Bids for condensor

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Hello all,
New to this NG. Thanks in advance for replying.
I need a condenser, and called a few places and got bids. One a large company via Home Depot, $3700 for a Trane 14 seer 3.5 ton R410a.
The other an independent single outlet 26 years in one place $2400 for the same thing but R22.
My question: is there such big difference between condenser types of R22 & R410a? Or the owner of this large company wants to pay off his Porsche by gauging me? Or may be the owner of the independent company does not know much?
My current system is on R22, and I am not replacing inside units.
Thanks again. Mike
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*sigh*
I give up.........
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Are you talking about getting one installed or dropped in the back of a pickup truck. In any case you need to make sure it is sized correctly. Many builders put in systems too large or too small. If too large they won't dehumidfy the air and they fail prematurely. If too small it won't cool.

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Could even be the same guy doing the work but with HD getting a huge markup. It is a myth that HD, and others like that, sell cheap.
Get more information. While you are replacing only the condenser, there may be other work needed to change refrigerants.
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Thanks for a good reply.
Mike

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This is Turtle.
If you change just the outside. I would not go to 410-A freon with the inside coil still being used. You will be mixing two oil together and is trouble comes with it.
Bad --- $3,700.00 sounds stiff and not a very good ideal of using a R-22 system coil and put R-410-A in it.
Good --- $2,400.00 sounds better and good ideal for using R-22 in a R-22 system.
TURTLE
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ma wrote:

I'd just replace the condenser with a mid-grade unit. If you like Trane, consider the XR11 or XR12 (up to 13.0 SEER with the right indoor coil). The price in most of the U.S. should be well under $2K installed.
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The different refrigerants use different lubricating oils, and different pressures. Different flow rates.
I'd stay with R-22. $2400 sounds like in the right ball park for prices. I'd suggest a rotary compressor, not a recip.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Stormy meant to say...
"I'd suggest a scroll compressor, not a recip.".
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Actually, Stormy meant to say rotary. Sroll is one of the types of rotary.
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This is Turtle.
Stormy , A rotory compressor has it's system of operating and does not resemble the scroll inside but only in shape of outside. Rotary compressors are the scum of compressors and Scroll is the Best of all compressors less than 15 ton sizes. Also Rotary compressor are built for 5 year life hopefully and scrolls are built for a life time of use. Totally two different animals.
TURTLE
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Turtle,
I agree that a scroll compressor is the best way to go. If you want the high SEER the outdoor unit is rated for, change the indoor coil also.
Using the old indoor coil over is like having a Ford car with a Chevy transmission and a Toyota rear end. It may run but the parts are not made to work together. That is true if you stay with R-22, Even more so if you switch to R-410a.
Stretch
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This is Turtle.
R-410-A condenser on a R-22 used coil. NO WAY.
New R-22 condenser on a R-22 coil inside would only be for these reasons. Selling soon or don't have the money.
The Miss matching is only done in my business because of customer with no extra money for coil.
TURTLE
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To me, rotary means that the system rotates, instead of recip, which means to cycle back and forth.
A scroll rotates in the same direction continuously.
I've heard the scrolls are good.
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This is Turtle.
So Where does screw Compressor [ nothing sexual ] come in at ? they rotate like scroll and rotary.
TURTLE
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At least screws don't cycle back and forth. I've seen illustrations of screw compressors.
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Stormy,
Actually the scroll orbits, but does not rotate. Much like an orbital sander. The screws in a screw compressor rotate.
Stretch
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Y'know, that does make sense.
At least it doesn't orbit right, left, right, left.
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Mike,
Where do you live and what is your AC usage? You want to select a SEER rating that makes sense based upon how much your AC will be run. After determining the SEER rating that you want, be certain that you are comparing the same SEER rating when you are comparing quotes from different installers. Remember that a low SEER rating is adequate if your AC usage is low or even if it is moderate.
If you are attempting to save money on installation, then go with an R22 compressor properly matched to your existing system. The R22 is still inexpensive and works pretty well. It is single component refrigerant, which is a big advantage if you develop a small system leak. The R410a is a "near-azeotropic" blend of two refrigerants. It has low but significant fractionalization (which is why it must be charged as a liquid) and any leaks will cause a shift in the component mix. In plain English, even small losses shouldn't be topped off; the system really should be evacuated, fixed and recharged whenever any leak is detected. With R22, very small leaks can be legally and practically topped off (with some restrictions).
Do not attempt to tack an R410a compressor to your existing system. Avoid any installer who would do it. The operating pressures for R410a are too high for your existing system. To properly retrofit your AC system for the R410a compressor, you'll spend as much as you would to install a mid-range new system.
Personally, I'd recommend a new system that fits your budget. Would you spend $400 patching together a 20 year-old refrigerator when you could buy a new one for $600? Likewise, it usually doesn't make sense patching together an old home AC system. I'll be attempting to patch together my next door neighbors old R22 system this weekend, but we are purchasing materials at wholesale and our labor is free.
In your case, going with the new system will give you (1) a system in which all of the components are properly matched, (2) a new system warranty, (3) a lower operating cost and (4) a system which should need little maintenance for quite a while.
No matter what you decide, get many quotes and opinions.
Question for you: Are you 100% positive that you need a new compressor? Sometimes the need for a new compressor is very obvious, but sometimes it isn't. Be particularly careful of the situation in which one replacable component outdoors is bad, but you get pushed toward replacing the entire outdoor unit. Next, you are considering buying a complete new system. I've seen this happen when the only problem is a compressor fan motor which is tripping the breaker. Sometimes a bit of oil is all that is needed; other times there is a need for an inexpensive start capacitor or run capacitor; or sometimes a homeowner-installed replacement motor will fix the problem (this is certainly extremely inexpensive compared to a new compressor unit or a new system).
Good luck, Gideon
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Thanks for comprehensive explanation.
We live in hot & humid Houston. almost 9 to 10 months out of a year we need AC.
The existing unit is 22 years old. Yep. It was put in operation 1983. It still is working, but looks like it is struggling for hours to keep up with 5 F differential (inside & out). The evaporator & heating units are only 6 years old Carrier.
I am going with Trane 3.5 ton 14 seer 2TTX4042A1000 for $2390 that includes sight glass, slab, installation, & startup.
Mike

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