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Question DetailsAsked on 1/23/2015

what should i be paying for a 4 ton carrier 16/18 seer two speed a/c unit in florida?

I got a price for a 4 ton Carrier 14 SEER single speed of 6776 and one for a Carrier 4 ton 16/18 SEER two speed of 8764 approx, these a/c units both include heat pumps. The prices are including a store installers discount and the minimal FPL rebate. I am upgrading from a basic 4 ton 10 SEER Carrier. I have limited time to make a decision as the stores discount is about to expire. Is it worth it to pay the additional 2k for electric bill savings and quietness. The unit is on the 2nd floor of my home. Installer told me that their techs are some of the highest paid. Want to go with the store because of their 84 month financing but don't know if price is worth it. Includes changing things for the upgraded Freon that is now being used, building a base, insulating the area, replacing the concrete slab from 2005, pulling the permit and some other things.

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2 Answers


16/18 SEER ? The system only has one SEER number,so I'd check on that. Say it 16 SEER the increase over 14 will say,butit will take years to get the extra money back.

The two speed is worth the extra here in Swampy Florida, if they are including the Thermidistat or Infinity Control ( thermostat). With the correct control, you will be able to lower the humidity in your home more then a single sppeed,the comfort is great, and most people find they can raise the indoor temperatur 2 to 3 degrees , which saves on your electric bill even more.

Carrier also has variable speed system, that are even better at lowering the indoor humidity!


Answered 5 years ago by BayAreaAC


An average air conditioner costs about $250-500/year for electricity, depending primarily on how hot an area you are in and average cooling season humidity. A 16/18 SEER unit (lets say 17 on average) should use about 14/17 as much energy as a 14 SEER unit, so you annual energy savings would be about $45-90/year, assuming $0.10/KWHr cost of electricity (you can proportion up or down depending on your actual incremental power rate, not including any flat monthly billing charges such as basic service charge or flat as opposed to % regulatory fees). Therefore, for energy savings to pay off the $1988 added cost of the more efficient unit would take about 22-44 years assuming zero percent time value of your up-front money - significantly longer if you put a value on your money or would be borrowing to fund the purchase, like it sounds like, so your actual payback including value of money could be closer to 30-50 years- FAR longer than the expected life of the unit, so probably no deal. This is a typical payback range, as the higher efficiency units commony do not pay off their greater cost in energy savings except in the most severe A/C climates. Generally speaking, in BROAD terms, SEER ratings of 13 are considered suitable for northern and mountain and northeast regions, 14 minimum for most southern regions including Florida, and 15 for extreme air conditioning conditions. For more info, you can find details and region maps at the EnergyStar website.

As for the noise issue, with your second story location you should compare the listed decibel ratings on the two units - though I would doubt they are significantly different, and you could make a lot more difference (and cheapear) by adding a proper sound barrier between the house and the unit than by buying a different unit.

You talk about replacing a 2005 concrete slab - that is short life for a slab, but whatever. But a slab on the second story of your house ? Or is your house set into the hillside so a unit at ground level behind the houser is actually at the second story ?

BTW, BayAreaAC - welcome to the new 2015 DOE EnergyStar reporting standard, which actually makes sense - two-speed units and variable speed units are now going to have to report two different SEER numbers rather than one averaged one - one for each speed, or one for highest and one for lowest speed, as applies. I have seen this split designation appearing in literature for a couple of months now.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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