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Posted: 8/20/2017 9:21:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 9:46:07 AM EST by JKH62]
I have a 1996 era Trane XE 80 gas furnace with its mate XB 1000 / 1.5 ton AC unit.

Its been a solid system and I have done the normal maintenance and replaced minor parts and valved over the years. The AC suction line was frozen when I got home from work hence no AC. Let thaw and checked pressures and the R22 charge was low. I have a 30lb jug I have been saving for years for just this occasion. I topped off the R22 charge , pulled the blower motor and cleaned it and back in business.

I am unsure if the pressure loss was from age but it leaked out somewhere and at almost 20 years its near end of life anyway so I am looking at my choices now and for next years replacement.
R22 was pretty easy to work with and the R410 sounds inefficient , higher pressures and prone to leak & a PITA.....

I have a 2400 sq ft ranch home insulated to the max. I feel my current 1.5 ton AC unit is / was undersized and planning on going larger for the replacement like a 3 ton minimum with high SEER rating.

Anyway, if you HVAC pro's were spending your money what system would you get ?

I cant fault Trane but I have no idea if the new ones are still solid. Rheem makes /made good heating units but I read the AC compressor coils are funky and hard to clean.
I see "Goodman" a lot of places but do not get a warm fuzzy looking at the specs.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 9:28:12 AM EST
American Standard
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 10:15:07 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pavelow16478:
American Standard
View Quote
I concur 
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 10:37:24 AM EST
Thx guys.

Is Trane / American Standard one & the same company ?
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 10:43:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By JKH62:
I have a 1996 era Trane XE 80 gas furnace with its mate XB 1000 / 1.5 ton AC unit.

Its been a solid system and I have done the normal maintenance and replaced minor parts and valved over the years. The AC suction line was frozen when I got home from work hence no AC. Let thaw and checked pressures and the R22 charge was low. I have a 30lb jug I have been saving for years for just this occasion. I topped off the R22 charge , pulled the blower motor and cleaned it and back in business.

I am unsure if the pressure loss was from age but it leaked out somewhere and at almost 20 years its near end of life anyway so I am looking at my choices now and for next years replacement.
R22 was pretty easy to work with and the R410 sounds inefficient , higher pressures and prone to leak & a PITA.....

I have a 2400 sq ft ranch home insulated to the max. I feel my current 1.5 ton AC unit is / was undersized and planning on going larger for the replacement like a 3 ton minimum with high SEER rating.

Anyway, if you HVAC pro's were spending your money what system would you get ?

I cant fault Trane but I have no idea if the new ones are still solid. Rheem makes /made good heating units but I read the AC compressor coils are funky and hard to clean.
I see "Goodman" a lot of places but do not get a warm fuzzy looking at the specs.
View Quote

So you are replacing all the ductwork in the house?
There is no way that ductwork properly sized for a 1.5 ton system will handle a 3 ton system.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 10:43:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 10:44:41 AM EST by Muricha]
Trane = American Standard
Carrier = Bryant
Lennox

Been in industry 30+
Years, stick with one of the three listed above.

Get a minimum 16 SEER (2 stage) NOT variable speed compressor.

Insist installing contractor provides you a copy of his online warranty registration for your unit.

* 410 is not bad, units are designed for higher pressures.

Your unit does 'appear' pretty small for 2400ft. Insist contractor provide a manual J load calc prior to purchase.
BE VERY WARRY that the existing ductwork (especially return) can handle the new airflow requirements.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 10:53:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 10:56:14 AM EST by Hedonist]
What is the concern with variable speed?
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 11:02:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 11:02:55 AM EST by Thump_rrr]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Muricha:
Trane = American Standard
Carrier = Bryant
Lennox

Been in industry 30+
Years, stick with one of the three listed above.

Get a minimum 16 SEER (2 stage) NOT variable speed compressor.

Insist installing contractor provides you a copy of his online warranty registration for your unit.

* 410 is not bad, units are designed for higher pressures.

