have to replace HVAC system & need help

hotinsaJuly 6, 2011

ok, have tried reading through forums to answer my questions, but need further help. We need to replace our complete hvac system, currently have a carrier 5t, 12 seer, outdoor unit 10 years old, indoor unit 15 yrs old, both with parts replaced and now coils not working correctly and losing freeon.

pertinent info: live in San Antonio, Tx - hot humid with a good 5 months of the year 95+ and humidity pushing that over 100. Just over 2000sq ft with open plan loft & high living area ceilings. Furnace(gas) located in attic and is horizantal. Current dimensions of said unit : 91.5", ht 22 5/8; widest measurement 34 6/8". (have been told during 1 quote that there is only about 4" between coils & furnace in current configuration. Attic access 52x23.

My questions (so much conflicitng info) I have 3 quotes for 3 different systems - which one will fit in such tight space and is best buy.

quote #1 Carrier Bryant preferred models 116BNA060; 313AAV060110; CNPHP6124ATA priced at $12449 incl with 10 year parts warranty ( will give back $427 on parts installed less than 2 weeks ago)

quote #2 Trane XL16i (16S/13E) model #'s 477X6060L100A; 4TXCD063BC3HCA;TUDC100B9V5VB priced @ $9000 with 10 year labor and parts warranty (12 year compressor).

quote #3 Carrier Comfort Series 2 stage ECM boost 16.5 SEER/13 EER (did not get indiv. model #'s) priced @ $7986.34 with 10 yr parts warranty.

I apprecaite your help, all 3 techs have seemed knowledgable - quotes 1 & 2 only carry brand quoted. Did not seem to find accessibility to furnace as an issue. Quote 3 has all 3 brands + others but on measuring says this unit quoted would provide best efficiency and fitting with ducts.

Really appreciate and help and input and have tried to give all pertinent information.

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1st quote in crazy expensive.
2nd quote is pretty darn expensive.
3rd quote isn't cheap - but its the best of the 3. It is nice equipment too. 2-stage A/C's can really provide some extra comfort in your climate.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 12:23PM
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What type of home-single story or two story?

You are certain you require a 5 ton AC condenser?

I would like see more details on quote #3.

I would want a new refrigerant line set, a good 4-5" pleated media box filter, and specifics of new thermostat model.

I do like the Trane quote best primarily because the XLi and XR condensers are better than the Comfort Carrier series. You could change to the two stg XR 15 condenser and save some bucks over XL16i model.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:27PM
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it is a 1 1/2 story, upstairs open to landing and loft overlooking d/s living area. Makes for 20ft ceiling in living area.

Quote 1 did say he would do a load test before starting.

I am about to call quote 3 with questions.Included with quote 3 system to include : recovery of freon, dipose old equipment,float switch, programmable thermostat, auxiliary drain pan, high & low voltage conduit at outdoor unit, city permits & inspections, adapt to existing ducts, new gas cut-off and flex connector, all new vent pipe. I was dissappointed that this model I would have to pay for 10 yr labor whereas Infinity series comes with 10 yr l&p. But he said measurement wise an infinity wouldn't fit in attic.

Is the media box filter what we change out? If so ours is 24x36x1, not the easiest to find and none of the contractors have mentioned this.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Post mdl numbers of thermostats for each quote.

Do quoting dealers intend to furnish and install new and correctly sized refrigerant line set?

How many returns do you have in your home? I would add a 5" pleated
filter media cabinet that has to be changed out once a year over the 1" filters.

Any hot and/or cold spots in your home?

Post back.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:46PM
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#1 has since called back and wants to come out tomorrow to do a proper quote with measurements.

We have 1 return, none of the quotes include new refrigerant line.

Hot spots - upstairs hotter than d/s, but as I said huge open space.

What is benefit to 5" filter, where do you buy them?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 7:42PM
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You should insist on new refrigerant line set.

On a home this size, You need more than one return for good airflow and comfort.

A filter cabinet eliminates the need to replace those 1" filters every month
or so and provides better indoor air quality as well as improved protection
to your blower motor asbly and evap coil. Replacement filters readily available on Internet and big box hardware stores.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:20PM
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