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HVAC units: Specifc recommendation ?

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HVAC units: Specifc recommendation ?

Old 08-29-2017, 05:06 PM
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Default HVAC units: Specifc recommendation ?

For the HVAC gurus, need suggestions please. New house build, 2 story and 2 units. First floor is 2100 sq ft and second floor is about 900. We are going with the Keep It Simple Stupid thought. Single speed unit with variable speed air handler, heat pump setup. Size wise we're having the house plans looked at by a company out of GA to get the sizes right, Manual J , duct sizing etc. System wise I'm comfortable with American Standard or Trane. I'm thinking maybe 15 or 16 SEER without looking at the actual model offerings etc. With that out of the way and taking the above into consideration is there any particular unit that is worth a hard look over another?

Mucho appreciation !
Old 08-29-2017, 06:13 PM
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Zone it or install two units. Cooling a two story off one thermostat is always a problem for the upstairs. Heat rises.
I'm partial to Carrier. They've pretty much got the bugs worked out for the new refrigerant (not so new any more). Trane/American Standard has had some issues of late but may be up to par now. Back in the R22 days they were bullet proof but much has changed since then. I know you want to keep it simple but consider 2 stage. On those not so hot but humid days you will really appreciate the system running on first stage, thereby running long to dehumidify but not over cooling. Just my 2 cents.
Old 08-29-2017, 06:23 PM
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Thanks we are installing 2 units. I appreciate the input but really prefer to keep it simple with a single speed set up. Unitsbwill be properly sized.
Old 08-29-2017, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
For the HVAC gurus, need suggestions please. New house build, 2 story and 2 units. First floor is 2100 sq ft and second floor is about 900. We are going with the Keep It Simple Stupid thought. Single speed unit with variable speed air handler, heat pump setup. Size wise we're having the house plans looked at by a company out of GA to get the sizes right, Manual J , duct sizing etc. System wise I'm comfortable with American Standard or Trane. I'm thinking maybe 15 or 16 SEER without looking at the actual model offerings etc. With that out of the way and taking the above into consideration is there any particular unit that is worth a hard look over another?

Mucho appreciation !
No. If your question Is brand they are pretty much the same these days. Ford vs Chevy.
Old 08-29-2017, 08:17 PM
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I have a neighbor with a pretty large home that uses a mini split(multiple heads) for his upstairs and a traditional central air system downstairs. He reports that it works very well and great efficiency.
Old 08-29-2017, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
For the HVAC gurus, need suggestions please. New house build, 2 story and 2 units. First floor is 2100 sq ft and second floor is about 900. We are going with the Keep It Simple Stupid thought. Single speed unit with variable speed air handler, heat pump setup. Size wise we're having the house plans looked at by a company out of GA to get the sizes right, Manual J , duct sizing etc. System wise I'm comfortable with American Standard or Trane. I'm thinking maybe 15 or 16 SEER without looking at the actual model offerings etc. With that out of the way and taking the above into consideration is there any particular unit that is worth a hard look over another?

Mucho appreciation !
Your doing it right.

On the Condensing Unit - Beyond 16 seer your getting into 2 stage Compressors and beyond 20 Seer likely Inverter Compressors (which are amazing for efficiency and humidity control) but can also be costly when it goes wrong as they need large electronic boards to convert AC voltage to DC voltage. All it takes is a lizard / Gekko to walk over the board and it gets fried and so does your wallet - and warranty would likely not apply. This happened to a customer recently and it also fried the thermostat and Indoor board as well.

If you are anywhere near the coast, we see the Trane / American Standard Condensers hold up the best for coil corrosion - and getting them coated will also help for that.

Air Handler - if you are happy with single speed Compressors outside consider single speed inside. The only weakness mechanically in your thinking is the variable speed motor, these are called ECM Motors, they fail a LOT more than a standard speed motor and can be costly to replace (3 times as much if not more) so be careful in that regard.

If the Air Handlers going in the attic make sure you have an Emergency Drain Tray/Pan and add a float switch that will kill power to it for additional protection.
Old 08-30-2017, 03:29 AM
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Thanks Shan and yes we are sitting right on the bay, maybe 150' away. Corrosion from the salt is a concern for sure.
Old 08-30-2017, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
Thanks Shan and yes we are sitting right on the bay, maybe 150' away. Corrosion from the salt is a concern for sure.
Nice! Down here in Cayman we are all right on the sea too so we see what salt air can do, it can be rutheless.

A few tips that can help re the salt:

We all rinse off our boats as salt sucks, same goes for the Condensing Units, hose them with fresh water often, don't rely on the AC guy doing it once a quarter, pop it in a calendar or something to remind you to hit both with the garden hose (so make sure on the new house you have a hose bib close by). It will go a long way to keeping them in good nick and will keep them efficient. It will take about the time to drink a cuppa (or do it at the same time lol).

All systems have a filter/drier - it's a painted steel canister that will go in the 3/8 line that runs into your house. The salt air kills them over time and will likely be the first thing that causes a refrigerant leak. If they are outside (typically) hit it with same paint if you see signs of rust. Better yet, ask the installer to install them just before the Air Handler where they are protected by the elements.

As it's a new build try if you can to install them in a way that protects them from any see breezes. If you can use the house as a barrier/shelter or a small fence or even a hedge it's amazing how that can limit their demise. It may not be plausible but something to consider given you can before you start the build if you want to get the most out of them.
Old 08-30-2017, 04:43 AM
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Thanks and actually the front of the house faces to the North and there is just "that place" to the rear side of the house that we can place the units. Re: coating the condenser units, fill me in on that if you would.
Old 08-30-2017, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
Thanks and actually the front of the house faces to the North and there is just "that place" to the rear side of the house that we can place the units. Re: coating the condenser units, fill me in on that if you would.
Typically done by 3rd parties, the Condensing Unit gets shipped to them and they remove the panels etc and coat the Condenser Coil with a protectant. There are loads of different brands of coating out there. In the Apllied (commercial) sizes the factory can do it but I'm not sure on the Unitary (residential) units if that's an option.

Blygold is a good one. Truthfully though, if you keep on top of it with a garden hose you will be just fine
Old 08-30-2017, 06:02 AM
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I have an Amana 19 seer, and with the exception of the starting capacitor failing 2 times ($20 part), it's been great for the past 7+ years.
Old 08-30-2017, 06:30 AM
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the variable speed indoor fan motors are very expensive to replace

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