all new systems i have seen have some type of electronics in them. blower control timers, ignition controls, protection modules,etc. i have seen no more failures in high end units than any others. air conditioners have actually eliminated some electronics with new scroll compressors not needing time delays. my feeling has been to get the best unit you can, even if utility rates are not that bad now what will they do during the 15-20 year life of that equipment.
All of those fancy electronics saved me the cost of a condenser when one of the hurricanes so gracefully lifted mine and caused the screw from the hurricane strap to put a nice hole in the coil, releasing all the refrigerant. Because the higher-end systems usually have more protection circuits, the phase monitor & low pressure safety engaged, preventing the compressor from running. SO rather than buying a whole new unit, I got off with just a new coil.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by robnjr
[B] I like the KISS concept (keep it simple, stupid!), and my systems now are about as simple as split AC can be.....I dread the day I'll have to replace my systems, and also was wondering about the tradeoffs between reliability and having the latest bells and whistles: when the time comes I'll probably try and keep it as simple as possible,
I live by the KISS principle also. You can't get away from electronics these days ( I hated it when they started putting electronic boards in units ). As someone else said, most of the time, it seems, that the problem with the boards are the relay functions. So you have to replace a 150.00 board just because a 2.50 relay contact went bad.
And how reliable do you think all the bells & whistles are?? Every bell & every whistle adds more 'parts', more parts = more repairs ( on average ).
Its easy to say that more parts mean less reliability but in reality it's just not always so. Someone mentioned cars, you know, take the old muscle cars of the 70's and see how many of those broke down, and when was the last time your car broke down.
Every part has a designed cycle life, for instance a relay may have a life of 10,000 cycles under normal conditions. On average those relays will last 10,000 cycles. Forget to change the filter and now you add a whole new dynamic to that scenerio. Drip water from the condensate pan on it and the rules simply dont apply. Why, or how could we suggest adding safety controls to a system makes the system less reliable? Look at defrost clocks, the old ones break down alot more than the new ones. Of course if the charge is not right, it will not defrost properly, but todays tech, changes the defrost board because he hasnt been schooled properly, in fact he'll change it 3 times before he starts to think it might be something else.
These new machines are every bit as reliable as thier predisessors, only they do alot more work when they are now subjected to additional tasks and craftsmanship of the installation with attention to detail has suffered.
Properly installed and maintained, a high efficiency system will last as long if not longer than a cheaper one.
If you had to keep a car for 15-20 years and you absolutely had to repair every problem with equipment, as you do with an Hvac system, would you have power windows, power door locks, power antenna, seats that move and adjust, etc. How expensive would it be compared to a sedan with manual windows, etc.
This is the way I view it.
You know, my daughter has an old Rodeo, with roll up windows, and the track keeps breaking. I simply cant think of any time I had to mess with my power windows. Her clutch has failed twice yet my automatic transmission never skips a beat. Her sparkomatic radio sounds like crap, yet mine sounds like a symphony.
Next you would have to consider the value of the comfort. Surely you would rather take the long trip in the car with the bells and whistles than the one with duct tape holding the seats in place. The argument sounds fair enough but the life of a car, just like a hvac system is soley dependent on how it is treated and maintained.
I bet voltage surges due to lightning cause a lot more of the electronics failures than you guys think. Think about it. Air handler is connected to a huge conductive radiating mass that extends throughout the house (duct work), through roof vent and gas piping (if gas fired heater), and out to the compressor through stat wires and copper lines. That's in addition to the electrical wiring. Any close lightning strikes will induce huge voltage surges through all these conductive paths which are connected to the circuit board ground. Imagine what the lifespan of a home computer would be if it were hooked up to such a huge conducting mass. The best bet is to ensure that everything that's electrically conductive is bonded together and properly grounded (cheap), install a whole house surge protector at the service entrance ($85), and plug your air handler into inline surge protection ($6).
the interesting thing I'm hearing is that stepping down to a mid-range system does -not- get me much better KISS - sounds like I'd have to go to a minimal builder grade system, and if I don't want to - maybe I might as well go for the evolution and get all the preventative logic as well?
No the mid-grade system still do not have all the bells & whistles that a top-grade would. Thats because the top grades are offering more than just cooling the home to a certain temp. They offer humidity control methods, de-humidity methods, higher-end filtration systems,high cost programmable thermostats, etc. But as far as just cooling yur home to that certain temp., they won't do any better job than a mid-grade system. ( except that they will use less electricity, but, in my opinion, will cost so much more installed that you won't see the payback.
To me, its like a car, the bells & whistles of the high-end systems are like the auto windows, doorlocks, ect. on yur auto. Really does nothing for making the car run better, just added 'extra stuff'. And as most people know, the 'extra stuff' can cause more repair bills. ( my wifes car passenger window won't roll down - one more repair than my van ( manual windows ) won't need, ever.)
I am not trying to influence yur decision, just giving you both sides so that you make make the right choice for yurself.
Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
Originally posted by jeffw_00 the interesting thing I'm hearing is that stepping down to a mid-range system does -not- get me much better KISS - sounds like I'd have to go to a minimal builder grade system, and if I don't want to - maybe I might as well go for the evolution and get all the preventative logic as well?
And the comfort as well.Plus regardless of the model series,go with the Factory 10 Year Parts and labor,worth for the peace of mind alone.
Use the search function here,keyword Infinity ,then Evolution,see what other owners think of theirs,they love them,some have had some duct problems ,but I think most were resolved,as that product tattletales on a bad duct system,with others it may never get corrected.