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Old 09-10-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


I have an older Trane unit, I think it is a XE1000 AC and an XR75 natural gas furnace. I am sure about the numbers. but not the prefixes, so please be gentle.

This unit is over 10 years old and cools my home very well, removes humidity well (47%) and my summer AC bills are $150 per month here in the humid southeast. It keeps my house 72 with the stat set on 70 when it is 98 degrees outside with a heat index of 110. Any other time the AC cools to whatever temp I have it set for.

My question is, would it be worth it to replace a unit that works well and is not expensive to operate with a dual fuel system?

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Old 09-10-2009, 11:56 AM   #2
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


If it works well and you are happy with the utility bills I would start saving some $$ for a new system and then replace it when the first major repair bill occurs. In the HVAC biz sometimes you get LUCKY and equipment goes for a long time w/o repairs and sometimes it is a lemon right from day one. I would keep it for 5 more years unless you can get an engineer from your utility co to show you the savings on new equipment and the payback time. Luck is not bankable but I have seen crappy 25 yr old units that have no right to be working keep plodding along and people spending $1000 to repair under 10 yr old units, go figure.

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Old 09-10-2009, 12:48 PM   #3
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Replacement time

This method can be modified to use on cars, with a resale value, that gradually cost more for repairs each year. Plug in your own numbers.

Cost new for an HVAC appliance = $600

Cost for repairs & maintenance,
1st yr., $400
2nd yr, $600
3rd yr, $800
4th yr, $1000

Figure the cumulative cost for each year:
1st, $400
2nd, $400+ $600 = $1000
3rd, similarly, $1800
4th, similarly, $2800

Add the price when new to the above column
1st, $1000
2nd, $1600
3rd, $2400
4th, $3400

Now divide each column entry above by the year number
1st, $1000/1 = $1000
2nd, $1600/2 = $800
3rd, similarly, $800
4th, similarly, $850

The cost/year drops at first, and then starts rising. In this exaggerated example the minimum is probably reached between 2 and 3 years, and that's when you should replace it.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 09-10-2009 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Good quality furnaces and A/Cs do not lose efficiency rapidly. The compression ratio of the compressor and amperage draw and cooling Delta T can be checked to see if it is losing capacity. If it is losing capacity it will not keep up with the cooling load and he will notice his humidity rising and the unit not cycling off properly. I would have it checked by an experienced tech and we can look at the operating readings before condemning it. Trane is good quality and can go a long time.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:08 PM   #5
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


My oil boiler is 20+ years old, tested & supposedly almost as efficient as when installed
I spend just over $100 a year on maintenance
1st year we lived here it was over $300 including oil fired HW
As I insulate, new windows/doors my heating costs have gone down almost every year (barring colder winters)

Look into more insulation if possible, much easier to lower cooling costs that way

You would need to do a cost comparison on $$ saved per month on a new system VS cost of the system over its expected life
Saving $25 a month might not be worth it, but if that savings would be $75 per month it might pay off
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:38 PM   #6
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
My oil boiler is 20+ years old, tested & supposedly almost as efficient as when installed
I spend just over $100 a year on maintenance
1st year we lived here it was over $300 including oil fired HW
As I insulate, new windows/doors my heating costs have gone down almost every year (barring colder winters)

Look into more insulation if possible, much easier to lower cooling costs that way

You would need to do a cost comparison on $$ saved per month on a new system VS cost of the system over its expected life
Saving $25 a month might not be worth it, but if that savings would be $75 per month it might pay off

Hey Dave! You hear about that new oil fired air conditioner that's coming on the market?
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:42 PM   #7
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I'm trying to get away from oil !!
Building some passive solar heaters to help heat the house
My greenhouse on a sunny 40 degree day can heat up to 90+
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Replacement time

Here's a method that works for appliances that become less efficient [very rapidly for the purposes of this example].

This method can be modified to use on cars, with a resale value, that gradually become less fuel efficient and cost more for repairs each year.

Plug in your own numbers.

Cost new for an HVAC appliance = $600

Cost for fuel, repairs & maintenance,
1st yr., $400
2nd yr, $600
3rd yr, $800
4th yr, $1000

Figure the cumulative cost for each year:
1st, $400
2nd, $400+ $600 = $1000
3rd, similarly, $1800
4th, similarly, $2800

Add the price when new to the above column
1st, $1000
2nd, $1600
3rd, $2400
4th, $3400

Now divide each column entry above by the year number
1st, $1000/1 = $1000
2nd, $1600/2 = $800
3rd, similarly, $800
4th, similarly, $850

The cost/year drops at first, and then starts rising. In this exaggerated example the minimum is probably reached between 2 and 3 years, and that's when you should replace it.

Hey Yoyzie!

Since you're part of the gang I should tell you there is an un written rule: You can't advise on hvac matters til you correct you OWN system
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:45 PM   #9
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I'm trying to get away from oil !!
Building some passive solar heaters to help heat the house
My greenhouse on a sunny 40 degree day can heat up to 90+

You but we are talking about oilfired air conditioning.

Don't tell me you haven't seen the articles
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:51 PM   #10
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvaclover View Post
Hey Yoyzie!

Since you're part of the gang I should tell you there is an un written rule: You can't advise on hvac matters til you correct you OWN system
Be back in a month
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:55 PM   #11
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Quote:
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Be back in a month
Sure you will.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:02 PM   #12
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvaclover View Post
You but we are talking about oilfired air conditioning.

Don't tell me you haven't seen the articles
I've never heard of an oil fired AC, thought you were joking
I did a search & there is a waste oil fired AC
http://www.econoheat.com/air.html
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #13
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I've never heard of an oil fired AC, thought you were joking
I did a search & there is a waste oil fired AC
http://www.econoheat.com/air.html

Naw man it's real...only problem is getting the flames to burn at 40*F. They haven't quit got that down yet.


Ok the real poop:
there are ACs that are absorption system with no compressor. They are oil and gas fired. Little pricey but efficient as all heck.
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:00 PM   #14
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Should I upgrade my hvac?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
If it works well and you are happy with the utility bills I would start saving some $$ for a new system and then replace it when the first major repair bill occurs. In the HVAC biz sometimes you get LUCKY and equipment goes for a long time w/o repairs and sometimes it is a lemon right from day one. I would keep it for 5 more years unless you can get an engineer from your utility co to show you the savings on new equipment and the payback time. Luck is not bankable but I have seen crappy 25 yr old units that have no right to be working keep plodding along and people spending $1000 to repair under 10 yr old units, go figure.

I am pretty happy with my heating/cooling costs with this unit and the level of comfort as well. I think I'll keep her for a while!!

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