Semi-OT: Air Conditioner Question

Page 3 of 4  


Mark
A commercial building I am involved with, installed 9 each 5 ton Carriers last year. 2 have failed this week, 1 month after the warranty expired.
I have a Trane 4 ton unit, 19 SEER that as been faultless since new 9 years ago. Cheaper overall to run than an evaporative cooler in S AZ.
The house is super insulated and this is one of the features that keep my electric so low. $122 a month year around. All electric house.
Look closely where your proposed ACs are manufactured. Possibly all from the same factory in W Texas. Same machines but different labels.
Make sure the electric circuit is at least #8 wire with the correct circuit breaker. The name plate on the AC will call out the circuit breaker size.
Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

FWIW, there's a Rheem parts distributer in Tucson. That's one pretty good reason the local technicians prefer Rheem. Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Air conditioners don't have legs. If yours has a bad compressor or leaks, or if a heat exchanger is damaged, why not fix what's wrong, instead of thinking it all has to be 'replaced'? Aren't there competent service personnel available in your area?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
whit3rd wrote:

Competent service person is the one who recommended replacement. Yes, the compressor can be replaced as can the squirrel cage motor that is going out, a couple of starting capacitors, and several other parts. That leaves the coils that may or may not be close to leaking due to the high vibration environment induced by the aging compressor. At this point, cost of service and replacement of those parts starts approaching cost of complete unit replacement. Complete unit replacement comes with higher efficiency and 10 year compressor and parts warranty == overall lower ownership cost that justifies the replacement.
Not making this decision frivolously, this is someone who buys and drives a vehicle until the wheels fall off and who will push the use of something well past its lifetime. Sometimes replacement is the best solution.
--

