Need to replace one of two AC units in my house...

gentleman-farmerSeptember 12, 2013

First things first, I'm in Texas and it's hot and humid here! It's routinely in the 90's during the midst of summer including right now. But in the winter, there might be stretches of time where you put the heat on.

We have two AC units - one for the bedrooms and one for the rest of the house plus a guest room. The total house is 4 bedroom and 2900 square feet.

A while ago the heat stopped working on the one unit, and then it was low on Freon later. We added Freon and shortly after it was not blowing that cold again. We figure it's time to replace it.

I'm not entirely sure on the lingo as to what is the AC versus the HVAC... so please bear with me!

Both AC units are from 1994. The 5 ton unit that cools/heats the common areas seems to run fine. We didn't plan on replacing it.

But the bedroom ac unit is a 2 ton and we figure it's more economical to replace it instead of add Freon every other month. The big catch here is that we are planning on moving in the next 3'ish years so we don't exactly want to throw a bunch of money at an AC unit that we won't "get back" when it's time to sell.


So far I've had 2 quotes, both around $4,000 for ac + heat.

But neither person did a load test (read some threads on here) nor did they inspect the duct work. In fact, they never even talked about the duct work.

One of the guys who came to write a quote simply peaked into the attic, observed the unit and went back down. He didn't touch anything or seem to inspect beyond a cursory glance. I'm not sure if that's bad per se, since I read it as being not very thorough.

The units these guys liked were Trane and Bryant and the other guy just liked Bryant because he said Trane got bought out 5 years ago and they've slipped a little.

To be sure, it's a big expense for me, so I want to do it a) right and b) cost efficiently. My biggest concern is I just feel really blind going into this. And these HVAC professionals just have me scratching my head...

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Sounds like anyone would be scratching thier head dealing with with the same contractors. According to federal regulations,they should have repaired the leak rather than recharge every other month. I would give a reputable company a shot at seeing why it doesn't cool and if it can be fixed. If it can't be fixed for reasonable cost,you don't need to replace the heat unless the leak is in the attic and/or it's gas heat. The coils will not match perfectly which lowers effecience but it will cool just fine and you would not recover the cost of high effecience in 3 years anyway. Heating,ventilation,air conditioning = HVAC

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 5:09AM
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I assume these you have heat pumps with back up electric resistance heating. Is this correct?

How large is the bedroom area? Has the current 2 ton AC been able to maintain the desired temperature setting?

What size is the common area? The 5 ton unit seems over sized. Does this area have a lot of windows facing the south and west?

This post was edited by mike_home on Thu, Sep 12, 13 at 10:40

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Few things...

I believe the smaller 2 ton unit was installed after the main unit (even though they are both manufactured in 1994) because the 2 ton Freon line is outside the wall. This is what a repair man once said.

Also, I found this information from an old receipt regarding the current 2 ton AC unit:

Make: Trane cond XE1000 / Trane Furnace / Trane Coil
Model: TTR024C100A1 / TDD040R924B0 / TRC024C4HPB2

Please keep in mind, I'm trying to read his handwriting so the above number/letters might be wrong.

In the past, the 2 ton unit seemed to cool just fine although we only keep the house mid-70's at coolest.

I'm not sure how big the common area is, but the ceilings are very high -- 12 feet I believe.

If you would like, I can take pictures of the attic space or any of the AC parts.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:25PM
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Here are some pictures of the unit if it helps...

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:53PM
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picture 2/3

This post was edited by gentleman-farmer on Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 19:56

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:54PM
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this is the last picture for this....

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:55PM
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