Need help with choosing right central air conditioning

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I have the Sears.ca sales agent coming over next week to check out our place to see if they can install a central A/C unit. The sales mentioned that the SEER rating doesn't mean much for someone who lives in Western Canada. When he faxed over the specs of the Kenmore unit that he is suggesting, I see it has a SEER rating of 10!
Based on the trane website, SEER rating helps to reduce your electrical bill in teh long run and they suggest something along a SEER 15. The more expensive ones are SEER 19. So this has me all worried about the SEER 10 Kenmore unit.
Can anyone shed some light on this situation? Will the SEER 10 be louder? Much more costly? Thoughts?
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why not just get a variety of system bids and energy savings forecasts before you spend cash without spending enough time on the homework. some canadian stuff for you at: http://buildingsgroup.nrcan.gc.ca/software/hot2xp_e.html
and: "Changing out old cooling and heating equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified models can cut your annual energy costs by 20 percent. Remember that getting the proper size and a quality installation is essential to getting the most from your new equipment. " it says with links for you at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac
and incredible amounts of info at: http://www.buildingscience.com/resources /
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It depends on alot of things as to what is best for you, I need little Ac since im in shade and my house design and footprint dont allow much solar heating, my neighbors in sun with a ranch house nearby are always hot. Will you want it 70f or 78f. Humidity is an issue with high humidity areas you may want it running alot for just humidity removal. Most important is you get a written load calculation for sizing and ductwork, or your system will never be right. You have a choise, pay a bit more for a 14-16+ seer or pay forever a much higher electric bill, electricity is going up so think about it. Personaly I shop for highest efficiency ratings, and have the lowest utility usage of my area.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

SEER ratings help with the summer time A/C. However, in Western Canada, your cooling season is much shorter than it is say along the Gulf Coast of the USA. High SEER ratings are frightfully important to that region as they see a cooling season of almost 9 months.
SEER 10 units are cheaper to purchase that the SEER 14-19 units. They are generally much more efficient than the unit they replace. Your Sears.ca rep is probably correct in recommending a SEER 10 unit for your use, more efficient than the unit it is replacing, and a good balance of cost versus long term benefit. Higher SEER ratings will take longer to payback, see below.
US law mandates a 80% efficient gas furnace. Along the Gulf Coast of the USA, the heating season is so short that the difference between a 60% efficient furnace and a 80% efficient furnace amounts to as little as $75 for the ENTIRE heating season.
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In MOST cases that I know of sears doesnt pay its installers...usually independent contractors ....very much money......they usually get guys just getting started with their own business or people who cant get work otherwise.
Get estimates from a variety of dealers...use recomendations from family, friends, co workers.etc...
Check around for heating companies that do financing and check with your utility company to find out if they will do financing......
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installers...usually

