Hi - glad I found this forum, I've looked at some similar threads, but I think my situation is a bit different...
I live in New England, have a 2800sq ft "multi-level" house (four 1/2 levels incl. basement), and have an 18 year old 4-ton York system, with the air-handler and duct work in the attic (various tricks with ducting through closets and such gets cool air to every level). Knock wood, it has never given me trouble or needed any maintenance, and York claims it could last another 8-10 years. I had it checked out recently - coils were clean, freon was fine, differential across air-handler was 12DegF.
The only 'problem' I've had over the years is that when outside temp <72, and it's humid, the system can cool before it has really dehumidified.
However, I really believe (though I can't prove it) that its warm weather (outside temp >= 85) performance isn't what it used to be. On a hot day, the compressor runs continually all day, and the inside temp never gets below 75 (for all the energy spent, it's not really comfortable, and that's a shame - we usually keep the house at 72DegF).
When I first got the system, I could come home at the end of a hot day (no one was home during the day back then), turn the system on with the house hot, and it would be comfortable in under 45 minutes.
So maybe, despite the temp across the air-handler, SOMETHING is degrading, and it's time to replace. Or maybe I'm just more sensitive to hi-temp these days... 8-}.
I know a new system will be more energy efficient, but should I really expect a noticable performance improvement in a new system? (I though 15DegF was ideal across the air-handler). If so, what are the most reliable systems out there? I would expect to stay with 4-ton (otherwise during the cooler days it will cool WAY too quickly).
Any, all suggestions welcome, I need to figure out what I should be focusing on here.
/j (a bit warm in NE)
[Edited by jeffw_00 on 06-05-2005 at 06:42 PM]