I have the Sears.ca sales agent coming over next week to check out our
place to see if they can install a central A/C unit. The sales
mentioned that the SEER rating doesn't mean much for someone who lives
in Western Canada. When he faxed over the specs of the Kenmore unit
that he is suggesting, I see it has a SEER rating of 10!
Based on the trane website, SEER rating helps to reduce your electrical
bill in teh long run and they suggest something along a SEER 15. The
more expensive ones are SEER 19. So this has me all worried about the
SEER 10 Kenmore unit.
Can anyone shed some light on this situation? Will the SEER 10 be
louder? Much more costly? Thoughts?
why not just get a variety of system bids and energy savings forecasts
before you spend cash without spending enough time on the homework.
some canadian stuff for you at:
"Changing out old cooling and heating equipment with ENERGY STAR
qualified models can cut your annual energy costs by 20 percent.
Remember that getting the proper size and a quality installation is
essential to getting the most from your new equipment. " it says with
links for you at:
and incredible amounts of info at:
It depends on alot of things as to what is best for you, I need little
Ac since im in shade and my house design and footprint dont allow much
solar heating, my neighbors in sun with a ranch house nearby are always
hot. Will you want it 70f or 78f. Humidity is an issue with high
humidity areas you may want it running alot for just humidity removal.
Most important is you get a written load calculation for sizing and
ductwork, or your system will never be right. You have a choise, pay a
bit more for a 14-16+ seer or pay forever a much higher electric bill,
electricity is going up so think about it. Personaly I shop for highest
efficiency ratings, and have the lowest utility usage of my area.
SEER ratings help with the summer time A/C. However, in Western Canada,
your cooling season is much shorter than it is say along the Gulf Coast
of the USA. High SEER ratings are frightfully important to that region
as they see a cooling season of almost 9 months.
SEER 10 units are cheaper to purchase that the SEER 14-19 units. They
are generally much more efficient than the unit they replace. Your
Sears.ca rep is probably correct in recommending a SEER 10 unit for your
use, more efficient than the unit it is replacing, and a good balance of
cost versus long term benefit. Higher SEER ratings will take longer to
payback, see below.
US law mandates a 80% efficient gas furnace. Along the Gulf Coast of
the USA, the heating season is so short that the difference between a
60% efficient furnace and a 80% efficient furnace amounts to as little
as $75 for the ENTIRE heating season.
In MOST cases that I know of sears doesnt pay its installers...usually
independent contractors ....very much money......they usually get guys
just getting started with their own business or people who cant get
Get estimates from a variety of dealers...use recomendations from
family, friends, co workers.etc...
Check around for heating companies that do financing and check with
your utility company to find out if they will do financing......
The company I work for does subcontracting for sears. We are not
fledgling nor do they pay alot of money. Also we are responsible
for the first years labor on warranty calls so we don't do shoddy
work. The only jobs that have any problem are because the
salesman didn't know what he was looking at. We take the sears
work to keep guys off unemployment in the slow months. Much of
the Kenmore equipment is Heil altho they do also sell Carrier.
Many of the people that contract with sears for thier HVAC needs
are doing it because of the "no interest, no payments for 12
months" and most of them are just replacing units, no ductwork.
Often the ductwork is not adequate for the units being installed
but we are not allowed to approach the customer with this
information. Just report it back to sears.
Personally I wouldn't go with sears but then I know better. Get a
couple other estimates. And when you get them, don't just look at
the seer, check the eer too. 12 or better is high efficiency.
Thanks for everyone's replies and thoughts. We are actually, not
replacing an old unit. We are wanting a new install along with
I am not too sure I want a SEER 10 unit today given that it is no
longer manufactured in this part of the world. We mihgt be usign the
unit for 3-5 months out of the year but we want it quiet for the
neighbours as well.
We have 3 quotes:
About $9,000 CDN for full install (not including power from panel to
the outdoor unit - will need to bring in electrician to do that: anyoen
knwo how much this will cost)
- Trane 3 ton cased coil - 14 SEER (410A)
- Plus balancing the forced air system
About $6,600 CDN for full install (including all wiring - the installed
says eh can do this work all himself)
- Trane 3 ton - Up to SEER 15 (XL14i)
Not here yet but the Sears.ca sales agent mentioned somewherea roudn
$5,500 mark for the SEER 10 unit.
I am pretty sure Quotes 1 & 2 are quoting the exact same unit based on
the brochure model numbers so there is a very big difference in price
quotes. $9K is probably out of my range but the 2nd quote gave me asue
for hesitation as the installer is doing everything himself (including
the high voltage wiring). I have no experience in this area but the
first quote wouldn't even touch this area as they suggest a specialist
/ someoen who is licensed to do the high power work. This is what made
me nervous. But the price difference is $6,600 and $9K? Big difference!
