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Need a new central HVAC system

Old 06-23-20, 06:16 PM
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Steve B.
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Need a new central HVAC system

Have a Trane 4 ton single zone system, installed in 2006. I’ve had a slow leak over the past 4 years, my service contract has replenished every 2 years or so, now it seems there’s leaks at the outside compressor as well as the air handler. They will no longer replenish as it’s taking about 4-6 lbs, so outside the contract amount provided and as they’ve done it 3 times now.

So the questions is should I stay with Trane ?, or something different that might last more than 12 years before having issues.

I am in the metro NYC area, have in some years had to run this late April thru early October.

Im assuming they can retrofit a air handler into the current duct system, it’s in a large stand up attic. So that saves some costs, especially labor. Also assuming they might be able to re-use the exterior coolant piping and electrical. I can not imagine a new unit will have a larger electrical load requirement. Just trying to get a handle on what’s involved. Thus thoughts appreciated.
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Old 06-23-20, 06:18 PM
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I would get someone else to repair it, and if you have to replace it, don't reward Trane. 2006 isn't that long ago.
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Old 06-23-20, 06:23 PM
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For what it's worth our Lennox system is more than 25 yrs old and still ticking though I wouldn't be shocked if it needed replacement one of these years.

Last edited by bobwysiwyg; 06-24-20 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 06-23-20, 07:51 PM
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My house's original 4 ton Rheem AC condensor lasted from 1989 to the fall of 2017. The evap coil in the attic lasted from 1989 to about 2015. All that was an R22 split system.

In the fall of 2017, I had a new 4 ton Goodman condenser with new evap coil installed since I had to move forward to R410a refrigerant.

Just over 1 week ago, the Goodman unit died a horrible compressor death. Which means it lasted a whole 2.5 years.

I now have a 5 ton Ducane condenser, an Aspen evap coil, and a Ruud furnace that were all installed last week. The old furnace was from 1989.

I can tell you that my 1989 Rheem was fully built in the USA. The Goodman was assembled in southeast Texas at the Daiken plant, with Chinese made parts. The Ducane was assembled in Mexico and I can't see any labeling mentioning China on any of it.

Anyway, the AC people I've been talking to made it it seem like currently built ACs will be lucky to make it over 10 years without a permanent failure. Depending on what quality level of AC you get. It was mentioned that recently made Lennox evap coils are lasting about 4 to 5 years before experiencing leaks.

Not sure if that helps or confuses.

BTW, It turns out my 2400 square foot house that had two prior 4 ton units needed 5 ton. At least if the 1 ton per 500 square feet of home is true.
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Old 06-23-20, 09:03 PM
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This may be an ugly rumor, but I thought somewhere I read that the modern coolant doesn't have the lubrication properties of old R22.
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Old 06-24-20, 08:34 PM
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My Lennox air and Pulse furnace are entering their 30th year. On the A/C I had to replace the fan motor on the condenser last year, not because the motor failed but the shaft rusted through. Furnace I've put a couple circuit boards in myself.
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Old 06-25-20, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
My Lennox air and Pulse furnace are entering their 30th year. On the A/C I had to replace the fan motor on the condenser last year, not because the motor failed but the shaft rusted through. Furnace I've put a couple circuit boards in myself.
Ours is one of the pulse furnaces also. Fortunately, our circuit board failed within 6 months and was replaced under warranty. No circuit board issues since, thankfully. Back then the charge would have been $600 out of warranty. Some were also prone to heat exchanger leaks. We've been fortunate there as well but I do keep our CO detectors up to snuff just in case.
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Old 06-25-20, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Ours is one of the pulse furnaces also. Fortunately, our circuit board failed within 6 months and was replaced under warranty. No circuit board issues since, thankfully. Back then the charge would have been $600 out of warranty. Some were also prone to heat exchanger leaks. We've been fortunate there as well but I do keep our CO detectors up to snuff just in case.
First time it went was after 10? years. Said $600 and it was late season so I told them I would have to ponder repair/replace. Tech as he was leaving said, furnace parts dot com, but you didn't hear it from me. Ordered it for $150 including 2 day freight and it was plug & play to install. Second time I just ordered one on line.
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Old 06-25-20, 06:53 AM
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I am not convinced that you will find ANY modern system that will last like an old one did. According to whether the leak is at a connection, or within one of the coils/fins somewhere. I would certainly have them run a leak trace (technically they should have done so themselves).

