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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4
    I have an energy hog condenser(3 1/2 ton) that is over 20 years old. In the summertime here in Palm Desert, CA my electric bills are over 300 dollars a month for a home of 1300 sq ft. During the hottest hours of the summer day it runs constantly and rarely shuts off. I own a rental three doors down and had the entire split system replaced last year but could not afford two systems at the same time. In the interest of saving some money, and since we rarely use our heater, my question is whether it would make any sense to replace just the condenser with a more energy efficient one, say 10 or 12 seer? If yes, would I need to replace the evap coil as well? Your professional advice would be much appreciated. Any recommendations for condenser brands?
    Thank in advance for your help.

    [Edited by 53fleet on 03-14-2005 at 04:12 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453

    53 Feet

    Never would I recommend replacement of any condenser without the indoor coil replacement, but especially if you are trying to get a higher efficiency system.
    You will lose the effective efficiency of the condenser if the indoor coil does not match the same efficiency rating.

    Also the air flow and the existing furnace has a lot to do with the actual efficiency that you will get out of any system.

    How old is your furnace, if the a/c is 20 years old??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4
    The furnace is over 20 years old as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,841
    Replace it all it will save you money in the long run.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453
    I will have to agree with 'Frame', even though I'm not a big one on just replacing systems. But if yur goin to spend the money for the a/c part, you will money ahead to replace the furnace.
    And yu will ensure your higher efficiency ( even in heat)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for your responses! I guess the next question is cost/benefit of 10 seer system vs. 12 seer or 13 seer?
    Thanks again for your help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,086
    Originally posted by 53fleet
    Thanks for your responses! I guess the next question is cost/benefit of 10 seer system vs. 12 seer or 13 seer?
    Thanks again for your help.
    As of January 23 next year, the lower SEER units will no longer be made and will no longer be available for sale once existing stocks are depleted. Parts for lower SEER units will still be available, but as manufacturers ramp up for the 13 SEER mandate, they are likely to produce less replacement components (such as compressors and coils) for lower SEER equipment.

    Concurrent with this is the ongoing phase-out of Freon 22 refrigerants. Much if not most of the 13 SEER equipment will use R410A, which for better or worse appears to be here to stay as the replacement for R22. Although R22 will not stop being produced until 2020, there are mandated reductions in R22 production up to that year. That means this refrigerant will only become more expensive as it becomes less available, with an ongoing reduction of R410A in price as it becomes more widely used.
    Also, no equipment using R22 can be manufactured past 2010.

    You might get a price break on 10 SEER equipment now, but if you plan to remain in your home for some time, the 13 SEER with R410A seems like a better investment.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    I agree with hound, you might also consider taking advantage of low interest rates and just have it all done now. Check with the local utility and see if they are currently offering any rebates on high efficiency equipment.

    You might find the higher efficiency along with a rebate is a pretty wise investment versus doing the minimum now and having to replace it all next go around when you are closer to a fixed income.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,841
    R410A, which for better or worse appears to be here to stay as the replacement for R22.

    EPA said they may not be,that is 410A no one should plan on it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453

    53 Fleet

    Personally, I don't think a system above 13 Seer is worth the money. And though the 410 system are the new 'thing', they haven't been tested enough for me to recommend them.
    Besides, R-22 will be around longer than this new unit will last you, and then maybe, the next changeout you do can be with a better alternative.
    I also firmly believe that once the 410 bandwagon reaches its peak, there will be several drop-in replacements for R-22, as there is now for R-12 systems ( no longer have to change over to 134A)

    But, of course, this is my opinion only. And, at least on this site, I think, an unpopular opinion.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,786
    Change out both now, and save on both heating and cooling.

    If your area uses a/c more then heat you might benifit from 13 seer.
    As far as 22 or 410a, a 13 seer is the same eff, with both gases.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,172
    You may also consider instead of installing a furnace, install an airhandler with a small electric heat package. You may be better to install a heat pump. Just something to consider.
    Saddle Up!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Coastal Georgia
    Posts
    34,902
    You sound too poor to own rental property....move out and rent your own place where you had the unit changed out.

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