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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    57

    Question

    Hey everyone,

    Ok I ordered a new package system, mostly based on the advice from the members of this forum and on my research and impressions of the contractor. I ordered the American Standard YCX036G-M, which is a 12 SEER gas/electric unit. The contractor is supposed to call me Thursday to schedule an installation date (which will take place within the next two or three weeks).

    However, and I know this seems awful late to ask this since I already placed the order, but after reading so much about heat pumps, and how they are indicated for mild-winter places, am I making a mistake by going with a natural gas unit? Are there heat pumps that are comparable in price (the unit I mean) to a gas furnace?

    Second, what should I look for DURING the installation? I don't want to breath down the installers' necks, rather I want to bring them sandwiches and sodas, but I also would like to know if I should look for certain signs that will reasure me that the installers are good (or not hehehehe).

    Oh, and last, I read a thread that talked about not being able to test the A/C unit if it was too cold. I live in Tucson, AZ, and despite what many of you might believe, it is starting to coold down rapidly (yesterday it was 78 degrees), so should this be a concern?

    I thak you in advance for your input.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    That package unit is pre charged from the factory and shouldn't need the refrigerant levels adjusted.

    Why didn't you go with the 14 SEER or duel fuel?

    Much nicer units for your area.
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,793

    mabe you could get

    some references from the contractor and check them out. You can see what kind of install that you dont want from this sight (wall of shame). And lastly,you can check an A/C charge in cold weather by wrapping or partially blocking the condenser to get the head pressure up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915

    Re: mabe you could get

    The choice of gas or heat pump really depends on the rates in your area, and what they may do in the future.

    If you opted for a heat pump with straight electric backup heat, you would likely have to provide for more electric service to the unit for the electic backup heat, wich could become relativly expensive, depending on the situation.

    Originally posted by air2spare
    And lastly,you can check an A/C charge in cold weather by wrapping or partially blocking the condenser to get the head pressure up.
    You can ballpark it like that, but you still need a good heat load in the house to be accurate, especially with fixed metering(wich sucks anyway).
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,793

    Mark,

    is it not true that heat pumps are to be charged in the cooling mode?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    57

    Pictures and answers

    I thank all of you for the replies. Air2spare, I already checked out the contractor, and I feel comfortable with his abilities and professionalism. However, it was not clear to me whether I need to worry about the A/C charging/testing. Does this system come precharged, or should I call them back during the spring so that they rechek the charge? Thx.

    Yellow Dot, first thank you for your response. I did not go with the 14 SEER because I will only live in this house for 3 more years, and after working the numbers and consulting with this forum, I concluded that the price difference would not pay for itself in 3 yrs. But this is why I was asking about the heat pump.

    I forgot to say, I will post some pictures of the before and after, so you guys can judge for yourselves whether the contractor did a good job. Within the next couple of days I will post pictures of whtat's currently there (swamp cooler and old furnace), and when it gets installed I will post the corresponding pics. Thanks everyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915

    Re: Mark,

    Originally posted by air2spare
    is it not true that heat pumps are to be charged in the cooling mode?
    Yes, why do you ask?

    If is cold out, and the load in the house is low, especially if the house is loosing heat, you can't very accuratly check the charge by blocking off part of the condensor coil to get the pressures up.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,368

    Thumbs up Equipment Selection

    Originally posted by mlbussert
    I ordered the American Standard YCX036G-M, which is a 12 SEER gas/electric unit. The contractor is supposed to call me Thursday to schedule an installation date (which will take place within the next two or three weeks).

    Are there heat pumps that are comparable in price (the unit I mean) to a gas furnace?

    I live in Tucson, AZ, and despite what many of you might believe, it is starting to cool down rapidly (yesterday it was 78 degrees), so should this be a concern?
    for TUCSON ... get the highest SEER Heat Pump.

    Do you need heating in AZ? L O L
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453

    mlbussert

    Just heard on the news last night that the price of natural gas is suppose to go up 50% or more this year. A heat pump may be the better choice. !2 seer would be my recommendation also.

    Hope this helps,
    Richard

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    57

    Talking Re: Equipment Selection


    Do you need heating in AZ? L O L
    I know it sounds funny, but overnight we actually get down to the 20s several days in the winter. During the day the temperature is mostly tollerable (with a sweater or light coat), but at night, when I often work, it can get chilly.

    I have two further questions. Are ducts supposed to be insulated from the inside? I mean the sections of duct that have to be exposed.
    Also, would painting the ducts with white reflective paint have an actual (if any) effect on thier efficiency or insulation during the hot Arizona summer?

    I thank you for your input.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,573
    I'm assuming this is a RTU
    On the exposed ducts- do yourself a favor- even if a little more money- install a curb for the RTU & install it as a bottom discharge. I would insist on no exposed ducts on roof. They are a future leak waiting to happen. RTU w/ curb buttons up everything quite nicely.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    57
    Originally posted by precision hvac
    I'm assuming this is a RTU
    On the exposed ducts- do yourself a favor- even if a little more money- install a curb for the RTU & install it as a bottom discharge. I would insist on no exposed ducts on roof. They are a future leak waiting to happen. RTU w/ curb buttons up everything quite nicely.
    What is RTU? and a curb? The only part that would have to be exposed would be a section of the return, but the supply will go directly onto the roof plenum (I think). Thanks for all the info.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,288
    Originally posted by mlbussert
    What is RTU? and a curb? The only part that would have to be exposed would be a section of the return, but the supply will go directly onto the roof plenum (I think). Thanks for all the info. [/B]
    RTU=roof top unit

    A curb is a sheetmetal adapter that is installed on the roof to set the package unit on. The units supply and return will exit/enter the bottom of the unit through the curb so no duct work is exposed to the elements. This is very common in commercial installs.

    If you are in an area that has mild Winter weather that sometimes falls into the 20's then a dual fuel heat pump would be a very good choice for you for energy savings. Trane has a dual fuel package heat pump that works well. I bet American Standard has a unit that is similar if not the same.

    BTW, a heat pump can be charged in the Winter. The only accurate way to do it is weigh in the charge after fixing the leak.

    I have seen package units that are precharged at the factory actually not charged correctly. It would not be a bad idea to have the charge checked.

    Hope this helps.





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