3 Ton vs 5 Ton A/C

Old 04-15-10, 07:06 PM
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3 Ton vs 5 Ton A/C

I have a Rheem 3 ton air conditioner (Model# RAKB-036JAZ installed 2004) in my 3,400 square foot home. The house is west facing with lots of windows. The 3 ton unit has never done a good job - even with all the shades closed. I have 3 questions:
1) is there something wrong with it, or is it under sized
2) can I upgrade to a 5 ton unit or is there a maximum that my house and duct work can handle?
3) Can I just install a new compressor (I think that's what the unit outside is called) or does the unit in the furnace area have to be new as well.
Old 04-15-10, 08:13 PM
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Only way to know is to have a heat load on the home done. This should have been done when you had your system sized.
Old 04-16-10, 06:49 AM
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If we knew your location, that would help too. Where I live, a 3 ton AC unit would be more suited for a 1,400 square foot home, rather than a 3,400 square foot home.

If you jump from 3 tons to 5 tons, it's likely you'll need to change out your indoor coil and lineset too. There is also the strong possibility your airhandler/furnace and ductwork is not sized adequately to allow you to make that big a jump in AC size. Your wiring to the AC unit may also need to be upgraded for a 5 ton condensing unit.

As you can see, it's a lot more complicated than simply taking out your 3 ton condensing unit and substituting a 5 ton unit. Like Airman said, you need to get a qualified HVAC technician to perform a Manual J and Manual D on your system to see what size unit you should have.

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