Request for recommendation: Central Air replacement

Currently have 3.5 and 2 ton Carrier units. Both are 11 years old. 3.5 ton is shot. 2 ton is close. Coils look ok.
Plan on staying in the house for at least 5-7 more years.
Four questions:
1) Trane or Carrier........... leaning toward Trane
2) It was recommended that I replace a Carrier coils that are 11 years old to match the new outside Trane units (how long do the A/C coils typically last) and the coil lifetime is not that much longer than the outside units
3) Is this a good price for a Trane 12 Seer XR12
4 Ton Unit 4 Ton Replacement Coil (high efficiency) 2 Ton Unit 2.5 Ton Replacement Coil (high efficiency)
$5,900 installed if buy same time or $3,500 and $3,000 for 3.5 and 2 ton separately
4) Trane offers a 5 or 10 year extended warranty that can cover parts or labor or both parts and labor transferable. Is this advisable?
Thanks
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cp wrote:

Wrong questions. The first question is how to find a good tech. Then let them help you with your many options. Hopefully after inspecting on site and maybe doing some calculations to verify the size needed, they may make several different suggestions, some you did not think of. They can give you much better recommendations than we can from here. Get more than one bid and don't assume the lowest bid is the best.
Choice of make and model is the last part of the process. Let your tech help you with that choice. In the end, the difference between a good tech and a poor one is far greater than the difference between a good brand and a bad one. Of course a good tech will not sell you a poor make.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

How do you find a "good" tech? What should you be looking for when evaluating a company?
We are in the market for a new heat pump, and have had 6 different companies provide quotes. Its almost overwhelming trying to determine who is providing the "right" information. As you can probably surmise, the quotes all have different recommendations (ie, one thinks that the return needs to be moved inside the house, another thinks everything is fine and just replace the existing unit, another thinks we need a bigger unit etc).
Cathy
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I dont sell Carrier, or Trane..yet...(still thinking about picking them up as a lower end line) however...
1- Who has done the correct manual T, (not J, this is a heat pump, diffferent calculation)? If no one...they dont get the work. 2-Who has done the Manual D duct calculation? If no one...they dont get the job.
Manual T will tell you the EXACT size unit you need. Guesses are NOT what you want when you are dealing with hte most abused, and expensive applicance in your home. Manual T is a heat loss, heat gain calculation that will allow the contractor to properly size your unit, based upon YOUR home, not HIS guess. If they dont do it....screw them...seriously...boot them to the curb. Too large a unit is worse than a too small a unit.
Manual D can not be done until the units size is calculated with a manual T, or J, or N...however, you are getting a heat pump, so that is a "T". Manual D is a duct sizing calculation that insures that the unit that is being installed has the proper static pressure to operate, AND insures that you are getting enough CFM per ROOM to peroperly cool and heat it. Getting a new unit, without this being done, even on existing equipment, is wasting your money and time. No one wants to do it...boot them out.
After you find someone that will do that, you need to look, and verify the following:
State Licence. Liability Insurance Workers Comp Certificate
Once you have done that, insure that you are NOT getting a Janitrol, or Goodman, or any brand they rebadge...if you are looking for a lifetime warranty on the compressor, other brands offer this. Forget the name on the unit...go for the contractor that will install it correctly.
Given that information, also keep in mind, that while Carrier is a decent unit installed correctly, most all their units are R410A, or Puron. Personally, as an owner of an HVAC company, I do not advocate it...not yet. Too many replacements for R22 starting to hit the market and last time Carrier came out with a magic safe refrigerant, (R500) it failed after a few years. Now R500 is more expensive than R12. York, the company that I sell, offers Puron units, but they are looking into other refrigerants, and the industry may just go another route, so you will want to consider R22, a refrigerant that is proven, cheap, and will be around long after this unit that you are about to buy is toast. Given that.... Go with the highest SEER rating you can afford. The MINIMUM standard starting in less than 2 years will be 13. Currently, it is 10. IF you want to be ahead of the game, look at nothing but 14SEER and higher units. They cost more, but normally have a longer and better warranty than the cheap stuff...and you DO get what you pay for.
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The brand name does not matter as much as the name of the installer. You need someone that knows what they are doing. BUT! You need to get at least 3 different quotes (QUOTES!! Not estimates!) and go from there.
Ask your friends and neighbors who they would use.
If you are changing the outside (condensing) unit, you would be wise to change the indoor (whether a coil or entire air handler). If this guy is putting a 12 SEER unit outside and NOT changing the evaporator coil, I doubt very seriously that you would get 12 SEER out of it.
Prices vary so i will not comment on the ones you listed. As I said above, get at least 2 other quotes.....

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OOOps! Didn't see your's until after I posted, Meester Meehan!!
Like he said (yeah!)
;-]
wrote

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At 11 years, depending on where you live, both are shot..

Personally...neither. I dont like the fact that if either breaks out of warranty electrical wise, you pay through the nose for parts.
BTW, the name on the unit means nothing, its the install that makes the unit.

Umm...you NEVER install a new outdoor condensor on evap coils that old. In other words, if someone told you that you can keep the indoor coils and replace the outdoor units only...kick that hack to the curb. It is a waste of your money to do this and anyone that tells you otherwise is wrong.

Nope. Too low...seriously. (and I say this, since I have been considering a Trane dealership as my cheaper brand, that is more well known here in my area)
Where is your new matched lineset? For BOTH units. What is the SEER rating? High Efficiency means nothing...anyone can put that on a unit and someone will buy it. Today, High Efficiency means 14 SEER or HIGHER. 10 SEER units used to be called HE units, then it was 12 SEER, and now, with the 13 SEER Federal Ruling on the way, 13 SEER will be the cheap crap, and 16 SEER will be high efficiency units...
Sounds like some salesman either saw you coming, or you are leaving something out.

If you can get it for under $400...cause you WILL need it.
I kinda like my units 10 year warranty, that includes a lifetime warranty on the compressor....the labor warrantys included in the price....but....each company is different.

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Thanks for the info guys. Appreciate the feedback. Model numbers for the equiment is below
Some additional info from my experience thus far.
The repair tech that came out to check the systems seemed very knowledgeable. He advised me that the valves where shot in my 3.5 ton and very weak in my 2 ton. He put a pound of freon in the 2 ton and advised me that it was futile to fill the 3.5 ton. Further, he did not charge me for the $57 flat rate visit or the freon for the 2 ton unit.
The Sales Tech from the same company came out and advised me to replace both the outside unit and the coil so there would be a good match. (I was pushing for just the outside unit).
Said that Compressor/Condenser and Coils usually last up to 11 years. Said I could go from a 3.5 ton to a 4 ton as the housing in my existing Carrier was capable of a 4 ton. The tech went in my attic where the units are and computed the amount of cu ft going out of the 3.5 ton unit to determine if there was enough to hadle the extra 1/2 ton. After computing it, he advised me that is was right at 3.5 tons and that by going up to 4 tons, there would be a little loss in efficiency as the outbound capacity was a little less than it should be for 4 tons. I still chose to go with the 4 ton as the price wasn't much different.
He computed a SEER of 12.25 for each of the units based on using Tranes high effiiciency coils.
The model numbers for the outside units are the XR12 for the 4 ton and 2 ton.
2 ton: 2TTR2024A1000A 4 ton: 2TTR2048A1000A
The model numbers for the coils are:
2.5 ton: TXC031S3HPC 4 ton : TXC054S3HPC
Price includes Condenser install and Coil install for both units. Again, the total was $5,925.

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