Cost and Brand


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Old 03-01-07, 06:20 PM
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Unhappy Cost and Brand

Wanted to know if some of you guys could give me an educated guess on what it should cost for a changeout for a new 4 ton heat pump and air handler. 12 year old Heil compressor is dead. Air handler is only 8 years old but only rated to 10 seer. I know that everthing has to be 13 Seer so I guess I have to change both out.

I have been trying to get some repair history etc, for different brands, but little luck. Any recommendations on Brand would be a big help. Located in Tampa Fl, so little heat requirements, mostly cooling.

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 03-01-07, 06:52 PM
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Cool

talk with 5 different contractors, get 5 different answers --
their are only 6 major manufactures of equipt. and around 40 different "brands"

Honestly go on the other factors,
get the highest SEER you can affort, keep in mind the lenght of time u plan on living there.
size of the company will not matter!!!! it's how fast they can get there and how available the parts are to fix a problem, if one comes up.
do not go with the lowest bidder..
ask and try to get even bids - same brand, and work required.

get several estimates and go off your gut, it is really the best way.
 
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Old 03-01-07, 08:47 PM
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Tampa = two speed or two stage system!
 
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Old 03-01-07, 08:54 PM
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Airman,
Forgive the ignorance
2 Speed meaning fan speed?
2 stage meaning Heat pump and Air handler?
 
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Old 03-01-07, 09:24 PM
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the speeds are the fan settings, the stages are the compressor.

go variable speed with a 2 stage compressor. Lennox or Amana
 
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Old 03-01-07, 10:19 PM
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Tampa Fl, After 25 years in West Palm Ill go this way. Forget that heatpump no way get one. Put the $$$ in the bank and get much better units. I know over there they push the HP It just dont pay for the time you will use it . Just get the AC with the electric back up is all. I have a sisterinlaw just below you and thats what she has. You have to live a lot more north there for the pump to pay .
Most of the time we say get 3 bids for the same job. But there in Fl for sure get 5 bids for the same job.
You want a seer of 15 or over . With this you can get a tax credit from the IRS.
You want the V/S blower -- Thats a variable-speed motor on the blower
If you will stay in the home for 10 years or more . Go for a Trane XL19i.
it has 2 compressors in it for 2 stage. Much better than the 2 stage units that just unload part of the compressors
Now down there your Ac will run about 8 to 9 months for the year. So you do want the put on a hot water recovery on this new unit. I had 3 people in the home there and Id get "free" hot water from the AC .It also kicks up the SEER on the unit.
Now the Trane XL19i has 2 compressors in it also American/standard and Lennox All have unts like that. Also stay with the freon R 22 it will be made till 2030. The new R410a freon cost to much.
One more point. have a daughter in west Palm had a 3.5AC 12 seer in the home . Took it out and put in a 4 ton with a V.S blower and a Xl19i 2 stage. Their power bill was high. After this was put in .It dropped all most $90.

my .02 cents ED
 
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Old 03-02-07, 06:13 AM
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Ed,
Thanks for the info, I'll try to put it to good use.
I have an AC guy I have used for years and was really trying to avoid the quote hassle, but just want to keep him honest.
The only pricing I can find on AC's online is with Goodman,
anyone know of anyway to get ballpark numbers for any brands?

As far as the straight AC vs Heat pump question, " get the electric back up" I presume you meant the straight AC with a heat stip. If this unit is on a 220 line, what is the largest (amp's) heat stip I can use?
 
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Old 03-02-07, 07:12 AM
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2 stage - 2 compressor does't matter the SEER rating is the same....
Which means it costs the same to run.
the only change is the cost to buy.

If u go for the rebate check energy star . gov for the requirements and steps required for the rebate. also have the contractor check the static in your system.

Price will not be available on the web for most brands
Trane - Lennox- Carrier...etc

all three have an 18 SEER system.
 
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Old 03-02-07, 07:14 AM
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Heat strip

I'm not an electrician and I don't play one on TV but I do play one at home. The 220 line you refer to is VOLTS -- the heat strip will be rated in AMPS. More amps will draw more current-- you'll need a bigger wire for more amps. Normally a 15 amp braker is for #14 wire, 20 amp breaker #20 wire.

I just got a heat pump in Ga unit that has a five amp heat strip. I am planning on using #14 wire and 220 "double" breaker -- that will have two hot wires supplying the electricity (black and Red) I think a 10 amp strip was an option -- I'll bet you can get higher. I am hoping 5 amp is good enough for my Georgia basement.

AC folks I talked to were pushing for a gas funace and no heat strip-- I'm from Buffalo-- the heat strip wil be enough.

You can do a little math. 100 watt light bulb draws about 1 amp at 120 volts 100/120 = about 1. A 1500 watt hairdyer is going to be drawing close to 15 watts (1500watts/120volts= 12.5 amps) That is why if your bathroom or kitchen in a 60 year old house it may only have a 15 amp breaker or fuse. The hair dryer or toaster will blow it.

