The cheap church property guy here again. We are looking at replacing
a 33 yr old two stage 10/15 ton GE air conditioning units. Our
retired parish refrigeration mechanic says only replace the outside
units with new heat pumps, and leave the existing industrial air
handler in place, and do away with the old heat strips. We're in
South Carolina. I've got a few quotes, but none of the contractors
will do the job unless they install a new matched air handler. Any
thoughts on how to get this done as cheap as possible and not have to
You can get it done "cheap", and it will cost 10s of thousands more in
increased energy costs and repairs over the life of the system....do you
really want to be responsible for that??
OR... you can get it done right.... yeah its gonna be more on the front end,
but in the long run you will not only save the church 10s of thousands, but
you will also be helping the environment by seriously reducing the church's
Its your choice....do you want to just look good??? or do you want to *DO*
Replacing more than you need is a definite, out-of-pocket and
The savings over many years are speculative, and are offset by the
returns that can be had by investing the money vs spending it.
By not buying completely new stuff that technically you don't need,
you are also helping the environment because it takes energy and the
generation of pollution to make the new items. By installing only the
components you really need, you are also being environmentally
friendly by conserving or re-using what you already have.
Most say that solar electric panels are environmentally friendly.
However, no electric panel has ever generated as much energy during
it's working lifetime than it took to make them in the first place.
The lifetime savings (in $$$ and fuel) of new HVAC equipment must be
offset by the energy used and the pollution generated to manufacture,
transport, and install the new equipment if you want to do a proper
measure of environmental impact.
Now your brain waves are starting to show "NotHvacGuy".
I think what has happened to you is your tin-foil hat has been on too
tight for too long. Maybe some water and lye mixed in would help you
He's just another wanna be troll. not worth the effort. He refuses to update
and upgrade his *OWN* equipment because he is afraid that our statements
will be validated. He doesn't want to believe that the average energy
savings with a new, correctly sized and installed system is on the order of
We know otherwise and can provide proof of the savings...he doesn't want to
hear this. He also doesn't want to hear that it ain't grampa's air
conditioner anymore either. I just killfiled the POS and don't worry with
him. He must have been a Marine.... has his mind made up and can't be
confused by the facts.
Hey Steve, can you zip your commercial and send it on, I'd like to see it.
Also, don't be dissin' the Jarheads. I am meeting my son in Okinawa next
week, first time seeing him in a couple of years.
If the air handler is as old as the outdoor unit, it too has served it's
full life. Consider the condensate pans are likely shot. The tube sheet is
probably on the verge of total corrosion. The square inches per ton [size
of the coil] is likely not up to par with today's standard. The air volume
is likely not up to todays standard. The TXV split is likely not up to
Replace the complete matching components and reap the benefits of trouble
free operation [albeit proper maintenance] for the next 20 - 30 years. The
benefit is huge in energy savings alone not to mention the hair left on your
head from not having down time when the congregation meets. [What's worse,
a congregation pissed off because you spent a bunch of money and it doesn't
work well - or spending a bunch of money and everyone is comfortable on
I hear you all, but the members are tight wads and all think that
everything should last past their lifetime. The air handler is an
industrial unit. The tag says it was built in 1934 - I kid you not.
The retired refrigeration (not HVAC) engineer in the church, that
originally installed it, says that it could go another 50 years. I
believe him, since I took the covers off and hosed off the coils and
flushed the pan and drains. The air handler is built like a tank - no
rust on this galvanized hulk. I'm saying replace it all, but the
refrigeration engineer has the credentials and respect of the senior
members. He says replace only a cheap 5 ton unit, but then only
replace the exterior units on the split 10/15 ton units that feed the
big ass air handler. He also says we can replace the two coils for
about $2,000 each, but continues to insist on leaving the old air
handler in place. So I'm trapped in the middle: do what's right, or
go along with the seniority plan. For now I'm just doing what they
have always done - wait till it breaks and patch it up. Then pray it
doesn't fail on the hottest or coldest day of the year. Who gets the
blame when it fails? - yeah ya got that one right...
So tell us.....how long has this refrigeration engineer been retired?? When
was the last time he got any training or education on the HCFC refrigerant
phase-out?? When was the last time he even kept up with the law, rule, and
Its *NOT* Grampa's air conditioner anymore.
OTOH, why is a refrigeration engineer in the mix at all?? Thats kind of like
going to the doctor... why are you going to a general practitioner when you
need a specialist??
Maybe try something along these lines... see if you can find a comperable
size church building with a new system and get a copy of their power bill
and compare it to yours... there should be a significant difference. If your
congregation are such tight wads, they may jump at the chance to save on the
utility bills... at the same time, also present them with *all* of the
repair bills for the old system, and explain to them how all the repairs and
high power bills would make some serious inroads towards a new system....
then add in the costs for the proposed band-aids. If they want to be all
about the money, then *SHOW* them the money (or where it all went)
It sounds like you arent going to win over the elders but you sure can
have fun with it and look like the rocket scientist.
Start keeping very good repair records. From the time of the latest
breakdown on. Get a bid now on what a complete replacement would cost.
Then to top it off, figure out some kind of energy number of what that
relic is costing you to operate vs having replaced it today. In about
a year or two you are going to look like the brilliant genius when you
bring up at a meeting the today cost versus 2 year from now cost. Wait
till they see how much that same system cost 2 or 5 years from now.
They might as well just take the Sunday offerings and burn them now.
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