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A/C advice needed

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Batman, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    So, after we had to get the refrigerant in our A/C unit recharged for the second time this month, it's become apparent that we need to get a new system. We're going to shell out some money, so as much as it sucks I'm not freaking out over that. It is what it is. Trying to survive a southern summer without it is not an option.

    What I'm wondering is, does anyone have any recommendations on a particular brand? Any horror stories? I browsed one consumer review website and came away with two things -- according to consumers every brand sucks and blows up quickly, and according to HVAC professionals every brand is more or less the same and will last forever if it's installed and serviced properly.
    Our A/C guy (a family friend we trust greatly) suggested either Goodman, Payne (a Carrier offshoot) or ValueAir (a York offshoot). Anyone have experience with those?

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    What is the difference in price between the off brands and an actual Trane, Carrier or York unit?
  3. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Make sure you get the right SEER rating for your square footage.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Not sure. I'd guess at least a few hundred dollars more. The prices he quoted for the three units ranged from $3,300 to $3,400 installed. That's for a midrange, 2 1/2 ton, 13 SEER unit.
  5. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    The Amana Distinctions unit I've had for five years has been running trouble-free.
  6. Justin_Rice

    Justin_Rice Well-Known Member

    Carrier and York are garbage. Trane is high quality. American Standard is the same as a trane (trane's off brand).

    I just had to do the same thing in May - replaced a 12-year old 11 seer with a nice 16-seer trane. Cost me $8,000 (including some other minor work that had to be done because the people that built my house were morons). Paying 0 percent for three years though.

    In our first two months - compared to the same months last year - we're using one-third fewer KWHs on the electric bill, and our house is noticeably more comfortable. My neighbor replaced the same age, same 11-seer unit last year with a 15-seer American Standard, and the difference in their electric bill was nearly as much as the monthly payment on the new unit.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Just be sure to get three or four quotes, and don't be afraid to play one off another. Company B gave me a cheaper quote than Company A, but I liked the Company A guy better. So I texted him a picture of Company B's quote, and he matched the price.
  7. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    I'm in my 14th summer with a Rheem unit that has never had to be serviced.
  8. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We're pretty committed to our guy, and I'd rather not play games with him. Not only has my wife known him most of her life, he's done right -- more than right -- by us so far with our failing unit. The two service calls were on July 4 and today. He charged us $100 for the July 4 call (and $60 of that was for the freon), and didn't charge us at all today. Said he'd roll it in when we bought the new system.
    Our unit actually went out the first time on the evening of July 3. He was there first thing the next morning and has apologized several times for being on another call and not being able to make it that night.
    He's also promised to give us the family rate on the replacement unit. I have no reason to think he's screwing us over, and I'm not about to give him the shaft.
  9. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I guess that begs the question -- why the need for advise from the SJ A/C experts?

    I will never buy a car from the same guy twice. You lose your negotiating edge when you get to know someone.
  10. Justin_Rice

    Justin_Rice Well-Known Member

    It's show business, not show friends :)
  11. Justin_Rice

    Justin_Rice Well-Known Member

    Rheems are also not a unit with a high reputation for durability, OT's results not withstanding.
  12. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Because I'm trying to get an opinion on the brands, quality of the brands, see if there's a consensus that one brand is either great or sucks, or see if there's a different unit I ought to ask him to look into and get a quote on.
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