Your unit does 'appear' pretty small for 2400ft. Insist contractor provide a manual J load calc prior to purchase.
BE VERY WARRY that the existing ductwork (especially return) can handle the new airflow requirements.
View Quote
You left out my all time favourite from a service technicians standpoint Rheem.
Access to the compressor and all components without removing the condenser fan.
I've never had an issue with these units.
I hate the Trane Roto-Lock fittings on the compressors.
I prefer Trane for rooftop units over York Lennox or Carrier.
30 years this November in the business.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 11:32:33 AM EST
What about replacing it with a mini split? We are building a house and they come highly recommended. Even to replace an old central system I've heard that's the way to go. (I'm not an expert,I hope to get feedback on this idea)
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 11:53:29 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Muricha:
Trane = American Standard
Carrier = Bryant
Lennox

Been in industry 30+
Years, stick with one of the three listed above.

Get a minimum 16 SEER (2 stage) NOT variable speed compressor.

Insist installing contractor provides you a copy of his online warranty registration for your unit.

* 410 is not bad, units are designed for higher pressures.

Your unit does 'appear' pretty small for 2400ft. Insist contractor provide a manual J load calc prior to purchase.
BE VERY WARRY that the existing ductwork (especially return) can handle the new airflow requirements.
View Quote
Defiantly pay attention to the warranty, If you luck out and get a bad unit it will cost you.

I had a Lennox system installed in 2010, for the first several years every few months a solder joint would fail, then the THX valve went out, and then the A Coil failed.

After the first year they charged me every time for the Freon and labor. Eventually they replaced the condenser unit and haven't had any problems since
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 11:56:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 12:00:49 PM EST by Thump_rrr]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Patriot43:
What about replacing it with a mini split? We are building a house and they come highly recommended. Even to replace an old central system I've heard that's the way to go. (I'm not an expert,I hope to get feedback on this idea)
View Quote
Ductless mini-split systems can be used instead of a conventional ducted system.
The problem is depending on the layout of the home how many units will you need to effectively cool all the rooms.
Don't forget that you will also need to supply heat to every room of the house.
Being in Oregon there is a good likelihood that you will need to heat for some parts of the winter with electric baseboard when it is too cold to heat with the ductless mini-splits depending on the model.
I wouldn't rely on a mini-split for primary heat. This means that the whole house needs to be wired for electric baseboards.

If it was me and I was building there would be a ducted system with a heat-pump in the 16 seer range and most likely a gas furnace.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 12:10:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Thump_rrr:

So you are replacing all the ductwork in the house?
There is no way that ductwork properly sized for a 1.5 ton system will handle a 3 ton system.
View Quote
Most likely and if required.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 12:12:56 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Thump_rrr:

Ductless mini-split systems can be used instead of a conventional ducted system.
The problem is depending on the layout of the home how many units will you need to effectively cool all the rooms.
Don't forget that you will also need to supply heat to every room of the house.
Being in Oregon there is a good likelihood that you will need to heat for some parts of the winter with electric baseboard when it is too cold to heat with the ductless mini-splits depending on the model.
I wouldn't rely on a mini-split for primary heat. This means that the whole house needs to be wired for electric baseboards.

If it was me and I was building there would be a ducted system with a heat-pump in the 16 seer range and most likely a gas furnace.
View Quote
Some New mini splits heat down to -5 degrees Fahrenheit now.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 12:16:33 PM EST
Trying to nail down the best current build quality then weigh the option of higher efficiency vs the simplicity of lower efficiency units and long term operation cost.

My 1st house was an all electric that I converted to gas so I had to use a direct vet HE furnace and hot water tank. The HE gas furnace was great but once the single digit temps hit it seemed to cycle non-stop trying to scavenge all heat from the manifold then start the cycle again.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 12:26:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 12:29:20 PM EST by Thump_rrr]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By vztim:


Some New mini splits heat down to -5 degrees Fahrenheit now.
View Quote
Some will heat to -40 but there is a much greater chance that a mini-split will crap out than an electric baseboard.
I'm 30 years in the business and i can guarantee you I won't be sending out my technicians at -40 to try and troubleshoot an inverter board or compressor at-40 with what the manufacturer pays in warranty claims.
Call me back in the spring.

