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New AC/Heating Unit

Posted by AndyMc (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 13, 12 at 21:27

I've learned a lot from browsing these forums in the past but never posted. I was hoping that you guys and your wealth of knowledge could help me with some decisions about a new HVAC system in our house. Hopefully this isn't to long, but i feel the more information you have the better advice you can give.
2300 sq/ft, 2 stry, upstairs has a/c with heat pump, downstairs is gas/electric a/c-heater. We live in SC where summer temps get to 105* plus, and winter may get to upper 20s for two months out of the year). 72* in winter and 70* in summer is about ideal for what we like to keep the house at.
Electric cost: ($ 0.125890 + $ 0.003190 WNA)/kWh
Gas: 1.166750/Therm
Average bill throughout the year is $250

We have a Carrier 48GS-02406031 currently that is about 14 years old. It's 2-ton, 10 SEER. It's had a freon leak for a couple years, but just a very slow one. We have it refilled in the spring and it will last us the season. And we we've been told for many years that we need to start looking for a new one. However in the meantime our upstairs (a/c and heat pump) went belly up so we had to replace that one. After our system would not ignite, we called our guy out here. The issue was just a dirty ignitior, however being familiar with our unit he thought it best just to do an inspection. He found that our heat exchanger was next to noting and said that he could have easily poked a hole in it if he tried.
So option is to wait it out till heat exchanger gets whole in it and we die of carbon monoxide, replace the heat exchanger($1200) and still have A/C issues every year, or get new system. For us, replacement seems like the best idea. However we just refinanced our house and cash is already very thin for us (changes in jobs have left us with half the money we were making this time last year).

replacement options per our HVAC guy:
1. 13 SEER Silver Series American Standard. 2 ton Gas package unit for $4,900

2. 14 SEER gold Series American Standard 2 ton Hybrid system for $7600 (i think there's a $300 or $400 rebate on this as well)

with all that said do you guys have any thoughts or opinions, or can help to guide me to an algorithm of sorts to figure out if it is worth it go to the Hybrid? The guys told be that we could save easily up to $400/year with the Hybrid system. So we are talking several years at least to make it up (although the Gas company seems to want to raise rates more and more each year). Is that a fair estimate? Do you think we might gain more? This is not my field of expertise by a long shot.
thanks for any help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New AC/Heating Unit

I decided to stick with the 13 Seer unit. Found this calculator:

I just used Carrier products with similar specs. It's a difference of only about $240/ year. In savings. which means it'll take about 10 years to recoup. Not quick enough ROI for our financial situation


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