Help picking Seer rating for A/C unit

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I'm getting ready to have a new furnace and central a/c unit installed. I'm not sure the size is important but I need a three ton central unit. My question is how I know what seer rating to go with? I know the higher the more efficient. They guy that sized the job says a 10 would be fine but higher would save me money monthly and will install what i want and gave me the price on a 10 and a 13, big differance. How do I know how high to go and not loose money because of the extra I have to pay for the unit? I live in northern Kentucky
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Get more bids then report back.
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The Feds raised the required SEER level to 13 so he may have trouble finding a 10 SEER unit. I guess if he gave you a price, he must have one.
As someone else stated: Get at LEAST 2 more quotes (not estimates) and if one of them can't tell you what the SEER ratings are all about, come back here and ask.
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Whoever does the estimate needs to do the proper calculations to determine tonnage. How do you know you need 3 tons ?
IMO pay for the highest SEER you can afford because rates are gonna keep going up.
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Only a crook would recomend a 10 seer in Ky they will be outlawed soon if they already are not. In Ky get as high as you can but a 14 seer is maybe 40-50 % more efficient than a 10. You can go to 19.5 seer. You need a written load calc, you may need 3 ton in 10 seer but 2.5 in 15 seer , oversize and you will be left humid, Get a few Pros out, not Mr Cheaps selling you his last years overstock. Electricity is going up, you can easily cut your bills in 50-75% with the right equipment. A VS DC blower will also cut your bills, but get a 10 yr warranty on your unit.
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m Ransley wrote:

10 SEER is not illegal to install, only illegal to manufacture. No sense in making a law to outlaw installing, non will be available in a few weeks to months anyway.
SEER IS cooling efficiency averaged over the cooling season in BTUs per watt. Higher is better, like miles per gallon. Efficiency has nothing to do with capacity. If you need a 3 ton in 10 SEER, then you need a 3 ton in 19 SEER efficiency.
Did your contractor do a manual J load calculation? It is a fairly complex procedure. If he sized by the square feet of floor area, he did it wrong. He needs the square feet of windows, what kind they are and which way they face. The square feet of doors, walls,ceilings, floors is also required as well as the R-factors for each. Then all the numbers are run through a computer as it is getting too complicated to do by hand.
If the contractor did not do all that, get another contractor.
What SEER you need depends a lot on the cost of installation, weather conditions in your area and cost of electricity. Here in Myrtle Beach, SC electric rates are about 6 to 6.5 cents per KWH. 14 SEER is fine for most people with our weather conditions. If you pqy 12 cents per KWH, go as high as you can. If your rates are somewhere in between, then go somewhere in between.
If you pay $30.00 per month electric bill, an efficiency upgrade makes less sense than if you pay $300.00 per month. We need more information to make a good recommendation.
Stretch
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You get more Btu cooling out of a 16 seer 3 ton than a 10 seer 3 ton, sizing can often be decreased by using a higher seer. Trane has Seer comparison sheets
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Ransley,
You have no clue!
3-ton is 36000 BTUs per Hour Cooling. Period.
1-ton is the amount of cooling produced by melting 1-ton of 32 degree ice to 32 degree water per day.
Melting ice absorbs 144 BTUs per pound. That is called the "latent heat of fusion", that is the heat absorbed by the change of state from solid water to liquid water without changing the temperature. If you melt 1-ton (2,000 pounds) of water that is 2000 times 144 = 288,000 BTUs per day. Divide 288,000 BTUs per day by 24 (hours per day) and you get 12,000 BTUs per hour. Divide that by 60 (minutes per hour) and you get 200 BTUs per minute.
Air conditioners are rated by BTUs per hour of cooling delivered to the space, a NET rating. Gas furnaces, on the other hand, are rated by BTUs INPUT, a GROSS INPUT rating. Increasing the efficiency of a furnace rated 100,000 BTUs per Hour Input means more BTUs delivered to the space. But, increasing the efficiency of a TRUE 1-TON Air Conditioner reduces the power consumption, it does NOT change the cooling capacity.
Stretch
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m Ransley wrote:

