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Old May 16, 2018, 16:38   #1
Invictus77
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Need advice on home HVAC system

I need to replace one of my house AC units and they gave me three options. The price spread from low to high is not a lot, but I have no idea of who actually makes the best stuff these days.

1- Trane
2- Payne
3- Ameristar (by Trane)

Any thoughts from the tribe on how these brand names compare?

TIA
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:18   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invictus77 View Post
I need to replace one of my house AC units and they gave me three options. The price spread from low to high is not a lot, but I have no idea of who actually makes the best stuff these days.

1- Trane
2- Payne
3- Ameristar (by Trane)

Any thoughts from the tribe on how these brand names compare?

TIA
I am interested too as I will be replacing my AC/Furnace at the end of this year. Need suggestion on brands.
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:28   #3
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Assuming you are talking about the entire unit, I would look at warranty , efficiency and probably even check consumer reports for a 1 month subscription. I’m learning that seer ratings have to be matched by both units. Heat pump or furnace for heat?
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:35   #4
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Rheem/Ruud are my choice. Also the choice of several of my HVAC friends.

Although, like washers/dryers, I wonder what difference there may be, anymore?
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:48   #5
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Rheem/Ruud are my choice. Also the choice of several of my HVAC friends.

Although, like washers/dryers, I wonder what difference there may be, anymore?
Yep as far as the real differences. Shit isn’t made to last and I’m sure theyll be changing the gas soon to make everything obsolete. I have a Rheem on the house I bought. Not by choice. Previous owner said the evaporator was fairly newer because the coils started leaking and replaced under warranty. Had a tech come out who is a good guy to fix the reversing valve thing and asked him what he thought of them and mentioned coils as being a problem on the evaporators for awhile but seems they worked it out. I can work on the electronics of most all of em. Compressors and coils are the life blood of an AC unit.
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Old May 16, 2018, 17:55   #6
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Goodman is my goto..and really about the only one I can comment one.
Had one in the old house 17yrs, got one in the new house 3yrs ago, and took care of like 12 others up to 20 years old at the old job.
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Old May 16, 2018, 18:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltblown View Post
Assuming you are talking about the entire unit
Yes complete unit, AC and gas furnace.

Only the AC is actually needed, but the furnace is also 22 y/o and must be pulled to change the evaporator coil, so I plan to replace it too.
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Old May 16, 2018, 22:02   #8
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...
Shit isn’t made to last and I’m sure theyll be changing the gas soon to make everything obsolete.
...
Tell me abboudid. I have a 17 y/o (cheap) PAYNE A/C unit installed when the house I bought was built. It still runs well, very well.

Problem is, it now has a sloooow freon leak and none of the local contractors will troubleshoot or replace leaking old freon systems (telling me they can't due to law/regs) , so I will have to buy new.

Over $3k, furnace was new last year so this is just A/C work. All to be able to use "friendly" coolant. Thanks, gummint.
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Old May 16, 2018, 22:15   #9
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Originally Posted by Invictus77 View Post
Yes complete unit, AC and gas furnace.

Only the AC is actually needed, but the furnace is also 22 y/o and must be pulled to change the evaporator coil, so I plan to replace it too.
How long do you expect to live in the same house is the next question Don't buy a system that will outlast you
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Old May 16, 2018, 22:23   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltblown View Post
How long do you expect to live in the same house is the next question Don't buy a system that will outlast you
Well, seeing that I'll be buying a new system next month, and I'm an old fart, I WANT to buy one that will outlast me! Then, I won' have to worry about buying a new one on a fixed retirement income as I'm sweating to death here in the summer! LOL
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Old May 17, 2018, 06:41   #11
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Well, seeing that I'll be buying a new system next month, and I'm an old fart, I WANT to buy one that will outlast me! Then, I won' have to worry about buying a new one on a fixed retirement income as I'm sweating to death here in the summer! LOL
Yep, down here an AC ain't a luxury. Man we had a couple of months of nice weather and summer came back with a vengeance this week.
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Old May 17, 2018, 06:47   #12
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I've never heard of Payne. Trane is a quality brand and may still be made in the US. Ameristar is their Chinese "value brand" that they offer to certain distributors to allow them to offer a lower priced product.

My father in law is the HVAC guy in the family and he prefers Trane. That is my only point of reference. Trane costs more but would likely be a little better product.
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Old May 17, 2018, 08:24   #13
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Around here, it is almost impossible to find anyone that does good work on HVAC.
Mostly "fly by night" amateurs.

The quality of the installation work makes a big difference in system reliability and performance, no matter what brand.

