buying new 3.5 ton a/c

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Our 14 year old Ruud with an SEER of 12 has rusted out and is leakng freon. We contacted the a/c company which installed the unit when the house was built and they are recommending replacing the old unit with a Rheem 3.5 ton SEER 13 RAND042JAZ. My concerns are: 1- SEER is kinda low. Wouldn't a 14 or higher SEER be better? 2-I don't know if this is a scroll or reciprocating compressor. I've read on-line that scroll is better. Is this correct? 3-I don't know of the motor is one or two speed. Two would be more efficient, right? 4-I am of the opinion that this unit would use Freon. Wouldn't a Puron-using unit be better in the long run? Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. BoJo
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Depends..where are you located? If the installing company does not know how to size duct and units correctly with the higher seer units, you can ..thats CAN have a moisture problem.

Scroll.
You mean, you dont know if you want a R22 or a R410a unit... R22 is gonna be around for a while....look at the price difference if they can get you a R22 unit, and see what you think.. Most makes 13SEER or higher are now R410 and its fine, provided that the installers replace the line sets..

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Hi, CBHVAC, We live in south Florida, where high humidity is a daily occurrence. The old unit is Ruud Achiever 12, 3.5 ton, which is leaking refrigerant, aka R22. The quote for the new 3.5 ton 13 SEER Rheem says, "connected to existing refrigerant and electrical lines". So, I assume the new one will use R22, too. Isn't R22 being phased out and gone after 2010? What'll happen in 2011, when we run low on refrigerant? BoJo
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Never assume...ASK. If they are using R410a (Puron) and reusing your old lines, they are screwing you.

The phase out started this year.

Wont happen..how much R12 you want? It was gone years ago, yet I can still go order a pallet of it if I want.
2025 is the magic year, and THEN you might have to worry...but its doubtful..and even then...given that the life expectancy of your unit is 12-15 years, depending on your area, you still have time to use the proven cheaper refrigerant. Dont get me wrong...I am certified in R410a, and given the right install, its fine. The units look alike, but they are totally different animals. You get some putz that has no clue about the stuff, and the most expensive Puron unit will suck.
Big suggestion here, and you will see me talk about it alot over the next few months...if you DO go with a 13+ unit, INSIST that the installing contractor do a manual D and PROVE to you that the existing duct will work 100% with it...Sometimes it will, more often it wont. Higher SEER units require more airflow. Some of the 14SEER units 2.5 tons and up take a 5 ton capacity air handler...thats ALOT more air to cram down the ducts that were originally sized for a lower SEER unit with less air flow. Expect it to run longer...thats ok...longer run times wont equate to higher bills if its sized right. You are in a high humidity area, and higher SEER units have to be installed right to control that...and that will result normally, not always, but normally in a system that when its put in right, (system, meaning, both units, and duct...the duct system is part of the entire system ) they will tend to run longer, and believe it or not, with the fewer stops and start, it will last a bit longer too. Another hint...unless you trust the installer 150%, get another couple of quotes. You might have to pay for them, since a couple of hours of time will be used running the numbers to make sure you are getttng what you pay for, but in the long run, its the cheapest way to go.

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Hi, CBHVAC, You said, "...if you DO go with a 13+ unit, INSIST that the installing contractor do a manual D and PROVE to you that the existing duct will work 100% with it...Sometimes it will, more often it wont" I don't know what you mean when you say manual D. Could you elaborate, please? BoJo
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Not quite CB the XL 19i is available in 2.5, 3, 4 and 5 seer.
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Hummm....not according to what I have from Trane here... The XL19i IS indeed available in 2.5, 3, 4, and 5 ton... But ONLY ONE is rated at 19.5SEER. ONE the 2.5 ton model. Its more American Standard marketing that the public eats up..they fail, as you did, to see the UP TO comments.
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Its like Carrier and their 96.7% furnace, only one is 96.7% efficient, the smallest unit a 38000 btu unit, which few need such a small size, they acheive it by adding 20 lb or so of metal than the next higher output size.
Ok so 19.5 is the highest in that line but the real point was Wes thought 14 seer was Tranes most efficient line up when in fact there are several better than 14 seer
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That was 2.5, 3, 4 and 5 ton in 19i model , sorry I said seer
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I'm not CBHVAC.

Manual D is the duct design guidelines put out by ACCA, Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
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Yup..didnt see this one...musta cleared the server and missed it.
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Hi, all,
Just spoke to a Trane contractor. He recommended replacing the entire unit, inside and out, because both parts are 14 years old and because we could increase the SEER to 15 if the parts were properly matched. He also noted that our current air handler lacks a plenum for mixing the cool air prior to sending it out into the duct! He recommended the R22 system because 410 is still "beta" (not all the bugs have been worked out yet). Any thoughts? BoJo
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Got quotes on Trane 1- 3.5 ton 15 SEER 2TTX5042 Condenser with TWE040E Air Handler, 10 years parts AND labor 2- 3.5 ton 14.75 SEER 2TTX4042 Condenser with TWE049E Air Handler, 10 years parts, 2 years labor
Option 1 costs $700 more.
Suggestions? Ideas?
BoJo
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On 5 Dec 2005 11:49:05 -0800, havin snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Shit or get off the pot. Go with option one as labor is expensive and will be worth it should something go wrong.
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Grandeloquent reply. BTW, option 2 contains a mis-matched pair; a 3.5 ton compressor with a 4 ton air handler. I suppose that's inconsequential.
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Grandiloquent reply. BTW, option 2 contains a mis-matched pair; a 3.5 ton compressor with a 4 ton air handler. I suppose that's inconsequential.
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. Actually, that IS a matched pair.
No one seems to get the part about how higher SEERs require more air flow... Hope hes running a manual D on the duct too, cause most of the time, go too high in SEER over what you had and your duct is worthless.
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http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_tax_credits Tax Credits for Homeowners: There are different levels of credit depending on the type of improvement made, but the maximum amount of homeowner credit for all improvements combined cannot exceed $500 during the two year period of the tax credit. This tax credit applies to improvements made from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2007.
Eligible measures are:
Added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope
Replacement windows
High-efficiency gas, oil, and propane furnaces and boilers
High-efficiency central air conditioning units, including air-source and ground-source heat pumps
High-efficiency fans for heating and cooling systems
High-efficiency water heaters, including heat pump water heaters
Incentive amounts are:
Added insulation: 10% of cost up to $500
Replacement windows: 10% of cost up to $200
Furnaces and boilers: $150 for qualifying units
Central air conditioning units: $300 for qualifying units
Fans for heating and cooling systems: $50 for qualifying units
Water heaters: $300 for qualifying units
ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005 DRAFT SUMMARY OF TAX CREDITS FOR HOMEOWNERS (US Treasury has not yet provided final interpretation for IRS use)
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When they did away with R-12 in 1993, there was a supply around for a couple years. People stocked up, and then there was reclaimed gas. And then the substitutes came out.
Not a serious issue.
If you get a Puron unit, it will probably require new lines and evaporator. Don't know for certain, I've never worked with puron. But I do know that puron has different pressures. Probably also different flow rates and such.
--

Christopher A. Young
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They go alot higher than 14 seer, up to 19? and so do costs but efficiency increase is not linear, it declines with each seer up. Tranes site has a seer sheet showing seer increase and $ saved. You have to run your numbers and get other bidders to help you better. A load calculation in writing is also a good idea incase you are oversized, higher seer units ive heard don`t pull out as much humidity so sizing is important. 13 seer might soon the new minimum you can buy.
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