get guys

get
from
with
financing......
lets see...... The company I work for does subcontracting for sears. We are not fledgling nor do they pay alot of money. Also we are responsible for the first years labor on warranty calls so we don't do shoddy work. The only jobs that have any problem are because the salesman didn't know what he was looking at. We take the sears work to keep guys off unemployment in the slow months. Much of the Kenmore equipment is Heil altho they do also sell Carrier. Many of the people that contract with sears for thier HVAC needs are doing it because of the "no interest, no payments for 12 months" and most of them are just replacing units, no ductwork. Often the ductwork is not adequate for the units being installed but we are not allowed to approach the customer with this information. Just report it back to sears. Personally I wouldn't go with sears but then I know better. Get a couple other estimates. And when you get them, don't just look at the seer, check the eer too. 12 or better is high efficiency.
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Thanks for everyone's replies and thoughts. We are actually, not replacing an old unit. We are wanting a new install along with ductwork.
I am not too sure I want a SEER 10 unit today given that it is no longer manufactured in this part of the world. We mihgt be usign the unit for 3-5 months out of the year but we want it quiet for the neighbours as well.
We have 3 quotes:
Quote #1: About $9,000 CDN for full install (not including power from panel to the outdoor unit - will need to bring in electrician to do that: anyoen knwo how much this will cost) - Trane 3 ton cased coil - 14 SEER (410A) - Plus balancing the forced air system
Quote #2: About $6,600 CDN for full install (including all wiring - the installed says eh can do this work all himself) - Trane 3 ton - Up to SEER 15 (XL14i)
Quote #3: Not here yet but the Sears.ca sales agent mentioned somewherea roudn $5,500 mark for the SEER 10 unit.
I am pretty sure Quotes 1 & 2 are quoting the exact same unit based on the brochure model numbers so there is a very big difference in price quotes. $9K is probably out of my range but the 2nd quote gave me asue for hesitation as the installer is doing everything himself (including the high voltage wiring). I have no experience in this area but the first quote wouldn't even touch this area as they suggest a specialist / someoen who is licensed to do the high power work. This is what made me nervous. But the price difference is $6,600 and $9K? Big difference! Perhaps I can ask them to not balance the system, this shoudl drop the price by quite a bit no?
Any advice and tips? What else can I provide for the group to help me solve this one? I am still not sure what to do and where to go with this one.
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I just had a Trane 14i 3 ton split unit installed. That is a heatpump with an inside air handler and the outside unit. It was about $ 5100 American. The new wiring was just from the existing boxes near the old units . Anyone that has to have an 'expert' to install the wiring should not be installing the unit. The only duct work was about 5 feet to mate up with the old system.
I don't know how the electrical laws are in other areas but where I am located the state issues an electrical license mainly to install the electrical part of HVAC units. Your cost could be anything from less than $ 100 worth of materials up depending on what you have and how far the outside service has to be ran.
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Thanks for the reply. The wiring that I am concerned about is pulling the new high voltage line from the panel (circuit breaker) to the outside unit. If I understand you correctly, I think this is the equivalent to your statement about your state issuing a license to install the electrical part of the HVAC unit. This is what I am concerned about and was willing someone come shed some light and calm my fears.
More thoughts?
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Putting in a high voltage wire should not be any problem. All that is required is to install a new breaker at the main box or maybe a new box will have to be installed for the aditional current. It is a very simple electrical job. The actual pulling the wires and mounting the disconnect boxes will take the time. Any place installing the system should have someone working for them that is qualified/licensed to do the elecrtrical wiring. If they do not have anyone that works for them to do the electrical work, I would look for another company.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Three is nearly NO noise difference between SEER 10 and Seer 14-16 units. Noise is NOT the factor that you imagine it can be.
You have the correct idea below, pick a solution from a vendor that you trust, and at a price you can afford. SEER 10s are no longer manufactured in the USA, not true in Canada as your cooling needs are QUITE different from USA Gulf Coast states. A/C is running RIGHT NOW here in Houston TX. Outside air temp is 83.
Quad glazing of windows is, I think a common building practice in much of Canada. Most windows in the USA are STILL single glazed, with double glazing standard on new construction (but with aluminum frames on starter homes). Some ares get access to triple glazed windows, but their use is not widespread.

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So it sounds like:
1. Not go with the company who has 1 installer that does all the installation, including the high voltage line. 2. Still consider the Sears.ca SEER 10 unit as I will only run the unit for 3.5 months out of the year and it may not be worthwhile to fo rthe the pricier Trane 15 Seer Unit.
Does this sound right?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

This sounds like the path I would follow. You are free to take another path.
Again NOISE levels between models is not a factor. SEER 14 is NOT necessarily any quieter than SERR 10.
Money IS important. Trust in the installer IS important. A comprehensive package, one that includes ALL services needed in the replacement, IS very important.
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The installer that does the building and duct load calculations in writing and shows them to you is the one I would pick.
Sound level is rated on the db-decibel scale, all manufacturers have their ratings, they may not be avalaible to you but they are to the installer. If Scone rating is offered demand the conversion to db since Scone is not as accurate a rating. Many manufacturer sites publish db ratings, like Lennox. 1 db makes a difference in what you will hear.
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the
the unit

fo rthe

Does Sears sell Trane in Canada?
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I have dug up the dB readings from the manufacturer's or spec sheet.
Trane up to 15 SEER: 72 dB Trane up to 11 SEER: 76 dB Sears 10 SEER Unit: under 30 degrees celcius (74 dB) - Over 30 degrees celcius (76 dB) (2 stage)
I like the 2 stage of the Sears Kenmore unit actually. I know if I had a 2 stage furnace this would be great but I don't. Will the 2 stage outside Unit be any of any benefit?

Good advice. At this moment, the most "trusted" installer is the most expensive by far. And I also have to find an electrician to come in and pull the high voltage line. In addition, the most "trusted" installer is also offering half of the warranty for the trane parts and 1/10th of the labour warranty! Not good.

I have never received any calculations from the first 2 authorized Trane installers. I only received a suggestion for a unit size and they both match. 3-ton. I actually found them from the Trane website (Canadian section).

Sounds like Trane is high quality stuff. I am seriosuly considering the up to 11 SEER unit now instead of the up to 15 SEER unit. But I love the Sears guarantee. 10 yrs parts AND labour!
This is getting tougher by the day. Man this is overwhelming work for someone who really didn't know much aboiut this area a few weeks ago. Thanks everyone for your insight! Any more tips would be greatly appreciated!
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After all your hard research...getting recomendations, references...etc.......you still only have a 50 percent chance of getting a quality install................~:>
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If you don get written calculations find an hvac installer that will do them, or you will never know if everything is sized right.
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I am hoping the installers that gave me the quotes would have done these calculations. They are both certified by Trane Canada. I will have to ask for the numbers.
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that will do

done
will
You can buy an extended warranty from TRane thru your dealer. 10 yrs p&l is probly around $400.us
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