I have several clients who use them to cool small server rooms.
I use 1 brand and keep a spare condenser on hand.
If it dies I replace the condenser and figure out the problem in the spring.
This ain't Florida or California so no heat-pump is a primary heat source.
There is always electric, oil, or gas heat for when it gets really cold or the heat-pump craps out.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 12:35:37 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JKH62:
Thx guys.

Is Trane / American Standard one & the same company ?
View Quote
Yes, same factory, same production line.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 1:13:21 PM EST
If mini splits are an option they are the answer.

When/if I ever build my own house I will design it around ductless mini-splits.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 2:46:59 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Hedonist:
What is the concern with variable speed?
View Quote
Same question from me. Why 2-speed vs. variable speed?
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 6:30:14 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:

Same question from me. Why 2-speed vs. variable speed?
View Quote
Simpler operation / less crap to go bad is my WAG.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:08:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 7:11:30 PM EST by Muricha]
Why 2 speed vs. Variable speed? I'll try and summarize.

The technology and circutry required to opearate the unit with a variable inverter requires allot of parts and boards that tend to go bad and are expensive.

In a shop with 10 technicians there may be one or two that can actually diagnose and repair properly. Most are parts changers. EXPENSIVE parts that dealers typically don't stock. Its overkill and seldom is the operating efficiency obtained as advertised. Ducting must be generous, refigerant lines must be perfect and the return air is seldom obtained due to asthetics.

A 2 speed uses a much simpler solenoid valve / pressure is a long time proven technology and much more forgiving with real world installations. It also allows for a peak coolng in 100+ degree days if the correct size is selected. Slow speed dehumidifies nicely.

First cost is significantly less.

I can bore you with war stories but as I said it's boring.
I was a major manufacturer engineer for many years as well as owning my own HVAC consulting business. All that said it's really just an opinion as that's what I do with my designs.

Common mistakes to avoid:

Purchase a 'matched system' indoor and outdoor or any efficiency you paid extra for will be a pipe dream.

Purchase from an Authorized Factory dealer (ask for documentation). If a homeowner isn't happy they can call the manufacturer and they will investigate with the dealer. Likely send an engineer out to ensure your happy.

More often than not the return air system is undersized that costs operating dollars and system failures.

Ensure your thermostat uses outdoor temp to lock out devices at certain temperatures. No use running your heat pump down to single digits.

An electronic air cleaner will save you operating costs. It's also good for your system.

Ensure your outdoor unit is mounted with a minimum of 18" of pad surrounding it and is mounted at least 4" off the ground. Grass clippings and dog urine are system killers.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:19:18 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Muricha:
Why 2 speed vs. Variable speed? I'll try and summarize.
View Quote
You suck at summarizing.

One takes more than 2 electic boards with programming-computer shit. The other has a couple switches.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:22:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 7:23:13 PM EST by Hedonist]
I looked for reasons regarding variable vs 2-speed, and saw where a laptop is often required to troubleshoot the variable - and the technical knowledge is greater.

So, it's harder.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:28:07 PM EST
variable speed is more dependable than 2 speed or dual compressors because there is more sensors built in. if you are smart enough to use an ipad you are smart enough to diagnose a variable drive system, matter of fact they are pretty much self diagnosing. parts are covered for 10 years same as a 2 speed system
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:36:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Muricha:
Your unit does 'appear' pretty small for 2400ft.
View Quote
If you just went by the ol' 30-btu-per-square-feet rule-of-thumb, 2400 square feet would be 6 tons.

