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Monthly Archives: April 2017

  • Rheem Heat Pump Prices: Understanding Price Differences Between Split Systems and Packaged Units


    Rheem is a well-respected heat pump supplier, and its 14 SEER-rated heat pumps are some of the most popular on the market today. However, price differences can leave you scratching your head. What accounts for the cost discrepancies between split systems and packaged units? Consider the following cost comparisons for 14 SEER-rated Rheem heat pumps with different cooling capacities:*

    2 Ton Rheem Heat Pump:

    Split System: $1,925numbers-money-calculating-calculation

    Packaged Unit: $2,775

    2.5 Ton Rheem Heat Pump:

    Split System: $1,983

    Packaged Unit: $2,804

    3 Ton Rheem Heat Pump:

    Split System: $2,130

    Packaged Unit: $3,087

    3.5 Ton Rheem Heat Pump:

    Split System: $2,248

    Packaged Unit: $3,532

    4 Ton Rheem Heat Pump:

    Split System: $2,449

    Packaged Unit: $3,762

    5 Ton Rheem Heat Pump:

    Split System: $2,669

    Packaged Unit: $3,892

    *Figures approximated for clarity.

    At each cooling capacity level, the price for the packaged unit is considerably higher. Why does the packaged unit cost more from the same brand? Is the packaged version better, and is it worth paying more? To answer these questions, it is necessary to consider some of the aspects of packaged units and split system heat pumps.

    Installation Costs

    One of the benefits of a packaged unit is that it isn’t hard to install. Because the condenser, compressor and evaporator are all encompassed into a compact cabinet, it doesn’t take much to find an adequate location -- usually near the foundation of a building or on the roof -- and install the unit. As a result, installation costs are low.

    In contrast, a split system heat pump requires expert installation, and it is much more time-consuming and labor-intensive. That’s because the different parts of the unit must be laid out and configured in a way that maximizes energy efficiency. If the installation is performed poorly, your system will operate much less efficiently than a compact unit with the same 14 SEER efficiency rating. Therefore, despite the lower upfront cost of split systems, the installation costs are higher than for packaged units.

    Durability

    Because they are located outside, packaged units must be able to stand up to the perils of the great outdoors. For instance, the cabinet exterior must be durable enough to protect the water-sensitive components of the heat pump from rain and snow. The best packaged units also make it difficult for animals to get into the unit and build nests in the warm environment or chew through the wires. When you account for the added costs of fortifying a heat pump against the elements, it makes sense that it costs more.

    In contrast, a split system heat pump is comprised of two cabinets: an outdoor cabinet, which contains the condenser, and an indoor cabinet, which contains some of the electrical components that are more sensitive to water damage and animal abuse. Because the indoor cabinet can be placed in a basement or attic, it won’t be vulnerable to the same harsh conditions as a packaged unit, so it doesn’t need as much external protection.

    When comparing Rheem’s packaged unit and split system heat pumps that have the same 14-SEER ratings and cooling capacities, cost discrepancies can be explained by the different ways in which these systems work. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your budget and the needs of your building. For more help figuring out which is best for you, and to find the lowest-priced Rheem products on the market, contact National Air Warehouse today.

  • Choosing Between Air Conditioners with Single Stage and Two Stage Compressors

    When considering air conditioner options, the question of whether to choose a unit with a single stage or two stage compressor inevitably arises. The answer depends on a wide range of factors. In order to figure out which one works best for you, it can be helpful to have an idea of how each one works and what might make you want to choose one over the other.

    The Mechanics of Single Stage and Two Stage Compressors

    Fundamentally, the difference between single stage and two stage air compressors is the process by which the air is compressed within the air conditioning unit in order to generate the power needed for operation. In a single stage air compressor, the air is drawn into the cylinder and compressed to about 120 psi in a single piston stroke. From there, it is transferred to a storage chamber. In contrast, there is an extra step in this process for two stage compressors. After the initial compression in the first cylinder, the air is moved to a second, slightly smaller cylinder where there is another piston stroke, this one at about 175 psi. Only then is the air transferred to the storage tank, where it is ready to be used to power the air conditioning unit.

    What Does That Mean for the Air Conditioning Unit?

    Operationally, this means that a single stage air conditioner only works at one level. Any time the temperature in your building exceeds the temperature at which you set your thermostat, the air conditioner automatically runs until the set temperature has been reached. Then, it turns off until the temperature rises again.

    But with a two stage air compressor, the air conditioner can work at two speeds. When temperatures start to rise, the air conditioner runs on low speed, maintaining a mild environment. Only when conditions really start to heat up does the high level of operation kick in.

    Evaluating the Benefits and Drawbacks of Air Conditioners with Single Stage and Two Stage Air Compressors

    When making the final decision between an air conditioner with a single stage compressor and one with a two stage compressor, there are a few key factors to consider, including:

    • Efficiency. Because they can run at two different levels, air conditioners with two stage compressors operate more efficiently than single stage compressors, especially when temperatures are warm, but not blazing.
    • Upfront cost. Although choosing an air conditioner with a two stage compressor may be able to save you money in the long run by working more efficiently, upfront costs for air conditioning units with single stage compressors are typically lower.
    • Maintenance and repair. Two stage air compressors have a longer lifespan than single stage compressors, so they need to be replaced less frequently. At the same time, it is easier to conduct routine maintenance on single stage compressors, and they are less expensive to replace.

    Ultimately, the decision to choose an air conditioner with a single stage compressor or a two stage compressor depends on the needs of your building, as well as your personal preferences and budgetary constraints. Both are great options for different users.

  • How do Your Home or Business HVAC Costs Compare to Others?

    It's sometimes difficult to determine if your building's heating and cooling costs are appropriate. The costs are dependent on multiple factors, like the type of fuel used, the square footage of the business or home and the weather in the area. The average cost for heating a 1200 square foot home in Florida is very different than heating a house of the same size in North Dakota. However, knowing if your building is above or below average can impact your decisions in upgrading, replacing or improving your HVAC system. A home that has higher than average energy costs may benefit from an upgrade to the heating and cooling systems.

    The U.S. Energy Star site provides a calculator for comparing your building's energy cost to others. To use the calculator, you'll have to provide the following:

    • Zip code
    • Building Square Footage
    • Number of full-time occupants
    • Types of fuels used in the home
    • Last 12 months of utility bills

    With this information, the Energy Star calculator is able to give insight into the efficiency of the heating and cooling in a home or business location. Other everyday utility uses, like hot water, appliances and lighting are separated. Finding 12 months worth of energy bills may require some work. However, some utilities may provide a shortcut called "Green Button." This is a file that stores your utility data. It can simply be uploaded to the Energy Star calculator in place of the 12 months of utility bills. If your utility sums the last year's worth of energy costs, that is also a good shortcut.

    The Energy Star calculator will give the building a score between 1 and 10. Lower scores imply that the home or business location could benefit from an improvement in the heating and cooling system. The calculator also provides an estimate for how much money could be saved by upgrading the heating and cooling to a level 10 (the most efficient.) For those interested in the environmental impact of their building's HVAC system, the calculator also provides a sum of how much pollution is generated. An efficient home typically generates pollution similar to what one car creates. A monthly energy use graph is also generated to show the building's energy expenditure over time.

    While there is a general rule of thumb that says to replace HVAC equipment more than 10 years old, home and business owners can get more insight into their building's efficiency through tools like the Energy Star calculator. A low score implies that the system could benefit from an upgrade. A higher score may mean that minimal improvements, like improving the ducting insulation, could be appropriate to reduce energy costs.

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