Need help on which system to install

canaligatorMarch 26, 2014

I am looking to replace two 25 year old air conditioning systems. I have received two very comparable bids using different equipment. One bid is using an American Standard Model 4A7A3030G1000A 13.00 Seer 2.5 ton condenser, with an American Standard Model TAM4A0A30S21SC Air Handler, and a BAYWAAA05SC1AA Hydronic Coil. The other bid is using a Trane Model 4TTB3030G1000A XB-13 13.00 Seer 2.5 ton Condenser, with an ADP Model BCRMB6636S3N3 3 Ton 13.00 Seer TXV Nonbleed 120V3 Row 3 Speed Air Handler w/66K Coil. I also have a 3 ton unit to replace using similar equipment. Both contractors also priced upgrading to 16 Seer units. The American Standard contractor's price to upgrade to 16 Seer units was actually a little less than the rebate I could receive from the utility company, so that's a no brainer. The Trane contractor's price to upgrade to 16 Seer units was about twice as much as the rebate I would receive, so that's a tougher decision. I am leaning towards the American Standard units. I did a little research and found the Trane XB-13 was their low end unit, but still good. I am not at all familiar with the American Standard units. Another issue I have is that I need to have a 110 volt air handler, which is why the Trane contractor went with an ADP air handler. Is the American Standard Air Handler listed above compatible with 110 volts? Any input or help would be greatly appreciated.

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I had to replace my a/c in our last home and here is a few things I did while researching the options.

- I did not go with the XB-13. It's the basic builder's model and went one above that level.

- I got ten estimates. I liked TRANE and that seemed to hold up best in South Florida. I think American Standard owns Trane but not sure if they make Trane/AS in the same factory. In South Florida there are more HVAC contractors than gators so it was best to get a lot of bids.

- Our current home has a 11 year old Trane XR12/Variable speed air handler (iT came with the house, we have been here 4.5 years) and it has worked perfectly except for replacing a contact switch 3 years ago in the air handler. It is very quiet too. My neighbor has a AS system and it's loud as hell.

- The bids were for the same equipment options (XR-13) with variable speed air handler, 2.5 ton.

- The bids estimates were about 2-4 thousand dollars difference from the various HVAC contractors so there is a lot of wiggle room with HVAC contractors. I felt some of the bids were high based on the "throw a number out there and hope it sticks" model of bidding.

- The company I went with was a son/father company that had been in business for 10 years. The son owned the company and was very friendly and knowledgeable. He explored all the different options and explained the plus and minus with each one. We chatted for about 2 hours. The other contractors limited their selling to about 20 minutes and I can understand that due to time is money for them.

- The son/father company I hired did a great job and I was very happy with the Trane. It was very quiet and my electric bill did go down a bit. (Replaced a 20 year old Trane).

- I recently called the person that bought that home and he reported zero problems with the Trane XR-13. It's been 6 years since it was installed so that is pretty good.

- The installation is the key and there are a lot of shoddy HVAC companies (like any profession), so going with a company that has good recommendations is key.

- Also, you might look at your vents/ducts before you do the new install. Look for leaks, gaps etc...if it is flex duct see if any tears etc....

- Are they going to replace the old copper line sets? I would think so but sometimes they just flush them and reuse them. The old gas is R22 and the new gas is R410 .
I spent about 3 weeks reading about HVAC on the various forums get up to speed on the technology and options before I got my first bid and still there were many things to discuss.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:19PM
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