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  1. #1

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    Default HVAC Recommendations?

    Well, it looks like my central air conditioner is going crap on me. The whole system is getting to be about 20 years old anyway, and I'd just like to replace the heater and A/C all in one shot while I'm at it. Is there anyone here that is in the business and could recommend me a good quality unit, what SEER, etc... I appreciate all the help!

    Thanks,

    Mike

  2. #2

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    Jerry knows AC bump this again around 8pm est, and I'll have him give a look. How many tons is the unit? What type of heat do you have? SQ feet of house?
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  3. #3

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    Good question, I'll have to go look at the unit itself. It's a forced air, NG unit. Home is about 2500sq/ft.

    Thanks Ben!

  4. #4

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    I'd recommend York, Lennox, or Goodman. Stay away from Trane. They're expensive, and propietary, and they're living off their reputation of the past.
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

  5. #5

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    Being in IL I don't think a heat pump would be efficient. You will probably have to stick with gas.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  6. #6

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    I would look at going with a heat pump/aux heat with a good Honeywell programmable thermostat rather than AC/heat. I'm heating with my heat pump down to 35 deg before the gas furnace kicks in. If gas gets cheaper, I can adjust the cutoff point higher on the thermostat. (I'm in Indiana)

    The installation is more important than the brand. Any of the common/good brands available are pretty similar. Pick the best installer and use what they sell. Installation is more important than brand, but be sure to do your research.

    I was talked out of a 2 stage gas furnace because of price and simplicity. It's kind of like having a 2WD vs 4WD vehicle - cheaper and fewer things to go wrong.

    Higher Seer value? I would pay more attention to the quiteness of the unit. I wish I had gone with the next level of heat pump just because of the sound level.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    Being in IL I don't think a heat pump would be efficient. You will probably have to stick with gas.
    I think you're right. I still plan on staying with the type I have, just wanting a much more effecient unit.

    The larger installers in my area use Trane, besides Sears uses Carrier. BTW, I can't find anywhere on my current A/C where it tells me how many tons it is. All I can see is what voltage it is, the date of install('91) and the type of fridgerant and values for the low/high side. (150/300)

  8. #8

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    Heat pumps are much more efficient than you think. If you've been told otherwise, then you're talking to someone who hasn't learned anything about it in the last, oh, 10 - 12 years. I ran into this alot when I was getting estimates. If gas is much cheaper per therm where you live than electricty, then heat with gas exclusively. I do best heating with the heat pump as long as I can.

  9. #9

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    I understand that, but it does get really cold here making the heat pump almost useless here in the winters in IL. I'll look into the heat pump idea, but I don't think its going to be worth it with sub 0 degree weather here?

    Thanks for the help!

  10. #10

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    Please post the brand & model #. More than likely, it's a 5 Ton unit, based on the sq. footage of the house. Don't bother w/ a ht. pump. It'll just make the system more complicated than it needs to be. You've already got gas. Stay with it.
    Upgrade the indoor & outdoor unit, go with the highest SEER rating you can afford, and find out from the local utilities what, if any rebates there are.
    AND don't forget a PERMIT. If some 'lowball schlepp' gets in there, you could be in trouble.
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

  11. #11

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    I currently have a HEIL air conditioner/furnace.

    The model number on the A/C unit reads:

    CA1036UKB1

    867.912340

  12. #12

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    The heat pump does all of the cooling, and heating down to ~35 deg, depending on wher e the cutoff point is set. Your auxillary heat (furnace) takes over below that. I didn't realize Bloomington, IL was that close to Frostbite Falls. Don't you have any moderate weather?

    Off to the joke thread; I hope I don't get banned.

  13. #13

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    During the winter months it gets well below 35 degrees for the majority of the season.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeC78 View Post
    I currently have a HEIL air conditioner/furnace.

    The model number on the A/C unit reads:

    CA1036UKB1

    867.912340
    Looks like a 3 ton unit.I would go 90% gas furnace and a heat pump,for that size house I would go 4 ton. I have a heat pump and it is set at 20 degrees. It works and heats perfect in Nebraska. Ask the installer if the unit uses tradeline parts so anyone can fix it,stay away from Lennox and Trane that use a lot of dealer only items expensive to repair.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4406bbl View Post
    Looks like a 3 ton unit.I would go 90% gas furnace and a heat pump,for that size house I would go 4 ton. I have a heat pump and it is set at 20 degrees. It works and heats perfect in Nebraska. Ask the installer if the unit uses tradeline parts so anyone can fix it,stay away from Lennox and Trane that use a lot of dealer only items expensive to repair.
    I'm back from the joke thread.

    I originally had my heat pump set to 30 deg, but it required too many defrost cycles at that temp. There's a lot of heat available even in cold air, but humidity becomes a factor.

  16. #16

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    So what's wrong with a Trane?

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by disneyjoe7 View Post
    So what's wrong with a Trane?
    Propietary=expensive. Lennox CAN be the same way, but the big ticket items for A/C is the compressor, and Tranes' are propietary, meaning you can't get them anywhere else. All the other brands use generic type compressors.
    The problem with Heil/ Tempstar/TCP is NO,you cant parts from Totaline, even though, they are owned by, and use the SAME parts as Carrier.
    Just my .02:o
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

  18. #18

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    So would you buy a Carrier? Lennox is off my list, just feel its to complicated.


