New owner of 1960s 1 story cinderblock constr. house (1600 sq ft). Currently have Tempstar 3 ton package unit. Outside fan runs but came home from long weekend to find no air blowing inside. Compressor alone is 10 yrs old. Had contractor in yesterday. Told me to assume previous unit worked well (I've only had the ac on once for 7-days when I had company; seemed to work OK). Three dif inspectors (pre-purchase; insurance; termite) have told me I have great insulation in the attic. I guess that's why I'm comfortable in the house with just the fans and windows/doors open. Contractor wants to sell me 12 SEER Tempstar 3 ton package system (slap in) for $2800. I'm told that in January '06 FL has new regs which will prohibit new installations below 13 SEER minimum. Contractor told me can't have higher SEER system because old-style duct work (wrapped not flexible) can't accommodate. Does this make sense? Im concerned about buying a soon to be obsolete system. It's got a ten year wty on parts/compressor. But contractor told me the Tempstar I have and the one I'll get are beasts to work on. I really don't want to revamp the ductwork. I don't plan on doing any significant remodelling. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.
In your location high sEER will save money.
Package units above 12 SEER are few ,but some brands may have them now,do to the changes going next January.
The insulation you now have in the attic ,wasn't there when the home was built,central A/C may not have been either.I'd get a load calculation done,to see if a smaller system will handle it ,as that insulation may not have been there when the A/C was first installed.
His comment on the ducts ,relating to high SEER unit ,baffle me.I know old metal ducts in Florida with poor insulation , can sweat and cause a major problem,just don't see the connection to SEER.
Carrier 50XP series is 13.0 SEER and a Variable Speed indoor fan,nice system.
Originally posted by dash
His comment on the ducts ,relating to high SEER unit ,baffle me.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". -Vernon Law-
"Skilled Labor Isn't Cheap, Cheap Labor Isn't Skilled" - Unknown
Thanks Dash and MrBill
THe house was constructed with AC (I have original building plans). Have 2 more Ks coming over. One said he probably can install a 12.6 AmStd/Trane system and said I might be able to go with a 3.5 ton system on same pad. He said obj of all systems is to cool approx 20 degrees below outside temp (w/in reason) and that 1 ton cools about 500 sq ft under air. What are pros/cons of going to 3.5 ton? Is there a noise issue relative to the existing duct work? I've seen elsewhere on this site many pros saying concern myself less with brand and more with installer expertise. So far, I'm not finding anyone who offers to do a load test. Is it b/c this is the busy season here? Also, 5 yrs ago Consumer Reports did a piece on central air. Not a ratings piece, mainly info. They did print results of a brand reliability survey. Am Std, Trane, Ruud, Tempstar were top and Carrier among the bottom (which surprised me). Do you think that rep was deserved in 2000? Have they made strides since? Thanks again for your input. There are SOOOOO many AC contractors in the yellow pages, it's hard to choose who to do an estimate with. None of the neighbors has had replacement AC recently. Regards.
A larger system ,requires larger ducts,without the correct size ducts,it will likely be noisey,surely lose SEER,and likely lose a 1/2 ton or more,of capacity.
May 2000 consumer reports,read the fine print,margin of error in survey X%,then look best to worst rating ,about the same percentage.What a farce.
Do your own load calculation ,on this site,see the "bullseye " above.
In Florida,going from R11 to R30 in the attic ,which may be what was down,will reduce the tonnage required by a half ton on a 1600 sg ft home.
I really appreciate the responses; I like to be less than clueless when I'm dealing with a significant purchase like this. Your comments are most helpful in interpreting what the techs/salespeople say. Regards.
No Manual J calc = no dice... find a contractor willing to do the Manual J calc. The ballpark idea of doing HVAC just doesn't work. There's too many variables from one house to another for it to be accurate. I wouldn't even think of changing out an AC without a load calc.
Dash Have you used any of those 50XP's yet? I have an equipment outbuilding with a Tempstar that's on its last legs and could use the improved SEER. The extra dehumidifcation would be nice too
We installed a few,they are kind of pricey.
A good place to start searching for contractors...
Go to the web sights for Carrier, Trane, Rheam, etc.
I'm sure all of them have dealer locators on them.
Some of the brand names have a higher class of contractors.
i.e. Trane Comfort Specialist, RheamTeam (http://www.rheemteam.com/ I put you a link for that since it was kinda hard to find), etc.
Ask what certifications they have... RSES, NATE, etc.