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  • Which Airconditioner?

    We need to replace the A.C.for our Colorado home before the summer starts. Narrowed it down to two reputable installers with good reps:
    Carrier Comfort series 16SEER, 3 ton, single stage. 10 year parts/ 3 years labor $6065
    Daikin 16 SEER #DX16SA, 3 ton, single stage. 12 years parts/ 12 years labor. $7722
    Ihave no experience with either brand

  • #2
    General comment having replaced a bunch ACs in my life and having some weird affinity to HVAC forums and FB pages.

    1. The installation is more important than equipment. Said another way, you can order Roll-Royce of equipment and if it is not the appropriate equipment or installed well it's all for nothing.

    2. There is a HUGE continuum of abilities in the HVAC field which ranges from guys who literally don't give a ************************ to guys who are more methodical than most surgeons.

    3. Attention to detail is a good sign but not always necessary - Manual-J calculation for load, manual-D and critically evaluating the existing ductwork.

    4. Be careful who you pick because your warranty is tied to the installer who installed the equipment.

    5. Most people in the field think Daikin sucks unless you happen to be someone who installs it - go figure. I'd pick Carrier over Daikin. That said, ALL of the manufacturers seem like they are building crappier equipment as time goes on - Trane, Ruud, Rheem, Carrier, American Standard, Goodman, Lennox - ALL have their issues. This is another way of saying the installer and ultimately the person who comes out to fix it is more important than the equipment. Really vet the installation company.

    Personally, I have had great results with Trane and Bosch.

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    • #3
      I share PWMDMD's weird affinity to HVAC and remodeling.

      Your post did not mention air handler nor duct. The price does seem to include air handler but not new ducts. Most HVAC contractors don't include Manual J nor D calculations, but they should. There are also online manual J calculators you could use to check rough estimates.

      Installation is the most important part. Want to emphasize this point.

      Daikin owns Goodman, usually manufactured in Texas. Daikin has a reasonable reputation in Asia. They are good for the split type HVAC. The recent Daikin Fit heat pump is quite impressive. The Daikin 12-year labor warrantee (for the Fit at least) requires yearly inspection, which could be dubious. Modern units don't require "tune up" or annual inspection if it is installed properly the first time.

      Mitsubishi is considered high end and may merit consideration.

      Single stage AC unit goes on and off frequently therefore be sure the unit is sized correctly.

      For comfort consider inverter technology; much more energy efficient, quieter, and much less temperature fluctuation.

      Alternatively consider mini split heat pumps. Bypass the existing old ducts and much easier to install. We actually installed one ourselves without the contractor.

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      • #4
        I was going to mention the single stage unit. Is that right for your application or would a variable speed be a better option?

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        • #5
          Why are you asking a bunch of doctors for advice on an AC? Call your AC guy ,if you don’t have one, call 3-5 AC guys. Did your call your AC guy for advice about the COVID vaccine?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
            I was going to mention the single stage unit. Is that right for your application or would a variable speed be a better option?
            ^this. we replaced ours a couple of years ago and they came out and did all the J calculations and found that our ac was way too small for our house so they talked about a bigger unit with variable speed etc. I knew they were a better company as soon as they started actually asking questions and doing calculations and measurements for our specific house. you could tell that they actually cared about getting it right as opposed to just getting the sale. it was triple the cost of what you are looking at so I was hesitant at first but the other hvac guys just quoted it based on existing unit size which was way under powered when built. the heat and cool were very uneven depending on floor level and room. now its a much better unit and the house is more evenly heated/cooled than before. so yeah, I agree with everyone that the installer is as important if not more than the actual unit itself.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Molar Mechanic View Post
              Why are you asking a bunch of doctors for advice on an AC?
              There is no reason he can't do both. And posts #2 and #3 seem like actual good advice.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Molar Mechanic View Post
                Why are you asking a bunch of doctors for advice on an AC? Call your AC guy ,if you don’t have one, call 3-5 AC guys. Did your call your AC guy for advice about the COVID vaccine?
                I think there’s a lot of non-medical and non-financial knowledge on here.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Molar Mechanic View Post
                  Why are you asking a bunch of doctors for advice on an AC? Call your AC guy ,if you don’t have one, call 3-5 AC guys. Did your call your AC guy for advice about the COVID vaccine?
                  Gosh you are absolutely correct! Based on your user name I should really be asking this on a dental site.
                  Thanks to the rest of you for great advice.

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                  • #10
                    I go with the best company in my area for HVAC work these days. They are a bit more expensive, but the level of expertise is far and above.

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                    • #11
                      My good friend does AC installation and repairs. Has been doing it for 40+ years. His views

                      1. Get J calculation if not already done.

                      2. A very reputable company that stands behind its installation and has existed for 20+ years is important.

                      3. Some brands suck. Carrier and Trane were good but their build quality has fallen dramatically over the past decade. They are still riding on their name and charging a premium. I have installed Goodmans ( 6 units for office built in 1990). If you can get 10 years + out it, consider yourself lucky.

                      4. More than parts and labor, prevention is the best medicine. It might be worthwhile to get it tuned up in early spring and early fall for the cooling/ heating issues that can occur in summer /winter. I do that for my office units and that has really helped me. In spite of this some old units can fail unexpectedly, just like our body even with annual physicals.

                      5. I have geothermal in my current house. It is best done when you build the house. The fed and state tax credits made it close to a conventional unit. Operating costs are a fraction.
                      Last edited by Kamban; 01-15-2022, 05:30 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Auric goldfinger View Post
                        Gosh you are absolutely correct! Based on your user name I should really be asking this on a dental site.
                        Thanks to the rest of you for great advice.
                        Size matters. Too much and the AC doesn’t run long enough.
                        Balancing matters. Get the distribution to the right locations.
                        The equipment itself is basically the same.
                        Agree the right installer is the most important.
                        After you have someone the gets you the right setup. An upgrade from 2 to 3 or 4 tons might be less optimized than 2 units. You need someone you can trust. The installers favor whichever brand they have supplier deals with. I would not value the warranty differences much..

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                        • #13
                          Geothermal indeed will have the lowest operating cost but higher initial installation cost. This is a heat pump also. It does require lots of digging so best done at time of new building and landscaping. Would still need Manual J and D calculations though.

                          A house that is well envoloped requires little tonnage, and vice versa, therefore the manual J calculation. I've read houses that are so well insulated only 1-ton is sufficient for 2000 sf.
                          Last edited by CalMD; 01-15-2022, 05:51 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kamban View Post
                            I have installed Goodmans ( 6 units for office built in 1990). If you can get 10 years + out it, consider yourself lucky.
                            The problem with anecdotal results are that you don't know where the results might exist on the curve. E.g. my friend and I ourselves DIY installed Goodman units at our respective houses. Mine in 1996 and his in 1997. We replaced his three years ago at 22 and mine is still going strong at 25.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by spiritrider View Post
                              The problem with anecdotal results are that you don't know where the results might exist on the curve. E.g. my friend and I ourselves DIY installed Goodman units at our respective houses. Mine in 1996 and his in 1997. We replaced his three years ago at 22 and mine is still going strong at 25.
                              Units installed in the 1980's 1990's and even in the early 2000's had a build quality that has sharply dropped for all units. My friend states that some of his old units go on and on with some minimal maintenance like blown capacitors. The newer units are cheaply made and major repairs can occur past 5 year mark.

                              The old units use Freon and that has been banned. It is difficult to even get a small amount and he states that his "sources" can't get it any more. Conversions to modern refrigerant is expensive and it is better to replace the whole unit even if you know it won't last that 25 years..



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