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gotoman for ac
gotoman for ac, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 4999
Experience:  51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
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I have a 24 year old Trane furnace and air conditioner. I

Customer Question

I have a 24 year old Trane furnace and air conditioner. I was told that I have a leaking valve in the compressor (in the air conditioner). They tell me that it likely won't make it through the heat of July and August. I'm starting to get estimates for a new air conditioner. Should I get the furnace replaced at the same time (even though I just had it checked out and was told it's in good shape)? I'm thinking that it probably makes sense to replace both (I wanted an unbiased opinion). thanks.  P.S.  Are there specific brands I should definately consider or brands I should stay away from?


Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  gotoman for ac replied 5 years ago.

gotoman for ac :

Trane has an exellent furnace with great warranty and factory support. Carrier has a good furnace but has problems with heat exchangers. Rheem has an exellent furnace and condensing unit for a medium priced unit. Stay away from York,Goodman,Amana,Luxaire. Choose berween Rheem and Trane. This choice comes from working on these units for 48 years and the comparing the amount of service calls with other systems. Russ


Thanks Russ. I take from your answer that you feel I should also replace my furnace along with the air conditioner. Is that accuract?


What about Lennox? Can you tell me what about York specifically that is not good? I have a very positive and many year relationship with a man who has worked in the industry for 30+ years and own his own business for the last 11. He is recommending York. He has saved me a lot of money over the years by fixing simple things on my furnace and air cond. that others have told me needed to be completely replaced. I trust him, but also understand that he may be getting a discount on York and that's why he pushes that brand.

Expert:  gotoman for ac replied 5 years ago.
I have had problems with furnace boards with York and Luxaire. If you trust the man and he will service what he sells buy the York. Just make sure you get the exended warranty. It will come down to a good installation when you are choosing a dealer. Russ
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Russ. Thanks for the updates. I have several follow up questions. 1) Should I replace the furnace if only the air conditioner is apparently having the problem? They are both 24 years old,... What do you think? 2) Does a leaking valve in the air compressor sound like a real issue that a 24 yr. old machine would have? 3) If it's really leaking, does that likely mean that it will not make it through the hottest months of the year here in Idaho (July and August)? 4) Assuming I replace both, is there a minimum efficiency level that I should look for in a furnace (like 92% or higher)? 5) Should I get a furnace with a two-stage burner rather than single-stage? 6) Should I get a variable speed blower? 7) Should I pay extra for an electronic air filter or should that come standard on any good machine? 8) If you have to pay extra, is it worth the cost and how much additional is reasonable? 9) What would you think is a minimum BTU level for a 2000 sq. ft. single level home? 10) Should I get a two-stage air conditioner? 11) What would you suggest as a minimum SEER rating or Ton capacity, again for a 2000 sq. ft. single level home? 12) What is a standard warranty that should come with any good equipment (10 years parts and labor)? 13) You recommended that I get an extended warranty if I purchase the York equipment. What does an extended warranty cover? 14) What should I expect an extended warranty mgiht cost?


Russ, Sorry for all of the questions, but as you can tell, I don't know a lot about this field and appreciate your expertise and guidance.

Expert:  gotoman for ac replied 5 years ago.
Yes it could have possible leaking valve. Sometimes you have tech that will tell you this to sell you some new equipment. If it is cooling now let it run. Not going to st anymore for a new system if it fails. You should get a furnace with a two stage varriable speed. Electronic air filter are good if you have alergens. They work but they are high maintainance and need to be serviced often. With the old unit you have just going to a 13 seer would make a large difference. Do not go bigger than a 15 seer unit . With the varriable speed it will get 16 seer. anything above 15 seer the payback is not there. If your heating and cooling system is working do not go larger than what you have now. Any dealer should do a manual J heat load calculation on your home begore they sell you a unit. I do Manual J calcs on all my installs. You are going to get a 10 year warranty on parts and compressor. The exended warranty is for thew labor for 10 years usually about 700.00. Worth the money. Russ
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I'm only getting partial answers to my questions. I finally numbered each question hoping that Russ would be inclinded to answer them all, but he just hit the hightlights. I would like to start over and ask someone else all of the questions I've written.
Expert:  gotoman for ac replied 5 years ago.
!. Yes 24 years is time to change both pieces of equipment. 2. Air Conditioning compressors do loose efficiency. Approx. 20% after 10 years of service. Honeywell servey.3. If valves are leaking it will be less efficient like I said. It may make it thru the summer hard to say. I would have to take readings such as pressure and amperage. 4. On furnace efficiency I would get minimum 90% or more. The saving are very high from 80% to a 90+ unit.5. Yes get a furnace with a two stage gas valve. Once home is at temp it will run low fire most of the time. Also has a better comfort level. 6. A varriable speed blower is a must. Most all two stage gas furnaces come with varriable speed blower. Comfort level much higher. Also very quiet operation.7. Electronic air cleaners are an option they do not come with furnace. If you are having problems with alergies then get the electronic air cleaner. I have one and would not be without it. Also consider a UV light for mold and air born germs. I use both.8.Electronic air cleaners are about 1100.00 average.9. You would need a heat load calculation but Heating 100,000 Btu's.10. A two stage is not nessesary in your area. You are not dealing with very high humidity like in the southern US. 11. 13 seer is the minimum you can buy. I would install higher than a 15 seer in your home. Payback on the extra cost is not there.12. 10 year parts is pretty much standard anymore. Labor warranty extra.13. The parts are covered on standard warranty but labor is not. The exended warranty covers the labor cost. If you have to change compressor that is usually 600 to 700 depending on location but the warranty covers the labor. Nothing out of pocket for you for 10 years.14. Exended warranty average cost about 700.00. Russ
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Russ. That really helps. I appreciate your taking the time to lay out the information for me.
Expert:  gotoman for ac replied 5 years ago.
You are welcome. Russ