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Old 06-29-2013, 03:30 PM
 
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Hi,

HVAC system in my house gave up. It was 10+ years old. Early spring, the technician filled 4.4 ounds of FReon and yesterday it was next to nil. The tech mentioned I rather go for new system than figuring out the leak as Lennox old systems are notorious for leaks in evaporator coils. I have been pumping Freon almost every year and know for sure the leak is there, now it seems gone from bad to worse. Any one had luck dealing with leaks?

I started my initial shopping and there are plenty of brands...Grand Air, Trane, Lennox..Just unable to pick one. I dont want to go for the most expensive one nor the cheap one, but the one which is reputed for quality and life. Any suggestions/recommendations on a good unit? Pros and Cons? Things I should look for? Any pointers will be gratefully accepted.

btw, is it a good idea to change the furnace as well or just the A/C unit?

Many thanks in advance,
Craig
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,515 posts, read 75,849,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig4U View Post
Things I should look for? Any pointers will be gratefully accepted.
Think Ford vs Chevy. The key is in the install job not the brand.
Pick a company for reasons OTHER than price and then run with it.

Quote:
is it a good idea to change the furnace as well or just the A/C unit?
How old is it? If also 10 yo then no... it should be fine.
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:22 PM
 
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I had a Goodman. Not the cheapest, but definitely not the most expensive. Middle of the road but nevertheless, it was a solid brand. They automatically come with a 10 year warranty.
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Inactive Account
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A lot residential HVAC techs will steer people to installing new units. It's just easier to tear out and install new (which comes with a warranty) than putz around with old equipment and diagnose tough leaks or electrical problems.

Commercial users will just repair and repair again, until the system is junk or parts can't be found any more.

10 years old is a question mark. If the coils are *good* and it was a compressor or controller gone bad, I'd repair. But when the coil is bad, that's a lot of labor to patch an old unit along and I'd consider replacing too. (Especially considering that R22 refrigerant keeps getting more expensive every year as it is phased out.)

Might be worth having a competent tech examine the coil, maybe the leaks can be found easily and some rebrazing will do the job. Maybe not. That's the inherent gamble with trying to keep old equipment running.

Last edited by Sean_CLT; 06-29-2013 at 04:39 PM..
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC dreaming of other places
983 posts, read 2,393,231 times
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I have a company that services my AC once every year and the tech told me mine is starting to show age, it's almost 10 years old. I plan to keep it till it dies. In your case, it already died so as they suggested pick a good one and run with it. Let us know what you select.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:13 PM
 
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Our Trane unit installed two weeks before Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989 rolled over and died last month. We replaced 'old faithful' with another Trane unit.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaWoman View Post
Our Trane unit installed two weeks before Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989 rolled over and died last month. We replaced 'old faithful' with another Trane unit.
I can not say how good the trane electric heat pumps are today but the one we have has been a very good one.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:57 AM
 
10,104 posts, read 10,338,020 times
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Originally Posted by crestliner View Post
I can not say how good the trane electric heat pumps are today but the one we have has been a very good one.
I hope this Trane is as dependable as 'old faithful' ... we had her checked each spring. The last two years we haven't even had to add any freon. Our service guy told us last year the R22 pricing was going out of sight but we had a good summer with the unit. But this spring she died ... I can't complain she gave us 24 good years. LOL
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:16 AM
 
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I have had to replace units two times in 30 years. A long story. However, both times, I sent a fax (you can use email or call) providing details of the house, sq footage, etc. and ask for bids on Lennox and Trane units. I send out six requests for bids. The last time, I got four estimates (at no charge). I took the second lowest both times. The bid each time was a couple of hundred higher than the lowest, but based on reputation and estimator's knowledge without the B.S. I chose Patterson. We have used the company for 30 years, but are not married to the company. They had to bid to get our money. The service has been outstanding and their techs have gone beyond the call to make sure we got good service and were knowledgeable about our HVAC. We went with the Lennox system, again based on reviews and unit.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Inactive Account
1,508 posts, read 2,775,336 times
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I have used Patterson for routine service. They are experienced, have good communication between their phone staff and the techs. But I took a $500 lower quote the last time I had a major repair. You're right though - shop around. Weigh reputation and price.

If you need a new unit and can hang on until autumn, you will see flyers for HVAC discounts. Things get slow and the companies will cut deals to keep their people active.
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