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Residential HVAC - Repair vs Replace? Heat Pump? Two Stage AC?


I have a few questions regarding if I should simply repair or replace my two York units. One is 2 tons (second floor) and the other 3.5 tons (first floor). Builder grade and 10 SEER. 10 years old. Furnaces are working well.

Both units' evaporator coils are leaking and the repairs are covered under our home warranty. The house is around 2,000 sf on the first floor and 1,600 on the second floor (no basement). It seems warm on the second floor in the summer - we live in the southeast where it gets 100+ a few days a year and in the 90s for several weeks. It gets down to the 20s for a few days in the winter and the 30s for a few weeks. This summer we put a new roof on with ridgevents which may help.

Here are my options and I could use any expert advice as we plan to be in the home for around 10+ years.

1) Simply replace the coils - cost is just $65 for the warranty trip charge
2) Replace both systems with new HVAC (Heil or Ruud). One at 2.5 tons (.5 larger than current) and the other at 3.5 tons (same as current). They would also replace the coils. Cost for 410a is ~$5,000 for the two units. 13 SEER.
3) Replace both systems with variable speed two stage a/c RUUD 16 SEER Unit and high efficiency furnace. All new system. $1,500 Tax credit applies and $2K rebate from RUUD. Would be around $10K after factoring in these savings. 3 ton and 4 ton unit as it is variable speed and the units do not come in .5 sizes.
4) Same as 3 but also with a heat pump. Would be around 11K.

Note my home warranty will reimburse me around $1,100 if I get a new system instead of having them replace the coils for options 2-4 above.

Key questions. . .

Are heat pumps really worth it? I would still have a furnace for cold days, and not sure if the bang is worth the buck and if it will last as long if it is used more heavily? Are they as reliable as traditional systems?

Does it concern anyone if I go with a two stage a/c at 3 tons upstairs and 4 tons downstairs. That is quite a bit more capacity, but we would like more cooling than we currently have. I fugure the unit would run more at the lower speed and in the hot days the extra cooling would be ideal. Does this seem logical to any experts?

Any concern with RUUDs upper end systems?

Lastly, do you think we have to get new line sets for the 410a or can they just flush it out well and that should suffice for a 10 year old home.

Thank you so much for any advice you can offer. I am a novice at this and could really use your help! Again, THANKS!

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For 65 dollars i would replace the coil I do however love gas and heat pump combos it will cut your gas bill by about 75% only uses gas below 30 deg
you may want to try a honeywell 8000 stat it has random circulation fan comes on and just circulates the air also used for gas hp combo with an out door sensor and you don't need the fossil heat kit as for the copper if possible replace it due to don't trust any ones soldering as for units the are all about the same look for warranty some replace unit others have life time comp if only going to be in house for 10 yrs hard to recover cost give replacement allowance when sell

Posted on May 11, 2009

  • mike bare May 11, 2009

    another thought would be to put in a r22 out door unit 13 seer heat pump this really saves on gas use to go with your new coil they should get cheaper as the r 22 goes away the nu22 replacement gas works fine the new coil may be also rated for 410 try the 8000 stat you will love it seems that you have a good knowledge on hvac you could change it out your self and save some money good luck and thanks for a good rating



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