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Old 04-26-20, 07:20 PM   #1
Wanna Beco
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Default Help me make a important AC Choice.

I live in Phoenix AZ. Of course it's hot here. I am getting quotes. AC is overwhelming. I am really looking for bang for the buck. Like everyone, I realize there may be a law of diminishing returns regarding spending a lot.

Something else I have thought about and wanted to kick around with others with perhaps some more experience than I. It's hard to put into words, but is there an AC system that is like a 350 chevy? The last guy here is talking about units with dual speed compressors and variable speed fans. That sounds like something is good, but could break down easy. Am I worrying too much? Here are the latest choices. I'd like to hear what others thoughts are on this.

$5,978.00 / 3.5 TON HEAT PUMP SYSTEM RUNTRU
SEER -14, EER -11.5, AHRI #204599950, PAINTED, GALVANIZED STEEL CABINETS THAT RESIST RUST AND STAND UP TO ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS, COMPACT DESIGN AND SMALL FOOTPRINT ARE IDEAL FOR HOMEOWNERS WITH LIMITED YARD SPACE, UNITS OPERATE QUIETLY, WITH A MAXIMUM SOUND LEVEL OF 76 DECIBELS, 24V LOW VOLTAGE CONTROL PROVIDES ADDED SAFETY - SYSTEM INCLUDES A BASIC THERMOSTAT
Condenser dimensions 25H x 24W x 24D
AIR HANDLER DIMENSIONS : 46.5"H X 19.63"W X 21.63"
WARRANTY:
10 YEARS COMPRESSOR & COILS
5 YEARS PARTS
2 YEARS LABOR
2 YEARS MAINTENANCE

$6,628.93 / 3.5 TON SPLIT SYSTEM HEAT PUMP XR14 (ECM)
SEER -14, EER -11.5, AHRI # 8908429 - Every Trane Heat Pump is packed with high-quality components. Each helps ensure that time after time, your unit will provide total comfort your family can rely on. The XR14 electric heat pump includes:Climatuff compressors/Galvanized-steel louvered panels/Baked-on powder paint/Spine Fin outdoor coil. The TEM4 air handler includes:Standard convertible line/Galvanized steel cabinet/Optional electric heat/All-aluminum coil/No-rust polymer drain pan
Warranty:
10 years Compressor
10 years Parts
2 years Labor
2 Years Maintenance
Dimensions:29H x 37W x 34D
AH: 51.4H x 23.5W x 21D

$8,268.68 / 3.5 TON SPLIT SYSTEM HEAT PUMP XR16
SEER -16, EER -13, AHRI # 7563302 - High performance, excellent reliability and superior energy efficiency - that's what you can expect from the XR family of heat pumps. The XR16 includes: Climatuff compressor/Galvanized-steel louvered panels/Baked-on powder paint/Corrosion-resistant Weatherguard fasteners/Spine Fin outdoor coil/DuraTuff rust-proof basepan. Trane TEM6 air handlers offer a variable speed motor and Comfort-R technology for reliable comfort and efficiency, like only a Trane can.
Warranty:
10 years Compressor
10 years Parts
5 years Labor
2 Years Maintenance
Dimensions:
Cond: 45H x 37W x 34D,
AH: 51.3 x 23.5W x 21D

Description Total
Replace central air conditioning unit $6,850.00
Quote to replace existing central air conditioning unit, split system out side unit is located on north
east corner of the house , indoor unit is located by car garage acces area
New unit model 48gh4042g1000a brand American standard
14 seer
Subtotal $6,850.00
Arizona $568.55
Total $7,418.55

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Old 04-27-20, 10:02 PM   #2
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All of those look way overpriced, research the DIY route. Most likely will end up way cheaper even after factoring in the costs of tools and time.

For a beginner, a single speed unit with a TXV would be the easiest to get working well. Don't cheap out going with a capillary tube - they're not that much cheaper but are less efficient and a lot more sensitive to exact refrigerant charge levels.

