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Looking at a 3 Ton Single Stage AC Unit - What brands should I stay away from?

Have a few bids on units that are entry-level 3-ton ac unit and currently looking at a SEER 13 rating do to the unit only needing to run 3 to 4 months out of the year and only a couple of weeks getting over 100. However, I can't really find any information on unit construction quality and ease of repair unit set up and longevity. Wondering what you pros would put on your house in my situation. The house has been sized and all of the companies I am looking at have good reviews and long service records, but I really don't know what brands I should look at.

Comments

  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,075
    You're going to find people who love certain brands while others hate them.

    The install is by far the most important part.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Ironman
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,766
    what Chris says, try not to over think it. You have competent pros? You’re good to go. If your perfect system has issues a year from now, it’s not the manufacturer that’s gonna come fix it. Good luck
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
    CrashwatcherIronman
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,099
    I agree there is no sense going high efficiency in northern climates they don't get run enough to make a difference.

    As far as brands I prefer something without a microchannell coil
    IronmanSuperTech
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,505
    If a completely new installation or a retro fit installation ?? I also would not us a micro channel condensing unit and I would argue that even in northern climates I’m in New Jersey I never install anything lower then a 14 to 16 seer equipment better compressor warranty 10 years and generally mid seer units are quieter then lower entry level 13 seer stuff . As for brand I would stay away from builder grade stuff lux Aire , Coleman and some Goodman lower seer stuff. The most important part of the job is properly sized and externally insulated duct work ( no bubble wrap ) and that you do not end up w a total flex distrubition box install , dampers on all supply take offs , good quality air filtration systems and all supply and return duct work be properly sealed ,the ultimately most important thing is the installer . Just remember the sweeten of a cheaper price is soon forgotten after the bitterness of poor quality and usually poorly installed hvac cost more to operate and even more to re do properly and never perform or provide the comfort they should . Do as much research about both the equiptment and the installer . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,450
    edited May 17
    The installing contractor makes or breaks the job

    How did you determine 3-Tons?Can the duct work handle that volume of air flow?
    Ironman
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,766
    > @pecmsg said:
    > The installing contractor makes or breaks the job
    >
    > How did you determine 3-Tons?Can the duct work handle that volume of air flow?

    Now you’re getting into the weeds😬
    we did a change out in March—- went from 5 ton to 3 ton. Customer wasn’t stoked about my plan (big step down in capacity) but because he knows I know my stuff, he signed the dotted line.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,099
    Location matters.
    In the northeast people tend to oversize. We don't turn the ac on in May and leave it on until September it's on-off operation depending on the weather.

    Down south they probably start them in April and run into October and do large houses with small tonnage and someone from down there would be horrified at the tonnage that gets installed up here
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,075
    > @EBEBRATT-Ed said:
    > Location matters.
    > In the northeast people tend to oversize. We don't turn the ac on in May and leave it on until September it's on-off operation depending on the weather.
    >
    > Down south they probably start them in April and run into October and do large houses with small tonnage and someone from down there would be horrified at the tonnage that gets installed up here

    I'm in northern NJ and my AC is on all spring, summer and often in the fall.
    I did 3 ton 2 stage in 1600sqft.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,099
    @ChrisJ

    Many around here run the ac when it's hot and when it cools down they shut it off. My sister used to drive me nuts telling me her 3 ton system wasn't large enough. She had $$$$ but too cheap to run it. Turns out she would keep the house closed up tight and about 2-3pm the house would become unbearable so she would start it then it couldn't catch up.

    So people tend to oversize to pull the load down. Not right but that's the way it is
    ChrisJ
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,450

    @ChrisJ

    Many around here run the ac when it's hot and when it cools down they shut it off. My sister used to drive me nuts telling me her 3 ton system wasn't large enough. She had $$$$ but too cheap to run it. Turns out she would keep the house closed up tight and about 2-3pm the house would become unbearable so she would start it then it couldn't catch up.

    So people tend to oversize to pull the load down. Not right but that's the way it is

    There is a reason commercial buildings are very cold 1st thing in the morning. We need to get rid of the heat before it gets in there.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,075
    > @pecmsg said:
    > (Quote)
    > There is a reason commercial buildings are very cold 1st thing in the morning. We need to get rid of the heat before it gets in there.

    Pre-cooling eh?

    I often do that at time if it's going to be really hot out
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Member Posts: 119
    Commercial will also do that to reduce peak demand. Can avoid firing up an auxiliary chiller (Might be a less an older model or a less efficient rotary rather than a centrifugal) for example. Totally different.

    Most all homes up north have oversized equipment. Just how it is. I think at some point they figure, “hell if it has a 3 ton blower might as well at least put in 2.5 gallons tons. If it has a 5 ton blower, need at least 3.5.

    Of course the furnace too is oversized. Even in new construction which you’d think since it was clean sheet design they’d get it right. I swapped out a 100k 80% for a 40k 96% in a home I lived at in Michigan. Was on the more mild west coast, design temp was only I think 12F for starters. House was well insulated, fairly tight and only 2100sqft, basement insulated. Still recovered 3F and cycled on a 2F morning. I put in a 2 stage 2 ton heat pump to go with it. Replaced the 2.5ton the builders put in.


    As for brand. IT was a Goodman. Cabinet is a LOT cheaper construction than most. Fins on the condenser were super thin. Only time I;v bent fins washing the coil that I can remember Other than a Nordyne/Coleman mobile home junk. Those bent just looking at them. They also dissolve in dog urine.
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