Perhaps I can ask them to not balance the system, this shoudl drop the
price by quite a bit no?
Any advice and tips? What else can I provide for the group to help me
solve this one? I am still not sure what to do and where to go with
I just had a Trane 14i 3 ton split unit installed. That is a heatpump with
an inside air handler and the outside unit. It was about $ 5100 American.
The new wiring was just from the existing boxes near the old units . Anyone
that has to have an 'expert' to install the wiring should not be installing
the unit. The only duct work was about 5 feet to mate up with the old
I don't know how the electrical laws are in other areas but where I am
located the state issues an electrical license mainly to install the
electrical part of HVAC units. Your cost could be anything from less than $
100 worth of materials up depending on what you have and how far the outside
service has to be ran.
Thanks for the reply. The wiring that I am concerned about is pulling
the new high voltage line from the panel (circuit breaker) to the
outside unit. If I understand you correctly, I think this is the
equivalent to your statement about your state issuing a license to
install the electrical part of the HVAC unit. This is what I am
concerned about and was willing someone come shed some light and calm
Putting in a high voltage wire should not be any problem. All that is
required is to install a new breaker at the main box or maybe a new box will
have to be installed for the aditional current. It is a very simple
electrical job. The actual pulling the wires and mounting the disconnect
boxes will take the time. Any place installing the system should have
someone working for them that is qualified/licensed to do the elecrtrical
wiring. If they do not have anyone that works for them to do the electrical
work, I would look for another company.
Three is nearly NO noise difference between SEER 10 and Seer 14-16
units. Noise is NOT the factor that you imagine it can be.
You have the correct idea below, pick a solution from a vendor that you
trust, and at a price you can afford. SEER 10s are no longer
manufactured in the USA, not true in Canada as your cooling needs are
QUITE different from USA Gulf Coast states. A/C is running RIGHT NOW
here in Houston TX. Outside air temp is 83.
Quad glazing of windows is, I think a common building practice in much
of Canada. Most windows in the USA are STILL single glazed, with double
glazing standard on new construction (but with aluminum frames on
starter homes). Some ares get access to triple glazed windows, but
their use is not widespread.
So it sounds like:
1. Not go with the company who has 1 installer that does all the
installation, including the high voltage line.
2. Still consider the Sears.ca SEER 10 unit as I will only run the unit
for 3.5 months out of the year and it may not be worthwhile to fo rthe
the pricier Trane 15 Seer Unit.
Does this sound right?
This sounds like the path I would follow. You are free to take another
Again NOISE levels between models is not a factor. SEER 14 is NOT
necessarily any quieter than SERR 10.
Money IS important. Trust in the installer IS important. A
comprehensive package, one that includes ALL services needed in the
replacement, IS very important.
The installer that does the building and duct load calculations in
writing and shows them to you is the one I would pick.
Sound level is rated on the db-decibel scale, all manufacturers have
their ratings, they may not be avalaible to you but they are to the
installer. If Scone rating is offered demand the conversion to db since
Scone is not as accurate a rating. Many manufacturer sites publish db
ratings, like Lennox. 1 db makes a difference in what you will hear.
I have dug up the dB readings from the manufacturer's or spec sheet.
Trane up to 15 SEER: 72 dB
Trane up to 11 SEER: 76 dB
Sears 10 SEER Unit: under 30 degrees celcius (74 dB) - Over 30 degrees
celcius (76 dB) (2 stage)
I like the 2 stage of the Sears Kenmore unit actually. I know if I had
a 2 stage furnace this would be great but I don't. Will the 2 stage
outside Unit be any of any benefit?
Good advice. At this moment, the most "trusted" installer is the most
expensive by far. And I also have to find an electrician to come in and
pull the high voltage line. In addition, the most "trusted" installer
is also offering half of the warranty for the trane parts and 1/10th of
the labour warranty! Not good.
I have never received any calculations from the first 2 authorized
Trane installers. I only received a suggestion for a unit size and they
both match. 3-ton. I actually found them from the Trane website
Sounds like Trane is high quality stuff. I am seriosuly considering the
up to 11 SEER unit now instead of the up to 15 SEER unit. But I love
the Sears guarantee. 10 yrs parts AND labour!
This is getting tougher by the day. Man this is overwhelming work for
someone who really didn't know much aboiut this area a few weeks ago.
Thanks everyone for your insight! Any more tips would be greatly
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