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Old 09-16-11, 04:50 PM   #1
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Location: Texas
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Default New central AC / heat pump next week!

I'm being proactive and replacing our system before the old one fails. This way I get to choose what I really want and not just what's available at the moment.

The old system is 20 years old. It's probably a 10 SEER, but I have no way of knowing. Our peak summer electric bills are 1800-2000 KWH / month. (this summer we topped 2500, but it's been the all-time hottest summer on record)

I'm paying to have it installed. I've rebuilt most of this house and I've had enough of it for a while.

Minimum available now is 13 SEER for $5000. We're getting a 16 SEER for $7000 instead. I estimate the difference should pay for itself in 6-7 years. That's still within the 10-year warranty period. Also available is a 23 SEER iq system for nearly $11,000. While it would pay back in about 10 years, we decided to go mid-level and spend the extra money on improving the house's efficiency instead.

The attic needs ventilation. It has a few turbine vents and nothing else. No ridge vents, no eaves vents, no gable end vents. That's the first project. I have already upgraded the ceiling insulation. Maybe next would be radiant barrier on the underside of the roof.

Ideas for other efficiency improvements? The house is 2400 sq ft, single level, pier and beam. All electric, no gas. Dark shingles that don't need replacing for years to come. Roughly north-south ridgeline with attached garage on the south end. Winter heating (also from the heat pump) is nearly as big a cost as summer cooling.

Last edited by PaleMelanesian; 09-16-11 at 04:56 PM..
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