So - Yeh!
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:38:21 PM EST
for starters..hell no!on the goodman!..go trane or american standard.usually the upfront cost on 2 stage/var a/c units outway the long run savings.2 stage/var equipment dose not last any longer than single stage.i would recommend a 2 stage 95% furnace and a 15 seer a/c system.in my area,the utility companies always offer some sort of rebate to sweeten the purchase...keep it as simple as possible!also.pretty much all the oem are offering 10 yr comp warranties,lifetime heat exchanger and 10 yr parts.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:45:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By coldair:
variable speed is more dependable than 2 speed or dual compressors because there is more sensors built in. if you are smart enough to use an ipad you are smart enough to diagnose a variable drive system, matter of fact they are pretty much self diagnosing. parts are covered for 10 years same as a 2 speed system
View Quote
+1
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 7:59:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By coldair:
variable speed is more dependable than 2 speed or dual compressors because there is more sensors built in. if you are smart enough to use an ipad you are smart enough to diagnose a variable drive system, matter of fact they are pretty much self diagnosing. parts are covered for 10 years same as a 2 speed system
View Quote
This is NOT correct information. Variable speed is fucking awful. Ask me how I know. I own a Carrier Infinity with a variable speed motor. After 3 years we started getting blower motor faults. The AC would would accumulate faults and eventually shut off. It would go a few weeks between shutting off initially then it started shutting off 6-8 times a day. They finally replaced my blower motor for free because of the 10 year warranty.
The variable speed motors contain an ECM that goes bad. It was a shitty engineered piece that GE rolled out to numerous manufacturers. Once upon a time you could just buy the part that burned out but the companies got wise and now you have to order the whole damn thing for THOUSANDS of dollars. I fucking hate my Carrier system.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 8:02:58 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 8:15:08 PM EST
Does American Standard use the micro channel condensers now? I have heard you want a scroll compressor also. A guy told me the micro stuff is too high pressure, and leaks are all but certain.  
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 8:19:52 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LUVMYGUNS:


This is NOT correct information. Variable speed is fucking awful. Ask me how I know. I own a Carrier Infinity with a variable speed motor. After 3 years we started getting blower motor faults. The AC would would accumulate faults and eventually shut off. It would go a few weeks between shutting off initially then it started shutting off 6-8 times a day. They finally replaced my blower motor for free because of the 10 year warranty.
The variable speed motors contain an ECM that goes bad. It was a shitty engineered piece that GE rolled out to numerous manufacturers. Once upon a time you could just buy the part that burned out but the companies got wise and now you have to order the whole damn thing for THOUSANDS of dollars. I fucking hate my Carrier system.
View Quote
why would you spend thousands for a motor covered under warranty? all high efficiency units use the ECM motor the lower seer use the X13 motors which are not built as well as the ECM. the cost of the ECM motor was very reasonable till GE sold their small motor division  to a French manufacture after Obamacare was passed and the price of the motors skyrocketed. but still you don't have to pay for the motor and neither does the dealer. 
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 8:28:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LUVMYGUNS:
This is NOT correct information. Variable speed is fucking awful. Ask me how I know. I own a Carrier Infinity with a variable speed motor. After 3 years we started getting blower motor faults. The AC would would accumulate faults and eventually shut off. It would go a few weeks between shutting off initially then it started shutting off 6-8 times a day. They finally replaced my blower motor for free because of the 10 year warranty.
The variable speed motors contain an ECM that goes bad. It was a shitty engineered piece that GE rolled out to numerous manufacturers. Once upon a time you could just buy the part that burned out but the companies got wise and now you have to order the whole damn thing for THOUSANDS of dollars. I fucking hate my Carrier system.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LUVMYGUNS:
Originally Posted By coldair:
variable speed is more dependable than 2 speed or dual compressors because there is more sensors built in. if you are smart enough to use an ipad you are smart enough to diagnose a variable drive system, matter of fact they are pretty much self diagnosing. parts are covered for 10 years same as a 2 speed system
This is NOT correct information. Variable speed is fucking awful. Ask me how I know. I own a Carrier Infinity with a variable speed motor. After 3 years we started getting blower motor faults. The AC would would accumulate faults and eventually shut off. It would go a few weeks between shutting off initially then it started shutting off 6-8 times a day. They finally replaced my blower motor for free because of the 10 year warranty.
The variable speed motors contain an ECM that goes bad. It was a shitty engineered piece that GE rolled out to numerous manufacturers. Once upon a time you could just buy the part that burned out but the companies got wise and now you have to order the whole damn thing for THOUSANDS of dollars. I fucking hate my Carrier system.
I highlighted your actual problem.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 8:30:40 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lotsagas4u:
Does American Standard use the micro channel condensers now? I have heard you want a scroll compressor also. A guy told me the micro stuff is too high pressure, and leaks are all but certain.  
View Quote
No.

