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  #1  
Old 08-10-2010, 11:19 AM
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HVAC Replacement Unit

I am replacing the package HVAC unit in my home.The blower motor went and I don't want to get it repaired.
I have a 20 yr old Carrier Gas air and AC and the installer/servicer has given me a quote to install this unit in my home:
http://www.residential.carrier.com/products/packaged/gasac/performance.shtml

His price is 7,695 less 700 in carrier rebates. So, about a 7 grand outlay. 5500 after I get a 1500 energy credit on my '10 tax return. He says I ought to save 40% in electric on the AC side and about 15% on the heating side. Last month my elec bill was 204.00 My house is a single story 2100 sf living area approx. 25 yrs old with original insulation materials.

I don't have any complaint about Carrier, but I don't have any knowledge in this area either. The unit has run pretty well in the 12 years I have owned the home.

Comments on price, unit quality, other similar quality brands, etc.

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  #2  
Old 08-10-2010, 11:51 AM
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Rheem is a good brand, ours just gave out after 30 years of service. Also $7000 seems awful high for central air replacement.
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2010, 12:01 PM
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Sounds expensive to me also - it says (40-130k btu) and where do you live ?

Are they just changing the outside unit ? inside unit ? new piping ? any new/modified ductwork ?

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  #4  
Old 08-10-2010, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel View Post
Sounds expensive to me also - it says (40-130k btu) and where do you live ?

Are they just changing the outside unit ? inside unit ? new piping ? any new/modified ductwork ?

-John
The entire unit is outside and will sit on the same pad as the presesnt unit. There is no "inside unit". They will need to fabricated some new duct work I am sure, all exterior though, just to fit new unit openings to existing duct dimensions . The may have to repipe the gas line a little, but it's right alongside the gas meter.

I live near the southern New Jersey coast, about 5 miles from the ocean and 3 miles from Delaware Bay. Pretty much surrounded by water on 3 sides. Winters are usually moderate, except this past one. Summers not too hot, except this one.

I am getting a couple of other quotes.
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2010, 09:28 PM
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My 2-1/2 ton failed this spring. Quotes ranged from $5.5k to $8k. All but one tried to upsize me to a 3 ton. Carrier and Lennox seem to price a little higher than other makes. A single unit probably makes it an apples/oranges comparison to my setup though.

I'm a little surprised a 14 SEER qualifies for the credit.
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2010, 09:37 PM
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whats the SEER value on the unit? we paid about that for our Train..Trane? units inside and out, Granted we had some fun extras put on though, without the other things our bill was 3800 for the air handler and outside unit.
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2010, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynalow View Post
My house is a single story 2100 sf living area approx. 25 yrs old with original insulation materials.
I also have a single story house with about 2100 sf of living area, and it was built in 1980 (30 years old).

I replaced my entire HVAC system three years ago, including the ducting in the attic.

I went with a Rheem unit, and my total install was about $6,700.00, before rebates and tax credits.

I think all name brand companies are abouth the same, whether you go with Rheem, Trane, or Carrier. It is the installation that is important.

My a/c bill in the summer went down by at least 50%. The savings are incredible.
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2010, 11:56 PM
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I use a frigidaire in the window.

Carrier and Trane make good stuff. My house has a 1 year old 98% efficiency "Nordyne" or whatever furnace.....it will be interesting to see how it holds up....it came with the house, otherwise I'd have put in a carrier/trane. Maybe it will prove me wrong.

My parents have a 26 year old trane furnace, and it has never failed. In my whole life it needed one thing repaired, the pilot light fuel pipe. Thats it. Still works fine, but they are going to replace it with a high efficiency model in the near future. 65% is a bit expensive to run.
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2010, 10:42 AM
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I had another guy come out yesterday. He installs Bryant. He said he had two gas air/heat & ac package units. One had a dual fuel heat system, with a heat pump for when temps were above 30 or 35 degres and a gas burner for when they fell below 30 deg. They also said they had a lower end model with a gas furnace heater only to go with the AC. He would sell me that for 5500 installed. (3.5 tons) I asked him for some more info on whether it qualified for the tax credit (he wasn't sure about the lower price unit qualifying). Still waiting to hear back from him.

http://www.bryant.com/products/packaged/index.shtml

Here's another question. A friend of mine told me to make sure the ductwork would be compatible (large enough?) with a new higher efficiency unit. I guess his point was that if a new unit has a more powerful blower and pushes air faster than the duct work area can efficintly move it, I'd just be wasting money buying a higher efficiency unit. It seems to me he's equating high efficiency to high air flow. I don't know if that's a legit relationship.
Are new units equipped with a very high flow and or variable speed fans that might make the existing duct work a cause for concern. All my duct work is in the crawl space. Older, rectangular shape.

FWIW, the guy yesterday told me my existing unit capacity was 4 tons. In his opinion I only needed 3.5 based on looking at my survey floor area. That's what he was quoting to me for 5500. I don't know which of the 3 models....evolution, preferred or legacy.. he was quoting me.

