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Talk to me about home air conditioning units (non-window)

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Talk to me about home air conditioning units (non-window)

Old 02-20-05, 10:15 PM
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Talk to me about home air conditioning units (non-window)

Buddy of mine is looking to upgrade his 20 year old home unit.

He's looking at American Standard units. They seem to be made by Trane.
What should he be looking for, what to stay away from and any advice would be grateful.

His house is about the same size as my parents and they have a 3.5 ton unit so thats what I'm kinda going by.
Old 02-21-05, 12:02 AM
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As far as the size of the unit, that is probably best left to the experts. Mostly it depends on size of the home, but it seems like it also matters what type of insulation you have etc. I have a Carrier, and it seems fine, but if I ever did anything again, it would be a Trane. My furnace has had minor issues, but the AC has always been fine. Stay away from cheaper stuff like Coleman. It's okay, and if I had one, I wouldn't upgrade for no reason, but they get worked on more, and have more expensive parts. Sticking with Trane, Carrier, or other big boys is the way to go. The cost difference isn't that much.
Old 02-21-05, 12:29 AM
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Check out Consumer Reports. I seem to remember a study a few years back when we were getting A/C.
Old 02-21-05, 06:59 AM
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Now I personally have a "dummy" question. When it comes to A/C does it matter if you have a standard A/C unit or a HeatPump? I know heat there's a difference but what about A/C? I'm guessing both have a standard compressor and cooling agent like Freon/Puron.

I have a Carrier HeatPump at my house and it does a wonderful job. Very inexpensive to run too. Granted his house is probably twice the size of mine including his basement but it stays so cool down there anyway they could just close off the vents.
Old 02-21-05, 12:03 PM
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There is a difference. A heatpump is both for heating and cooling. Very effecient, but it also takes a bit longer to cool than a stand alone unit. What really matters is the type of heat you have to begin with. If you just have a regular electric furnace, most go with a heat pump (though it must be "heatpump ready"). Those that have a natural gas furnace generally go with a stand alone AC unit. The furnace is just a backup for when it is too cold for the heatpump to handle the job at a reasonable rate.

Having said that, when I put in a new gas furnace, I asked for a heatpump rather than a AC unit, and was talked out of it because gas was cheap, no one did it. So I didn't and natural gas has gone up several fold since then. Still irritates me.

So....if it were me, I would probably go with the heatpump.
Old 02-21-05, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
There is a difference. A heatpump is both for heating and cooling. Very effecient, but it also takes a bit longer to cool than a stand alone unit. What really matters is the type of heat you have to begin with. If you just have a regular electric furnace, most go with a heat pump (though it must be "heatpump ready"). Those that have a natural gas furnace generally go with a stand alone AC unit. The furnace is just a backup for when it is too cold for the heatpump to handle the job at a reasonable rate.

Having said that, when I put in a new gas furnace, I asked for a heatpump rather than a AC unit, and was talked out of it because gas was cheap, no one did it. So I didn't and natural gas has gone up several fold since then. Still irritates me.

So....if it were me, I would probably go with the heatpump.
I'd have to agree. Heat Pumps are very efficient although the heat is very dry and doesn't give off that "warm feeling" like natural gas. I can live with dry heat when my winter bills are never over $120. My parent's gas bill by itself hovers $180 each winter month. No thanks.

Anyway I wish I had bookmarked the site he sent me last night about air conditioners. It listed all brands recommended by the energy people.

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