Recommendations on a new 4 ton split system


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Old 07-25-08, 06:26 AM
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Recommendations on a new 4 ton split system

Hi All, I am getting ready to start a remodel in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area, and while I can probably get away with my current system (a 3 ton Bryant split HVAC system), it is 10 years old, and the need to upgrade the electrical panel is causing a relocation of the panel, and with it, the outdoor condenser, so I have started looking around at a new 4 ton system.

It is confusing as there appears to be no reliable info/reviews on these systems, and what info there seem to be on blog sites falls into two camps: every manufacturer is terrible and the equipment is a piece of junk, or they are all the same, coming off of a few factory line, so it doesn't matter which brand you buy, its all in the the installation, just buy something in the 14-15 SEER range, and get a good install with sweated connections and it will be OK.

I have had no problems with the Bryant (not 1 repair call in 10 years), but I know that quality can change in 10 years. One of the bids is recommending York, but he said that he would also be comfortable with doing another Bryant, a Rheem or American Standard--my call.

My parents have a Goodman and have no problems with it, but I have read mixed reviews.

Can someone tell me what's the best "bang for the buck" out there in terms of price and quality? Also, what should I expect this to cost, ball park, in the LA area? Thanks!
 
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Old 07-25-08, 08:38 AM
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IMO, Amana is best bang for the buck. Lifetime warranty on compressors and heat exchangers make it even better.

But, as you have read, it doesnt really matter what brand now days. It is all about the installer. Any new system installed right should be trouble free.

Why are you upsizing? Did your contractor do a Manual J calc showing you needed to increase the size of your system? Will your ductwork need to be redone to accomodate the increased CFM requirements?
 
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Old 07-25-08, 08:47 AM
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I know you're heard it all before.....the install is the most important consideration. That aside, all the brands you mention: York, Bryant, Rheem, and American Standard are well respected brands. Goodman had a reputation as a cheaper unit, but I hear they have made large strides in quality in the last few years. The other thing to be aware of is that every company makes its equipment in good/better/best model lines, and you get what you pay for, to a degree. Most experts I've talked to recommend staying away from the "builders grade" bottom end models in everybody's lineup.

I can't help you much with cost, but I'd set aside maybe $5,000 as a starting point. I spent that amount two years ago for a 2.5 ton York and matching gas furnace. No ductwork changes, and reused existing copper lines. Equipment was York's Affinity line, two stage 80% furnace, 13 SEER AC.
 
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Old 07-25-08, 10:18 AM
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response to badtlc

I am adding about 300 sq. ft. to the house, and the title 24 guys are suggesting it. Plus, I had to add about 30#s of freon this year, so the a/c may be turning the corner.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 07:42 AM
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Reduction of Heat-gain & Equipment Sizing

Originally Posted by mbh65 View Post
Hi All, I am getting ready to start a remodel in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area, and while I can probably get away with my current system (a 3 ton Bryant split HVAC system), it is 10 years old, and the need to upgrade the electrical panel is causing a relocation of the panel, and with it, the outdoor condenser, so I have started looking around at a new 4 ton system.
Why are you going up from a 3-ton to a 4-ton?
In your climate with reductions in heat-gain you could probably reduce the heat-gain enough to use a 2.5-Ton condenser
The ductwork & blower become much more efficient with the need for less airflow volume.


It is confusing as there appears to be no reliable info/reviews on these systems, and what info there seem to be on blog sites falls into two camps: every manufacturer is terrible and the equipment is a piece of junk, or they are all the same, coming off of a few factory line, so it doesn't matter which brand you buy, its all in the the installation, just buy something in the 14-15 SEER range, and get a good install with sweated (Brazed) connections and it will be OK.

I have had no problems with the Bryant (not 1 repair call in 10 years), but I know that quality can change in 10 years. One of the bids is recommending York, but he said that he would also be comfortable with doing another Bryant, a Rheem or American Standard--my call.

My parents have a Goodman and have no problems with it, but I have read mixed reviews.

Can someone tell me what's the best "bang for the buck" out there in terms of price and quality? Also, what should I expect this to cost, ball park, in the LA area? Thanks!
These days, Goodman is very good equipment with an excellent warranty.

The install, set-up & duct system airflow are the main factors that determine performance & longevity. HVAC RETIRED - udarrell
 
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Old 07-27-08, 07:47 AM
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When its all said and done....

The lenght and coverage of the factory/installer company combined warranty is the single most important thing to consider after your initial investment. Trust me on this... Parts And Labor!. This way you wont get hung out to dry on either!

Some may argue but...The name is just a name after its installed! That being said - when you go to what I would call exotic ultra high seer systems - then the technologies are different and you must consider the reliability of each technology and how it will serve you best!
 
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Old 07-27-08, 01:48 PM
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Regarding loss of freon, ideally this does not happen at all, no matter the age of the equipment. 30 pounds? Wow! Even if you meant 3 pounds, that's not good. Cars' A/C systems do lose a bit because they have to be designed differently, but like home refrigerators, home HVAC systems should lose very little if any. Replacing the system may or may not fix the leakage.

By the way, I don't know about bang-for-the-buck, but I say it's hard to go wrong with Lennox, York, Rheem, Ruud or Trane. And subpar installation can ruin the best equipment. I'd go by reputation and years in business, when choosing a company to install your system.
 
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Old 08-02-08, 09:10 AM
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MBH65 - I am doing something similar in that my design is a 4 ton system. I have quotes on materials only for Ruud and Goodman 13, 14 and 16 seer. Goodman versus Ruud is around $1'167 less for goodman - check out my thread http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=328397 for more info - I am working on gathering information for justifying the costs too.

What I would suggest that you do and I am surprised that I have not seen anybody mention it yet in your thread is to get the contractors that you are dealing with to do the manual J-Load calculations and give you a print out. This will size your unit accordingly and then you can go out and get quotes that will give you a better designed system. If a contractor comes into your home, looks around - scratches his chin, sucks air in through his teeth and says something like 'ooohh - I think a 3 ton will do'... run away!! How can you possibly size a unit without measuring the rooms, determining window and door sizes and the insulation properties of the home? I have a tool for this if you want to do it yourself for your own piece of mind - but if you are paying a contractor to do this install for you then THEY should do this. Once you have that information, get your quotes on the various manufacturers and seers and then run a cost analysis which calculates your payback on each system.. again the tool I have will do this for you if you plug in the numbers from the contractor. I am not a contractor.. just a big fan of doing things myself - any questions then just shoot me a message. Best of luck.

Wayne
 
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Old 05-16-09, 06:57 AM
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4 ton central air system quotes

I am in the process of making a decision to replace a 4 ton split system for my home. I am hoping to benefit from the tax credit and factory rebates that are currently available. Unfortunately, I have learned that the Trane XL20i does not meet the eer rating to qualify for the tax credit. The quotes are installed and all close. I would greatly appreciate feedback.

Make Model
TraneXL20i 17.5 seer AH: 4TEE3C06 Cond: 4TTz0048 $5505.00 no tax credit
Rheem/Ruud Ultra 18 seer AH: RHPNHM4824JC Cond: VASL 048JEC $5515.00 -$1500TC = $4,015.00

Amana ASX18 18.3 seer AH: MBF2000AA-1 CAPF496106 Cond: ASX180481
$5748.00 -$1500TC = $4,248.00

Amana lifetime compressor warranty 10 on coils
Trane 12 compressor 10 coils

Rheem 10 compressor 10 coils
 
 

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