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Old 02-23-2012, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
8,626 posts, read 16,248,131 times
Reputation: 5938

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We had a Goodman when we moved in (builder install). It was horrible - repair after repair. Didn't last 10 years. Had Carrier installed and our utilities in a 2-story home almost dropped in half due to the better efficiency in the new unit and higher seer rating.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:26 PM
 
42 posts, read 133,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhw2 View Post
Tell me more about why higher SEER isnt necessarily better for Houston's humid climate and about how you design a different system for a desert and humid climate like Houston. This sounds like the same thing Central City Air told me when they desiged a system for my home in Houston
DRY climate....completely different design for a system. You don't have moisture. The specs are COMPLETELY different, both in terms of design and function.

Houston.....We have a humid environment, no two ways about it.

SEER ratings are basically the rating of how effecient a system is. Sure, more effecient seems better, but think of it this way..... (VERY BASIC DESCRIPTION)

We all have stagnate air in our homes. In Houston, that stagnate air almost always contains moisture. A MORE effecient system (read - HIGHER SEER rating) runs less number of minutes per hour than a LESS effecient system (read- LOWER SEER rating).

Areas that don't experience a lot of air flow (generally closets) get even less with a higher SEER system, especially if a door is shut or there isn't a duct in the closet.

Leather goods seem to be the most effected, as they are easy areas for mildew to grow. Think Shoes, Handbags, Belts, ETC.....

The same holds true for areas of a home, that by nature, don't get a lot of air flow.

In todays world, a new home has a "Manual J", or design for the home. This helps determine what the home needs to properly cool in our environment. Almost all OLD homes had something done long ago, but I have yet to see a single person able to produce this. This means we are at the wit and whim of an HVAC contractor to point us in the right direction. Even the best have a hard time doing this. Some, unfortunately, are just concerned about making a buck and not making the best system, given what they have to work with. It is often times easier to quote a price for a "MORE EFFECIENT SYSTEM", than actually figure out what the best system is for a given home.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:27 PM
 
4,248 posts, read 10,231,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texas7 View Post
We had a Goodman when we moved in (builder install). It was horrible - repair after repair. Didn't last 10 years. Had Carrier installed and our utilities in a 2-story home almost dropped in half due to the better efficiency in the new unit and higher seer rating.

So it lasted what, 7yrs, 8yrs? You don't think it could have been technology advanced since then?
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:07 PM
 
Location: League City
681 posts, read 1,536,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buyahomenowkleintx View Post

We all have stagnate air in our homes. In Houston, that stagnate air almost always contains moisture. A MORE effecient system (read - HIGHER SEER rating) runs less number of minutes per hour than a LESS effecient system (read- LOWER SEER rating).

Actually, that is incorrect. The increase in efficiency does not come from reduced run time. A properly designed and sized high SEER system should run the same amount of time as a lower SEER system.

An A/C system doesn't reach peak performance until it has been running for several minutes (usually around 10). The longer an A/C runs the more efficient it actually is, so reduced run time isn't a way to increase efficiency. Yes, it will reduce electric usage that way, but the system isn't more efficient.

Regardless of SEER rating, a system should be designed to maintain a certain temperature at a specified design temperature. For calculations in the Houston area, 98 is usually considered the design temperature and the temperature the system should maintain at that point is usually 78. If designed properly, when the outdoor temperature is 98, the system will run continuously to maintain the indoor temperature of 78.

Most of the time, the temperature is not at the design temperature and the A/C unit will run less efficiently because it is now way oversized for the cooling load. A higher SEER system has a 2 stage compressor. A low stage for smaller cooling loads resulting in more efficient operation at cooler temperatures. And a high stage will kick in at higher cooling loads to maintain temperature if necessary. By having a low stage that has less cooling capacity, the system runtime should still be about the same as a less efficient system. (as an example...a low stage could have a cooling capacity of 2 tons and a high stage 4 tons)

With the weather we are having right now, 70's-low 80's and humid, a high SEER system with a 2 stage compressor would do a much better job of removing humidity than a lower SEER system with a single stage compressor. Because of the light cooling load, a 2 stage system would be running on it's low stage resulting in less cooling capacity and a longer run time resulting in more humidity removal. Whereas a single stage system would be running at 100% capacity resulting in very short runtimes with very little if any humidity removal. Most systems above around 15 SEER are dual stage systems and would probably work better for controlling humidity in Houston than a lower SEER single stage system.

