2014: Which one to choose? Trane/York/Carrier/Amana

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Old 06-05-14, 08:37 PM
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2014: Which one to choose? Trane/York/Carrier/Amana

Hi All.

I went through this 16 years and it's just as hard today.

My Trane XE1000 condensing unit is bad. My Trane unit was installed 16 years ago with matching furnace and coil. Never had any issues until now with the compressor. Two AC techs have said it's bad.

I am in the horrible middle ground in that the furnace works well, but replacing the condensing unit and A-coil and NOT the furnace is not a good idea because around here labor is expensive and getting to the furnace is not cheap. So I am looking at replacing my entire split A/C system, gas-furnace.

I received quotes from various AC contractors and each of course pushes a specific brand Trane, York, etc. And each contractor bad-mouths the other brands except his of course.

Everyone says that the QUAILITY OF THE INSTALL is the most important point which I agree except that when you ask the same contractors about installing a bottom of the line Goodman system they all bark. So obviously that statement is not true ( another way of saying BS )

So I am back were I was 16 years ago trying to pick the "better" brand. My Trane has been rock solid except the compressor is basically dead and that compressor being bad while everything else is good makes for having to change the entire AC system because it's not cost effecting to keep a 16 year old furnace that may have issues 5 years later. Labor Is expensive here. So one bad component =equals= having to replace the entire AC system.

I am replacing a Trane 5-Ton 10-SEER unit and the bids are all over the place from 7.5k to 16.9k.

York sounds great with 10-year warranty BUT every where I look, Consumer Reports, furnace web-site, etc, York is rated at the BOTTOM - lots of complaints.

Trane/American Standard are rated good BUT I don't want a ClimaTuff compressor anymore and I also want a quieter condensing unit. My Trane XE1000 was LOUD from day one.

I am NOT into high SEER because it's not cost effective here in SoCal. A 14 or 15 SEER is good enough. The jump from 13 to 14.5 is reasonable but not when you jump into 16+ SEER.

Help please and thank you.
Joe
 
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  #2  
Old 06-06-14, 04:34 AM
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Id drop any company that bad mouthed there competitors 1st. 2nd install is the #1 thing to look at. Yes lower end brands will still be a lower end brand installed correctly. York has had issues CR is correct. New Trane equipment will be less noisy today than 16 years ago. Frankly If you have a Lennox option Id look at it. I feel they have the best stuff out at the moment. Im saying this as another brand dealer.
 
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Old 06-06-14, 05:50 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. From the most reputable down to the worse HVAC contractors that have come to my house, all have bad mouth the competitor brand ( all but one and it was the lowest bidder ).

York "looks" good and my neighbor has one with zero issues, BUT yes Consumer Guide, Furnace web site and other places all have York as the worse when it comes to repairs.
 
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Old 06-07-14, 10:44 AM
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I have a 4 ton Goodman 13 SEER R22 condenser . Other than a few condensers and a contactor , I am OK with it .

Were it me , I would buy a 5 ton dry charge R22 13 SEER unit ( copper lines ,A-Coil and furnace could stay as is if they do not have a problem ) .

If you are qualified , install it . If not , find a friend who is & pay him to change it out .

But , then , I am cheap . But I am also EPA certified & have the tooling to do the change out .

How much of the year do you heat in SoCal ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 06-07-14, 10:57 AM
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5 ton dry charge R22 13 SEER unit
Do they even offer a R22 units anymore?
 
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Old 06-07-14, 11:03 AM
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Hi Wyr.

Yes, I have been contemplating simply replacing the condensing unit with a new one. As you say, buy it dry since the cost of R-22 is expensive and I already have it.

Yes they still sell R-22 units. Now I have to find a contractor or qualified person who will replace the unit.
 
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Old 06-08-14, 01:20 AM
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My understanding is the only way Uncle Sugar will allow R22 condenser units to be sold as " replacements " w/o any R22 inside them ? Call dry charged .

May be difficult to get the larger contractors to participate ? They seem to be in the mode of sell , sell , sell ? :-(

Find a small contractor or a certified A/C Tech that works for a large institution , like a hospital . That is willing to do it on a weekend .

