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Old 07-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #1
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Need recommendation for HVAC system and contractors in Charlotte, NC


I have a 2200 sq ft two story home in Charlotte, NC that was built in 1988. It has a 2.5 ton Ac unit and furnace in the attic. Every year we have had to recharge because of some leak. I am advised to replace it with a 3 ton new system and have a quote for a Trane XR13/XL80. I have previously learned about acwholesalers.com through this forum but they primarily offer Goodman system and I have no idea how those compare with Trane.
So my questions are:
1- Will it be wise to go with Goodman 3 Ton 13 SEER 95% AFUE Gas (70,000BTU) Electric Air Conditioner System as compared with the Trane system?
2- Can anyone recommend a good contractor in Charlotte (if that is allowed by forum rules)?
Thank you.

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Old 07-26-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
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Why are you wanting to increase the size of the A/C. Are you then also going to increase the size of your duct work. Or add more supplies and return.

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Old 07-26-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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Good question. During real hot days, the cooling has not been less than satisfactory so when a contractor inspected the current installation and recommended that the whole system be replaced with a 3 ton system, I assumed he had concluded that the duct work will suffice.
I don't think the duct work can be changed. The unit is in the attic with flexible conduits. On the other hand, from a lay person's point of view, the 3 ton system could be sending the same amount of air, just at a lower temperature.
It all started out with the contractor not being able to find the leak and saying with the age of the existing Trane system, it is time to replace it rather than hunt for the leaks.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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Most duct systems are undersized or the original unit. So they will be that much smaller for a larger unit. undersized duct work may be hy it doesn't cool as well as it should when it is properly charged.

A 3 ton unit on a 2.25 ton duct system, won't get you 3 tons of cooling. And could freeze up the indoor coil when its not real hot outside.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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It's one of those tract homes so probably you're right about under sizing of the duct work. I observed that the return air filter on the first floor didn't get as dirty as the second floor. I'm thinking the return ducts through the walls may be small and allow less air to flow through.
I can insist on replacing with the same size unit. Is Goodman brand as good as the other more well known ones?
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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Goodman's fine. its the installer/installation that counts.

Your duct system may also leak. Which will reduce the amount of A/c your house actually gets.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:12 PM   #7
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During real hot days, the cooling has not been less than satisfactory
Does it run full time on a really hot day or does it still cycle on and off?
If it always cycles on and off to maintain temp on a really hot day, I'd think strongly about going to 2 ton.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
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I thought a ton was 12,000 BTU but when I look at acwholesalers.com web site, it shows 2.5 ton units with 28,000, 28,400, 28,600 and 30,000 BTUs. How can they call all of these 2.5 ton?

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Old 07-26-2013, 06:31 PM   #9
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It does cycle on and off but does not cool well on 90+ degree days.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #10
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The tonnage rating is a nominal rating. Not actual.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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it is a quirk of the business. the manufacturers buy most of the compressors from Copeland (and in the old days Tecumseh) and historically refrigeration compressors are designed/sized in horsepower not BTUs. air compressors and other engines are sold in hp . the AC manufacturers adapt and size the condenser and evaporator coils to match the BTU's of the compressor. also has to do with nominal BTUs at different outside temps and more theory than I want to go into. a few thousand BTU's +/- is not going to matter as it is impossible to do a heat load calc that accurately and the number of people in the house and how much cooking, showering, opening doors, shade trees etc affects the picture.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:02 PM   #12
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If it maintains the set temp in the low-mid 70s and cycles off occasionally on the hottest days that is cooling well. Is it not doing that?

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It does cycle on and off but does not cool well on 90+ degree days.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:06 PM   #13
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If it maintains the set temp in the low-mid 70s and cycles off occasionally on the hottest days that is cooling well. Is it not doing that?
Unfortunately, it doesn't maintain temp in low-mid 70s. It may sound odd but it does cycle off occasionally.

I had a second contractor look at it today and he is also recommending a 3 ton unit. He doesn't think duct work will be a problem.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
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Have you gone into the attic and checked the duct work yourself for leaks?
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:34 PM   #15
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Have you gone into the attic and checked the duct work yourself for leaks?
I have gone in the attic but don't know how to detect duct work for leaks. Moreover I am too timid to risk falling through the drywall ceiling.

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