News

Home air conditioning

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by schwoo, May 7, 2017.

  1. schwoo

    schwoo Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2013
    742
    Florida
    Full Name:
    Marquette
    One of the units at our home went out. It's a variable speed unit, 10 yrs old. The compressor is "frozen".

    Options, new unit $7000 installed. Or replace the compressor for $2000.

    The air conditioning repair man claims it's a no brainer........advises us to get the new unit.

    Any suggestions? Advice?

    As always, Thanks!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
  2. Aircon

    Aircon Seven Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 23, 2003
    79,428
    Melbourne, Australia
    Full Name:
    Peter
    I'd probably replace it. New unit will be more efficient and you don't know what will go wrong next on the old unit.
     
  3. Wade

    Wade Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    28,791
    East Central, FL
    Full Name:
    Wade O.
    But get a second quote first.
     
  4. bball16

    bball16 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 2, 2011
    2,557
    NY LI FtL
    Full Name:
    Mike
    I actually did this last week. Replaced the 10 year old condenser with a super efficient new one and a new air handler. I negotiated in a couple of changes to the ductwork for the same price and it's made a world of difference in that part of the house. The power company also offered a $1000 rebate for a unit with this efficiency. Bite the bullet and go new, in the end you will be very happy.
     
  5. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 21, 2012
    11,233
    Fredericksburg, VA & Sarasota, FL
    Full Name:
    John
    Having gone thru this exercise in the past year or so for both Virginia and Florida, I throw out these thoughts in no particular priority:

    * If you are talking about a condo, you might find yourself limited in types, sizes, and brands.
    * If you are talking about a house, you are starting with a clean sheet of paper.
    * Your 10-year experience for your existing unit is probably typical for Florida. I'm guessing that 12-years is probably tops. If you elect to replace the compressor, you will find that the next weakest link in the chain is likely to be failing in the next 2 years. You will then be facing the decision to throw more money at the problem.
    * How the existing compressor failed could be important if it was caused by a "burnout." I've been cautioned that compressor "burnouts" can contaminate the tubing between the indoor and outdoor units, and if the tubing is not properly cleaned (or replaced), can result in the replacement compressor failing in short order. It would be best if you are getting a brand new system to also replace the connecting tubing.
    * Get a second opinion and quote from someone who carries brands other than the one you are replacing.
    * Consumer Reports carries reliability ratings if you are comparing manufacturers. In general, you get what you pay for.
    * Some brands are made by other brands. For example, Trane is made by American Standard. I found that a lesser-known American Standard system was about $1,000 less than the comparable Trane system. Bryant and Rudd have sister brands. Carrier also has a lower cost brand.
    * Don't be seduced by SEER ratings. Anything you buy today will be higher in SEER number than was available 10 years ago. What I found is that much higher SEER ratings never paid for themselves in electricity costs as some payoffs required considerably more than 10 years to achieve. If you want to go for SEER bragging rights, you can find models in the 20's, but at a cost of many thousands of dollars more.
    * One relatively inexpensive way to pick up an additional SEER number equivalent is to opt for a variable speed inside air handler. You will also notice a difference in improved comfort if you don't have this feature now.
    * On outside compressors, you will find that most manufacturers are now offering multi speed and variable speed compressors as options. These obviously cost more and offer better efficiency (SEER ratings) and it is up to you if you want to pay the difference. Multi and variable speed compressor technology is still relatively new, so reliability is still a work in progress.
    * Despite what technology and brand you select, INSTALLATION is the most important factor for a reliable system. If there was a "burnout" of the old unit, it is safer to pull the old tubing and install new rather than trying to clean and hope the system is clean. It takes time to properly check the various components as they are being installed and will require most of a day to perform. Don't go with anyone who is going to do the job in 2 hours and then run off to perform other installations.
     
  6. schwoo

    schwoo Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2013
    742
    Florida
    Full Name:
    Marquette
    Thank you for the advice - have a second opinion scheduled this afternoon.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
  7. cheesey

    cheesey Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2011
    1,921
    a/c units ( forced air HVAC ) for the home essentially are 2 separate units... the compressor which lives outside and the air handler which lives inside the furnace...

    the compressor is what is rated in SEER numbers... if the compressor has failed, replace the entire outside unit... it is stand alone...

    the air handler lives inside the furnace, it is stand alone with no moving parts, it is like a car radiator, unless it is failing or undersized for the new compressor or increasing the house area cooled there is no reason to replace it... it is a separate job

    the blower fan is used by both the furnace and a/c, no reason to replace it until it fails

    unless one has money to burn or increasing capability of the a/c, replace the failed segment... if the transmission in a car fails, there is no reason to replace the motor
     
  8. 308steve

    308steve Karting

    Sep 5, 2010
    223
    If I ever decide to replace my current unit or build a new home I'd be looking into a multiple 'mini split' arrangement. One unit can drive and heat/cool a number or rooms, no duct work and infinite variable control. An added bonus would be that if one unit quit, you still would have other areas of the house with heating and cooling. I added a unit at my home to heat/cool an addition and the unit was capable of driving up to 4 head units --- I'll be adding additional coverage to my garage and three seasons room by years end.
     
  9. cheesey

    cheesey Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2011
    1,921
    you are referring to a reverse cycle hvac system or heat pump, a lot depends on the climate one lives in... as the temperature drops, the differential between the ambient temp and the temp generated goes away, not leaving any heat to extract for warming the house... these units switch to alternate heat source such as strip heat (electric heat element or a gas burner as in furnace )... strip heat can be very costly in areas where electricity is expensive and the winters temps are cold... I have been using reverse cycle on my boats for more years than I want to count... using refrigerant lines in place of ducts uses less space and delivers cooling only to the desired zones at the temperature for that zone... very confortable

    current construction of new homes typically have two or more hvac units (forced air) ( depending on size )... the one unit for entire house is no longer the norm
     
  10. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 3, 2001
    7,794
    LA
    Full Name:
    Frank
    I just changed out two of out three systems. First guy wanted 33,000 for a 18 SEER American Standard System, new coil, outside unit and gas furnace. Second guy comes out also wants 33K for 18 SEER TRANE system. Third guy comes out installs two 20.75 SEER American Standard systems for 23K. Best advice is shop around.
     
  11. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,525
    This is a good thread...I've dealt with too many shady AC repair guys in FL for both our house and condo. The condo, as said above, requires a very specific size so it makes it harder to get repaired and serviced. Every time these guys say "just replace everything." Thankfully Sears didn't do that and said that would be unnecessary.

    If I ever build a custom home in FL, I'm going to see if a Mitsubishi geothermal VRF with heat recovery ventilation system would work. I want ductless and as few parts as possible and the ability to control each room's temperature.
     
  12. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 3, 2001
    7,794
    LA
    Full Name:
    Frank
    What was the outcome of the second opinion?
     

Share This Page