Time for a new central AC, need advice.

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Well my AC has finally kicked the bucket. I had an AC guy (Scott's AC) come out and he is recommending an Amana 13 SEER unit. Is Amana a good brand? This is just for the unit that sits outside of the house, not any heater, air mover(?) that goes inside. I'm getting a quote of $5K installed with a lifetime warranty on the compressor and I believe other parts also.
My main concerns are: -brand quality/reliabilty -cooling ability (house is about 2500 sq feet) -how much energy savings (my electric bill has been between $350-400/mo) -quietness
I need to clarify which exact model but he said it's a darker grayish model Amana that is rated @ 13 SEER.
Are there other models to consider?
Thanks for any input.
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On Sep 23, 9:24 pm, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

What kicked the bucket, get a second opinion
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In article

The compressor basically locked up and kept shorting everything out. The breaker wouldn't even stay on. It's about 12 years old and I'm in Florida. I could just replace the compressor for about $2K (less if I go used) but the whole unit is getting pretty old and ragged.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

EXACTLY the same thing happened to me. Mine was a Trane, 17 years old and the compressor went kaput from the power chattering caused by hurricane Ike here in Houston.
Two guys came out last night at 8:00 p.m. with a used, six-year old, Rudd condensing unit. In two hours they had the bad condensing unit replaced with the Rudd. It works swell (so far, see below).
At 10:00 p.m., I gave them $700 and they went away.
Now as to guarantees: I know where the AC guy lives (next door to my son) and HE knows I have a gun. I have a high confidence that all will be well.
Regarding replacing the compressor only, I don't know for sure.
Considering the compressor is the only part of the condensing unit that has moving parts, I would think you'd be okay replacing only it. Someday you might have to replace the power relay or the capacitors, but that's pocket change. The wiring won't go bad and if the unit looks ratty, a couple of cans of spray paint should fix that.
A new compressor for my Trane lists for $981, that's why I chose the $300 cheaper option.
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gee got new goodman 90+ furnace with air for 3 thousand installed 10 year warranty.this summer 13 seer air which is fine for pittsburgh.
in florida go with at least 16 seer, you will save bucks on energy
they bent you over with no KY jelly yopur being ripped off.
on a 12 year old unit i would replace the entire system, when the compressor blew tiny bits of debris lkely contaminatyed the entire system
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Thanks for the replies everyone,
Well after doing some digging, I think I can definitely get a better deal. I found out my neighbor just got the same unit only with the internal parts (air handler, heater, etc.) from the same company 6 months ago for $4500 installed. That's $3K less than what the guy quoted me for everything. Needless, to say, I have the neighbor's quote in hand and a manager coming out today.
I also have a friend of a good friend who works with AC coming out to check things out. I'm sure he'll have some used parts/cash under the table deals for me. I'm not real comfortable with the used route though since the unit is so old and really not that efficient ($350+ electric bills) so I'm still considering just replacing everything new.
How much more $$ is it to go up to a 14-15 or even 16 SEER rated unit? Will I see the extra benefit in terms of cooling and electric costs relative to the cost of the higher SEER unit? Some folks have recommended Trane and Lennox as better brands to look into. Is Amana/Goodman bad?
Thanks again for the input.
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On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 09:57:14 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:
Some folks have

Amman/Goodman is pure, unadulterated, crap. A good installer can make or break any unit, howver, a good installer cannot do anything when they start with junk.
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On Sep 24, 10:15�am, NATE Certified Heating and Air Tech wrote:

a very good friend now a retired HVAC instructor of 30+ years highly revcommends the goodman. they use mostly standard parts available from multiple sources, unlike trane and most others with pricey OEM only parts.
plus a bunch of family have had goodmans for years and our very happy, with zero breakdowns.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Back-of-the-envelope calculation follows:
I'm told a 16-SEER unit is in the neighborhood of 35% more efficient than traditional models. In your case, assuming 80% of your $350 is for AC, that means a savings of (mumble-mumble, carry the three...) about $100/month, or (assuming AC 6 months/year), about $600/year in savings. Compared to $1000 repair, the additional $3500 translates to a six-year payback.
Feel free to adjust the numbers accordingly.
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wrote:

Feel free to make stuff up since that is what you have done. Whoever told you these figures pulled them out of their ass. Did someone even take into your duct work and ho airflo effects everything?
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Old AC Guy wrote:

I guess it comes down to whom you trust: someone who makes stuff up from second-had ass droppings or an old AC guy.
Gee, let me think...
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Is there a door #3?
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On Sep 24, 8:57 am, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