As I stated earlier too, a way to improve humidity removal is to install a larger indoor coil (a 3.5 ton coil with a 3 ton outdoor unit for example). This is pefectly acceptable. However, you cannot install a larger outdoor unit than you have indoor coil.

There is definitely a lot of debate on humidity issues on high SEER systems, most likely on ones that haven't been installed or designed properly. I have a 15 SEER system and have no problem keeping humidity between 50-55% in the summer. My neighbors purchased a higher end system, a dual stage 18 SEER as an upgrade from the builder and have no humidity issues either...and do much better in this kind of weather than my system does.

Which all goes back to what I think I originaly posted when this topic started...the most important thing when purchasing a new system is the design and installation of it...not the components itself. You could buy the best system available but if it isn't the right size and the duct work, etc isn't designed right and the installation is poor, it won't run any better than the cheapest system you can get.

Last edited by jasonamd; 02-23-2012 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:52 PM
 
58 posts, read 291,444 times
Reputation: 43
I've learned a great deal thanks to your responses and an explanation from a patient installer.

The reason the cost is so high is that we need to have a new furnace installed in order to go to the 2-stage system. 13k - 15k is what all but one company offered.

The other company gave a bid of 5,500, but without installing a new furnace. He said that our furnace is in good shape and we only need to replace it if we want to go to the 2-stage system to achieve 16 or greater SEER. We can achieve at least 14 SEER with our current furnace.

Will I regret not upgrading to the 2-stage system and "settling" for 14 SEER, even if saving at least $6,000 or 7,000?
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
142 posts, read 333,196 times
Reputation: 104
Why not go with a more green technology like geothermal and take advantage of some of the government tax credits that are in place right now?

30% tax credit on the total installed cost of geothermal systems right now through 2016.

http://www.energysavers.gov/financia...#products_2016
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:52 PM
 
201 posts, read 796,368 times
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My dad is an A/C contractor and has installed all the major name brands. He has told me that Goodman makes a good product and that the main internals of all A/C units are pretty much the same. You just get more bells and whistles with name brands like Trane.

Goodman is his go to unit unless the customer wants something else. Also, he isn't motivated to put install something unreliable because he warranties his work.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: League City
681 posts, read 1,536,593 times
Reputation: 425
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah52 View Post
I've learned a great deal thanks to your responses and an explanation from a patient installer.

The reason the cost is so high is that we need to have a new furnace installed in order to go to the 2-stage system. 13k - 15k is what all but one company offered.

The other company gave a bid of 5,500, but without installing a new furnace. He said that our furnace is in good shape and we only need to replace it if we want to go to the 2-stage system to achieve 16 or greater SEER. We can achieve at least 14 SEER with our current furnace.

Will I regret not upgrading to the 2-stage system and "settling" for 14 SEER, even if saving at least $6,000 or 7,000?
A 2 stage system would most likely have better control over the humidity inside the house or have options available to let it do so and of course, be more energy efficient. In order to determine if a 16+ SEER 2 stage system is worth it, you would need to determine how much energy over the 14 SEER system you would save. Just for an example, if the 2-stage system saves you $50 a month in energy costs, that would be $600 over the course of a year. If you are paying $6,000 more than the lower SEER system, it would take 10 years before you see any sort of return on that larger initial investment.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:09 AM
 
659 posts, read 1,073,052 times
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Post #24 is spot-on. Like mentioned, 5-ton is way oversized for 2200 sq ft. If both of those companies are just replacing what's already there and not offering any alternatives, run far away. Our 2 story has about 2000 sq ft downstairs, and we replaced it with a single stage 3-ton, 14 seer RUUD and variable speed furnace about 18 months ago. It would have been 6700 but got both the Texas and Federal rebates so it was more like 4500. We love it, it's whisper quiet, and is about twice as efficient as the old unit. We run it twice as much (change the filter every 6 weeks compared to 3 months with the old unit) and have the same electric bill as the previous summer with the old one. You will be fine with a 14 SEER system.

Short but to the point, too bad the pricing they list isn't the same as what it is today
http://www.insulationforlife.com/pdf...C1-17-01-1.pdf

Last edited by texsn95; 03-08-2012 at 07:22 AM..
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:26 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,382 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by huma281 View Post
Forgot what I purchased awhile back, a Lennox 14 seer I think? I called a few places and everyone wanted $6-7k installed until one place sold it to me for $3,500 installed. I'm not questioning how they were able to give it to me at such a great price...but just keep calling around and bug them for a better deal.

Do you have the name of this company?
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