Higher SEER = More Problems? Worth it?

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According to CR: Contractors they survey say units with a SEER of 11 to 14 tend to hold up best. SEER of more than 14 tend to be more complex, with more that can go wrong.
Any opinion on this? It seems that anything above SEER 14 is just a waste of money. Are you really going to save that much more a month to make it worth it? And will it give you more trouble?
RAJ
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Hey RAJ,
In my opinion, having been an HVAC Contractor for 30+ years, I tend to agree that 14 seer or more is a waste of money as it would take a very long time to pay-back the difference, than say a 13 seer, which is what I put in my own home.
I'm sure the day will come when electric and gas will be so expensive, we'll wish we had a 30 seer, but until at least 2010, when R-22 will be phased out, I'll be installing 13 seer cooling and heat pumps and more than ever putting in dual fuel systems, 96 AFUE gas furnaces and 13 seer heat pumps.
I've been using Amana units for awhile now, and really like the varible speed blowers, biggest improvement in heating and cooling since electronic ignition in plae of the pilot light.
You can get a lot of info at http://www.hvac-talk.com/ the pictures on the wall of shame are pretty good to.
Take care, mrkool
RAJ wrote:

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It really depends on where you are located... here in the south, the payback on the a/c or a heat pump is really pretty quick as we have 9 months of summer here as opposed to 9 months of winter sports where you would actually see a payback from a 96% AFUE furnace.

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Noon-Air wrote:

buy a long term MANUFACTURERS warranty. Around here 10 year is common.
that way service costs are minimal
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You need to find a Seer chart showing payback comparisons, the savings is not linear increasing but is less for each Seer number increase to figure your cost and payback. Some manufacturers simple units go above 14 my lennox is 15 seer. It also depends on hours per year used, location and total $ you pay to AC. Run your numbers and figure in a doubling of electric cost for 10 yrs out, every house and location are different.
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jzjz had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Higher-SEER-More-Problems-Worth-it-118073-.htm : I agree. This 30+ Year contractor is just running his mouth without really thinking. He probably lives in a little house with $100 a month ac/heating bills. If you have a small heating or AC bill, than cutting a small bill in 1/2 won't help pay it back very fast.
However I have a huge problem. I have 5500 square feet and I'm seeing $500 to $600 bills with this piece of junk 12 seer york I have. If those bills were cut in 1/2 it would save about $250 a month. It would pay for itself in about 2 years. There's at least $5000 a year spend on heating an air conditioning here and it's an electric nightmare. Back when electric was more affordable it wasn't too bad. But they raised our electric rates by over 60% in one year!
I'm aware that a 24 seer probably wouldn't really cut the bill in 1/2, but it at least gives me hope that it would pay for itself in a reasonable time. If not in 2 years then maybe 4 or 5. Even if it were 6 or 7 it would be worth the chance on it. I just wish I knew the exact figures..
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jzjz wrote:

http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Higher-SEER-More-Problems-Worth-it-118073-.htm
Hi, First thing first, is your house well insulated and air tight?
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http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Higher-SEER-More-Problems-Worth-it-118073-.htm
The only one who can tell you is a local tech..... and the tech should be able to show your actual ROI numbers at todays utility rates.
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Oh jesus, give it up, already.....
and the tech should be

He should, eh? How bout YOU?? Proly not.
To the OP: iirc, energy consumption is directly proportional to the eer rating. So, theoretically, a 24 seer should use half the energy of your 12, assuming it really is 24. Plus, if it's got a heat pump, you'll likely save with that as well. Plus, it seems these newer units are very quiet -- at least the mitsubishi/fujitsu "suitcases" -- the fujitsu my neighbor has is *super* quiet -- you couldn't hear it if it were under a dining room table during dinner.
So, depending on how much you actually use it, you can do the calcs yourself, just from the claimed eers and your current usage and $ per kwhr.
As others have said, insulation makes a big diff -- as does good zoning, which is easier said than done with A/C. You might consider a bunch of mini-splits instead of one central A/C unit -- not the cheapest way to go initially, but with the zoning inherent in minisplits, you may save bundles way beyond even the eer diffs.
--
EA





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jzjz wrote:

http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Higher-SEER-More-Problems-Worth-it-118073-.htm
It's pretty hot where I live, but those numbers sound high to me. I suspect you need more insulation, and probably some patches on your ductwork. I'm also a fan (no pun intended) of radiant barriers.
If those bills

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jzjz wrote:

http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Higher-SEER-More-Problems-Worth-it-118073-.htm
Note that the original question comes from June 2006
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bud-- wrote:

People at the suckocompany are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Jon
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Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Hwang. The respect is returned. I've been impressed that you are polite, and thoughtful. I've never met a bad Hwang. Actually, can't say as I've met one in person in any form.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Goodgawd.... mebbe it's the water.... mebbe they're both drinking the same water....
--
EA

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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Isn't a Hwang what the Mormons play with when they are not married?

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Hwang is the sound that the rod makes when spanking an unruly child or teenager.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Sheeit, then you must be in 7th Heaven, over there in Utah!!
--
EA

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Hermann wrote:

Hi, Hwang = 황 = 黃, Got it? Speaking of marriage, I can trace back my whole clan back to early 14th century. BTW, I am 37th generation. I have document, the whole thing on two DVD set. Periodically updated/published/distributed from clan Hq. based in Seoul, Korea(my home town) Can you or your family match it? Do you know who you are?
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Yes we know who we are. We are...
http://tinyurl.com/ygq98o6
Left to right: Stormin Mormon, Oren & Nate. I'm not in it of course because I'm taking the picture.
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Red Green wrote:

Hi, Yup, red and green.
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