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Old 11-18-2012, 09:02 AM   #16
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Please help me make a decision on brand


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Beenthere is absolutely correct. You should be talking to us and looking at what features you want and what your desires for the system are. Not just brand name and you only hear the negative reports and every brand has problems, some just have worse problems. Where you live and humidity removal/control and how quiet the units are huge concerns for some people not the brand name. You have 3 tiers of equipment quality with the major brands ( actually 4 if you count builders grade). I tell my customers the car analagy. Chevy Cavalier, Malibu, Buick or Cadillac and see what they drive and what quality level they prefer and what features they want. If you spend $1000 more initially but keep the units for at least 10-15 yrs it really only costs you $75-100/yr to own better quality units and much better comfort. 98% of my customers have no problem with that once they understand what they are getting for their $$.
Thats the hard part for us consumers, since we are not smart enough to understand all of the features. Add to that the commissioned sales tech and well, I am glad there are sites like this and guys like you all that are willing to discuss these things openly with us commoners!


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Old 11-18-2012, 09:23 AM   #17
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you are way overthinking this....call a trusted installer in your area one who has been around and ask him for his opinion and what he sales,and services, go with his suggestions..ben sr
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:26 AM   #18
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You would be surprised who has money and is willing to spend it and what their values are. I can make more $$ selling to the average working class consummer who has a nice house, not in debt, appreciates quality, wants a quiet unit and lives a conservative lifestyle than the rich money grubbing name dropping arzeholes. Given the information a lot of people want quieter smoother units and these folks drive Buicks, Hondas, Toyotas and appreciate quality and don't just buy the cheapest thing that gets the job done.
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Last edited by yuri; 11-18-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:14 AM   #19
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Thats the hard part for us consumers, since we are not smart enough to understand all of the features. Add to that the commissioned sales tech and well, I am glad there are sites like this and guys like you all that are willing to discuss these things openly with us commoners!

I agree there is a lot to learn. What I am seeing is the manual J that is being run scares me. I have found that I need to ask questions about it and the parameters being used.

I have a 3.5 ton unit outside for approx 1800 sq ft and the manual J is telling various contractors a range from a low of 1.5ton to a high of 3.0 ton. That is a pretty large range and quite confusing. Add the bias of "what they sell" and it's hard to tell what to do.

I decided to learn a whole lot more before making a decision. I found the manual J parameters are key and has a great deal to do with variation.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #20
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I agree there is a lot to learn. What I am seeing is the manual J that is being run scares me. I have found that I need to ask questions about it and the parameters being used.

I have a 3.5 ton unit outside for approx 1800 sq ft and the manual J is telling various contractors a range from a low of 1.5ton to a high of 3.0 ton. That is a pretty large range and quite confusing. Add the bias of "what they sell" and it's hard to tell what to do.

I decided to learn a whole lot more before making a decision. I found the manual J parameters are key and has a great deal to do with variation.

In my case, I found the manual J the contractor did to be wrong. Well let me rephrase that, not to my likings. My house in houston texas it is 1800 up and 1800 down. House was built 1998 and we are first owner. House was suppose to be one of those certified homes for sealing by light company, even have a certificate. But we have found many things not done by builder. When we approached the local energy provider then, they said they could not inspect all homes and hoped builders did it right.

In a nutshell, you know what Houston weather is like, the upstairs unit would run almost all morning from noon to 6. Yes I understand a unit needs to run to remove humidity, but it never would make things comfortable nor cycle on the not so extreme days.

Got the buillder to replace both units with 4 ton Rheem units and equivalent blowers. No AC issues, hot and extreme days are handled well. The only gripe we have is heating the downstairs and the location of the return air downstairs in the ceiling.

So I think contrary to what is said about manual j's. you sometimes need a contractor that will listen to your wants.

If I were you, I would install the most efficient system that will work the best on the MOST extreme days you have, not the average.

Just me.

Last edited by digitalplumber; 11-18-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:52 AM   #21
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In my case, I found the manual J the contractor did to be wrong. Well let me rephrase that, not to my likings. My house in houston texas it is 1800 up and 1800 down. House was built 1998 and we are first owner. House was suppose to be one of those certified homes for sealing by light company, even have a certificate. But we have found many things not done by builder. When we approached the local energy provider then, they said they could not inspect all homes and hoped builders did it right.

In a nutshell, you know what Houston weather is like, the upstairs unit would run almost all morning from noon to 6. Yes I understand a unit needs to run to remove humidity, but it never would make things comfortable nor cycle on the not so extreme days.

Got the buillder to replace both units with 4 ton Rheem units and equivalent blowers. No AC issues, hot and extreme days are handled well. The only gripe we have is heating the downstairs and the location of the return air downstairs in the ceiling.