For an efficiency boost, the easiest and most cost effective would be to add an evaporative subcooler - an extra coil attached to an evaporative cooler would do. Place that near a window so it would be easy to get the option of cooling with the evaporative cooler directly.
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Old 04-27-20, 10:08 PM   #3
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Interesting suggestions, but DIY is not an option. I am unable to get in the attic without dying and it is a split system. These are the installed prices, but I was unaware they are that out of line. Thanks! Anyone else? Also, did I post in the correct section? Mods feel free to move me if I am breaking a forum rule.
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Old 05-02-20, 09:17 PM   #4
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Have you considered mini splits in order to not need to do any work in the attic? Some don't even need special tools to install.
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Old 05-03-20, 10:14 AM   #5
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Yeh.... not what I am looking for, but thanks for the reply!
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Old 05-03-20, 03:52 PM   #6
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This is a DIY site so the suggestions will be saving some money and DIY.
Here I had no experience with HVAC and I installed 3 single head and one two head units.
https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3269
You should consider it big savings!
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Old 05-04-20, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanna Beco View Post
Yeh.... not what I am looking for, but thanks for the reply!
You asked the question, but it seems like you came here with an answer already in mind. Air conditioners exist that use less than half of the electricity that the US government's 13 SEER requirement uses, allow you to cool areas that specifically need separately as opposed to everything or nothing with a system where its loudest part is quieter than a refrigerator, they are close to silent. You also mentioned the challenge of digging around in the attic to do this too. If you install ductwork in the attic in Arizona, you are asking for a huge efficiency deficit to the installed system. It seems to me that the most inefficient and badly installed air conditioning systems end up in the places where those mistakes cost the most due to the climate. I'm surprised people want to stick with the status quo in the southern US, but you've come as an example. What sort of answer were you looking for? One that validates what you expected to hear?
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Old 05-04-20, 10:57 PM   #8
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My opinion on your quotes. Even in Minnesota, people are encouraged to put in a 16 SEER system and our cooling load is small compared to Arizona. The difference in equipment cost shouldn't be more than $1000 difference between 14 and 16 SEER. Perhaps keep getting quotes. I'd personally aim for 16 SEER as my minimum when it comes time for me to replace my unit and I live in Minnesota. Trane and American Standard are two brands under the same company, perhaps look for a different brand. Carrier/Bryant usually has good installers. The low-ball installers usually install Goodman equipment. Here I could get both a Bryant condensing furnace(the expensive one with two-pipe install) and a 16 SEER AC installed for the same ballpark prices you are getting quotes for.
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Old 05-05-20, 06:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanna Beco View Post
I live in Phoenix AZ. Of course it's hot here. I am getting quotes. AC is overwhelming. I am really looking for bang for the buck. Like everyone, I realize there may be a law of diminishing returns regarding spending a lot.

Something else I have thought about and wanted to kick around with others with perhaps some more experience than I. It's hard to put into words, but is there an AC system that is like a 350 chevy? The last guy here is talking about units with dual speed compressors and variable speed fans. That sounds like something is good, but could break down easy. Am I worrying too much? Here are the latest choices. I'd like to hear what others thoughts are on this.

$5,978.00 / 3.5 TON HEAT PUMP SYSTEM RUNTRU
SEER -14, EER -11.5, AHRI #204599950, PAINTED, GALVANIZED STEEL CABINETS THAT RESIST RUST AND STAND UP TO ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS, COMPACT DESIGN AND SMALL FOOTPRINT ARE IDEAL FOR HOMEOWNERS WITH LIMITED YARD SPACE, UNITS OPERATE QUIETLY, WITH A MAXIMUM SOUND LEVEL OF 76 DECIBELS, 24V LOW VOLTAGE CONTROL PROVIDES ADDED SAFETY - SYSTEM INCLUDES A BASIC THERMOSTAT
Condenser dimensions 25H x 24W x 24D
AIR HANDLER DIMENSIONS : 46.5"H X 19.63"W X 21.63"
WARRANTY:
10 YEARS COMPRESSOR & COILS
5 YEARS PARTS
2 YEARS LABOR
2 YEARS MAINTENANCE

