Author Topic: Seeking advice on new air conditioner  (Read 1262 times)

JenniferW

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Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« on: September 05, 2018, 08:12:50 PM »
I have a home built in 1970 with central air and the air conditioner is pretty old -- like 15-20 years old if I recall.

First off it is only 1 1/2 ton and this is a 1000 square foot home. I believe I should be using a 2 ton.  Also it just doesn't work very well it seems.  It can't keep up.  I have it set to 74F and it's stuck running all day at 78F.

This makes my electric bill insane.  I need to get a new air conditioner as soon as possible.  However, I don't know which one to buy.  I want the most affordable one which is as reliable as the rest.  I guess I don't care much about the energy rating, because the higher rated ones are much more expensive, defeating the purpose of saving money.  I guess I'd like the sweet spot of air conditioners.. the one which will save me the most money in the long run and can keep up with this home.

Any suggestions on brand & model and where I should obtain it?   Want a brand / model which is proven to last. I'd feel sick to my stomach if it broke down in a few years.   Is it possible to get a new one installed for around $2000-2500 in Oklahoma?  I'm sure they'd like to get 4K or more from me if they could.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 08:14:21 PM by JenniferW »

Uturn

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Re: Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 07:05:31 AM »
I cannot give brand or cost advice because the last A/C that I replaced was through a friend who owned an A/C company and I got a huge discount.

I can give advice on going too big.  The house called for 4 ton, I wanted a 4.5 because 100+ temps in N TX.  A 5 ton was installed because they did not have a 4.5 in stock, no extra charge.  It was great in the summer.  The unit still cycled even on the hottest days.  However, spring and fall sucked.  The A/C did not run long enough to pull the humidity out of the house before the set temperature was reached.  If you oversize, don't go too oversized.  I suppose a multi-stage compressor could have solved my problem. 

pbnj

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Re: Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 01:38:07 PM »
I had a Carrier AC that I was very happy with for 23 years.  One repair during that time , something minor for about $150.  I used to get it tuned up/checked out about every other year.  My new unit is Amana, only 13 seer.  Since I don't use it much I didn't feel the need to get a more expensive, more efficient one.

I was replacing my furnace at the same time and did go high efficiency with that.

I got about 6 quotes and went with a company that had good reviews. 

All I knew to begin with was that I didn't want a Tran brand AC.  Do your research and ask around what friends and family are happy or unhappy with.

Dave1442397

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Re: Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 04:43:03 PM »
Check out Yelp reviews in your area - here's Tulsa, OK - https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Heating+%26+Air+Conditioning/HVAC&find_loc=Tulsa,+OK

I find that Yelp reviews are more reliable than most others. Also, if you have a local Facebook page, ask for recommendations and ask people to pm you with negative reviews - most FB pages don't like public bashing.

We have a Carrier unit that was installed in 2001. It has needed a few repairs over the past four years, but nothing too crazy.

This will give you an idea of the differences in efficiency - http://factsheets.okstate.edu/documents/bae-1409-understanding-energy-efficiency-measures-for-heating-and-cooling-systems/

Here's a sizing calculator based on location and square footage - https://hvacdirect.com/sizing-air-conditioner-and-heater.html

You definitely don't want to oversize it. As stated in the post above, if you do that you'll end up with a cool but very humid house.

JenniferW

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Re: Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 05:33:44 PM »
Thanks for all the help.  I called some air conditioning companies and it looks like it is going to run me about $3200 or so for just a condenser unit installed with the newer freon.  (Lennox brand SEER 14).

I figure my current A/C is wasting me some money per month due to not running up to snuff and not being able to keep up and running all day some days.   But after running $3200 through an investment calculator assuming a 9% return each year that would give me about a $1700 gain after only 5 years.

Wondering if I should just run my current A/C into the ground.. use it until it absolutely quits on me, despite it costing more per month to run and not being able to keep up on some very hot days.   Wondering if I'd be better off financially that way.  Wish I was smarter at math lol.

JenniferW

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Re: Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 05:36:48 PM »
I should add that I currently have a SEER 10 system and would be upgrading to a SEER 14.

Cranky

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Re: Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 06:11:35 PM »
What happens if you just turn the thermostat up to 78°? That’s where I keep mine, and it’s pretty comfortable, though we do have ceiling fans.

We’ve got a fairly short a/c season, andcwhile our ancient unit is bound to conk out for good eventually, there’s no way that replacing it before that point will generate enough $ saved to make it worthwhile.

Dave1442397

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Re: Seeking advice on new air conditioner
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2018, 06:56:20 PM »
I should add that I currently have a SEER 10 system and would be upgrading to a SEER 14.

You can plug in your data here and see (roughly) what your savings would be - https://kobiecomplete.com/cool-tips/seer-savings-calculator/

If you know your price per Kw for electricity, plug it in for a more accurate figure. Also consider your running hours, which are more than they should be at the moment. A better system will save you even more money just by not running non-stop.