That is what I did with my Goodman system . I bought the equipment and installed everything . Ran the copper tubing and had it ready . The Tech brazed / silver soldered the lines , vacuumed it down ( I had purchased a vacuum pump at a pawn shop ) and released the refrigerant inside the compressor , to the rest of the system .

He tweaked the charge a little & we had cool air . Paid him his asking price , in cash . We were both happy . :-)

But , I knew him from work . And , due to work contacts , was able to buy the equipment worth the money .

Best of luck ! :-)

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 06-08-14, 07:01 AM
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I recommend replacing at least the condenser and evaporator coil and moving to R410a refrigerant at this time.

You have to consider the expected life of an evaporator coil which can be closer to 15 years around here. Take a look at the tubesheet before deciding that you will get more years from it.

This coil is 4 only years old...



I also recommend having the 6 foot electrical whip to the condensing unit replaced with the condenser. I have seen 2 collect water inside and short out, damaging the compressor in the process.
 

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Old 06-08-14, 01:02 PM
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I wouldn't brand shop. Most consumer reports are a joke and customer surveys are even worse. If you don't get a good installer it doesn't matter what brand gets put in. Installation, commissioning and preventative maintenance are the keys to a long lasting system. If you like the trane equipment and you were happy for 16 years, then go with trane or american standard. I'll never bad mouth another brand outside of rheem, which I think is a crappy company, but other than that it's mostly all the same minus the gizmos. Look for a good installer and a good warranty.
 
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Old 06-08-14, 09:59 PM
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I can't believe that coil is only 4 years old? Looks like micro leaks from day one. What brand is that? Is this normal in your area?

I did take a look at my A-coil and it's super clean. I am however leaning more towards replacing the whole thing and your suggestion of doing the breaker box now sounds good and something I can do.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 04:32 AM
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If you go with a dry ship you will have to replace the indoor coil as well. At 16 years old your old system was what SEER 8-10?? That old coil will not work well with a 13 SEER condenser. Id replace it all.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 08:06 PM
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Yes I am going to replace the whole thing. It's time. Looking at Day & Night setup with a highly rated hvac contractor on Angie's list.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 03:18 AM
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At one time Bryant , Payne , Daylight and BPD had the same parent company . Do not know about Day & Night , but do recall seeing one or two ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 06-11-14, 11:20 AM
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so after all that you pick low end equipment with a low end installer? I hope it works out for you!!!!
 
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Old 06-11-14, 06:58 PM
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I picked a highly rated installer but not the equipment and not low end equipment either.

Looking at Consumer Reports, York is way at the bottom - the last one. Asking the 'experts' here and from reading other places, the common word is:

* Shop equipment and NOT brand.
* Shop for quality installation.

Of which I have done both. This is why shopping for an AC is a nightmare and all the 'experts' disagree.

Happy to keep an open mind while also being realistic.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 06:19 PM
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I am making the same choices right now and I am choosing a contractor grade unit from one of the major players. I struggled with this decision because I felt I should upgrade....but the reality seems to be that they are all very similar and under a given set of conditions...will all last about the same amount of time. A Lexus is nice but a Corolla. Will last just as long if taken care of. So I will do the required maintenance and hope for the best. Anything installed properly is going to be better than this 19 year old Goodman....which really has far exceeded expectations and doesn't owe me a dime. Hopefully the next one will do as well. Good luck!
 
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Old 06-13-14, 11:18 PM
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Hi Mquinn25.

If it's of any comfort, I went through the same thing 16 years ago and ended-up buying a Trane which cost me a pretty penny. My current Trane XE1000 condenser is shot and I need to replace it. In the process of replacing my XE1000 I am ending up having to replace the entire AC system: Condenser, A-Coil, Air Handler.

In my case the extra money I spent 16 years ago getting a "TOP" of the line AC system did NOT pay off. The stupid Trane XE1000 condenser going bad means having to replace the ENTIRE AC system. This is what the so called "experts" here don't get.

If I replace the XE1000 only, I am locked into R-22 and if the A-Coil leaks in the future, I am hosed. If the air handler heat exchanger cracks, I am hosed. So the one stupid item in my EXPENSIVE AC system means having to replace EVERTHING now.

This is why buying the BEST does not always pays off. Today I am going with a middle of the road AC brand and definitely NOT a top brand AC system.

Good luck.
 
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