The 220 is giving you 2 110 volt lines. You'll want to match amps to breaker size to wire. The breaker protects the wire from getting too hot if the heat strip is sucking more electric than the wires can deliver. If it draws more then the breaker is designed: 15 amp, #14 wire (ligting circuits) 20 amp #12 wire (kitchen circuits with toaster and dishwashes with heating elements;30 amp #10 wire (some clothe dryers) 40 amp #8 wire (some stoves).

That is enough information to make you dangerous.
 
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Old 03-02-07, 12:56 PM
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As far as the straight AC vs Heat pump question, " get the electric back up" I presume you meant the straight AC with a heat stip. If this unit is on a 220 line, what is the largest (amp's) heat stip I can
If you put in a heat pump or you just get the blower unit for ACwith the heat in it. It will be the same electric elements in it . You need that for back up on heat for the pump and for the pump to go into defrost.So you will have are need the same wire to the units what ever you put in.
What you have now for electric element heat .If it did heat the home you will have the same Amp draw for the new unit.
If you like the guy you have had and he has been good Id say stay with him.
Again dont go with the heat pump down there.
Now for sure you want a hot water recovery on this new unit. It will give you free hot water and kick up the seer on the unit.
If you check it out you can get a seer of 19.5 with a Trane XL19i . More with a hot water recovery on the unit.

""""2 stage - 2 compressor does't matter the SEER rating is the same....
Which means it costs the same to run.""""
Ill go the other way here. Lets say yes the seer is the same. But the cost to run is a lot different. A 2stage compressor just unloads the one stage and still run at 75% power draw. Where with 2 compressors you only draw the amps for the compressor that is on.
You say you have a 4 ton there now. If you go with another 4 ton the wire and breaker will stay the same. What you have inside will also stay the same.

I presume you meant the straight AC with a heat stip. If this unit is on a 220 line, what is the largest (amp's) heat stip I can us. Is in whatyou have nowas to the size of the wire and the breaker.

ED
 
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Old 03-02-07, 02:52 PM
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Cool

ed:
Well kinda - 2 compressor Trane 19i 4 ton - SEER 16.5-17.00
1 undersized compressor which is sized for 60 % max load. When the 2nd compressor kicks in it is for the 100% of the load and the other one stops. An example for this customer would be a 2.5 or 3 ton and a 4 ton.
(buy 2 compressors with all other eq. for starting the second one)

2- stage - or "unloading" copeland Lennox --XC 19 17.00 SEER
1st stage runs at 68.8% then kicks into second stage for the full 100%
this is according to copleand - so my point again is....

cost to run is the same - unit cost is the only other factor...

also the ONLY Trane rated for 19.5 SEER is a 2.5 ton @ 82 degrees...

now the heat strip question
we offer the following 5-8-10kw's - ask your ac guy what your individual needs would be.
 
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Old 03-02-07, 06:23 PM
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northfate,

In your description of what you plan to or have done already you said you will hook up a 5 amp heat strip with 14 ga wire.
You need to carefully read the specs because I think you may have mistaken 5 kw for 5 amps................you will find a BIG difference in amperage draw.

As suggested to you in another thread you would do well to hire qualified tradesman to do this installation for you.
 
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Old 03-02-07, 07:16 PM
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Out of curiosity, why do people recomend the 15+SEER for tax credit. Isn't it much cheaper to get a 13 SEER? I am assuimng the 15SEER is much more expensive than the tax credit..
 
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Old 03-02-07, 09:54 PM
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The higher the seer is the more power you will save and the lower the electric bill can be. Some units now can go to a Seer of 19.5
If you look when we say go for the high seer .Most will say you have to stay in this home for the next 5 to 10 years for a pay back.
 
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Old 03-03-07, 06:11 AM
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Thanks to all on this board for some good advice. After spending many hours researching my cooling needs, I am going with a 13 Seer Heat pump and matching variable speed Air handler. I know I could have saved some money with a staight AC w/ heatstrip and probably met my needs. I could have also spent more for a higher Seer unit.
My deciding factor was my AC guy. He has done work for me for the past 12 years and has always been reliable and honest.
The best units are only as good as who stands behind them and is willing to service them when you need it. I'll have a 10 year compressor and 10 year parts and labor warranty and he will be there when I need him.
Plus when your sitting in a house thats 80 degrees and 90 % humidity, and a crabby wife and unhappy kids, it wants to make you just get it done. So it will be installed Tuesday.
 
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Old 03-03-07, 09:32 AM
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I still say no heat pump down there. Put the $$$ to a V/S blower and a hot water recovery.unit on it. Who can just give up free hot water for 8 months. Also with a V/S blower it can have a humidistat on it . This will slow down the blower and take out more humidity for you. thats what you need there where you are
 
 

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