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THANKS - Professional Furnace & A/C Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by GW22, Dec 6, 2010.

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  1. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    My Furnace and Central A/C are 16 years old and nearly shot, so I'm scrambling to educate myself on brands and efficiencies so I can replace them now and take advantage of the tax rebate. I've had good experience with York equipment but the first quote came back with a York A/C having an efficiency rating (SEER) of just 13 -- the lowest allowed by law (and too low to qualify for the rebate unless the contractor does some hocus pocus by charging double for the furnace and basically giving away the A/C). The furnace qualifies for the rebate. I'm going back for a couple more quotes for a higher efficiency A/C but now I'm wondering if I should specify another brand. Consumer reports shows "No Meaningful Statistical Difference" in repair history for basically any brand I've ever heard of. In other words even Trane and Rheem had no statistically meaningful advantage over Carrier or York when it come to repair history. So why pay more unless the efficiency is better? (which is not always the case)

    If you have professional HVAC experience and would be willing to provide some advice, I would certainly appreciate it.

    -Gary

    PS: I've got a 2900 Sq. Ft. home (plus a 1300 Sq. Ft. basement) located in the Midwest and we keep the house at a COOL 67 degrees all summer. Is there an online calculator where I can plug in the cost of my electricity and see how much money a 16 SEER A/C unit will save me over a 13 SEER unit?
     
  2. need to shoot more

    need to shoot more Active Member

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    A rough estimate is a seer = 5% reduction as far as quality stay with name brand but more imporeantly watch your contractor quality... do not go cheap.
    95% on the heat and 16 seer will hit the federal tax credit
    Jim
    est.1982 in the HVAC Field
     
  3. Trapshooter

    Trapshooter Well-Known Member

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    York used to be good stuff. It was made here in Ohio. About 12 some years ago they moved there manufacturing to Mexico. Quality went way down that a couple of my heat/cooling/plumbing friends quit selling them. Distributers quit selling york as well.
     
  4. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Excellent. Thanks, guys.

    Jim: Are you saying that a 16 SEER A/C will save about 15% annual cooling cost vs. a 13 SEER?

    -Gary
     
  5. ScottEslick

    ScottEslick Member

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    Gary,

    My question would be how long do you plan to live in the house, it if is short term then get a 95% furnace and 13 SEER a/c, if long term get the 16 SEER or higher. I am parical to Trane and no its not the most expensive, but any system is only as good as how it is installed.

    If you have any questions you can give me a call (240) 818-1218


    Scott
     
  6. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Yeah, I plan to stay in the home long term. My York contractor quoted a $1650 adder to go from 13 SEER to 15 SEER and said that since I live in Zone 3 it would only save me $30-32 per season (based on 700 hours of run time). If that's true, it's not worth the money even though we run the air more than most people. The adder for an 18 SEER is $2250 which is a whopping 80% extra vs. the $2800 price for the A/C with a 13 SEER. Does that seem right, or are they charging a higher profit margin (%) on the better efficiency units?

    -Gary
     
  7. ScottEslick

    ScottEslick Member

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    In most cases you need a variable speed furnace to get the higher SEER ratings it not as simple as adding a higher efficient a/c to a furnace unless he is quoting vs to start with.

    Scott
     
  8. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Right, Scott -- I'm only getting quotes on 95 & 96% efficiency furnaces.

    -Gary
     
  9. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    The most important thing is to get a reliable contractor, who will install and service it properly. Price is an important factor, but cheapest isn't always the worst and highest priced is seldom the best. There's alot of hungry HVAC companies out there so they are willing to deal

    Besides that they are pretty much the same, York, Coleman,and Luxaire are basically the same unit with a differant label as are Am Standard and Trane, and Carrier and Bryant, almost all manufactures make a "builders" line that is cheaper than the main brand, and in most cases are identical


    I've been a Carrier dealer for over 35 yrs, the main reason is we do alot of heavy commercial, and they have the equipment, they also make a line called Payne, that we sell quite a bit of to the few resi customers we have, it's about the same as Carrier's main line, has a 10 yr warranty on all parts, and 20 yr on the heat exchanger
     
  10. ScottEslick

    ScottEslick Member

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    Gary,

    Might be time to look at a different contractor, you still have time to take advantage of the Fed Tax Credit.

