Conflicting HVAC replacment info

ksb2013April 20, 2013

I live in Florida and need to replace my a/c system. I have an 1790 sq ft townhouse. I asked for quotes on a 16 SEER system. I received estimates from 2 companies for Trane and Ruud systems.

Company #1 came and measured everything (window etc) for a heat load calculation and told me I need a 3 ton unit (Ruud 14AJM36 and RHLL-HM3617)

Company #2 used a heat load calculation from Rheem with infomation from the property appraisor, they did not measure anything. They told me I need a 3 1/2 ton (Ruud 14AJM42 and RHLL-HM3821). In addition I asked them for an estimate on a 3 ton to compare "apples with apples" (Ruud 14AJM36 and RHLL-HM 3821)

I don't know who to believe regarding the size required and it also seems strange that the air handlers between the two companies using the same Ruud compressor would have different model numbers. I wonder if one of the companies is using older equipment. The first company also told me Trane is much better than Ruud and the second company told me he wouldn't use Trane in Florida because of mold problems.

It is a big purchase and I want to make the right decision, especially because we have hot /humid days 9-10 months out of the year.

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tigerdunes

I like Rudd/Rheem HVAC. Solid equipment that is underrated and often overlooked. Just to be clear, Rudd/Rheem are sister companies.

I do not care though for the AJM line of condensers. Would strongly recommend the next step up in models.

One dealer quotes a 3 ton, one a 3 1/2 ton model. That is the reason for different air handler model numbers. Both air handlers quoted are high efficiency models but not var speed which I would recommend for Florida location due to improved dehumidification in AC mode.

I suppose the most important question is sizing and this begs an answer to what size you are replacing and how did it perform?

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:26PM
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ryanhughes

"The first company also told me Trane is much better than Ruud and the second company told me he wouldn't use Trane in Florida because of mold problems."

Does the second company care to elaborate? Sound like a poor, non-factual sales pitch to me.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:34PM
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tigerdunes

Yep, Ryan is correct.

No credibility with that statement. Pure nonsense!

IMO

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:40PM
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ksb2013

I have now gotten 3 estimates to replace my a/c system. Only 2 companies actually measures rooms, windows etc.. to prepare a heat load calculation and determined I need a 3 ton system instead of a 3 1/2 ton, which was originally put in when the townhome was built in 2003. I feel I have always had high summer electric bills (live in SW Florida) Only one of these companies told me I should get a 2 stage outside unit. Both companies gave me quotes on a Trane and a Ruud/Rheem.

The first company has been in business for at least twice as long as the second and have an A+ BBB rating with no complaints. The price of the Trane is $4500.00 after $585 FP rebate (XB14 and XRGAM5) with 1 year labor and no future maintence included. The Ruud system quote is $4468.00 after $585 FPL rebate (14AJM36 and RHLLHM3617)

The second company has been in business about 6 years and has an A rating with the BBB with 3 resolved complaints involving advertising. They quoted the following:
Trane 3 ton 16 seer, single stage, R-410a split system, 10 yr all parts, 3 yr labor, 3 yr maintenance. The condensor model is the XR15, the air handler is GAM5 Hyperion. The cost is $4500 after $585 FPL rebate.
Rheem 3 ton 16 seer, two stage, R-410a split system, 10 yr all parts, 3 yr labor, 3 yr maintenance. The condensor model is 16AJL, the air handler is RHPL.
The cost is $4900 after $585 FPL rebate. This company also will include a UV light.

The first company didn't try to sell me a 2-stage a/c and the second company seemed to feel that is what I really need, although they said the single stage Trane would be fine. Please help!! I don't know what is correct.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 11:40AM
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tigerdunes

I will assume you are being sized correctly and that 3 ton is where you should be.

These are straight AC systems with air handlers?

What size heat strip if any were quoted?

On your townhouse, any common walls shared by your TH?

Roof on your TH or another TH.

Coastal location or inland?

The XR15 is the nicest system.

AHRI matching system below.

4150912 Active Systems XR15 TRANE 4TTR5036E1 GAM5A0C42M31 36600 13.50 16.50 1 RCU-A-CB 268 Yes

If you want improved dehumidification then upgrade to var speed air handler which I would recommend.

AHRI matching system below.

4385357 Active Systems XR15 TRANE 4TTR5036E1 *AM7A0C42H31 36200 13.00 16.00 1 RCU-A-CB 274 Yes

I would want HW Mdl 8321 thermostat.
Maybe a 5 KW heat strip if heat is ever required for your location.

Any questions, let me know.

IMO

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:07PM
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satyen4uall

As per my experience every company always gives different - different quote on the same fitting. I gone through posts here and IMO suggesting well.

If you have no budget issue then Daikin and Carrier are also best brand in the world. If you want cheapest and reliable then you can go with Goodman Air Conditioner.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 1:09AM
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tigerdunes

"If you want cheapest and reliable then you can go with Goodman Air Conditioner."

Cheapest yes, reliable? Humm...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 4:27PM
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satyen4uall

My friend is using Goodman Air Conditioner from last 7 years and there is no problem with him. Also he is not facing servicing issue.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Spuds123

I have a Goodman ac unit in the attic and goodman condenser for the last 4 years in the North East. Never any problems. I think a large amount of the problems are Goodman are sold as cheaper options by cut rate installers. The make or break issue on hvac is how well the equipment is installed (IMO) - sure quality of the equipment is important for sure, but install a good piece of equipment badly and you are in for trouble.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:33PM
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