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

Rob Leatham
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Air conditioners don't have legs. If yours has a bad compressor or leaks, or if a heat exchanger is damaged, why not fix what's wrong, instead of thinking it all has to be 'replaced'? Aren't there competent service personnel available in your area?
Effecency will never be as good as a new unit. Pay back will be sooner with a new unit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: 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.
We replaced our quite old (I think it was installed in 1987) rooftop unit about four years ago. The new unit is a Rheem, and it works very well, and has needed no repairs since installation. I'd recommend it.
There are two issues we have, but one is due to where it's installed, the other with the state of our aged ductwork. Ours is a combined AC and furnace, and the blower/furnace/filter part is in a closet inside the house, with the coil on the ground outside.
Issue 1: The filter is electrostatic, and the unit had to be placed in the closet such that getting the filter out to clean it is a bit of a wiggle. And aligning the filter properly so one of the back corners doesn't drop inside the duct (i.e. getting it to seat properrly on its support) is a pain, as it's only a few inches off the ground, as mounted.
Issue 2: Our ducts (both intake and output) are just undersized for the house, so we have some circulation issues, and once in a while, if the filter is dirty and one of the intakes is blocked by something (i.e. a hamper of clothes), the unit can ice up. But that's not a fault of the unit, it's the house it's put into.
-- Andy Barss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is a followup to Mark's question, with a couple questions of my own for Tucson folks. Our ductwork is really nasty --- some hard sheet metal, with who knows what sealing it (or failing to do so), and a lot of old, uninsulated, substadard and undersized flexduct.
Do you know anyone in Tucson who has a camera on a long cable that could snake it through the ducts and inspect them for leaks? We're concerned about both the integrity of the "real" ducts at the joints, and the shape of the flex duct (one pice of which we found completely disconnected a year ago).
And our regular HVAC guy is happy to redo all the ductwork, but not until the Fall, given the heat in the attic. Is this what I'd expect froom any HVAC guy?
Thanks --
-- Andy BArss
: : 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.
: We replaced our quite old (I think it was installed in 1987) rooftop unit about four years ago. : The new unit is a Rheem, and it works very well, and has needed no repairs since installation. : I'd recommend it.
: There are two issues we have, but one is due to where it's installed, the other with : the state of our aged ductwork. Ours is a combined AC and furnace, and the blower/furnace/filter : part is in a closet inside the house, with the coil on the ground outside.
: Issue 1: The filter is electrostatic, and the unit had to be placed in the closet such that : getting the filter out to clean it is a bit of a wiggle. And aligning the filter properly : so one of the back corners doesn't drop inside the duct (i.e. getting it to seat properrly on its support) : is a pain, as it's only a few inches off the ground, as mounted.
: Issue 2: Our ducts (both intake and output) are just undersized for the house, so we have some : circulation issues, and once in a while, if the filter is dirty and one of the intakes is blocked : by something (i.e. a hamper of clothes), the unit can ice up. But that's not a fault of the unit, it's the : house it's put into.
: -- Andy Barss
--
<o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o><o>
Andy Barss
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Andy
Call RiteWay Ventilating. They can do the duct thing. Ask for Rick.
Delay any hot task you are able to until at least October. Try 5 minutes on the hot roof miday to see why. And the attic will be tougher. The ductwork redo is toughest. Unless you would like your house cut up.
Bob AZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
:> Do you know anyone in Tucson who has a camera on a long cable that could snake it through the ducts and :> inspect them for leaks? We're concerned about both the integrity of the "real" ducts :> at the joints, and the shape of the flex duct (one pice of which we found completely disconnected :> a year ago).:> :> And our regular HVAC guy is happy to redo all the ductwork, but not until the Fall, given the heat in the :> attic. Is this what I'd expect froom any HVAC guy? : Andy
: Call RiteWay Ventilating. They can do the duct thing. Ask for Rick.
: Delay any hot task you are able to until at least October. Try 5 : minutes on the hot roof miday to see why. And the attic will be : tougher. The ductwork redo is toughest. Unless you would like your : house cut up.
: Bob AZ
His request to wait seemed perfectly reasonable to me -- I've been on the roof, and also in my attic, in midsummer, and I can't imagine lasting more than a few minutes in the latter. But a couple of locals scoffed and said I need a new duct guy, so thanks for the confirmation that he (and I) are being reasonable.
Part of the pressure is that in addition ot replcing the ductwork, he'll be replumbing the house -- we had a nasty flood due to a burst pipe in the attic last month, and the rest of it isn't in any better condition. I'll just pray it holds till cooler weather!
-- Andy Barss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Do you have metal pipes, perhaps rusting pipes? There is a fix other than repiping and generally comes with a warranty that far out lasts a repipe warranty. It is MUCH less expensive, takes Much less time, and in my father's case you would never know thhe plumbers were there those 3 days.
My dad's galvanized pipes were rusting and leaking and I was sure it was only a matter of time before I had to go in and make more repairs.
Enter, Epoxy coating inside the pipes.
http://www.houstonplumber.com/products-and-services/ace-duraflo-epipe/about-ace-durafloepipe.php
Ther is probably some one locally that can do this for you also.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob AZ wrote:

Tips for working in the attic during the summer: 1. Put a water sprinkler on the roof. This makes a HUGE difference. 2. Disconnect one of the A/C ducts and use it to cool the attic. Don't forget to reconnect it when done. 3. Start at 3:00 a.m. (You've got to use lights anyway, what diff does being dark outside make?).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

4. Wait until January.
I choose #4. well, at least mid-September (I'll have to get the AC in by January). I can work at 90-100F, but 120-140 isn't going to happen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andrew Barss wrote:

The one we have would have been installed in 1988

Thanks for the input Andy. Rheem was the least expensive unit quoted, so I have been a little leery about going with the cheapest system, but I haven't seen anything yet that would indicate that it is either less capable or less durable than the more expensive Carrier.
--

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

Rob Leatham
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Our house originally had a Rheem and we had to have it worked on all the time. In its life time 14 years, we spent enough to have replaced it at least once.
Our current unit is 15 years old and still works well with only "1" switch replaced as a preventative measure and a fan motot and starter capacitor replaced.
What the AC guys have told me is to buy as cheap as you want, basically in the last 20 or so years government standards on containing leaking freon have gone up significantly. Basically the expensive repairs come in when the system leaks freon and oil. This has a bad effect on longitivity. Our 15 year old system has never needed freon added and electricity usage has actually gone down in the last 6 years. Yes I have data and charts to back that up.
Our current unit is a Goodman, manufactured in Houston. I'd buy again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/24/2010 4:16 PM, Leon wrote:

