Portal Forum General General Discussion Home Ownership Reply To: Home Ownership

#154047 Quote

    fightclub30 wrote:

    dryfly wrote:

    fightclub30 wrote:

    gopheritall wrote:

    I am close to needing a new AC also. Anyone have feedback on the various brands? Lennox, Trane, Carrier, Bryant, etc. I don’t think I would do a heat pump but rather prefer reliability and low maintenance. I wish I was good at maintaining but I’m not so I kind of need it to just run.

    Alos, thermostats. I have a programmable that we hate. It keeps going to the schedule. I want it to, for the most part, stay on hold. I want to use the programming part as the exception. My wife wants the old dial one back.

    All those companies I have quotes from (while, local installers of their products anyway), all VERY similar prices, within $300 of each other…

    All also said they offer 10 year parts warranty, 1 year labor – “Industry standard”. Unfortunately sometimes after 8 years or so if the compressor/condenser goes out, even though it is covered by parts, the labor cost may mean you are replacing before the parts warranty runs out. 2 companies told me that.

    I had a company who installs Daikin come over. Their price for a similar unit was $200 cheaper than the lowest price of the ones listed above, AND they offer a 12 year parts and 12 year labor warranty, essentially meaning this is your AC for 12 years. They also include a 6 year replacement guarantee, where if a major part fails in the first 6 years they don’t just replace the part, they replace the whole unit. I think they said the only requirement to keep the warranty, was every 24 months you needed to do an A/C tune-up/inspection.

    Very strongly leaning towards this installer and Daikin, unless someone has a good reason I wouldn’t want to go with them.

    I like Daikin people – have talked to some of their tech support in Texas. Seem like a really good group. Not saying the others aren’t okay – they are – but the Daikin folks are really bending over backward to help us. We want to buy AC units and have them customized for remote developing world solar installs so can’t use right off the shelf models. Daikin and Lennox have been the most helpful as we work through the kinks. Can’t say enough good about them.

    And you are right about the parts and labor – if the main compressor goes out the unit is pretty much shot. They are integral to the whole damn thing and very hard to rebuild in the field. So understand your warranty really well.

    The other thing is you should plan to have your unit cleaned and inspected EVERY year … unless you can do it without wrecking the fins on the heat exchanger. People think it’s easy and just spray or power wash. Not a good idea unless you know what you are doing. You can jam crap into the fins or flatten them and ruin the exchangers – make it so air can’t easily get through. Efficiency drops off and if bad enough will trigger shutdown.

    If you know what you are doing – great, go for it – otherwise get an annual service plan.

    Just a little update, and I know couple other people are looking at AC units at the same time.

    I have pricing on a 13.5 SEER unit and a 16 SEER unit. It is about a $350 price difference for Daikin. Carrier/Lennox had a much higher price increase to go from a 13.5/14 to a 16 SEER unit.

    a 2.5 ton (30,000 BTUs) 13.5 SEER unit runs about 2,222 watts per hour ran or 2.2 Kw/h.

    a 2.5 ton 16 SEER unit runs about 1,875 watts per hour ran, or 1.875 Kw/h.

    If we say the average AC runs for 600 hours in a year during a MN summer, that would mean 1,320 KW for the 13.5 SEER and 1,125 KW for the 16 SEER. At my current electric rate of 0.099 per KW, I would save 130Kw or $19.31 per year (on current pricing)…

    Now those numbers may not be entirely fair. I imagine the more efficient one will also run a little less, and energy costs are likely to increase. So I probably make up most of that $350 over the course of 10 years. Some of the previous installers where telling me how much money I would save with the higher SEER – maybe in Florida, or Arizona and/or with higher electric rates. I just do not think it makes sense to spend a boat load to jump a couple SEER. To get to a 19 SEER unit from 16, would be a nearly 50% increase in cost on the AC unit.

    The major caveat (for me); the 16 SEER unit is “Designed, Engineered, and Assembled in the USA” the 13.5 SEER unit is not… To me, that is worth the 8% up-charge itself not to mention the cost savings over time. I really like the peace of mind on the 12 year parts AND labor warranty on the Daikin.

    Just trying to convince wife, she seems to think we need to stick with Carrier since that is our furnace brand, and its a “good brand that everyone has”.

    If the tonnage is the same – both 2.5 ton – then they will produce the same cooling per unit time. The difference is the low SEER unit consumes more electricity per unit of cooling produced. Now maybe that’s because the compressor of the low SEER unit is runnng more per period of time OR it runs at lower efficiency. Runs as much but draws more current.

    We are looking at very high SEER units because my partner wants to run them on solar. The difference in the number of panels and batteries required by low SEER vs high SEER is very significant and those are not inexpensive. These are for off-grid applications in developing world. Grid applications like residential USA isn’t as crazy a trade off.