I would like to know which SEER of AC and BRAND to buy

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by River Rat, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. River Rat

    River Rat New Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    I am looking into but a AC for the whole house and would like to know which Ser to buy along with which is the best brand of AC? I am looking at the depenability and the best warrenty on the AC?

    I line in Northwest Ohio where you only run the AC 21/2 to 3 months out of the year. I have 2080 SQ.FT.
  2. bronsonb

    bronsonb New Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    Instructional Designer and Project Manager for IBM
    Smyrna, GA
    I like Trane...but it's just a personal preference

    I'm not a professional, but I've had Trane systems in several of my homes, and they have been very reliable and trouble-free. Recently, in our new home (well, new to us, but still 30 years old), we replaced the first floor HVAC system. One vendor tried to talk us out of Trane noting that "since they never break down, you'll end up keeping it forever, and it will eventually be very inefficient, but since it never breaks down, you won't replace it, and you'll suffer from the inefficiency." That's what he said...I swear!

    We ended up going with a Trane system. 90% efficiency gas furnace and 16.75 SEER AC system. I understand that Trane and American Standard are part of the same company, so you might look at either one.

    As for SEER rating, I live in Atlanta, so I want a more efficient unit because I'll use it more often than someone in the north of Ohio (I'm from Cincinnati, by the way!). We've got a 16.75 SEER unit, and I know the minimum you can get is 13 SEER. That 13 SEER might do you just fine based on your limited usage.

    Hopefully, a good vendor could do an analysis of your cooling needs and let you know how much you'd save on your power bills with a higher SEER system so you could see the payback.

    Good luck, and hopefully one of the very knowledgeable professionals in this forum will respond as well.
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I believe that much more important than brand is to deal with a very reputable installer. Any system MIGHT have a need for service under warranty, and you want to know that they are there for you. AND, A/C install these days is much more technical than in the old days. You want someone who really knows what they are doing. The guys who used to get away with minimal knowledge and training, and slapping things together on a wing and a prayer....those days are gone. If you let them put in your system, you will have trouble. It's like the days of the shade tree auto mechaninc.....romantic, but ancient history!

    I would ask around, check references, check the BBB, whatever. Find the best guy in town. Buy the brand that he sells. A reputable guy will explain the differences in his good/better/best systems, and let you decide.

    The logic of that guy talking down Trane is flat out ridiculous. Cross that guy off your list.
  5. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    According to the last review I read in Consumer Reports, air conditioning is considered a fairly "mature" technology so there are fewer differences between brands than in the past.

    One thing I would recommend is getting a "scroll" compressor. Costs a little more than the standard reciprocating compressor, but lasts longer and is MUCH quieter. You'll really notice a difference if your outside unit is anywhere near any outdoor space that you use during the summer.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    There are fewer differences because many brands are the same unit with a different name tag.
  7. slapjack

    slapjack New Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    For your location I would only go with 13 SEER... anything higher would take way to long for a payback to justify the increased cost for a higher SEER unit.

    As far as brands go, there's no one brand that is better than all the others. As others have mentioned - it's more about the installation. So I recommend talking to a lot of different companies and going with the one that you trust the most... regardless of whatever brand they install.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Trane is a good brand...I would also look for a 10 year parts and labor warranty and a dealer who has been in buisness along time, 10 years or more.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Good point from Cass about the warranty being as good as the installing dealer. If your guy goes out of business, you will have a harder time getting Trane to help you.

    I suspect that to get the 10 year warranty, you need to go to something above the entry level 13 seer.

    Ask a lot of questions before signing a contract.
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