To the best of my knowledge, the only company really invested in microchannel is Nortek. It's not the pressures they get them, it's improper installation and shoddy ductwork.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 8:44:06 PM EST
no micro channel coils except for the imported budget stuff for really cheap system. funny thing is it looks like one manufacture is making that line for most manufactures
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 2:39:28 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Muricha:
Why 2 speed vs. Variable speed? I'll try and summarize.

[...]

Common mistakes to avoid:

Purchase a 'matched system' indoor and outdoor or any efficiency you paid extra for will be a pipe dream.

Purchase from an Authorized Factory dealer (ask for documentation). If a homeowner isn't happy they can call the manufacturer and they will investigate with the dealer. Likely send an engineer out to ensure your happy.

More often than not the return air system is undersized that costs operating dollars and system failures.

Ensure your thermostat uses outdoor temp to lock out devices at certain temperatures. No use running your heat pump down to single digits.

An electronic air cleaner will save you operating costs. It's also good for your system.

Ensure your outdoor unit is mounted with a minimum of 18" of pad surrounding it and is mounted at least 4" off the ground. Grass clippings and dog urine are system killers.
View Quote
OUTSTANDING POST! Thank you very much for the detail! 

Any recommended brands for the electronic air cleaner? I have allergies and have been considering one for years. 

I have a Lennox multi-stage (three stage?) system that is approaching 15 years, installed by the previous homeowner that owned an HVAC company (now defunct). It's a nice system but it freaks out the service people who I've called for spring and fall checkups, they universally hate Lennox multi-stage and say they're over-complicated and expensive. It's a split system and the air handler is inside the attic and was installed with a crane and a huge hole cut into the roof then re-sheathed and re-tiled that section of roof. I've since re-roofed the house. I'm doing my research now on a replacement system but it's the install that is going to be a killer. Replacing that unit in the attic will be $5K just for the install. 
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 6:01:13 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:
OUTSTANDING POST! Thank you very much for the detail! 

Any recommended brands for the electronic air cleaner? I have allergies and have been considering one for years. 

I have a Lennox multi-stage (three stage?) system that is approaching 15 years, installed by the previous homeowner that owned an HVAC company (now defunct). It's a nice system but it freaks out the service people who I've called for spring and fall checkups, they universally hate Lennox multi-stage and say they're over-complicated and expensive. It's a split system and the air handler is inside the attic and was installed with a crane and a huge hole cut into the roof then re-sheathed and re-tiled that section of roof. I've since re-roofed the house. I'm doing my research now on a replacement system but it's the install that is going to be a killer. Replacing that unit in the attic will be $5K just for the install. 
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:
Originally Posted By Muricha:
Why 2 speed vs. Variable speed? I'll try and summarize.

[...]

Common mistakes to avoid:

Purchase a 'matched system' indoor and outdoor or any efficiency you paid extra for will be a pipe dream.

Purchase from an Authorized Factory dealer (ask for documentation). If a homeowner isn't happy they can call the manufacturer and they will investigate with the dealer. Likely send an engineer out to ensure your happy.

More often than not the return air system is undersized that costs operating dollars and system failures.