    My limited experience of Lennox is going back 10 years or so, a new Carrabba's restaurant justed opened up and there was a cold snap. Problem was when they installed the AC / Heater units they didn't run the electric heating strips..... So when the unit asked for heat all hell broke lose, electric strip was called the "Oil" burned off tripped the smoke duct detector and then the fire / evac system. Tripping fire system and shutting off the AC / Heater units. I worked at the time for the alarm company, quickly found the restaurant about 50f and heat off, smoke on, system fire horns flashing. I kill the horns ASAP, then found myself on roof with AC company, I watched more then anything and they didn't look happy it took more then a hour to override AC system over the alarm to burn that oil off. I had them lift off the fire control shut down lead to force the units up. I will never forget that day as I wasn't dressed for this cold snap after dark and froze my tail off, we all did. ;)

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  19. #19

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    I would buy anything but a Trane. That's just MY personal preference. I would get several quotes using SIMILAR equipt., i.e. same size and brands, with detailed breakdowns of what they plan to do. That way you can compare apples to apples.
    If one co. says 'change the line set' and the other 2 don't, but they're cheaper, then you might NOT be saving any $$$.
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

  20. #20

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    I have a friend in the business and he said Carrier has the best design/reliability per $$$ for residential units.
    TNRabbit
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  21. #21

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    We just replaced our furnace and heat pump this past spring. We got the Bryant Evolution system and could not be happier. It was expensive, but well worth it IMO. I am not sure if they make a gas equivalent that would fit your needs.

    Shawn

  22. #22

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    If you live in a region where it doesn't get too cold, heat pumps might be fine.
    In colder regions, you could install a ground loop to pick up heat in the winter.

    But remember: if you have a heat pump, the unit's compressor is going to be expected to run 12 months out of the year, as opposed to a straight AC/gas heat unit. And if it gets too cold outside, sure you have "auxilliary heat" but that translates into ELECTRIC heat strips. Ouch. Expensive.

    I'd suggest definitely going with an AC/gas furnace unit.

    On the air conditioning side: it is a little more pricey (not bad) but get a unit that has a TXV (thermostatic expansion valve) instead of a capillary tube metering device.
    That's the gizmo that squirts Freon into your evaporator to cool it; a TXV regulates according to heat load/demand a lot better plus they're pretty much bulletproof.
    Two-stage compressors are worth checking out, too.

    On the heat side: 90% + efficiency with a variable speed blower, and you're good to go.
    MrBigBlueLight
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  23. #23

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    If you are considering a Carrier - look at Bryant. They are virtually identical units built on the same line. Their primary difference is the badge the unit receives at the end of production and their price.

  24. #24

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    I appreciate all the help guys!

    Does anyone know where you can purchase these units outright, besides going through a contractor and having them sock it to you? I see you can purchase "Goodman" products online, but can't seem to find anything else.

  25. #25

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    I have about the same size house you do (2550 sq ft) and also have a three ton ac unit. It is undersized for my size house imo. When I replace it, I plan to go with a 4 ton unit so good advise there.

    I would not go with a heat pump in our area unless you plan to go all out and put in a geothermal unit.

    I have an amana heat and ac unit and would say mine was a lemon and couldn't be considered normal for the number of repairs I have had to have done to it. (all under warrantee)

    Good luck with your search.

    Michael
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  26. #26

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    Thanks Michael!

    Is your square footage including the basement? From what the guy told told me today, is that you would exclude the basement(can't really remember the reason) and that if I get a 4 ton unit that I might have some humidity control issues along with the bigger unit cycling more often. I find that kinda odd since I'd be getting a two stage unit anyway and that it would only kick in the higher BTU's if needed.

    Whatever, the prices so far are really ridiculous... I'm still trying to search for a good reasonable contractor and going about buying one outright somewhere if I can. My father is really quit handy and installed his with no issues, so I could save some money If I can find someone who'd sell me one. The big problem is not being licensed and getting warranty work done if needed. Still pondering...

    BTW, geothermal is out the window... I'm not going though that added expense, digging up my yard. I'd think about it if I had new construction.
    Last edited by MikeC78; 09-02-2008 at 09:09 PM.

  27. #27

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    It also seems that each contractor has the same sales pitch... Mine's the best and the other brands are nothing but problems.

    I can purchase a Goodman brand unit for a total of about $3600 shipped to the house uninstalled; while I can get about the same effeciency rated one locally installed for about $8-9k. What a ripoff...

  28. #28

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    nope - my sq. footage is just main and second floor. My AC will maintain the house temp ok, but will not drop it one degree until the sun goes down.

    but will run continuously until the sun goes down trying to drop it. My builder built my house (2550sqft 2-story), the one next door (2200 sqft 2-story) and the one next to that (1800 sqft ranch) all at the same time. All three have a 3 ton AC unit in them. It works ok in the ranch but struggles in my house. Mine is a 10 seer unit, so 3 ton may work if it was more efficient. (I would still put in a 3.5 or 4 ton unit though.)

    I'll give you a call when I get back in town. (at Disney in Florida right now)

    Michael
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    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
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  29. #29

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    Michael,

    Enjoy your vacation and get off the Polk Forum!:p

    Square footage of my house is smaller than yours, mine is just hitting 2,000 square footage with just the first and second floor and a total of about 2,500 with the basement.

    Mine is the pretty much the same as yours, a 3 ton 10 seer A/C unit with a 60% Eff 100,000 btu furnace.

    I'll be waiting for the phone call... and you better bring me back a souvenir.

  30. #30
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    Look for a A/C unit that has more than one stage. I'm not sure what the official name is.

    It's like where the A/C can run at "half power" which is good in the spring/fall when it's not horribly hot out. Less cycling on the compressor, less "start up" period. Handy in high moisture areas too as I think it helps dehumidify better.

    Also lessens the temperature swing effect in the house.

    W

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