BTU per watt of input power, yes the 16 seer 3 ton will use less electricity
Both units will produce 36,000 BTU/Hr of cooling, the 16 SEER will do so using less electricity to do it than the 10 SEER unit.
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On Wed, 8 Mar 2006 06:28:01 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Rans, What were you smoking? Your whole post was just all wrong. 10 SEER and crooks? They cant keep that shit in stock fast enough. The 10 SEER stuff will sell fast because lots and lots of ppl look for price only. Once the 10's are gone, then the bitchin will begin about "those damn hvac crooks charged me $XXXX.xx for that damn 13 SEER new unit." 19.5 SEER? Ive only seen 19. Its on a Trane and its a rather strange configuration that isnt very popular. Not to mention the cost you will have to shell out for that piece of gold. I love your bit about a 15 SEER having more btu's than a 10 SEER. Thats just classic. I wont even explain that one. Cut your bills 75%? What are you talking about? An all solar home? Even Geothermal would be tough to get you that kind of savings. Variable speed wont cut your bills much either........at least not what the average customer is going to notice. Usually, the only customers that benefit ELECTRICALLY from a variable speed are those that run their furnace/air handler 24/7/365. I will agree with your 10 yr warranty but make sure its parts AND labor. Bubba
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What am I smoking, im all wrong, maybe what are you smoking, or not reading, Trane has a model of the 19 seer line rated at 19.5 seer. Lennox has one at 20 seer, and don`t even sell 10 seer, their lowest is 13 seer. Maybe im not being clear on higher Btu units, my point is you can often downsize with higher Seer units, I know I will have to research and post some proof on what I stated.
For cutting electric 75% yes , read seer comparison sheets, an old inneficient poorly operationg unit may be at 8 seer or less, a 19-20 seer with VSDC can potentialy lower your bill 75%, Read a Seer comparison sheet.
VSDC. OK explain this rating , a Lennox gs32v5-75 at 2000 cfm uses 765 watts A Lennox G32q4-75 at 2050 cfm uses 1080 watts . Or apx 25% less, now that is year around savings. In winter mode your consumption can be even lower.
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On Thu, 9 Mar 2006 07:42:33 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Would you like me to get you a Lennox 10 SEER tomorrow? Let me know which one you want, PayPal me the money and I will have one sent out to you. Oh, and I dont know what you are smoking but it must be good stuff

And Im telling you that you can NOT downsize a unit just because it is a higher SEER. The only way you can downsize it is if some idiot installed too large of a unit in the first place. Sometimes you can pick up a couple hundred or maybe a 1000 btu's with a bigger/better expansion valve indoor coil but SEER does NOT let you downsize a unit.

Ok, I havent checked your numbers but lets say for the heck of it, I believe you. They will only save your 75% if both units work 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week for 365 days. If neither are running that much, the savings wont be much. Bubba
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So you can get a 10 seer Lennox , so what, they are left overs im sure. Lennox doesnt advertise 10 seer anymore on their site. Im sure in your area if you look hard enough you can get a new 8 seer for the penny wise pound foolish .
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On Thu, 9 Mar 2006 18:34:32 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Well YOU are the one that said one couldnt be had. Fact is, right now, you can still find a 10 SEER in most any brand. They wont be around for long though. They will be bought up first because they are cheaper and loads of people want the cheapest they can get. Leftovers? Yeah, with June thru Dec 05 dates. How leftover is that? Bubba
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You misread bubba I never said a 10 seer couldnt he had
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On Fri, 10 Mar 2006 06:41:27 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

You seem to be "backpeddling" Ransley. Bubba
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On Tue, 07 Mar 2006 09:59:41 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.com wrote:

Go to this site and consider a unit with a SEER rating that will give you a tax credit for installing a new unit.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_tax_credits
Additionally, there are calculators that let you plug in the SEER rating of your old unit and the SEER rating of your potential replacement and based on what you pay for electricity, will calculate the potential annual savings. You can also look at the cost difference between a 10 SEER and a higher efficiency unit. Some one posted one of those sites on this news group a couple of months ago. Do a search.
You will probably pay more for the higher efficiency unit but the payback should be there with the tax credit and reduced energy bills.
And get competitive bids. The higher efficiency units should be coming down in price as manufacturers ramp up the volume.
Frank
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<snip>
<snip> I should have provided more information than I did. I did have three estimates, two this year and one a few months ago. Two of the guys did do a load something maybe a manual j or some letter behind it. One said I need all new duck work, other two said what I had was just fine. All three said I need a three ton central air unit. If the furnace is important I can get the number for it. It is natural gas. My basic question was, is it a cost saving to go to a higher seer rating. How many years would it take to realize the savings say from a 10 to a 13 or higher? And yes 10 seer are still sold and installed in Kentucky. Thanks
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Learn to Read buba
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On Fri, 10 Mar 2006 11:16:02 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

I have. Long ago. Learn how to post and get a REAL internet provider. Bubba
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