Anybody can throw a system in, get paid, run off.
The system will work for a while.

When we replaced our 1983 heat pump in 2016, I got quotes from a few places, and I had a prepared list of questions about installation.

Discovered that they either could not come up with an answer, or, if honest, gave the wrong answer.
Simple questions, taken from installation manuals I got on line.

So my son and I put in a Goodman system ourselves in 2016, did all the things the excellent Goodman installation manuals said to do, working great so far.
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Old May 17, 2018, 08:45   #14
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I've always had Carrier. Yes, the older unit was better than the newer one. Everything is disposable these days. Still ... 10 years and no major repairs. One fan motor replacement, but that wasn't very expensive, and I run the fan 24/7. Like anything, if you buy the low end contractor grade units, expect more problems and shorter life. That said, I never buy the super efficient models either.

Frankly, it's like the search I did for water heaters a few years ago. When you get down to it, there's only a few companies that actually make them (although brands proliferate) and they all suck.
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Old May 17, 2018, 11:00   #15
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Most of the big players make a decent unit, but I highly recommend a scroll-type compressor.

I've had a couple of Goodmans with it with no issues, and have experience with Trane, Ruud, and American Standard, and none lived a shorter life than was expected.

I'd say the absolute best advice though would be to go with as high an efficiency rating as you can afford, and then take on a "home warranty" from a reputable company to cover it down the line as you approach its warrantied life expectancy. With the higher SEER ratings come finer attention to detail in the units, and that typically translates to longer life.
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Old May 17, 2018, 11:14   #16
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Sizing the system to the calculated requirements of the building for heat and AC is of critical importance. The system needs to be big enough but too big is not efficient. My overwhelming experience with HVAC contractors is that most guess at sizes of systems. When I ask for their calculations the truth always is revealed. YMMV.
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Old May 18, 2018, 03:24   #17
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I have a carrier heat pump that bit it after 16 years yesterday. 2 years ago we replaced the evaporator with an r410 compatible one.
We are replacing with a trane tr14 condensor only and replacing the expansion valve, drier, and r22 woth r410.
Could have gotten another carrier for $600 more.
I think the job is worth $2800, but as usual, my estimate is 20% lower than the professional bids

Bryant and Carrier are basically the same as far as i can tell most all part numbers are interchangeable. Trane and lennox seem good and in this case trane was as cheap as i chose to go.

If i was on a budget or DIY a goodman is probably ok, but I personally have no experience except know they are cheap. Probably ok, but wouldnt expect the high end of 15 year life that seems to be pretty standard. I also wouldnt doubt it would work 15 years.
If i planned a replacement id probably choose a lennox or bryant/carrier just based on my experience and dont think I'll regret a Trane
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Old May 18, 2018, 03:36   #18
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Thanks for all the input gents. We replaced the upstairs unit last year with a Trane. Install was timely and professional by a local company with a good reputation.

I plan to use the same company now for the downstairs unit and will go with the Trane once again.
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Old May 18, 2018, 10:47   #19
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If you like the installer, that's probably more important than the brand you choose.
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Old May 19, 2018, 06:15   #20
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Don't buy high efficiency above what is code. Parts TOO pricey, trust me even with extended warrantees labor is High. You will not recoup it's excessive cost in lower electrical cost.
Get properly sized, bigger IS not better due to too short run times may not dehumidify which is paramount in Florida.
Your installation is only as good as the guy that does it and will last accordingly. Make sure you get a guy serious about vacuuming down to a few hundred microns, if he can't get another.
Have the duct work Professionally accessed for it's condition and design. This is where many fail due to return air is not correct.
Lastly make sure your house is properly insulated and sealed.
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Old May 19, 2018, 07:00   #21
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Appreciate the input for when I replace my Furnace and AC later this year.
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Old May 19, 2018, 08:26   #22
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I tried to be economical (cheap) for a couple of years on the AC system. Had a "friend" install a new unit (coil and compressor) at one point and it ran all the time and the electricity bill went through the roof!!

After flooding from Hurricane IKE, I hired a company to install a complete AC system from outside unit through the AC grates in the ceiling! They offered a couple of brands, seers and price points. We went with a higher seer, but not the top one. The brand was a Lennox.

It has been 9.5 years now with that system and I am still amazed....when we sleep we keep the house at 67 or 68 and during the day around 72 to 73. The electric cost is 1/4 of what we paid before due to my "friend's" unit.

The area we live in is hot...and humid...you know summer is here when it hits 80 degrees by 8am. This morning it was 82 degrees by 8am! It's dry today at 75% humidity as we have not had rain for 2 to 3 weeks. I am sure that will change shortly!
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