Which goes right back to what I said previously ... Goodman is also re-branded as "Janitrol" and "Amana" and is used by most builders in this area because they are inexpensive (but they indeed have the same generic components as ALL the higher priced brands).
(Mine two units are also Goodman, but I install mostly American Standard due to an excellent HVAC contractor relationship with one of the best installation teams around). I used to use Goodman also, but when my old HVAC contractor got sick and retired, I switched to the above mentioned.)
In a nutshell, a quality installation is what has got you such good luck with your Goodman. There is a perception that, being a 'builder brand', Goodman units aren't that great ... this is mainly due to the fact that Goodman will sell to any subcontractor who walks in off the street, and thus there are many, many substandard installs.
Once again, the major difference in central air brand names is the installation ...
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just had all my HVAC stuff redone. The installer walked me through my house and pointed a few things out to me which made perfect sense. I asked him point blank what AC ( I had already decided on the furnace) is best value. He suggested an nicely featured Amana as, like Leon pointed out, the regs need to be met. I went with this guy because of his rep as an installer. He put the same Amana in his house.... and considering the size and successes of his business, he didn't chose it because of the money. He then showed me, as a point of interest, the part numbers for the compressor motors on a Carrier, Lennox and Amana.....al the same motor. Like the good old days when you opened a Sony VCR and found nothing but Hitachi parts.... the Lambourghini Gallardo has an Audi engine... the Bentley a BMW mill....and a XC90 Volvo has a frikking Yamaha engine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Swingman wrote:
... snip

I think you have it right there. In researching this, I'm finding that for every opinion, there is an equal but opposite opinion about whatever brand I'm looking at. I.e.: "American Standard sucks, it's the worst. My unit is noisy and breaks every season" "American Standard is great, my unit has been in since the stone age and I've never had moment's trouble" "Rheem sucks, it's the worst. My unit is noisy and breaks every season" "Rheem is great, my unit has been in since the stone age and I've never had moment's trouble" "Carrier sucks, it's the worst. My unit is noisy and breaks every season" "Carrier is great, my unit has been in since the stone age and I've never had moment's trouble"
Only objective thing I've found so far is that Carrier apparently has had problems with condenser coils that rust out. These are coils that were meant to be submerged in condensed water that were rusting out. From what I can tell, Carrier has since come out with rust-protected coils.
--

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

Rob Leatham
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 24 Jul 2010 17:35:48 -0700, Mark & Juanita

ones that have been in since the stone age, without exception, will have been made when engineers, not accountants and stock price, made the design decisions. Although a lot of the older stuff is not quite as efficient, it generally is a LOT more reliable!!!!
As for the statement that "the major difference in central air brand names is the installation ..." I'll forcefully argue that - because there are dealers/installers that will do exactly the same install on an expensive top of the line carrier as they will on the cheapest American Standard - and that goes both ways.
And I've NEVER seen steel coils in any air conditioner - so "rusting out" is not an issue on the coils.
The later aluminum coils do tend to be a lot more fragile than either the older aluminum ones or the even older copper ones.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That comment was based on the following: <http://www.furnacecompare.com/air-conditioners/carrier/reviews/1/ , "Used a reputable builder and HVAC installer 5 years ago on new home installation of Carrier Puron system. Almost 5 years to the day, the coolant leaked out due to rusting evaporator coil. Unbelievable! A manufactured part that is supposed to be wet most of the time rusts through. That, folks, is poor design and cutting costs at the manufacturing end, not poor installation. My repairman said he has had to replace dozens of these coils in the last few years. Carrier is supposedly proud of their new "Rust-proof" coil -- which mine should have been in the first place. This explains about 80% of the dissatisfied comments I have read about Carrier tonight. If yours is still under warranty, insist on having your rusty coil replaced with the rust- proof model, otherwise you will certainly be replacing it again in short order "
There are are several similar comments on this set of pages that give similar experiences.
--

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

Rob Leatham
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 24 Jul 2010 18:46:28 -0700, Mark & Juanita

Interesting. Both my salesman and installer were leery of the new Puron systems 8 years ago (due to performance issues, not reliability) so I had the R-22(?) system installed at their suggestion. Yes, I know it will take an entire redo when this one breaks, but by that time, it will be worth it. I used to use R-12 back in the day, installing systems in brand new trucks in Phoenix one summer. Aiyeeeeeeeeeeeee!
-- It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed. -- Kin Hubbard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.