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Whoaru99

Drawbacks to high efficiency A/C?

8 posts in this topic

I'm considering completely (condenser unit, line set, and evaporator coil) replacing my ~25 yr (2 or 2.5 ton, I think) central A/C system.

I know the new ones are all going to be of higher efficiency than the existing unit, but besides higher initial cost, are there any disadvantages to the high and ultra high efficiency A/C systems?

For some reason I thought I read somewhere that the higher efficiency units did/do have some performance drawbacks, but I can't find anything that really talks about it.

Numbers look great on paper, but I want the darn thing to be good at what it does like remove humidity and cool the house.

Thoughts, opinions?

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I put in a 16 seer Goodman heat pump last year and am really happy with it. I did have the compressor (Copeland Scroll) blow out the electrical connection and lose all the freon but since almost all of them use this compressor it could happen to any of them. warranty on the machine paid for all repairs and it was back online within 48 hours. Consider getting a heat pump instead of just a A/C unit and you will reduce heating bills in the transition fall and spring time.

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I was wondering about the heat pump, but since I have dual fuel heating (electric and natual gas), and I get off peak rate on the electric (~0.038/kW-h) I wonder if the heat pump would even pay?

The pilot light on the furnace has not even been turned on in the last several years, it's been running on strictly electric heat (plenum heaters, using the furnace fan for distribution). Furnace is about the same age as the A/C so from a heating perspective, it's due too. The electric heat install is considerably newer, perhaps 8-10 years.

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I put a Trane hi efficiency 14 seer A/C (basically the best they had at the time) when I put new 92% Trane furnace in about 4 years ago. No problems with either one, and it is nice and cool, cools down right away. The DC motor and variable speed fan of the furnace works to keep no hotspots or cold spots in the house. 100% improvement over the previous 30 yo furnace and a/c we had.

In Monday morning quarter backing, I would have considered and maybe got a heat pump like DrKen did. At the time I wanted higher effificiency without breaking the bank. I think it really did pay off for me with the higher gas/electric charges, and now sort of thinking the heat pump might have helped even more.

Good luck, I would not be afraid of the high efficiency stuff. They come with decent warranties as well. Good luck.

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I put in a Bryant High eff. A/C about 4 years ago and have nothing but good things to say about it.

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For some reason I thought I read somewhere that the higher efficiency units did/do have some performance drawbacks, but I can't find anything that really talks about it.

Isn't that what efficiency is all about? Getting the best performance per the unit cost?

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you save on the use of the heat pump due to the fact that the heat pump doesnt use electricity to make heat, like the plenum heater does, it just moves it via the unit.

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Originally Posted By: Whoaru99

For some reason I thought I read somewhere that the higher efficiency units did/do have some performance drawbacks, but I can't find anything that really talks about it.

Isn't that what efficiency is all about? Getting the best performance per the unit cost?

In this regard, efficiency (SEER/EER) is getting the most cooling BTUs per unit energy.

Whether or not units with highest SEER / EER have drawbacks is my question. I guess I'm sort of old school in as much as one seldom gets something for nothing.

Think in terms of a Toyota Prius. Gets great gas mileage but doesn't tow a 5th wheel camper very well. That's the type of thing I'm looking for, what are the tradeoffs of a high SEER/EER A/C unit?

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