$6,628.93 / 3.5 TON SPLIT SYSTEM HEAT PUMP XR14 (ECM)
SEER -14, EER -11.5, AHRI # 8908429 - Every Trane Heat Pump is packed with high-quality components. Each helps ensure that time after time, your unit will provide total comfort your family can rely on. The XR14 electric heat pump includes:Climatuff compressors/Galvanized-steel louvered panels/Baked-on powder paint/Spine Fin outdoor coil. The TEM4 air handler includes:Standard convertible line/Galvanized steel cabinet/Optional electric heat/All-aluminum coil/No-rust polymer drain pan
Warranty:
10 years Compressor
10 years Parts
2 years Labor
2 Years Maintenance
Dimensions:29H x 37W x 34D
AH: 51.4H x 23.5W x 21D

$8,268.68 / 3.5 TON SPLIT SYSTEM HEAT PUMP XR16
SEER -16, EER -13, AHRI # 7563302 - High performance, excellent reliability and superior energy efficiency - that's what you can expect from the XR family of heat pumps. The XR16 includes: Climatuff compressor/Galvanized-steel louvered panels/Baked-on powder paint/Corrosion-resistant Weatherguard fasteners/Spine Fin outdoor coil/DuraTuff rust-proof basepan. Trane TEM6 air handlers offer a variable speed motor and Comfort-R technology for reliable comfort and efficiency, like only a Trane can.
Warranty:
10 years Compressor
10 years Parts
5 years Labor
2 Years Maintenance
Dimensions:
Cond: 45H x 37W x 34D,
AH: 51.3 x 23.5W x 21D

Description Total
Replace central air conditioning unit $6,850.00
Quote to replace existing central air conditioning unit, split system out side unit is located on north
east corner of the house , indoor unit is located by car garage acces area
New unit model 48gh4042g1000a brand American standard
14 seer
Subtotal $6,850.00
Arizona $568.55
Total $7,418.55
You asked about something simple like a Chevy 350 . The higher the efficiency / SEER number , the more expensive technology it will have .

On the other hand , being in Phoenix AZ , you will have more running hours than , maybe , some one up north . So , a high SEER unit will save you more money , faster .

These are heat pumps . In Phoenix AZ, do you need a heat pump ? Any heat at all ? If you can go to simple A/C , it will be cheaper , simpler and some what less expensive parts to replace .

I too was going to suggest a mini-split , but you said no .

Best of luck ! :-)
Wyr
God bless
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Old 05-05-20, 10:39 AM   #10
Wanna Beco
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Thanks guys for the replies! Yes, I was not looking for a DIY option. I AM looking for opinions on the quotes I posted. Believe it or not... these were the cheaper quotes. I have had several in the 12000 range. Also opinions about the units themselves

I do not know a lot about AC systems and companies. My current unit is original to this house from 1997. There are two power companies here, and I am with the most expensive one.(tangent warning)I have had a few friends with units that have a ton of features and they end up having to replace expensive circuit boards in the heat of the summer when they are basically held at gunpoint by the repair companies. My buddy has a simple capacitor replaced in Feb, an the company that diagnosed his issue told him in the summer the repair would be 3 times as much. That is how a lot of these companies do business, but even the suppliers do it to the installers, so who is to blame.

I was not looking for someone to take me to task, just ask for guidance in an area I am unfamiliar with. I know it's frustrating when someone asks for advice and they don't immediately take it. A DYI mini split is just not possible for me. None of the installers have mentioned mini splits but I will get at least one quote on them this week, thanks for that option. It is just not common in homes here. I have seen it in a few businesses but not in a home. It's not that common here in Phoenix, anyone know why?

Thanks guys for the opinions and taking the time to answer, I really appreciate your input.

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