Semi-OT: Air Conditioner Question

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Our air conditioner is on its last legs and will most likely not last the summer -- it's 22 years old, so can't complain too much. The proposed replacement is one of either, 1) 14 SEER American Standard, 2) 14 SEER Rheem, or 3) 14.5 SEER Carrier. All of these are direct 5 ton replacements for the existing unit.
Has anyone recently gone through a replacement or had experiences (good or bad) with these manufacturers? Looking for data points in multiple places, and folks on this newsgroup have a diversity of experience with multiple things, so am asking for input.
Thanks in advance.
--

There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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All three are good, reliable brands that have been around for decades. I'd be more concerned about the installer and what they will do. Given that the AC is 22 years old, has the house changed? More insulation? New windows? Should a Manual J be done? Is the furnace going to be replaced at the same time (assuming that is the setup you have)?
Check all the state rebates and tax credits available and utility company rebates also. I replaced my boiler with no out of pocked cash with the rebates, tax credits, state funded 0% financing and the oil savings is greater than the payments.
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What kinda socialist scam are you running down there?
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"Robatoy" wrote:

------------------------------- One of those government programs to promote improving energy efficiency by getting all those Republicans to dig up their coffee cans full of moldy money and buy and install energy saving stuff.<G>
Lew
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Gee, a 5 ton AC doesn't sound like the kind of thing that a custodian of God's Green Earth should be running.
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"Robatoy" wrote:
Gee, a 5 ton AC doesn't sound like the kind of thing that a custodian of God's Green Earth should be running. -------------------------------------------- Other than Canada Day, which is your summer, you need a furnace rather than AC, so you are excused.
Same program works for either the heating or cooling industry.<G>
It's all about getting those coffee cans dug up and spending all that old moldy money.<G>
Lew
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wrote:

I bet Al Gore has at least a dozen of them (or the equivalent).
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wrote:

I'll bet so, too but they're 18 SEER AND solar-powered.
Dave in Houston
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I bet not.
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wrote:

Gee, a 5 ton AC doesn't sound like the kind of thing that a custodian of God's Green Earth should be running.
Not to mention that a 14 SEER is considered minimum in this day and age. But, we all know that many conservative types don't live in this day and age.
Dave in CZ-land
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Dave in Texas wrote:

That's because we solved most of societies problems - to the extent they CAN be solved - eons ago. Progressives keep coming up with ideas that didn't work then and won't work now.
Here's an example: Our president wants the federal government subsidizing alternative energy so that (inter alia) "... X thousand new jobs will be created..." What he neglects to mention is the thousands of jobs that will be lost.
Jobs created in the solar panel industry can result in jobs lost in coal mining, meanwhile the guy painting houses has to pay additional taxes to prop up the sunbeam scheme. (I'm assuming the unemployment compensation for the coal miners will be offset by taxes on the solar panel people.)
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How easily you overlook the tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks we give the petroleum industry. If everyone thought like you a hundred years ago Henry Ford might never have come up with the assembly line which put [God knows how many] blacksmiths out of work. It's called a better mouse trap. I'm certain you will now maintain that solar, wind, and other non-carbon based, non-dead dinosaur-derived fuels are unnecessary and are nothing more than some giant liberal conspiracy to funnel brazillions of dollars to Al Gore who, as we all know, made all this clean energy crap up. How many jobs do you think will be created in the nuclear energy industry due to the eight billion dollars in subsidies the administration has proposed? How many fewer hammers do you think Stanley or Eastwing sells since the nail gun came along? Is Diston still in business? Adapt or get left behind, Bub.
As better (or cleaner) ways to do things evolve the inventers and entrepreneurs are the winners and the old technologies and ways are the losers. While the lobbyists and their conservative minions continue to protect the status quo the rest of the world is leaving the U.S. behind. II expect China and India to surpass the U.S. as global economic powers in my lifetime. I suppose you would have us keep sending our petro dollars to countries that have little fondness for us and who in turn fund radical groups that would do us in.
Dave in the Socialist Czech Republic
Dave
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Dave in Texas wrote:

See imbeded retorts.

