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  1. #1

    Difference between 13 and 16 SEER

    Hi,

    We are looking at Bryant systems. According to the tech who came out, the space where our old unit is located is too small to contain the equipment that would bring us up to the 16 SEER, 13 EER rating allowing us to receive a tax credit. (We live in a curious house and changing this location is prohibitively expensive.) He did however tell us we could still get a 16.5 SEER unit that would save us a lot more on energy costs than going with a 13 seer unit.

    We're on a tight budget and would totally go with the 16.5 SEER route if the tax credit were in play. Since there's no credit for us, however, we really need to weigh the options carefully before we spend the extra $$.

    My question is twofold . . .

    Is the 16.5 SEER unit even going to operate at a 16.5 level without whatever is required for the 13 EER rating? Would it be like purchasing a car that can go 100 miles an hour, but never going faster than 55? (The 16.5 unit he's quoting is 2-speed with Thermidisat, the 13 unit is single with Honeywell 6000.)

    How does the difference in efficiency between a 13 SEER and 16 SEER unit translate to utility bills considering that the 16.5 SEER unit won't be 13 EER?

    Thanks so much!
    Gracie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,242

    Question 2. 16/ 13 = _ _ _

    Quote Originally Posted by peacecorn View Post
    My question is twofold . . .
    1
    Is the 16.5 SEER unit even going to operate at a 16.5 level without whatever is required for the 13 EER rating?
    2
    How does the difference in efficiency between a 13 SEER and 16 SEER unit translate to utility bills considering that the 16.5 SEER unit won't be 13 EER?

    Gracie
    1. Probably going to be a bit shy of the rating

    2. ~ 20%
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,741
    Depends on what area you are in.
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the info.

    I'm in Florida, so there's humidity to consider.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,741
    A VS blower will help with humidity some.
    A 2 stage outdoor unit helps even more.
    but if you don't have room for one. Then, have your contractor/contractors match up an indoor unit that provides good moisture removal. Not all coil match ups remove the same amount of moisture.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach
    Posts
    172
    There are many systems on the market, I am pretty sure you can find a unit to meet your financials, and the space you have.

    If you post the size of the space you have here someone might be able to help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,518
    I think I might shop around a bit more. Honestly, physical unit sizes in the same tonnage ranges aren't much if any much bigger for an increase in seer. You must have a very small area if so.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    As stated, we need to know your parameters to help you. What models of equipment are currently being discussed? What size area do you have to work with? Going to a heat pump may actually wind up costing you less to install because heat pumps don't need to be as efficient to qualify for tax credits. You would then also have the benefit of saving on your heating bills. In Florida, you probably wouldn't even need to use auxilliary heat.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
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  9. #9
    We did shop around a little bit--we live in a small FL town and there aren't a lot of options. The Carrier people were exceedingly flighty and wouldn't provide us with any specifics. The day they arrived, they told us we'd qualify for the tax credit, but only after repeatedly calling them back, did they tell us that we didn't. It was as though they didn't want to talk to us because the space was too small to afford the system they wanted to sell so they gave up.

    In turn, we gave up on them.

    At least the Bryant people were up front about not receiving the tax credit and have been responsive to our questions.

    Anyway. The width of the door on the closet where the current unit is 15 inches. The width of the closet is larger than that and there is appears to be a 17 inch piece of ductwork on top of the existing unit. The depth of that piece is way less than 15 inches--that must be how they got it in. (We live in a geodesic dome, space is tight.)

    Could there really be a heat pump option with so little space? We'd love that! The Carrier people told us flat out NO. (I will ask the Bryant people about it in the morning.)

    Thanks so much for all your help!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    483
    I call BS on this whole thing.

    Ok, that closet sounds small, but even if you had to open up the door framing to get it in, doesn't sound like a huge issue.

    What about a minisplit? Maybe a ducted style minisplit?

    Can you post some pictures of how this space and arrangement is?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
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    68,923
    I thought you were saying the outside area was too small.

    Yes, I have run into situations where the interior unit space is not large enough to accomodate a variable speed blower unit that is required to receive tax credits.

    Since you do not have space for the larger variable speed indoor unit, you also cannot have a two stage system. The best you can do is to get the highest SEER rating available without the variable speed blower, which is why you will be sacrificing the EER rating.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    what's the tonnage? Did I miss that?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
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    843
    Quote Originally Posted by RoBoTeq View Post
    Since you do not have space for the larger variable speed indoor unit, you also cannot have a two stage system. The best you can do is to get the highest SEER rating available without the variable speed blower, which is why you will be sacrificing the EER rating.
    Depending on tonage and product line, you wont sacrafice to much eer rating when you drop the seer of the system, its not like a 1 for 1 drop. A while ago a few american standard 15 seer single stage units would have a better eer rating then the 16 seers. Multistage cooling systems dont help eer ratings.
    Global Warming or: None like it hot
    No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater... than central air. -Dogma

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