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Old 02-19-2012, 05:04 PM
 
58 posts, read 291,252 times
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After three summers of having our air conditioner repaired, we have accepted that we need a new one. Our current one is 18 years old. We want to get this taken care of before the serious heat comes. This will be the first time for both of us to replace an air conditioner, so I'm looking for some advice or insight.

We've had two companies out to bid so far. Our house is 1 story, about 2200 sq ft.

Company #1 said they would install a Goodman 5 ton, 13 SEER for $7500.

Company #2 only sells/installs Trane. They will install a 5 ton 18 SEER for $12,295, with the option of the Trane Clean Effects Air Cleaner for another $1500. The $12,295 takes into consideration the $1200 rebate that Trane currently offers.

Company #3 will come tomorrow and give us a bid on two other brands. If I remember correctly they are Lennox and Amana.

Until the first estimate I hadn't heard of Goodman. I heard afterwards that Goodman is builder's grade equpment, and that Trane is top of the line equipment. Is this accurate? What brands and installers would you recommend? Anything to run away from?
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: League City
681 posts, read 1,535,732 times
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Brands don't matter a whole lot, the quality of the installation does. Goodman is actually made here in Houston. Trane, Carrier, Lennox, etc all have builders grade equipment too. 5 ton seems awfully large for 2200sqft. A good installer will do a calculation to determine what is required for your home. If it really does require a 5 ton you might look into doing some other upgrades in your home to improve energy efficiency. I have a 1900sqft house with a 3 ton system that had no problem keeping a temp of 75 on even the hottest days last summer. My neighbors have a 2300sqft house with a 3.5 ton system.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:30 PM
 
596 posts, read 798,247 times
Reputation: 334
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.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
8,950 posts, read 14,083,351 times
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I just used One Hour to replace my system with a 16 seer. I could have gotten the 14 seer for about $7K. Loved them!

281-469-9999
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Houston area
1,408 posts, read 3,476,411 times
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5 ton seems way too strong. 3.5-4 ton would be more fitting. You might also want to consider swapping out all of the duct work. That might be older than your current a/c unless your home is only 18 years old.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:12 PM
 
96 posts, read 198,225 times
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16 SEER is what most of the builders are putting in the new homes just hitting the market FWIW
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: plano
5,952 posts, read 7,490,732 times
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I had 2300 sf downstairs in Houston and had a 5 ton ac for that space. I used central city air, they are higher priced them some but did a great job. The high SEER units get the efficiency from having a lower temperature drop across the unit. This results in higher humidity in the conditioned air, which isnt an issue in most places but can be in Houston. Central City uses a lower SEER unit with dual coil I believe they call it which allows you go get the big temp drop ideal in Houston. With lower humidity air, you feel cool with a higher temperature so you gain the efficiency by setting the air at a higher temperature which is comfortable with the lower humidity from their unit. Might give the a call for a different point of view/design.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:34 PM
 
Location: League City
681 posts, read 1,535,732 times
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SEER has nothing to do with temperature drop. Any correctly operating unit regardless of SEER should have a temp drop across the indoor coil of around 15-20 degrees. You run into humidity issues when your system is oversized and doesn't run long enough to reach efficient operation and start to remove humidity from the air. If the company that installed yours told you that then I certainly recommend to the OP to avoid that one.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:44 PM
 
Location: plano
5,952 posts, read 7,490,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonamd View Post
SEER has nothing to do with temperature drop. Any correctly operating unit regardless of SEER should have a temp drop across the indoor coil of around 15-20 degrees. You run into humidity issues when your system is oversized and doesn't run long enough to reach efficient operation and start to remove humidity from the air. If the company that installed yours told you that then I certainly recommend to the OP to avoid that one.
What is the design principle to increase SEER on a unit? That is what is different about very high and lower SEER units design wise? I understood it was higher SEER units have larger air flow over the coil which leads to a lower 15 degree? temp drop. Isnt a design to get 20 rather than 15 degrees going to produce the effect I mentioned?
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:06 PM
 
Location: League City
681 posts, read 1,535,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhw2 View Post
What is the design principle to increase SEER on a unit? That is what is different about very high and lower SEER units design wise? I understood it was higher SEER units have larger air flow over the coil which leads to a lower 15 degree? temp drop. Isnt a design to get 20 rather than 15 degrees going to produce the effect I mentioned?
It depends on the system but the overall design of the coils, valves, compressor is what is changed to improve SEER. Air flow over the indoor coil should be the same no matter what the SEER is...400cfm per ton. The lowest SEER that can be installed today is 13. To get above about 15 SEER you start getting into 2 stage systems with variable speed blowers.
On older systems it was probably normal to get a 20-30 degree temp drop but on anything available today it is usually between 15 and 20. To remove humidity you just need the coils to be below the dew point of the air to condense water.

Oversized systems that don't run more than 10-15 min will probably never reach the dew point resulting in poor humidity removal. Systems with too much air flow also won't remove as much humidity because the air doesn't stay in contact with the coils long enough. Some of the higher end systems actually control humidity by slowing the blower speed below 400cfm.
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