Any HVAC Techs Here?

~JM~

Wrinkled Member
#1
My folks need to replace the unit on their home. It is a 3 ton gas pack heating & cooling type of unit. I'm not familiar with this type of system. I've always had a split system with separate furnace & A/C units. Seeking advice on what brand & units to consider. Annual temperatures range from slightly below freezing, to slightly above 100 degrees. Dry high desert type of climate.

Thank you.
 

John Larkin

Sublime Master of Turbology
#2
Not a tech but did alot of research on mine. All in ones are called package units and they generally sit outside (in the desert I have seen them on the roof on some TV shows). From what I understood and bought, I got the all aluminum A/C coil so there was less corrosion than a copper/aluminum coil due to bi-metal reaction. For the heating side, I had no preference other than gas. I bought local for servicing reasons and went with Trane mostly due to brand recognition. Lower brands are Goodman, Gibson, Payne. Higher end are Trane, Lennox, Carrier, Amana. Do the research and get at least 3 quotes. They will be amazed at the pricing spread. Sears was almost double what I paid the Trane dealer and Lowes was around 30% higher.
 
#3
Gas/Electric units have been around a long time. Almost all retail buildings use this type of HVAC. The gas/electric units have come along way in efficiency ratings and added features. For years efficiency offerings were only base minimum and no premium features. Manufactures R&D all went toward the more common split system that is most seen in residential housing.
Many times it comes down to who is putting it in and will they be around to take care of maintenance and repairs.
Downside to the package unit is the airflow. They are required to supply and return air longer distances compared to a more centrally located split system. Proper duct systems are very important but get very little attention on a "change out" units. Sealing the ducts at the outdoor unit is real important .
A few considerations if your folks can afford to buy better than the base model. You should look for an indoor blower that uses an ECM motor. This motor is more efficient and stronger, having a better chance to overcome higher duct static pressures. Look for a 2 stage compressor, this is for better efficiency. Copeland scroll compressors are still the industry standard.
As the other post says stay away from some and look at the more known names. If someone in there area is a Ruud or Rheem dealer I would not hesitate to get a quote from them. That brand is good, but again who is doing it?
I can expand on any of this let me know. Cant help with pricing just application, install and service.