    Scott
     
  11. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    I hear ya, Scott. By tomorrow I'll have gotten quotes from four contractors and I will pull the trigger on the best overall value. The kicker is that going from a 13 SEER to a 16 SEER will only save me $30-$40 per YEAR according to the contractors who have quoted so far. And the 18-20 SEERs still don't take the yearly savings above $100. So, aside from tree-hugging purposes, you'd have to be a moron to pay the price adder in the northernmost 3/4 of the country.

    -Gary
     
  12. need to shoot more

    need to shoot more Active Member

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    Yes the high efficencys are a real waste of money........ UNTIL THE POWER COSTS INCREASE. The higher the efficency generally the quiter,more saftey and protection devices and a better product all around.
    Buy brand,buy contractor and embrace your comfort consoultent.... or move on
     
  13. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

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    One thing to check on is a DC constant run blower. I paid the extra for mine--about 500 dollars-- and love it. It keeps the air circulating all the time and then ramps up when the heat or a/c is called for. I think that it keeps the home more comfortable as it circulates the air longer then the on and off blower that most of the furnaces use. Check it out. I recommend it to all my friends Motordoctor
     
  14. Harv Shell

    Harv Shell TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Gary, don't confuse 95% or 96% furnace efficiency with variable speed blower. There are a lot of 95%+ furnaces without variable speed blowers. You will not believe how much more comfort you get with the VS. Harv Shell - 38 years HVAC, 27 years owner HVAC business.
     
  15. BAD 303

    BAD 303 Active Member

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    I just this fall installed a complete new system and went with a Nutone system. I went with an all electric heat pump and a variable speed and also installed a humidifier in the return in order to add some moisture to the house which also helps in the heating process. I am located in central Illinois and see plenty of below freezing days. I installed the system with the help of a friend and took no short cuts. Took me three full days and i did not know what i was doing.lol The Nutone equipment carries a ten year replacement not repair warranty. I think from the research i did they are the top of the food chain. A lot of the equipment is made by the same company and then another name tag installed. 16 seer is plenty.
     
  16. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    The best quote so far is for York and the contractor quoting it also happens to have the best local reputation, which is a nice combination. The furnace is a TM9V80-16, 96% AFUE, described as follows: "The York TM9V gas furnace features a two-stage, variable speed, super-quiet, high-efficiency motor for maximum comfort and energy savings." The York A/C unit is their YCJD series, 13 SEER.

    Any opinions/comments from professionals on these eparticular models would be most appreciated.

    THANKS to everyone who provided information.

    -Gary
     
  17. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    You should be in good shape with that setup, as said before they're all pretty much the same, just want to make sure the company who installs will be around to take care of any problems, and it sounds like they will be
     
  18. Stingray

    Stingray Member

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    I have been installing furnace since 1984. I would not waste the money on the high end equipment. Go with a single stage furnace 92% efficient and a 13.0 seer air conditioner. High end equipment cost to much to repair. Take the money you save with the lower end equipment and go shooting. My supplier claims the average life of the equipment is only 17 years. It will take time to pay for the differance in cost of the high end equipment. The DC fan motor that are found on the high end furnaces cost me around $600.00. I feel that alone is too expense of to have to replace.
     
  19. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    I'm not a dealer but had a new all electric unit installed in my home almost a year ago and went from a 12 to 16 seer and my electric bill dropped by a third and we have had the hottest year in over twenty years. It does have the variable speed blower and is a RUUD unit. It keeps the house very comfortable. Jackie B.
     
  20. need to shoot more

    need to shoot more Active Member

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    well you can hit 95% single stage and make the full tax credit, use a varible speed motor and increase the seer by one just by using that motor. A replacment ecm motor is not over $300.00. If any equipment is installed correctly and commisioned there should be minium repairs. I have a 11 year old heat pump two defrost boards, one 35mfd cap and oner contactor and oh yea no refigereant top off either.
     
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