Ensure your thermostat uses outdoor temp to lock out devices at certain temperatures. No use running your heat pump down to single digits.

An electronic air cleaner will save you operating costs. It's also good for your system.

Ensure your outdoor unit is mounted with a minimum of 18" of pad surrounding it and is mounted at least 4" off the ground. Grass clippings and dog urine are system killers.
OUTSTANDING POST! Thank you very much for the detail! 

Any recommended brands for the electronic air cleaner? I have allergies and have been considering one for years. 

I have a Lennox multi-stage (three stage?) system that is approaching 15 years, installed by the previous homeowner that owned an HVAC company (now defunct). It's a nice system but it freaks out the service people who I've called for spring and fall checkups, they universally hate Lennox multi-stage and say they're over-complicated and expensive. It's a split system and the air handler is inside the attic and was installed with a crane and a huge hole cut into the roof then re-sheathed and re-tiled that section of roof. I've since re-roofed the house. I'm doing my research now on a replacement system but it's the install that is going to be a killer. Replacing that unit in the attic will be $5K just for the install. 
Honeywell F300 or an Aprilaire 5000

Basic difference is the Honeywell has no residual cost as all you do is wash the pre filters every month and put the cell through your dishwasher every 6 months to a year. The Aprilaire has a media that has to be replaced every year that costs about $70 or so.

Both work very well, but my preference is the Honeywell since it has no residual cost.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 9:25:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2017 9:28:31 AM EST by Kharn]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:
OUTSTANDING POST! Thank you very much for the detail! 

Any recommended brands for the electronic air cleaner? I have allergies and have been considering one for years. 

I have a Lennox multi-stage (three stage?) system that is approaching 15 years, installed by the previous homeowner that owned an HVAC company (now defunct). It's a nice system but it freaks out the service people who I've called for spring and fall checkups, they universally hate Lennox multi-stage and say they're over-complicated and expensive. It's a split system and the air handler is inside the attic and was installed with a crane and a huge hole cut into the roof then re-sheathed and re-tiled that section of roof. I've since re-roofed the house. I'm doing my research now on a replacement system but it's the install that is going to be a killer. Replacing that unit in the attic will be $5K just for the install. 
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:
Originally Posted By Muricha:
Why 2 speed vs. Variable speed? I'll try and summarize.

[...]

Common mistakes to avoid:

Purchase a 'matched system' indoor and outdoor or any efficiency you paid extra for will be a pipe dream.

Purchase from an Authorized Factory dealer (ask for documentation). If a homeowner isn't happy they can call the manufacturer and they will investigate with the dealer. Likely send an engineer out to ensure your happy.

More often than not the return air system is undersized that costs operating dollars and system failures.

Ensure your thermostat uses outdoor temp to lock out devices at certain temperatures. No use running your heat pump down to single digits.

An electronic air cleaner will save you operating costs. It's also good for your system.

Ensure your outdoor unit is mounted with a minimum of 18" of pad surrounding it and is mounted at least 4" off the ground. Grass clippings and dog urine are system killers.
OUTSTANDING POST! Thank you very much for the detail! 

Any recommended brands for the electronic air cleaner? I have allergies and have been considering one for years. 

I have a Lennox multi-stage (three stage?) system that is approaching 15 years, installed by the previous homeowner that owned an HVAC company (now defunct). It's a nice system but it freaks out the service people who I've called for spring and fall checkups, they universally hate Lennox multi-stage and say they're over-complicated and expensive. It's a split system and the air handler is inside the attic and was installed with a crane and a huge hole cut into the roof then re-sheathed and re-tiled that section of roof. I've since re-roofed the house. I'm doing my research now on a replacement system but it's the install that is going to be a killer. Replacing that unit in the attic will be $5K just for the install. 
Pick the least favorite room and have a set of 30" wide attic stairs installed? You'll have to have joists cut and framed around, but it would avoid the hole in the roof. Maybe $2k for the whole job?