I had a Trane ~4 ton unit installed six years ago to replace a very damaged heating and air unit. It has (also) required the installer to come back out and charge it every spring. Mine has only been a 1/2# or so each time.
The previous old, broken unit kept this house at 72* easily and that was with plastic as windows, a huge hole in the back where we took a fireplace off, and the garage "apartment" modifications being undone on an open garage with intake and vents still hooked up. We took out the garage aspect, went with really good windows and doors and this new unit struggles with 74.
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Old 06-25-20, 07:43 AM
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The first question to ask is: Does my a/c unit use R22?
If so, plan to replace it. Explanation:
https://www.goodmanmfg.com/resources...rant-phase-out
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Old 06-25-20, 07:43 AM
  #11  
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What's sad is all these newer AC units are supposed to be more efficient and use more earth friendly refrigerant than the 20th century units. But if the new units go into the landfill more often, how much better is our earth for it?
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Old 06-25-20, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
This may be an ugly rumor, but I thought somewhere I read that the modern coolant doesn't have the lubrication properties of old R22.
Difference in Performance
R-410A is not only better for the ozone layer; it also provides a better overall operation. It absorbs and releases the heat better than R-22, making your compressor run cooler so that it does not overheat. Additionally, it can work at a higher pressure, so the compressors in the units are built to handle greater stresses and will not crack as easily. Systems that use R-410A also use synthetic oil for lubrication, rather than mineral oil like in R-22 systems. The synthetic oil is more soluble, making the whole system more efficient. Therefore, R-410A works better than R-22 and has more efficient systems.


Haven't been in the A/C market for a long time so can't vouch for it.
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Old 06-25-20, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
First time it went was after 10? years. Said $600 and it was late season so I told them I would have to ponder repair/replace. Tech as he was leaving said, furnace parts dot com, but you didn't hear it from me. Ordered it for $150 including 2 day freight and it was plug & play to install. Second time I just ordered one on line.
Good to know. Thanks.
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Old 06-25-20, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
The first question to ask is: Does my a/c unit use R22?
If so, plan to replace it. Explanation:
https://www.goodmanmfg.com/resources...rant-phase-out
Thought the use of R22 was banned effective in 2010?
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Old 06-25-20, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Thought the use of R22 was banned effective in 2010?
I think sales of a/c units using R22 was banned after 2010.
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Old 06-25-20, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Difference in Performance
R-410A is not only better for the ozone layer; it also provides a better overall operation. It absorbs and releases the heat better than R-22, making your compressor run cooler so that it does not overheat. Additionally, it can work at a higher pressure, so the compressors in the units are built to handle greater stresses and will not crack as easily. Systems that use R-410A also use synthetic oil for lubrication, rather than mineral oil like in R-22 systems. The synthetic oil is more soluble, making the whole system more efficient. Therefore, R-410A works better than R-22 and has more efficient systems.


Haven't been in the A/C market for a long time so can't vouch for it.
Yeah, I wonder.

Here's a photo from 2017 with the new (at the time) 4-ton Goodman next to the 4-ton Rheem built in 1989.

The R410a Goodman is much larger than the R22 Rheem for the same tonnage. Same size difference for the 4-ton evap coils for those condensers as well. Edit to add, both of those 4-ton units had the same difficulty getting the upstairs of my house down to 78F during a hot summer day.



Last edited by FiftySix; 06-25-20 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 06-25-20, 08:59 AM
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To add to the physical size comparison above, here is that same 4-ton Goodman and the newly installed 5-ton Ducane.


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Old 06-25-20, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Good to know. Thanks.
It's recommended to replace the flapper every 5? years as well on the pulse furnaces. Mine's been done twice. Once by the tech when I watched and once by me.

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Old 06-25-20, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I think sales of a/c units using R22 was banned after 2010.
Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
I am not convinced that you will find ANY modern system that will last like an old one did....
if you get 10 years out of your "new" unit you are lucky AND that's with your $300+ per year maintenance fee ... i have 3 units > the 24 yr old CARRIER commercial has survived hurricanes floods and record lows & has outlived 4 newer units (trane & lennox)
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... and so it goes
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Old 06-25-20, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Difference in Performance
R-410A is not only better for the ozone layer; it also provides a better overall operation. It absorbs and releases the heat better than R-22, making your compressor run cooler so that it does not overheat. Additionally, it can work at a higher pressure, so the compressors in the units are built to handle greater stresses and will not crack as easily. Systems that use R-410A also use synthetic oil for lubrication, rather than mineral oil like in R-22 systems. The synthetic oil is more soluble, making the whole system more efficient. Therefore, R-410A works better than R-22 and has more efficient systems.


Haven't been in the A/C market for a long time so can't vouch for it.
Ah interesting... Not familiar with R-410A... Just read this
https://www.goodmanmfg.com/resources...r-22-to-r-410a

Was lead to believe that new coolant was less efficient that old Freon. R-22. Interesting improvement. Thanks. Guess I got bad conspiracy rumored info. But do see why it may be more expensive to replace hardware... higher pressure designs.
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Old 06-25-20, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Difference in Performance
R-410A is not only better for the ozone layer; it also provides a better overall operation. It absorbs and releases the heat better than R-22, making your compressor run cooler so that it does not overheat. Additionally, it can work at a higher pressure, so the compressors in the units are built to handle greater stresses and will not crack as easily. Systems that use R-410A also use synthetic oil for lubrication, rather than mineral oil like in R-22 systems. The synthetic oil is more soluble, making the whole system more efficient. Therefore, R-410A works better than R-22 and has more efficient systems.


