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-   -   Installing new R410a system. 14 or 13 seer? Does my plan of attack look legit? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/installing-new-r410a-system-14-13-seer-does-my-plan-attack-look-legit-162382/)

Ethereal 11-06-2012 12:13 PM

Installing new R410a system. 14 or 13 seer? Does my plan of attack look legit?
 
Hi all,

I currently have a 13 seer 2 ton goodman split system on R-22. The indoor coil sprung a leak and after thinking over the possible courses of action, I am leaning toward replacing the entire (5 year old) system with an R401a system. Here's my (cost) reasoning:

New air handler: $500 here
7lbs refrigerant: $400
New filter/dryer installed: ~$200
Total: $1100

If I switch over to R410a:
Air handler and heat pump: $1400 here
Installation, charge(25ft lines): DIY(precharged)

Alternatively, I could go 14 seer for $90 more here, which uses the same heat pump but variable speed air handler.

So my first question is, between the 13 and 14 seer systems, does one of the air handlers have a better rep than the other? The 14 seer hax a TXV while the 13 seer does not. 14 seer would save me approx. $40/year in operating cost.

Secondly, The following is my plan of attack, and I just wanted to vet it with you guys to make sure I am not missing something important:
- Push Down existing system
- Break vacuum with argon/CO2 (I don't have nitrogen)
- Decommission existing handler and heat pump
- Braze new handler and heat pump in while flowing argon/CO2
- Pressure test system (leak down test)
- If no leaks, pull vacuum
- Open service ports to let refrigerant out of new condenser
- Test!

Thanks guys, I'm glad I found this forum and I know that I could have saved myself tons of time if I wandered over here sooner! I don't know much about HVAC yet but you might see me perusing other forums from now on :)

beenthere 11-06-2012 05:00 PM

Why not just replace the indoor coil your self, and have a tech top off charge when your ready. I hate to see a 5 year old unit get pulled.

The 14 SEER paired up with the right thermostat will get you better comfort. it can remove more moisture in the summer.

carmon 11-06-2012 05:13 PM

I agree 5 years not very old.......

ben's plumbing 11-06-2012 05:20 PM

agree 5yr old system would be a crime to remove .. as bt said just replace indoor coil..ben sr:yes:

Ethereal 11-06-2012 05:52 PM

Thanks for the 14 seer vs 13 feedback, I think a little added comfort alone would make it worth the marginal added cost, especially since it can get pretty humid here in NC.

The reason I lean toward a new system is the cost involved. I can't find just the coil to replace (I have an ARUF182416 handler currently), and even if I did I would want an all aluminum coil to prevent future leaks. Plus, my current handler has mold growing on the inside and a new handler would have the bonus of saving me that hassle.

Referencing the above cost breakdown, that means $1100 to change the handler, have a tech fill me up with 7 lbs of R-22 (that stuff is getting expensive!) and change the filter-dryer... and then I still have a 5 year old heat pump that I know has been run with very little refrigerant. Or, $1500 for an entirely new 14 seer system that I can install entirely myself.

It just seems to me that $400 is definitely worth it to have a new, more efficient system that doesn't take solid gold injections to refill! I mean, if you consider the average life of a system to be 10 years, then I am already halfway in which means $750 in. And, I can sell the 5yr old heat pump on craigslist to recoup some of that and hopefully help someone else out that really needs it.

Thanks for the feedback guys, keep it coming!

beenthere 11-06-2012 05:57 PM

That coil is probably under a part warranty. they usually had a 5 year warranty.

Ethereal 11-06-2012 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beenthere (Post 1046196)
That coil is probably under a part warranty. they usually had a 5 year warranty.

I talked with Goodman today, my warranty expired in august. I replaced my second zone coil last year with the same failure, under warranty... $700 for the replacement, with a free coil on that one. I have heard all my techs groan about Goodman quality for a span of a few years, perhaps my units fall in that timeframe.

that gets me thinking, should I consider a different brand if I do change the whole system out?

carmon 11-06-2012 07:07 PM

I would....... :eek:

beenthere 11-06-2012 08:23 PM

5 years ago. Every manufacturer was making questionable coils.

Ethereal 11-07-2012 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beenthere (Post 1046294)
5 years ago. Every manufacturer was making questionable coils.

And now they aren't? I think the most valuable knowledge my HVAC guys have is which brands and runs to avoid!

beenthere 11-07-2012 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ethereal (Post 1046568)
And now they aren't? I think the most valuable knowledge my HVAC guys have is which brands and runs to avoid!

A lot of them pulled their production out of mexico. And reverted to using plants back here. They couldn't control the quality down there.

Ethereal 11-08-2012 09:38 AM

Well I pulled the trigger on the R410a system, because they had a 5% off promo going. I'll post a follow up when it's running with any notable observations! Not sure I mentioned, but the reason I went with acwholesalers.com is that they honor the mfr warranty, while the mfr will not since the purchase is online. They require a licensed tech to do the final inspection and initial startup in order for the warranty to be valid.

hvac5646 11-08-2012 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ethereal (Post 1047301)
Well I pulled the trigger on the R410a system, because they had a 5% off promo going. I'll post a follow up when it's running with any notable observations! Not sure I mentioned, but the reason I went with acwholesalers.com is that they honor the mfr warranty, while the mfr will not since the purchase is online. They require a licensed tech to do the final inspection and initial startup in order for the warranty to be valid.

Make sure the if U use co2 that it is the BONE DRY type or better.

Anything less is soda fountain CO2 and is very wet.

Ethereal 11-08-2012 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hvac5646 (Post 1047368)
Make sure the if U use co2 that it is the BONE DRY type or better.

Anything less is soda fountain CO2 and is very wet.

Thanks, I will be using an Argon/CO2 mix that I have for welding. I'll make some practice brazes to see what kind of oxidation I will get with it, and if they don't turn out clean I guess I'll have to use a different gas. Is there some type of specification for how dry gasses are?

hvac5646 11-10-2012 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ethereal (Post 1047411)
Thanks, I will be using an Argon/CO2 mix that I have for welding. I'll make some practice brazes to see what kind of oxidation I will get with it, and if they don't turn out clean I guess I'll have to use a different gas. Is there some type of specification for how dry gasses are?

Yes,

Class III or IV is about as purified as you need...after that the cost becomes probative.

Uncle buys Bone-Dry (classIII) at about $60 for fifty pounds of liquid CO2.

It's advisable to use a flow regulator calibrated in SCFH.


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