Need suggestions for California weather.

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Old 03-10-08, 03:46 PM
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Need suggestions for California weather.

OK, i'm convinced it's time to replace the AC and Furnace. Lots of good info on this site, but my head is spinning with SEER ratings and AFUE ratings, different refridgerants, and opinions on various brands.....and I'm trying to apply them to my California climate.

Let's face it, temperatures don't vary severly here....I live near the coast, and it's never been colder than 35% in winter and can get to 95% on the very hottest day. There is virtually no humidity ever...

I have a 5,000 square foot home, 2 stories.....one system on on each floor. Currently a 5 ton AC for 1st story, 4 ton 2nd story.....Furnaces are 60K 1st floor, and I'm pretty sure it's smaller for 2nd story (45K ?)

I currently have a Bryant humidifier (approx 7 years old) which is activiated by the furnace. I have 2 Totaline Intelistats which control humidity along with temp...

As far as energy costs, I feel way more pain in the electricity bill than I do the gas bill (and I haven't really started even using the AC since I moved into this place in November, so I'm expecting the worst !!...........)

I am going to get 3 quotes to replace everything, I'm calling out specialists for Lennox, Trane and Bryant.

The house warms up fairly quick, but doesn't heat evenly. I'd like to fix that....noise hasn't been an issue with the old units (18 year old comfortmaster systems)

Would love to hear some general guidance on ideal systems, based on performance, cost of system (including maximizing available rebates) and cost of running it (ideal SEERS and AFUEs for my area), as I'll be having some contractors out this week.

In general......looking for best bang for the buck. (aren't we all?)
 
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Old 03-12-08, 08:11 PM
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no one wants to give me any suggestions, eh?
 
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Old 03-13-08, 02:47 AM
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Sorry I just saw your thread if you have contacted any installation contractors yet and if they are looking out for your best interests they wil ask you how long you plan to stay in your home and what is most important to you and design a system according to your answers.
As far as manufacturers go there is not alot of difference so the installation is the thing.
If you are going to stay in your house for awhile you should buy the most efficient unit you can afford and you will appreciate the wisdom of your decision every time you get your utility bill.
And remember dollar for dollar there is no more effective way to green up your home than to properly upgrade your home comfort system
 
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Old 03-19-08, 04:32 PM
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so far I've got quotes from Lennox and Trane. Trane is about $1,000 more overall (approx $15,500 out the door.) I'm waiting on my Bryant system quote....

Trane rep explained that their VS fan motor ran at 12V at low speed.....greatly reducing cost to operate. Is this the same for all VS motor units, or specific to Trane?

He also suggested ditching the existing humidifier...more of a liability (mold or flood source) than an asset. (but they would be willing to re-install)
 
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Old 03-20-08, 09:48 AM
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Hoping someone will respond today......I need as much information as I can get my hands on to make an intelligent choice.

I'm adding another question to the prior post .....Trane rep says my existing 7/8" copper A/C pipes are perfect for their 16seer unit. But Lennox and Bryant reps both wanted to replace those lines with 1 1/8" at additional cost. Does this ring true??
 
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Old 03-20-08, 11:02 AM
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Its all to what the temp is out there. Long winter go for a 90% mild winter go for a 80% furnace. Same with AC .Long AC go for a 15 seer or better. Mild Ac season 15seer or less.
Lines can be the same . But if they use R410a freon then most of the time they have to be bigger. If they use them and put in R410a units make sure that they clean them out good. For a humidifier check out a Aprilaire 700. They work good. Now V/S blower best way to go same for all. With the V/S blower in AC it can slow down and pull more humidity out of the home for you then go back up to speed . Make sure and get the 10 year warranty on it all. We still like to use R22 units . It will be around till 2030.
 
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Old 03-20-08, 12:59 PM
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thanks for the info....

It is interesting watching these guys compete for the biz. Lennox is pushing hard for the order. The Lennox rep says that Trane uses aluminum condenser coils (as opposed to copper like other manufacturers) and that they corrode faster, and are harder to repair if necessary.

Lennox is willing to use the old 7/8" lines, and doesn't think it will affect efficiency too bad. (but that a salesman talking!) One set of lines is only about 20 feet, but the one that goes upstairs is probably 50 feet...They say they'll be cleaned out very well.

I sure don't want to replace these lines since they're all nicely tucked in the walls right now. Am I making a mistake? I am definitely getting R410A.....Should I stick with TRANE for this fact alone??
 
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Old 03-21-08, 09:45 AM
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Both Lennox and Bryant reps are stating that the aluminum A/C coils in the Trane Units don't hold up.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 03-21-08, 07:24 PM
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I just want to thank everyone for all of the great information. What a tremendous help this forum has been to me. Over the course of 10 days I've learned so much, and it has made it significantly easier to make many of the tough decisions I'm facing.
 
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