So I think contrary to what is said about manual j's. you sometimes need a contractor that will listen to your wants.

If I were you, I would install the most efficient system that will work the best on the MOST extreme days you have, not the average.

Just me.
That's kinda where I am now. When I looked through the parameters they used I found the high and average temps were always different. The 1.5 ton guy designed for high of 91 outside and 75 inside. He said he would go 2 ton, but I still don't like that.

I had one guy extend the parameters to 98 and 72. That yielded a 2.4 ton, but there were also other considerations. We discussed what I wanted and I want to be able to handle the recent trend of the last couple of years where we get a few weeks of 105-108 weather. He recommended a 3 ton unit with a variable speed handler, York system. It would run at 66% unless it was required to be higher. The 66% would put me in the 2 ton range and probably be fine for most days, but would have the 3 ton reserve and higher speed blower for hot days. I like this proposal.

I now want to look at geothermal for the same type of system. SEER ratings over 32 and COP over 5 is very tempting.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #22
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The 2 stage York in low/first stage will be anywhere from 2.1 tons to 2.4 tons. While the compressor is running at 67% capacity, the large indoor and outdoor coils make the system capacity a lot higher.

A blower door test an be done to tell what your infiltration rate is. As this will determine how well a Manual J sizes the load.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:48 PM   #23
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Where I am and in colder climates you can have a thermal scan done to see where the poorly insulated areas are. Needs to be cooler outside than in to show heat loss but in the cooler season in Texas that may be an option too.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:40 PM   #24
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Thank you all for your posts, lots of good information in this thread.

If I read between the lines - even though I am a bow tie truck kinda gal I need to go look at dodges and fords and check the following: back axle rating, make sure the engine is at least a 5 liter, check the powertrain warranty and make sure the leather seats have booty warmers

Couple of points that stuck out at me.

make sure the unit is sized right - we had the manual J done and I also did one and they are almost identical so I think we are good here.

Installation is the key doesnt matter what brand you are buying if its not installed right doesnt matter if right its a geo metro or a mazzeratti it isn't going to work right

make sure the ducting is good - Check mark here. I tore the old stuff out yesterday and we are going with new ducting so I know it will be done right and is sized right.

make sure the closet is sealed and properly insulated - Thanks Yuri never even entered into my head to check this and yup the closet isn't much of a closet so will take care of that.

make sure that the warranty includes parts AND labor - thanks to who posted that.

I will get the actual model numbers and ratings and take a look at it from there.

Again thanks ...I always research the heck out of everything. my husband cringes every time I say "honey can you come look at this?" At least this will be easier than the cabinets. THAT spreadsheet is like 10 pages long lol.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:11 AM   #25
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"honey can you come look at this?"

OY, my better half can remember the weather from 4 yrs ago to the day. Heck, I can hardly remember what I had for supper 2 days ago. Some people love their details.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by forcedreno2012 View Post
Thank you all for your posts, lots of good information in this thread.

If I read between the lines - even though I am a bow tie truck kinda gal I need to go look at dodges and fords and check the following: back axle rating, make sure the engine is at least a 5 liter, check the powertrain warranty and make sure the leather seats have booty warmers

Couple of points that stuck out at me.

make sure the unit is sized right - we had the manual J done and I also did one and they are almost identical so I think we are good here.

Installation is the key doesnt matter what brand you are buying if its not installed right doesnt matter if right its a geo metro or a mazzeratti it isn't going to work right

make sure the ducting is good - Check mark here. I tore the old stuff out yesterday and we are going with new ducting so I know it will be done right and is sized right.

make sure the closet is sealed and properly insulated - Thanks Yuri never even entered into my head to check this and yup the closet isn't much of a closet so will take care of that.

make sure that the warranty includes parts AND labor - thanks to who posted that.

I will get the actual model numbers and ratings and take a look at it from there.

Again thanks ...I always research the heck out of everything. my husband cringes every time I say "honey can you come look at this?" At least this will be easier than the cabinets. THAT spreadsheet is like 10 pages long lol.
when my wife says that.. honey come look at this..all i see is $$$$$$$$signs..:laug hing:ben sr
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:06 AM   #27
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Ahhh but this chickybabe has been married for 23 years and knows better than to show said hubby the prices lol.

I think we are going to get the electric bootywarmers but can't get the leather seats.

We can probably swing for a 13 seer 4 ton unit in carrier or the 14 or 15 seer 4 ton unit in the goodman. I know the savings yearly is there but I can't swing the 15 seer on the carrier, and they don't make the 14 anymore. We just have too much to fix and I can't squeeze any more blood out of the stone. I have even factored in the rebate from the power company and pity there is no more tax break this year.

If we go this route is there a huge difference other than power costs that I am missing?

Thanks

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