new house installation in Florida- corrosions questions

I'm builing a new home very close to the salt water in Florida and have a few questions about which AC unit to purchase. First of all, the houe is three levels with the bottom being pretty much all garage space and un airconditioned. The second level is around 2300 square feet and the top room is around 400 sq ft. I've gotten some quates from some contractors and they preyy much agree that I need a 2 ton unit for the bedroom and loft and then a 4 ton unit for the living room,etc. As I'm very new to HVAC units installation/brands, I am desparately looking for some advice as to what is a good unit to install and what quastions should I ask my subs before I give them the job. So far I've gotten quotes for 16K for american standard, 11.5K for Rheem, 15K for trane and then around 11K for Goodman. Iknow little about the Goodman but they seem to have a good warrenty. Also, I'm concerned about the salt air around the condenser and longevity. Is there a certain brand that protects against corrosion verses others? many many thanks dave
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shady wrote:

Did each of the contractors do a heat gain calculation before sizing the A/C? If not, scratch them off your short list.
In my experience Trane / American Standard's 'spine fin' coils seem to hold up best in the salt air environment. Their cabinets also have composite basepans... a good feature since.rusting out of basepans is also problem in coastal areas.
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Travis Jordan wrote:

thanks travis- each of the contractors did do a heat gain calc. some are ok w/ a 2/3 ton configuration while others swear that I'll need a 2/4 ton setup. I'd be happy if the unit lasts 10 years in the salt air. is it work spending and extra 6K on american standard. the goodman warrenty is 10 yrs comp/10 yrs parts. Am I mad? dave
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shady wrote:

Something is wrong with one of those sets of calculations for the larger unit - assuming everyone was working from the same information you shouldn't have a one ton (12,000 BTU) discrepancy. Before you sign on the dotted line sit down with your choosen contractor and confirm the information that they used as input to the calculation (room sizes, window and door types and sizes, wall orientation, etc.).

The quality of the system design and installation is generally more important than the brand. Having said that you should make sure there aren't other differences in the design of the system - for example hard duct instead of flex duct, or the location and number of return registers. Do all the proposals include variable speed air handlers?
I can't speculate on how much longer the Trane (A/S) systems will last... all I know is that their spine-fin coils and the condenser housings hold up better than average in our salt air environment.
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Travis Jordan wrote:

thanks travis- each of the contractors did do a heat gain calc. some are ok w/ a 2/3 ton configuration while others swear that I'll need a 2/4 ton setup. I'd be happy if the unit lasts 10 years in the salt air. is it work spending and extra 6K on american standard. the goodman warrenty is 10 yrs comp/10 yrs parts. Am I mad? dave
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Being from NY, the salt we have here is on the road during winter. Many folks up here make a point of car washes, and flushing the salt out from under.
I'm wondering there there is, or should be, a good business in FL rinsing the salt out of and off of AC units? No wax, please.
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You really want a geothermal heat pump.
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