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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    3

    Confused

    Have decided that I want to replace a dead 1988 Rheem AC unit and tired Rheem gas furnace split system with a 14 Seer 5T Amana unit with 92% variable speed 2 stage gas furnace. Thought that would be a nice upgrade.
    A local HVAC contractor says 14 Seer units are only trouble and technology is really not there and that I should go with a 12 seer instead. He goes on saying 92% variable speed furnace may save gas $$ for a while but when it breaks down, part replacement is 5-10 times the cost despite a manufactures warrenty like the Amana lifetime warrenty so any savings to that time will evaporate.
    It just so happens, he installs Frigidaire and I don't think they even offer the high efficiency models but am not sure. He said they do when asked.
    Is this fellow stretching the truth a bit?

    Greg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453
    In my opinion, 14 seer is not worth the money you will pay upfront for it. Much less repairs. I would think that the repairs would be more costly ( defintely if V/S ), but whether you would have more repairs, I can't say. I've never put one in. I also don't believe they will last as long, but I have no data to back up, just a notion.

    Richard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579

    High SEER units are no less reliable than lower SEER units.

    As far as cost and payback goes I use a computer program that calculates the expected energy cost for each of my quotes and I run the analysis for each system and its particular SEER. The program works with the load calculation program so the results are specific to that particular installation.

    I plug in the installed cost for a 12 SEER and a 14 SEER system for that installation and the program calculates the cost savings of the 14 SEER over the 12 SEER system and gives the payback for the higher SEER unit in months or years depending on the results.

    I found the program to be pretty accurate. I have checked back with customers who keep track of their energy costs and who have had a separate electric meter for their heating and cooling system. The results of the calculation were always fairly accurate as compared to what the actual cost of operation turned out to be.



    [Edited by NormChris on 08-03-2005 at 08:16 PM]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    9

    Nothing wrong w/14 seer

    There are quite a few 14 & 16 seer units units in service.Basically the biggest difference difference is a larger condenser coil and they probably use R-410a refrigerant.I only sell Bryant/Carrier so I can't speak for other brands but I haven't heard any negatives.Most of the lower priced units aren't making 14 seer yet but after Jan.1 all units made must be at least 13 seer.I suspect you're service contractor doesn't have 14 Seer equipment readily available.Get a few more estimates and then make your decision.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    460
    As an aside, I recall reading that a variable speed DC blower motor basically gives you 1+ SEER over the equivalent non-VS blower system, so you can achieve 13 SEER with a 12 SEER condenser just by pairing it with a variable speed air-handler.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by gkk2001
    Have decided that I want to replace a dead 1988 Rheem AC unit and tired Rheem gas furnace split system with a 14 Seer 5T Amana unit with 92% variable speed 2 stage gas furnace. Thought that would be a nice upgrade.
    A local HVAC contractor says 14 Seer units are only trouble and technology is really not there and that I should go with a 12 seer instead. He goes on saying 92% variable speed furnace may save gas $$ for a while but when it breaks down, part replacement is 5-10 times the cost despite a manufactures warrenty like the Amana lifetime warrenty so any savings to that time will evaporate.
    It just so happens, he installs Frigidaire and I don't think they even offer the high efficiency models but am not sure. He said they do when asked.
    Is this fellow stretching the truth a bit?

    Greg


    Yes ,a bit and then some!!!

  7. #7
    SEER 10,12,13,14,15,16 the failure rate is usually higher on the lower SEER units because most of them have less protective devices. As for how much energy you will save will depend on your climate, and if your unit is sized properly. The SEER rating drops dramatically on oversized units. Today anyone buying less than the mandated minimum in 6 months of a SEER 13 is out of their senses. Anyone buying a unit that should last 10 to 15 years that operates on Refrigerant 22 knowing that in 2009 a short four years from now the supply is mandated to 35% of the total Refrigerant sales of 1999 borders on mental retardation. When the supply is reduced that dramatically your costs will (No Maybes about it)escalate dramatically. I would not want to own a 4 year old unit and be paying over $100.00/lb for R-22. If I were purchasing a new air conditioner today and planning on living in this house or selling this house, I would install the highest SEER available with R410A Refrigerant. The Choice I would make would be extremely simple.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    34.8n 102.4w
    Posts
    3,244
    Do you still drive your 1978 Granada ???

    Probrably cheaper to fix than those fancy new cars...

    Do you still watch that 13" black and white tv.??

    Buy the best you can and then take care of it.
    Life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,732
    have been selling 14 seer lennox units for a long time to qualify for utility rebates. reliability has been incredible. have had some problems in older units with cheap time delays. have not had a scroll compressor failure in at least 5-6 years.

  10. #10
    Oh no! I am out of my senses and retarded cause I just bought a 10 seer r-22 model less than two years ago.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    Originally posted by dave and julie
    Oh no! I am out of my senses and retarded cause I just bought a 10 seer r-22 model less than two years ago.
    no, only "bordering" on retardation.

    crt,

    you must be a real insider to know the future price of refrigerant. how much will 410a be per lb.?

    a refrigerant system should never have to have refrigerant added, and if so the leak should be found and repaired.

    you can't be serious when you advocate installing the highest seer system available. what if your customer base is in minnesota, where a/c is only used a couple of months per year? the payback time would be longer than the system will last.
    10 seer is more than adequate in this situation.

    unfortunetley, these low usage homeowners are going to be stuck with an unnecessary added expense.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    460
    Originally posted by dave and julie
    Oh no! I am out of my senses and retarded cause I just bought a 10 seer r-22 model less than two years ago.
    It's a cost-benefit analysis. You have to weigh the additional cost of the higher SEER equipment vs. how much it saves you over the life of the equipment. Someone here had posted a calculator on that showed you a payback analysis.

    If your cooling costs are very high, then the higher SEER stuff pays for itself quickly, possibly saving $5-8K or even more (for a large house) over the life of the equipment (and even more if you also count heating savings)

    In cooler areas, it might never pay for itself.


  13. #13
    I'm in michigan and my a/c bill is about $45 a month in the hottest months. So yeah, I'm pretty happy with my 10 seer unit. It costs half as much to run as my old '78 magic chef, though I do miss that cute little chef guy on the logo. I think this thing may have paid for itself already in the two summers I have had it... well not quite yet.

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