Louisville Big boy 30"x60" 350lb capacity stairs are what I installed, if it can't fit up those, it wasn't meant to be installed in an attic.

The air handler can be disassembled and carried up in pieces for almost any design, the coil is the largest chunk.

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:01:06 AM EST
What's really interesting to me is the replies from techs in this thread who say "dont buy variable speed because of computers, sensors, etc....it all costs thousands of $$!"  Let me try to translate this for a typical homeowner consumer:  this means "I don't want to take any training to learn about new equipment and how it works and I don't care about how much market penetration this stuff is achieving.  I like the way the old style motors and compressors work and that's that!"

Do not hire one of these types of technicians.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:15:11 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TexasSmooth:
What's really interesting to me is the replies from techs in this thread who say "dont buy variable speed because of computers, sensors, etc....it all costs thousands of $!"  Let me try to translate this for a typical homeowner consumer:  this means "I don't want to take any training to learn about new equipment and how it works and I don't care about how much market penetration this stuff is achieving.  I like the way the old style motors and compressors work and that's that!"

Do not hire one of these types of technicians.
View Quote
My TempStar has been superb.
It was installed in March of 2000 and I have replaced the condenser fan motor.
Not sure if they are the same quality today but again mine has just been superb.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:18:21 AM EST
American Standard or Rheem/Ruud (exact same unit, one gets a Rheem badge, the other gets a Ruud badge).
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 3:32:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sand_Man:
American Standard or Rheem/Ruud (exact same unit, one gets a Rheem badge, the other gets a Ruud badge).
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opposite sides of the quality and mechanical spectrum like ATI versus knight's armorment
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 4:37:41 PM EST
Thx for the tip on the Honeywell air filter , its noted on the install list.

Reading reviews and even cruising the forums yield WIDE opinions and advise.
Again, thanks guys and I have a nice window to do research and decide which way to go.

Its like replacing a vehicle before it totally fails Vs having to replace something quickly which limits ones options.
I cant bag on my near 20 year Trane system. When its old enough to vote you got your moneys worth.

I figure I can swap my just opened 30lb R22 jug for a couple R410A jugs next year.
This one has sat for a long time but its nice having service parts and material on hand. I hate buying something new and rolling the dice for up time.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 8:52:29 PM EST
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Originally Posted By alphajaguars:
Honeywell F300 or an Aprilaire 5000

Basic difference is the Honeywell has no residual cost as all you do is wash the pre filters every month and put the cell through your dishwasher every 6 months to a year. The Aprilaire has a media that has to be replaced every year that costs about $70 or so.

Both work very well, but my preference is the Honeywell since it has no residual cost.
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Originally Posted By alphajaguars:
Honeywell F300 or an Aprilaire 5000

Basic difference is the Honeywell has no residual cost as all you do is wash the pre filters every month and put the cell through your dishwasher every 6 months to a year. The Aprilaire has a media that has to be replaced every year that costs about $70 or so.

Both work very well, but my preference is the Honeywell since it has no residual cost.
Thank you VERY much. The Honeywell is less expensive than last time I looked at these things (they were closer to $900.00 6+ years ago) I'll be making some calls tomorrow.


Originally Posted By Kharn:
Pick the least favorite room and have a set of 30" wide attic stairs installed? You'll have to have joists cut and framed around, but it would avoid the hole in the roof. Maybe $2k for the whole job?

Louisville Big boy 30"x60" 350lb capacity stairs are what I installed, if it can't fit up those, it wasn't meant to be installed in an attic.

The air handler can be disassembled and carried up in pieces for almost any design, the coil is the largest chunk.

Kharn
I don't know if that would work, the unit is perched between three trusses (there is a huge return box on one end (house has two 18" diameter return ducts) and a huge outlet box on the other end, plus the unit itself... probably 10-12 feet long in total) plus it sits right above the kitchen/family room in a ranch style house... but I had not considered that the units come apart. Nor had I considered this approach at all. I'm going to look into this, it is a really good idea. May not work in my house, but it was something that I had not previously considered. I'd much rather pay $2K than $5K !!

