HelpNeeded - A/C Replace Quote/Options

barryg1July 31, 2011

Hi - Replacing an A/C system 2.5 Ton - Trane. Need help on options based on quote received:

Should I go with a variable speed, 15 SEER air handler (ie XL15i from Trane) or is a 13 SEER - basic, non-variable speed handler/system sufficient considering it probably saves me about $2000 dollars. ($7000 vs $5000). Feel free to comment on pricing as well. Was also given the option to just replace condenser for $2500. Assume that is not worth considering given that current system is 18 years old?

Thanks for your help,

Barry

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tigerdunes

Barry

It would be foolish and a big mistake to just replace outside condenser.

What is your location?

This is a HP system? You might look at the XR15 over the XL15i-it would save you some bucks.

today's heat pumps are as different as nite and day compared to your early 90s model especially in heating mode.

there are three equally important components-quality HVAC, the install by dealer, and probably the most overlooked and disregarded is the ductwork system.

these are my minimum specs for a new HP system. both outside and inside units should be replaced to have a properly matched system.

15 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 9 HSPF
best matching VS air handler
full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size
R-410a refrigerant(same as Puron)
scroll compressor preferred
electronic demand defrost preferred
thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature
staged backup heat strips
new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset
10 yr warranty compressor and parts

you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc.
any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

I would only use authorized dealers for the various brands that provide quotes. see mfg websites.

I would look at Trane/AmStd,Rheem/Rudd,Carrier/Bryant.

I would not purchase a new HP system that did not have electronic demand defrost.

IMO

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 7:41AM
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barryg1

Thanks for the post. No - This is not an HP system. It is just for A/C - cooling alone. Can you comment on the situation given that is the case?

THANKS!!

Barry

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:08AM
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tigerdunes

Barry

What is your location?

If you are in a coastal location, then I would lean toward Trane/AmStd.

How do you heat?

Recommendation really would not change.

12.5 EER, 15 SEER AC with var speed blower.

If good dehumidification is not important, you could substitute a high eff air handler over a var speed model.

IMO

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:33AM
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barryg1

Live in Boston - so limited 'cooling' months. Not sure if that helps? Dehumidifcation is important, though it seems to be fine with just the 18 old equipment now (at 40% humidity in the house most of the time). So not sure how much a var speed model will improve things - or if there is value? Also - Heating is via Oil Boiler with Forced Hot Water.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:43AM
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tigerdunes

Barry

let me offer a couple of suggestions on several systems both XR15 and XL15i. air handlers are high efficient but not var speed. excellent performance/eff numbers.

I will assume you are sized correctly.

4150908 Active Systems XR15 TRANE 4TTR5030E1 GAM5A0B30M21 30000 13.50 16.00 1

4150929 Active Systems XL15I TRANE 4TTX5030A1 GAM5A0B30M21 32200 13.50 16.00 1

now you and I know oil is an expensive fuel. if you give me your current oil price, boiler eff, and electric rate, I will run some comparison numbers where a HP might be worthwhile for shoulder mths and when outside temps are 30 and above.

IMO

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:25AM
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tigerdunes

Barry

here's another AC system choice. Not bad numbers at all.

XR13 w/high eff air handler.

4150876 Active Systems XR13 TRANE 4TTR3030D1 GAM5A0B30M21 31200 12.00 14.50 1

operating cost on average would be about $35 more for AC cooling season.

IMO

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 12:06PM
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roadking

barryg1:

Having lived in Boston area many years ago (North Shore) I don't think your AC needs are extreme and therefore, the paypack on a high efficiency unit may never be obtained.

If it was me and you've been happy with your old unit I'd go with a basic 13 SEER unit without a variable speed air handler. As noted by tigerdunes get a new matched airhandler to what ever system you buy.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 12:20PM
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roadking

Forgot to note,as tigerdunes was suggesting,that most likely you will indeed save money on heating by spending a little more money (maybe $300 or so for a 2.5 ton unit) going with a heatpump versus straight A.C.for those days when the temperature isn't too extreme.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 4:27PM
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barryg1

I would tend to agree on the 13 SEER basic, saving some money. But here is the question:

The XR15 has a warranty that is 10-Year Compressor, Coil, and functional parts. The 13 SEER Trane (XB13) has
10-Year Compressor, BUT only 5-Year Coil, 5-Year functional parts. So 13 Seer is cheaper upfront, but 5 years less on warranty. Is that worth it to save the cost now? Also, on 13 SEER, I understand that I would not qualify to get any tax credits ($500) or tax rebate (another $500). After all the credits, the XR15 would cost $6177.00. The XB13 would cost me $5737. For $440 difference, I get the XR15 and the longer warranty. Thoughts??

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:03PM
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neohioheatpump

XR15 option is a no-brainer. By the way, upgrade to a heatpump if your still heating with oil.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:17PM
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odos

Facing replacing air handle ( a 1981 vintage Lennox) and Bryant 3.5 ton. Have a quote for 16 SEER Bryant from a NATE high rated firm ( Angie's list and DC COnsumer checkbook). Awaiting second estimate from another firm for a Trane 16. Bryant estimate is $8,600 with $1000 off for rebate and credit. Am inclined toi the Bryant and NATE firm. Unit is retrofitted in the eaves of the house and space is a factor. Have gas fired hot water heat and two Fujitsu splits: one in family room additiona with excellent heating/ cooling. The other ina refinished attic bedroom, also excellent heating/cooling.
Thaioughts, anyone?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 10:03AM
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weedmeister

My thought would be that you should start your own thread.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:59PM
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odos

Thanks, I did

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:09PM
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