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Need advice on new AC unit

613 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  timdwight
We have a 9 year old carrier 2.5 Ton unit that has a Freon leak in the air handler coil. Unfortunately the unit was never registered by the original company despite being told it was so it only has a 5 year warranty. We have decided to replace rather than repair this unit given it's age and the fact that we're in Florida it's probably only a matter of time until the next issue arises and at \~$3K repair it just didn't make sense.

We are trying to decide what the best path is for the new unit. This unit covers \~2080 Sq Ft and is the second story unit of 2 units. The first story is probably undersized and we use this unit the supplement the downstairs unit as well. We are trying to weigh all options and looking for recommendations on path and brands...

Option A (our current planned path): 3 Ton Gree Flex variable speed unit .. $10,800 with $2K federal tax credit

Option B: Rheem 3 ton air handler W/ 2.5 Ton compressor (to help with humidity) single stage... $7,700

Option C: Carrier 3 Ton air handler and compressor single stage.... $8,000 (company that found the leak) 14.5 Seer2

Option D: Carrier 3 Ton 2 stage ... $9950 17 SEER

Option E: Carrier Crossover 3 Ton variable speed.... $10,150 (with assumed tax credit) 18 SEER

Option F: Daikin 3 Ton variable speed....$10,450 (with assumed tax credit) 16.5 SEER

We don't care about power consumption (solar power) but we want something that will work well and last us a good bit of time. The level of detail the company that provided A and B we were extremely impressed with as they took their time and looked at the duct work and also took time to understand the problem as a whole (evaluated the second unit for performance and everything) even came out on Sunday to quote it for no charge. The company that provided option C had us backed into a corner at the time and we don't think it was the best price.

Company for Option D,E, & F was nice and responsive but they quoted off of photographs.

All of these quotes provide various things depending on the company such as Thermostat, UV lights, ect and some do not. I can provide more clarification if needed.

I've never heard of Gree but the company that quoted it said they were good strong units but I'm hoping someone who has more experience can help us evaluate our options. We are in Florida so humidity is a large thing.

Thank You everyone
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Pretty much carrier, Rheem , Daikin, Gree.
You give prices but no seer ratings? So they all 16 seer or all 18 seer ?
If your duct can handle 3 ton then go 3 ton. You getting variable speed compressor outside condenser and 2 stage variable speed air handler inside? What seer? How the warranty will be handled if something breaks? Free part same day replacement and just labor paid or you need to buy parts under warranty then they refund 3 weeks later?
Some supply houses give you new part if you bring bad without paying anything other supply houses wants hvac guy to buy new part and submit bad and then wait for refund. Then you have to take that on customer. Don’t like that. For humidity is better variable speed compressor and air handler
I can compile all the seer ratings tomorrow. All are 1 year labor warranty except the Diakin and Carrier inverter style has a 12 and 10 year labor warranty with them. I don't know how the repair process would work I'm sure it depends on the company.

I've heard a lot of negative things about Gree in my research and I'm a little worried about part availability if sanctions are put on China however it might be the only one that qualifies for the tax credit.
Added the seer ratings I had available for now
I would go with highest seer and longest labor and materials warranty. Not sure why other units not qualified for tax credit? All 16 seer and more should have tax credit. You need to check with your state and federal tax credit. 10 years carrier inverter labor warranty sounds good.variable speed does good on dehumidification.
Unfortunately from what I'm finding most units of my size on the market won't qualify for the federal credit due to the requirements. There are a couple that will (like Gree) but I'm hesitant on the brand.

The carrier 3 ton inverter with the 10 year labor warranty honestly sounds too good to be true
WOW - Either you have cash to burn or a lot of dis-honest companies. You said it was a Carrier, and carrier is a good company, not the greatest, but one of the better ones. How about just changing out the AC coil in the Air Handler? That coil can not cost more than $500, then add labor and you are good for well under $2000. If by chance the unit is R22 and not R410 (should be R410 if only 9 years old), then the R22 can be replaced by MO99 (R438a). NEVER would I install a variable drive compressor. Life span is known to be much shorter than a regular compressor. As for Gree Flex, never seen or heard of one in the Mid West area. Top brands in my order would be Trane, Lennox/Ducane, Goodman, Carrier, Rheem. Not much of a Daikin fan, but told they were OK. As for jumping to a 3 ton unit. Bigger is NOT Better. As a results, AC has 2 functions - #1 is to remove humidity, #2 is to cool the air - In this order. If you over size the unit, you will have a cool humid environment, not very nice and you will be unhappy. Under sizing a unit will keep drying the air out, removing humidity and temperature will not be as cool. If it did work OK, size is fine. Ever wonder why people can stand Arizona in the summer time? Very low humidity yet hot, so you are better off sizing it exactly to slightly smaller. You will hear all all sorts of people saying different, doing this - installing, size, spec, research, engineering of these units for over 39 years in the Mid West says a lot. Seen so many poor techs out there that are clueless, it is crazy. If you can find a Union company supported by the UA, you may possibly get better answers, but might cost a bit more as these guys go through years of training, not just a couple of night classes. If you gave me model numbers, I can possible tell you wholesale cost and availability of the AC coil. This is kind of like trash the car because the tires are bad. As for SEER ratings go, unless the unit runs non-stop for years, the pay back may not be in your life time. A 15 SEER vs 20 SEER may save a few dollars a month, do not let them fool you. Good Luck in you decision.
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I agree that replacing it is the way to go, especially given the age and location of the unit. As for your options, it's great that you're weighing them all carefully. However, I recommend going with the company that provided a detailed evaluation of your system and took the time to understand the problem. My experience with Hurliman Heating taught me that evaluating a system thoroughly is the key to finding the best solution. Good luck with your decision!
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