Thank you!
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:39:12 PM EST
You see pretty much all mini splits in poorer countries. They seem far more efficient, easier to service and economical effective over a central unit.  I think here and Canada we keep the HVAC industry going for staying with central units which cost an arm and a leg to replace.  

Living in hot azz AZ I have a house with 2 AC's.  I can tell I lose a lot of cooling from duct work to my master bedroom which is in the SW corner of my house.  I've been tempted to do a mini split for this room.  Helped a lot when I planted more trees in the back to shade it more.  But a I'm thinking hard of doing mini splits as these units crap out.

Would like to know what our HVAC pros take on that.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 2:59:33 PM EST
foam insulation on the bottom of the roof deck 
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 3:05:52 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:

Same question from me. Why 2-speed vs. variable speed?
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Variable speed units have high power solid state compoents that are not only susceptable to power surges, but are expensive to replace, and can also create radio frequency inteference to electronic equipment.
Most (if not all) 2-speed units use mechanical relays which are reliable and relatively inexpensive to replace.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 3:14:34 PM EST
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Originally Posted By coldair:
opposite sides of the quality and mechanical spectrum like ATI versus knight's armorment
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Originally Posted By coldair:
Originally Posted By Sand_Man:
American Standard or Rheem/Ruud (exact same unit, one gets a Rheem badge, the other gets a Ruud badge).
opposite sides of the quality and mechanical spectrum like ATI versus knight's armorment
Just curious, what are the differences that put them on opposite sides of the spectrum? Thanks
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 12:49:15 AM EST
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Originally Posted By India303:
You see pretty much all mini splits in poorer countries. They seem far more efficient, easier to service and economical effective over a central unit.  I think here and Canada we keep the HVAC industry going for staying with central units which cost an arm and a leg to replace.  

Living in hot azz AZ I have a house with 2 AC's.  I can tell I lose a lot of cooling from duct work to my master bedroom which is in the SW corner of my house.  I've been tempted to do a mini split for this room.  Helped a lot when I planted more trees in the back to shade it more.  But a I'm thinking hard of doing mini splits as these units crap out.

Would like to know what our HVAC pros take on that.
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I have this exact same issue except the location of the master suite is NE on my house. The suite which is the BR, closet, and master bath takes up 25% of the square footage of the house and is always 5-degrees warmer in the summer and 5+ degrees cooler in the winter being serviced by only a 5" duct to the BR and 4" duct to the bath. I've considered increasing the size of the ductwork and registers to this side but I'm sure it'd throw off the system for the rest of the house.

Annoying thing is that every A/C tech that has come to service and checkup the unit I've asked about performing an airflow audit of the house and give me recommendations on improving the situation has looked at me like I was talking about witchcraft or voodoo.

I swear that 80% of the HVAC "professionals" in Phoenix are not qualified or trained and just know how to re-charge R22, replace fans and capacitors, and hand me an invoice. 
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 5:31:04 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Mr_Maim:
I swear that 80% of the HVAC "professionals" in Phoenix are not qualified or trained and just know how to re-charge R22, replace fans and capacitors, and hand me an invoice. 
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This cannot be. We have been admonished in other threads that only "professionals" have the knowledge to do these needed calculations. You must be mistaken, and don't really understand the depth of their knowledge.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 5:36:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 7:52:19 PM EST
Anyone see any change in quality of Carrier since they moved some operations to Mexico ?
Not sure if they moved home HVAC compressors or what they actually made at the US plant.

I prefer to buy American made when possible and still get quality, when possible.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:06:59 PM EST
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Originally Posted By JKH62:
Anyone see any change in quality of Carrier since they moved some operations to Mexico ?
Not sure if they moved home HVAC compressors or what they actually made at the US plant.

I prefer to buy American made when possible and still get quality, when possible.
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Carrier has fallen way down since the move.

Trane is still made is Tyler, Texas.
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