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  1. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Niagara Falls,Canada
    look at Carrier's 2 stage R410a heat pump. it's rated at 17 seer.Puron is the way to go.Also use the Carrier Fe4 air handler with the Infinty Control. It's the best system on the market today.

  2. #54
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Niantic, Illinois


    Look into using a ductless minisplit like a Sanyo or Panasonic int the addition. Then replace the main system and eliminate the two runs tapped into the main system for the room addition. Definatley a man. j and man d. Brand is less important than proper installation. Any of your major brands will do. If the price seems to cheap, it probably is. Good work is not cheap and cheap work is not good.

  3. #55
    We're in St Pete, Florida. We have 4 estimates, all of whom recommend American Standard, to replace our 12-year-old 3.5 ton, 10 SEER Amana Heat Pump which is on its last legs.

    One a/c contractor says to use an A/C with a 15 KW heat strip. Another one suggested we go with an American Standard heat pump 3.5 ton with 12.5 SEER or 4-ton with 14 SEER. (The 12.5 SEER is derived by putting a 3.5 ton 12 SEER heat pump with a 14 SEER air it smart to mix and match like that?)

    Our 28-year old home has 1970 heated sq ft, so we're told we're on the borderline for either 3.5 or 4-ton.

    One contractor we're ruling out since his price is 2X every one else's. However, one contractor came to us recommended by a builder-contractor, but is not a member of the Better Business Bureau. The other two are listed in the Better Business Bureau with no complaints. The last one is also listed as an American Standard "Customer Care" dealer.

    Given that this forum says it's all in the installation, how do we decide which contractor to use?

    And what size and SEER should we obtain?

    Your input would be helpful.

  4. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Originally posted by tapthenet
    Our 28-year old home has 1970 heated sq ft, so we're told we're on the borderline for either 3.5 or 4-ton.
    How are the contractors calculating the size of the A/C and heat strips that they are recommending? Rules of Thumb such as square footage won't work. The ONLY acceptable means of determining system size is a heat gain / heat loss calculation, commonly known as a "Manual J". If your choosen contractors are all using Rules of Thumb, find another contractor.

    Originally posted by tapthenet
    Given that this forum says it's all in the installation, how do we decide which contractor to use?
    Call the city building department (ask for Richard Cuffie), give them the names of your four contractors, and see what they have to say about the quality of their installations. Ask the contractors for references and go visit their customers. Ask your neighbors who they have used. Call the Tampa Bay area American Standard distributor and ask them who they would recommend.

    Originally posted by tapthenet And what size and SEER should we obtain?
    See my comments about sizing. At current electric rates of 10 cents / kwh you won't get a payback for anything more than about 13.0 SEER during the life of the system. In the AS line, consider the American Standard Heritage 14 with a variable speed air handler. Oversizing by .5 ton to get a higher SEER is a common accepted practice. It is a fine idea, especially with the VS air handler.

    [Edited by Travis in FL on 04-04-2005 at 09:53 AM]

  5. #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    If your 3.5 ton has always done a good job,there is no need to go to a 4 ton,so I'd drop the one that suggested that.

    Now your home may have had insulation ,or other imrovements added,which could mean,3.5 tons is too large,or it could have been oversized by someone.

    Best/safest thing is to have a Manual J,load calculation,to size it right.

    Installation is certainly a major part of the job,but Brands do have differences in the benefits and features offered.In your humid climate ,ask about the dehumidification ability,of what you are buying.

    Carrier,has the best in their Infinity Control System,but most brands have something to offer,be sure you get a variable speed motor in the indoor unit and controls to reduce the humidity ,regardless of the brand YOU choose.

  6. #58
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    it sounds like you may want to give travis a call. if he knows the inspector he must be nearby.

    regarding the upgrades to equipment, the first factor you need to know is, how long do you plan to live here? if it's 10 years or less, you really need to crunch the numbers.

    many times, using the cost difference and adding insulation alone makes things equal out over time economically.

    comfort however, will be better attained with the higher end equipment such as variable speed motors, 2 speed compressors, and other accessories like programmable thermostats, air cleaners, dehumidifiers(for your climate)and the list could go on, and probably will.

    bottom line is get a load calc done, or hit the target at the top of the page and do your own.

    good luck

  7. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Dothan, Al


    In my opinion, you do not need a heat pump where yu are at.
    Heat pumps only save in winter ( heating ) season, and you don;'t have much of a heating season. Also heat pumps have more parts, with more repair bills, and usually won't last as long as a cooling unit with electric heat.
    And at 1900+ sg ft, I would think a 3.5 ton is plenty unless you have single-pane windows, lots of cracks, etc., maybe older home with little insulation.

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