.). The Trane system installed (XE 1100 2-ton) has had the compressor and reversing valve replaced. Now the check valve is bad and I am shopping a new system. Also, two of the people I received quotes from mentioned the 5/16" refrigerant line is undersized for the 2-ton unit.

    System "A" - Amana ASZ14 (cheapest quote)
    System "B" - Kenmore 15 SEER (quoted by Sears) Price = 2X Amana
    System "C" - Trane XL15i Price = over 2X Amana
    System "D" - A local Carrier dealer came by to get info and never sent quote. I live in a small town and they are the only local Carrier dealer.

    It seems most of the systems are comparable in SEER and HSPF, but pricing is all over the board. Most of the time I say "you get what you pay for", but I have read it has a lot to do with the installation. The only reviews I find online are the bad reviews (of course) so if any one has had good experiences with these units I would love to hear them. Trane product currently installed went out after 7 years in service so paying over 2X the Amana does not seem logical. Since I live in a small town, going with a company like Sears makes me feel better due to the economy at this time. Who knows if the company installing the Amana will be around to maintain the unit if something goes wrong?

    As you can see I am in limbo about what to choose and have not had AC for 2 weeks. I live in South Carolina and need to get this going. PLEASE help with professional opinions or recent experiences on these products.

  2. #2
    You do get what you pay for to some extent, but you should also factor in the extent of the warranty coverage. I like Amana, given your choices. Also, do a little research on your contractor - are they licensed? How many years have they been in business? Have you checked their rating (if any) on the BBB? It is possible a bad installation can void the warranty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    20,677
    You can probably get a lower cost 13 or 14 SEER in Trane. But that 5'16" has gotta go. You need 3/8 x 3/4 lineset. Or you might get by with 3/8 x 5/8. Depends on length.
    No reserve. No retreat. No regrets.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Here and there
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    4,805
    Sears is usually not a good option
    i belong to peta ... people eating tasty animals. all my opinions are just mine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Location:Raleigh NC
    Posts
    9,642
    A good installation is the KEY low bid often cuts Conner's that you not understand why it so important (like not pulling a vacuum to 500 microns).

    I Like Tirane or Carrie for Resi. Are you on the Coast?
    Last edited by fcs; 07-18-2009 at 02:59 PM.
    If you help others then you are a Success

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    9
    I am not on the coast. I live in the upstate (Oconee County) near the Georgia line.

    Reason for 15 SEER is for tax credit.

    Amana estimate did not include a cover for the new refrigerant line coming out of the house.
    Last edited by Kentucky Paul; 07-18-2009 at 02:33 PM. Reason: info left out...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    2,198
    Amana is made by Goodman and they have a pretty good warranty.

    You might want to check into the ASX14.


    ASX14 Air Conditioner

    Up to 14 SEER Performance

    R-410A Chlorine-Free Refrigerant


    Outstanding Warranty Protection*


    We believe that this may be the best warranty in the air conditioning business. The compressor in your new ASX14 air conditioning system is covered by a Lifetime Limited Warranty*. If the compressor ever fails, a new condensing unit will be provided to the original purchaser of the central air conditioning system as long as they live in the same single-family residence. All remaining parts are covered by a 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty*. For a full description of all warranties applicable to this product, please click on the consumer brochure or product warranty links below.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    9

    Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjames View Post
    You do get what you pay for to some extent, but you should also factor in the extent of the warranty coverage. I like Amana, given your choices. Also, do a little research on your contractor - are they licensed? How many years have they been in business? Have you checked their rating (if any) on the BBB? It is possible a bad installation can void the warranty.
    The cost of the labor warranty for Amana was 1/4 of the price of the same warranty on the Kenmore (10 yr. parts and labor). I have been burned in the past on things that seem too good to be true, that is why I also asked for good experiences, if any, on the brands listed.


    BBB Ratings...
    System "A" - Amana ASZ14 Contractor Company Rating A
    System "B" - Kenmore 15 SEER Sears Rating A-
    System "C" - Trane XL15i Contractor Company Rating A+
    System "D" - A local Carrier dealer Contractor Company Rating A-

    The only company that had a reported complaint in the last 36 mos. was Sears, but it explained in the report you have to take into account the size of the company when looking at the reports.
    Last edited by Kentucky Paul; 07-18-2009 at 03:01 PM. Reason: info left off

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Location:Raleigh NC
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    9,642
    Quote Originally Posted by Kentucky Paul View Post
    I am not on the coast. I live in the upstate (Oconee County) near the Georgia line.

    Reason for 15 SEER is for tax credit.

    Amana estimate did not include a cover for the new refrigerant line coming out of the house.
    Are your getting a 410a or R22 system?
    Have they done a load cal ?
    And are your ducts sized for the new unit?
    If you help others then you are a Success

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    9
    Kenmore and Amana are using R-410A, not sure about the Trane (he did not specify)

    All companies are using as is duct system without major changes. One room does not heat/cool properly on far end of the house from air handler. Amana contractor offered to install damper system to help with that. Sears/Kenmore offered to replace the duct work to that room.

    I am not sure what a load cal is, but they haven't mentioned it. Amana contractor did do a sq. ft. measurement to verify the 2-ton system was adequate.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Location:Raleigh NC
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    If your going R22 to R22 and the lines set are fine I see NO reason to replace.

    A Load Cal is done to make sure your size right takes in account size Installation, exposer, doors window flooring etc..

    Sound like you might want to have a Manual D done to make sure your (duct work cal) is right. with the wrong Duct work or size (bigger is not better better to be a Little undersizes then over is better)

    Wrong or leak Duct and or wrong size you wasting your money.
    If you help others then you are a Success

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    9
    On the two systems other than Trane we would be be going from R22 to R-410A. The only line they talked about replacing was the 5/16" line, not the bigger one with the insulation on it. The air handler is in the attic (on one far end of the house) and 2 of 4 people giving quotes climbed up there and inspected the area. One guy looked into the attic and another just measured the opening without opening the scuttle hatch/door. I provided the ladder so they did not have any excuses (besides it being hot which is not an excuse) for not going up there.

    We have flex hose duct work wrapped with insulation. The house is on a slab so all duct work is in the ceiling (vaulted type ceilings). How can I tell the size of the flex hose w/out removing the insulation? Should it say on the outside of the insulation? Also, one guy quoting mentioned that the duct work may just be at an angle that prevents good airflow to my rooms on the far end from the air handler. Is there a specified angle the duct needs to be when it goes through the strap holding it to the rafters in the attic?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Location:Raleigh NC
    Posts
    9,642
    One flex is not the best ducting!

    Most important with Flex is it pinch or Not fully stretched make sure the used starter collar.

    the Flex should not have a lot of up and down or tight turns when possible.

    The tech should check air flow and Static Presses if there is a Know problem not just rip out ducting because he /she is guessing.

    I Good tech is not cheap but will save you money in the long run in power bill and Maintenance
    If you help others then you are a Success

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