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A/C coolant requirements, replacing both units

We need to replace our inside Trane air handler due to the coil having a leak. (installed 2001) When giving us an estimate for a new unit we were told that due to new gov't coolant regulations that if our outside a/c unit (Carrier heat pump installed 2003) should fail in a year or more we would again have to replace this inside unit again because the new outside unit not be compatible it.. They are recommending we replace both at this time or at least within the year. I would like to verify that this info is correct. Also, this service company has many great reviews, but only sells Trane. Any comments on Trane or recommendations on other systems we should look at first. We don't have a lot of time to look because it is already hot here in TX and we are without a/c. Thank you.

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  • walshk May 14, 2009

    Water leaking from either hot water heater or furnace/air conditioning unit

  • Linday May 15, 2009

    Thank you very much. That helped a lot. I have since gotten an estimate on Carrier and we are seriously considering it.

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That is true, what the company told you, due to the gov't upping the minimum S.E.E.R rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) it is heavily recommended by everyone in this field to replace both. It is a lot of money in this economy to do this but your energy savings in time will pay for it, I'm a Carrier kind of guy personally and with the new tax credits the government is giving for energy saving the Carrier Infinity which is the Cadillac of A/C units, is very cheap. Plus from experience it has saved my customers up to 65% on their electric bills

Posted on May 14, 2009

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Yes and no. The government isn't requiring you to replace the unit with a more efficient unit. They requiring that A/C manufactures produce units at least 13 seer or above so A/C installers will not be able to get a unit to match your old units after all stock is sold about. This will happen in the next year or so. If you try and replace your old inside or outside unit with a newer 13 seer they are not compatible and it will not work very good. It may even burn the old or new unit out and cost you even more $$$$$$$ in the long run. The one you have now is probably about 10 or 12 seer since it was installed in 2001. The old equipment is still available to match yours, you just need to find somebody that is able to get it for you before all old equipment is sold out. Some of the large cities like Dallas Fort Worth areas of Texas are almost sold out of older equipment that is needed to match yours. But the equipment is still around if you check smaller populated areas or check Ebay for a 10 or 12 seer unit to match yours. Some A/C companies will not install the older equipment at all even if it's available. You are better going with a new inside and outside unit 13 seer or above to be safe. Also R-22 refrigerent will be phased out soon so you need to go with a system that uses R-410A to be even safer. Even if the new unit is 13 seer make sure it uses 410A refrigerent. They are still making the newer 13 seer and above units using R-22 refrigerent. 410A should be around for another 100 years or more. Trane is good equipment. So is Carrier, Reem, and Ruud equipment. If you take an A/C unit apart you will find they are all made of just about the same exact parts from the same manufacturer (and Made in Mexico) so don't be fooled into spending $1,000 more on a unit just because of the name but only if it's more effeicient. By buying a unit 13 or higher (14,15,16,17,18) you are sure to save on your electric bill compared to the older units before 2006. Another thing to take into consideration is that the larger copper tubing that connects your outside unit to the inside needs to be larger (at least 1 inch) or you will not get the energy savings on the newer units. So you will need to change the larger copper tubing out if it's not bigger then 1. The smaller tubing needs to be at least 3/8". Hope this helps.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009

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