There are charts of Seer and savings per each seer increase, maybe at Carrier,- Bryant I have seen them. In fla I would research every option to save energy. With high humidity as you have look into VSDC motors, you can remove double the humidity of single speed systems and run on a humidistat. Seer may go as high as 19, but get the 10 yr warrantys when you have the fancy stuff its expensive to repair.
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In article

Thanks again for all of the replies,
Here's the latest. I've been quoted $5700 installed for a Train XR13, with all the Train internals (air handler/coil, new heater, thermostat, etc.). They are also giving me a 10 year warranty on everything and sanitizing my ducts. My furnace/heater (propane) is mostly fine (old though) but not getting a new one of those is only going to save me $200 ($5500 total wo/ heater).
Also, I can add the Train 'Clean Effects' air cleaner for the whole household for an extra $900 ($6600 total installed). Is the Clean Effects add-on useful and effective? My 11yo daughter has allergies and we would like to cut down on the dust if it will help significantly.
Even though I'm getting an XR13, the tech said that jumping up to a XR14 for about another $800 won't give me a full extra SEER point (only about a .25-.5 gain real world wise because of the combo of equipment) and that in his opinion, it's not worth it.
I'm thinking that $5700 isn't that bad after some of the quotes I have been seeing considering it's all Train equipment, a good warranty, sanitized ducts, etc.. It's just coming down to do I spend the extra $900 of the Train Clean Effects.
One more guy is coming this afternoon so I haven't committed yet.
Thanks again for the input.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote: ...

... That's "Trane", not a train...
On the whole-house air cleaners. They do work a make significant and observable difference.
That's based on experience w/ old Bryant unit in a dry climate and on a farm where there is always much pollen, grain dust, etc., etc., etc., around besides the normal household stuff. Owing to the dry conditions, molds and that sort of thing are pretty minimal.
How to compare that to FL and a presumably urban environment I have no idea though...
--
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Thanks for the input,
Sorry about that, yes Trane is what I meant. It's been a crazy two days. The guy actually just called back and he said that Trane would discount the Clean Effects even more so it would be $6400 installed for everything.
Still a lot of dough but it's the best thing I've seen so far and I've compared with recently installed neighbor's jobs. I'm sure I could save a lot with used parts but again, I'm not feeling comfortable going with that route on a 12yo system.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote: ...

I'm getting ready to replace full system here as it's 25+ yrs and 50% efficient furnaces as well. Since the pipeline company now charges residential rates for our tap as well, it's worth upgrading as well. The upstairs unit we've not run for two years any way as it has a sufficiently large crack in the exchanger weren't comfortable altho CO monitor never indicated a problem, still...
Anyway, will replace the whole house cleaner as well whatever the cost differential is--that's how valuable we think it is. Mom had severe allergies and it made a tremendous difference for her and it does make noticeable difference in simply how much dusting is needed (had a HV xfmr failure and was out for a while a year ago so was reminded of difference).
Again how much it might help in your area w/ daughter's condition will be depending entirely on the type of allergens she's specifically sensitive to. If they're the common household airborne kind of thing, I'd think it likely to be beneficial--at least it can't hurt...
--
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On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 13:57:56 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Well, you've certainly gotten some good and bad info in here. First of all, Goodman or Amana is not junk. The truth is, ITS ALL JUNK! Yes, even the TRANE! You need to find a good installation company that will be back to service it later. The installation will make or break the unit. Goodman just happens to be leading the industry in their warranties at the moment. Some of the best out there. I am NOT pushing Goodman though. I wont until they pay me for that. Next, you need to get a warranty that includes LABOR! Not just the parts. The parts aren't chit. You can have a lifetime compressor warranty and it wont mean diddly. All it means is they will hand you a compressor that you will pay shipping on both ways. Now you have to pay labor to install it, refrigerant recovery, new refrigerant, evacuation, pressure testing, filter drier, disposal, etc. etc. You have done well so far not wanting the "used" or "friend of a friend" route. 13 SEER is a high efficient unit now however it is also the lowest efficient unit now made. Living in Florida, you will likely do better with a higher SEER efficient unit. Dont go crazy though. Have one of those companies explain how a higher efficient unit will save you money and which one is just going to be overkill and never get your payback out of it. Good Luck, Bubba
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wrote:

Ditto
Super Ditto
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Whatever you do, keep your system clean. Don't cut the grass with the condenser running. The condenser will suck in the debris like a big vacuum cleaner and clog up the fins. I find so many blown compressors in dirty condensing units during hot weather. It pays to get a service tech to professionally clean and check your HVAC system every year. Oh, and if you try to clean the condenser yourself, be careful, I've had to straighten a lot of fins that were flattened out by a homeowner using a water hose adjusted to the kill setting.
[8~{} Uncle Monster
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