Haven't been in the A/C market for a long time so can't vouch for it.
Originally Posted by genec View Post
Ah interesting... Not familiar with R-410A... Just read this
https://www.goodmanmfg.com/resources...r-22-to-r-410a

Was lead to believe that new coolant was less efficient that old Freon. R-22. Interesting improvement. Thanks. Guess I got bad conspiracy rumored info. But do see why it may be more expensive to replace hardware... higher pressure designs.
I'm no scientist, but higher pressure and larger systems for the same air handling capability makes me think R22 was more efficient at actually cooling. Now I do believe that electric motor design has gotten more efficient, so I can only imagine modern electric motors in a newly built R22 AC . . . but that's not going to happen.

Think about this statement: "Additionally, it can work at a higher pressure, so the compressors in the units are built to handle greater stresses and will not crack as easily." Which basically means that compressors had to be built more strongly for R410a because of the higher pressures used in those systems, not because manufacturers had to build stronger compressors for R22.

Which makes me think that text on the Goodman website is nice marketing speak from an industry and a manufacturer that had to move on to new standards. I've seen that sort of thing in my industry and we're supposed to believe it and regurgitate it to our customers no matter if we know better.

Newer refrigerant and chemicals may be better for the environment, but may not be better than doing the same job their predecessors have done. I've seen the changes of chemicals in the printing industry over the last 3.5 decades. Those old chemicals were horrible for humans, animals, and the earth, but they got the job done easier and faster.

Anyway, I'm not saying my line of thinking is correct here. I'm just saying I'm highly skeptical.

Last edited by FiftySix; 06-25-20 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 06-25-20, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I'm no scientist, but higher pressure and larger systems for the same air handling capability makes me think R22 was more efficient at actually cooling. Now I do believe that electric motor design has gotten more efficient, so I can only imagine modern electric motors in a newly built R22 AC . . . but that's not going to happen.

Think about this statement: "Additionally, it can work at a higher pressure, so the compressors in the units are built to handle greater stresses and will not crack as easily." Which basically means that compressors had to be built more strongly for R410a because of the higher pressures used in those systems, not because manufacturers had to build stronger compressors for R22.

Which makes me think that text on the Goodman website is nice marketing speak from an industry and a manufacturer that had to move on to new standards. I've seen that sort of thing in my industry and we're supposed to believe it and regurgitate it to our customers no matter if we know better.

Newer refrigerant and chemicals may be better for the environment, but may not be better than doing the same job their predecessors have done. I've seen the changes of chemicals in the printing industry over the last 3.5 decades. Those old chemicals were horrible for humans, animals, and the earth, but they got the job done easier and faster.

Anyway, I'm not saying my line of thinking is correct here. I'm just saying I'm highly skeptical.
Higher pressure differential means more cooling... it is that difference in pressure and Boyle's Law that makes cooling possible. The compression and expansion of gases and liquids. And that is based on the physical properties of the chemicals involved. I know this from my training as a diving instructor... Boyle's law and compressing and expanding gas is a key issue there. There are other physics involved too... I understand that... I just was not all that familiar with the issues of the refrigerant involved.
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Old 06-25-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Yeah, I wonder.

Here's a photo from 2017 with the new (at the time) 4-ton Goodman next to the 4-ton Rheem built in 1989.

The R410a Goodman is much larger than the R22 Rheem for the same tonnage. Same size difference for the 4-ton evap coils for those condensers as well. Edit to add, both of those 4-ton units had the same difficulty getting the upstairs of my house down to 78F during a hot summer day.


Is there a power efficiency difference?
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Old 06-25-20, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Is there a power efficiency difference?
I never did notice a decrease in price on my summer electric bills, of course electricity price changes could have kept that even.

I do happen to have pics of the placards of the 4-ton Rheem and the 4-ton Goodman. The newer and larger R410a Goodman does have a lower amp rating for its compressor, but I don't know if the horsepower stayed the same since compressor horsepower is not listed.

I do not have SEER info for these units. So, assuming the unit from 1989 and the unit from 2017 ran for same amount of hours per day, the 1989 unit should use more power. I'd have to find old electric bills and see the kilowatt usage to see if that is true.




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Old 06-25-20, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I never did notice a decrease in price on my summer electric bills, of course electricity price changes could have kept that even.

I do happen to have pics of the placards of the 4-ton Rheem and the 4-ton Goodman. The newer and larger R410a Goodman does have a lower amp rating for its compressor, but I don't know if the horsepower stayed the same since compressor horsepower is not listed.

I do not have SEER info for these units. So, assuming the unit from 1989 and the unit from 2017 ran for same amount of hours per day, the 1989 unit should use more power. I'd have to find old electric bills and see the kilowatt usage to see if that is true.




5 Amps... not that much of a change, really 10%. But maybe the cooling power is increased, so it kicks on less frequently. SEER would tell you that... but I doubt you would have that for the older unit. And of course house insulation becomes less efficient over time... so the calculations become somewhat negligible. Add in older kids opening the doors more often... and you probably won't notice an improvement.
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