comparison of amana, carrier, rheem ac units

joeplumbAugust 7, 2012

I am considering a new installation and need your expertise on quality, performance, and reliability of the subject units, or others that you may recommmend.

I have 2400 sq ft of space and most contractors say

a 3 ton unit will handle the load.My existing 3 ton unit is marginal. Nobody seems willing to do a calculation for sizing.

Other questions are:

1) I have is what kind of warranty is sufficient and

10yr pts and labor or

10 yr pts 2 years labor.

2) how much SEER do you recommend

Thank you for your help

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Whenever I see homeowners hitting brick walls about load calc, I always get a bit frustrated. Do it yourself for a small fee. I can provide a link if you are interested.

As to brand, it depends on the models that make up the complete system.

If you are getting a complete system, you want a 10 yr warranty on parts and compressor minimum. If furnace is included, lifetime on heat exchanger. You will have to pay extra for Ext 10 yr warranty to cover labor. Just as a guide, you want the manufacturer's Ext warranty, no third party warranty and the cost should be no more than 10% of purchase price and usually is negotiable with dealer. Dealer warranty on labor is usually one year and should be in writing.

Make no mistake, there is a lot of junk in the residential marketplace.

System selected should be an AHRI match.

Just a few ideas.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Your utility provider may be interested in doing this as part of their conservation program. Ours did. They recommended a drop from a 20 year old 4 ton to a new 3.5 with a variable speed fan. 15.3 SEER and 9 HSPF. Our house is just under 3000 sq. ft. with lots of double-pane windows.

Your location effects the question about SEER vs HSPF.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:00AM
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I found out last week that the 10 year extended labor and part does not include the cost of Puron recharge. So every time a leak is encountered, 1 year after the install, either due to bad install or faulty equipment, the equipment and the installation labor will be covered. However, the refrigerant recharge will not be. The refrigerant recharge in northern va is going by the pound and runs around $150 per pound (even for Puron). Seems excessive. I can understand for the 1st lb since need to recover the overhead cost of van, etc. (which i thought was covered by the initial service call fee irrespective of whether you perform the recharge or not); however for subsequent lbs, $150 is excessive given that 25 lb of R-410A is going for $100-$150 (not counting bulk discount).

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Thank you all for your quick and informative responses

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:14PM
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I want to respond to Novaguy about the freon charge.

I think your post is not completely accurate and may depend on the warranty company one has.

I have two Trane XE1200 HPs in a rental property. One winter about 4-5 yrs ago, I had a leak on a schrader valve and lost all refrigerant. The repair including parts, labor, freon, and recharging was covered by my Trane Ext warranty. This one repair more than covered the cost of the ext warranty. So there may be restrictions on other warranties and keep in mind 3rd party warranties are generally a rip off.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Which brand's warranty does not cover the cost of the refrigerant?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Hi Tiger and Mike,

I have been discussing the extended parts and labor warranty with couple of Carrier and Trane dealers. Both indicated that refrigerant recharge is not covered. Maybe this is a recent change given the high price of puron? I have contacted both Carrier and Trane and they are going to get back to me. IMO, the refrigerant recharge should be covered if either of the coils of ac unit require repair. Understand Trane/Carrier is not at fault if it is because of line set issues. I have been looking around if there is a recent blank warranty form on the the Internet that lists the exclusions. The older forms seem to indicate that refrigerant will be covered. On the Trane commerical site I did see a separate optional refrigerant warranty; did not find an equivalent reference in the residential section.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:17PM
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