I'd appreciate any comments on that.

I have another call in for a third quote.. tap...tap....tap....tap....
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTStinger View Post
My 2-1/2 ton failed this spring. Quotes ranged from $5.5k to $8k. All but one tried to upsize me to a 3 ton. Carrier and Lennox seem to price a little higher than other makes. A single unit probably makes it an apples/oranges comparison to my setup though.

I'm a little surprised a 14 SEER qualifies for the credit.
Thanks for forcing me to look into this for my own knowledge..I pass along to others fyi.
Package units will. Split systems won't. Go figure...
This from the below link:
"Split Systems: SEER >= 16 & EER >=13 (What is SEER/EER?)

Package systems: SEER >= 14 & EER >= 12 (What is Split vs. Package?)"


Important Note: It is likely that you will have to replace your furnace as well to get an air conditioner that qualifies.

http://energystar.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/energystar.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=5697&p_created=1240593838&p_sid=cgfk4tEj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=5697&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MSwxJnBfcHJvZHM9MCZwX2NhdHM9JnBfcHY9JnB fY3Y9JnBfcGFnZT0xJnBfc2VhcmNoX3RleHQ9NTY5Nw**&p_li=&p_topview=1


You can look here for some specific units and manufacturers.
http://ari.org/Content/FederalTaxCredits_896.aspx
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:55 AM
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Ductwork is sized based on the capacity of the ac/furnace unit, not the efficiency. You need to move a certain amount of air to deliver 4 tons of cooling, for example, less for 3 tons, more for 5 tons. The amount of air you can move is based on the number and size of ducts.

Most homes have lousy ductwork - undersized, poorly designed, poorly installed. In a properly designed system the air should flow silently. If you have rumbling sounds, rattling grates, whoosing noises - then the ductwork is likely undersized. That's the most common problem, as HVAC contractors cheap out on every nickel they can save.

You want the ac to run continuously to keep the house comfortable on the hottest day. It is more efficient - and more comfortable - to have a smaller ac running more hours/day than a larger one which cycles on/off to maintain the temperature of the house. So if the 4 ton unit isn't working very hard this summer, then downsizing to a 3.5 ton might be the right thing to do. The longer run times of the smaller unit will do more to dehunidify the house, so it will be more comfortable at the same temperature as with the larger unit.
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcyuhn View Post
Ductwork is sized based on the capacity of the ac/furnace unit, not the efficiency. You need to move a certain amount of air to deliver 4 tons of cooling, for example, less for 3 tons, more for 5 tons. The amount of air you can move is based on the number and size of ducts.

Most homes have lousy ductwork - undersized, poorly designed, poorly installed. In a properly designed system the air should flow silently. If you have rumbling sounds, rattling grates, whoosing noises - then the ductwork is likely undersized. That's the most common problem, as HVAC contractors cheap out on every nickel they can save.

You want the ac to run continuously to keep the house comfortable on the hottest day. It is more efficient - and more comfortable - to have a smaller ac running more hours/day than a larger one which cycles on/off to maintain the temperature of the house. So if the 4 ton unit isn't working very hard this summer, then downsizing to a 3.5 ton might be the right thing to do. The longer run times of the smaller unit will do more to dehunidify the house, so it will be more comfortable at the same temperature as with the larger unit.
I won't say the unit hasn't been working hard this summer. But at night we need to lower the t'stat to keep some air circulating even though the air temp was comfortable. I guess that fits with your saying that a 3.5 will keep air moving longer than the 4 ton, which pushes more air quicker and rests with no air flow for longer intervals. We were only able to keep air circ'n in the BR by lowering the temp and dropping the temp cooler than necessary in the whole house, thus wasting energy.
Thanks for your comments jc. I do appreciate them.
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:41 PM
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You really need to replace your ducting.

Your ducting is practically paper thin, and you are losing a ton of heating and cooling efficiency by the time the cooled or heated air reaches the vents.

The ducting I put in has two inches thick of insulation.
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by suginami View Post
You really need to replace your ducting.

Your ducting is practically paper thin, and you are losing a ton of heating and cooling efficiency by the time the cooled or heated air reaches the vents.

The ducting I put in has two inches thick of insulation.
I don't know what the cost would be to replace it, but I imagine the payback period is longer than my life expexctancy.

Probably not by accident that neither guy has even mentioned the word "ducts" in their initial discussions.
But I will make it a point to discuss it with each.
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2010, 05:12 PM
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Ok. Done deal.

Trane XL16c 4YCZ6048 Gas/elec package.
http://www.trane.com/Residential/Products/Packaged-Units/XL16c-Gas-Electric-Packaged
16 Seer, 4 ton. Installed $6,250.

After the credit, its 4750,. That's 750 less that the 14 seer 4 ton Carrier Prestiege and only 150 more than the 14 seer 3.5 ton Preferred Bryant.
Case closed. Deposit given.
I'm pleased with it.

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