I don't overlook it. Whether the oil industry gets tax breaks has not bearing, in my mind, over whether solar et al should get tax breaks. If you want to expand the discussion, yes, tax breaks for oil, gas, and buggy whips should be eliminated. The tax laws, in the main, should be used to raise revenue, not pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

You miss the point - I'm not opposed to innovation; I'm opposed to government defining the direction of progress.
Henry Ford did not get government assistance to re-jigger the production of automobiles nor did the American public get tax breaks to buy a Model-T. You can't name a nail-gun manufacturer who got government subsidies.

Agreed. But shouldn't it be a level playing field?

Huh? China is opening one coal-fired power plant per week!

If the providers of energy can supply oil at a cheaper price than we can produce it ourselves, yeah, we should buy from them. In a free market, however, they can't. Oil is fungible. If the world market is $80/bbl and we can produce oil profitably at $30/bbl, we're STILL going to be buying Saudi oil (because our local sources will be selling our oil to Japan).
As for "petro dollars to countries that fund radical groups," I remind you that Canada is our largest supplier of petroleum products, followed by (2009) Mexico. Still, you may be on to something; I've always been leery of the French in Canada (and Mexico was once ruled by the French).
One more clue: it is physically impossible to run this country off of sunbeams. A solar collector farm just to supply the energy needs of California (~50Gw) would be as large as the Los Angeles basin (some 1200 square miles). The only way to improve on this is to move the orbit of the earth closer to the sun.
As for energy independence, we Texans are in pretty good shape. We're not connected to either of the two national electrical grids, have a significant amount of oil and 70% of the nation's refining capacity. We also have more wind energy facilities than the rest of the country combined, and even two nuclear plants. We're lagging in hydroelectric, admittedly, but if solar ever becomes feasible, we've got a lot of cows that could benefit from the shade.
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On 7/24/2010 7:28 AM, HeyBub wrote:

And he's totally ignoring the fact that the Chinese can make perfectly adequate solar panels cheaper than we can.
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NEVER happen. There'd be too many freedom-stifling goummint-controlling strings attached, if not immediately then surely just around the next Obama/Socialist corner! You just wait!
Dave in the Socialist Czech Republic
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On Fri, 23 Jul 2010 21:44:23 -0700, "Lew Hodgett"

Tell us about Liberal Algore's moldy money for his old Tennessee mansion, Lew.
-- Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness. -- Joseph Addison, The Spectator, July 12, 1711
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Come on! Gore passionately believes in warmed globals.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

House was well-insulated when it was built (they guy who built it was tight with a nickel and took pains to minimize energy costs). The installer comes with good recommendations, so I'm satisfied with that end of it as best I can be. This is a heat pump unit (we don't have a furnace).

Installer has identified units that qualify for credits due to their efficiency. Electric company also has credits but he has indicated that he has had only a few people who have actually been able to get the electric company to actually fulfill that commitment. They will help with the paperwork.
Right now, I'm leaning toward the Carrier unit; it is more expensive than the other two, but the American Standard comes with only a 5 year parts warranty, the Carrier and Rheem come with 10. Not sure the extra 1/2 SEER will fully cover the additional cost, but is sounds as if it may be a little more solid unit.
--

There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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Might want to replace the ducts as well. Hard duct is always better but even flex R8 was available as of two or three years ago.
Dave in Houston
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On Sat, 24 Jul 2010 00:06:47 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"

American Standard makes toilets (OK, they started out with steam radiators), Rheem makes water heaters , and Carrier is an HVAC maker (Willis Carrier is the Father of Cool; he invented A/C.)
I found that I trusted Carrier more and bought a 96% efficient $6k Carrier HVAC system when I moved into this house. YMMV.

EXCELLENT questions, Ed. Rather than dumping a couple grand into refitting an old, dying system, swap it all out with new machines and ducting for a best-fitted house. The comfort alone is worth the cost, which might not be as different as one would think.
I saved about a grand by doing the wiring for the units myself. I ran a 10/3 Romex out for the condenser unit, installed an attic lighting string, and ran 12/2 Romex up to the evap/heat unit. This was my first high efficiency unit and I'm still amazed at the PVC exhaust tubing and the teppid air coming out of it when it's in full swing heating.

Good job!
-- Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness. -- Joseph Addison, The Spectator, July 12, 1711
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