For the past 15 or so years, a 4-ton Trane XL1200 provided cooling and heating comfort to Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Christopherson of Castroville, TX. When that unit’s days were over, he told Tim Bruce that he wanted to replace it with another Trane unit, because of the expectation of continued durability.

Additionally, he wanted a high-efficiency system that would qualify for the local utility rebate program. The thought of being able to even the temperature throughout the home was equally important, as well as stopping cold air leaking from ducts in the attic. The General Air Conditioning team delivered, meeting those requests, and adding a little sugar on top.

Options Make the Sale
It’s nice to have a customer who knows what they want. In this case, Mr. Christopherson was devoted to Trane products. Tim Bruce, president, General Air Conditioning, of nearby San Antonio, not only is a Trane dealer; he says he won the project in part because he offered options previously unknown to these homeowners.

“He had a bid from the company that was servicing the old unit. But he liked our presentation and solution," Bruce says.

Most attractive to the Christophersons was the fact that Bruce offered options — zoning and variable speed products — that he was not aware were available, and that the other contractor failed to offer. And, Bruce says, they offered a mid-tier product.

Options work. “Not everyone is researching HVAC products, and when I present solutions with zoning and variable speed systems, their eyes are opened. Sometimes you get the job by being different, by offering new options for comfort,” Bruce says.

The General Air team needed four days to remove the old Trane system and install the new 19.25 SEER/12.5 EER system. Bruce’s team of Victoria Sanchez, Clara Santillan, Sarah Walraven and new employee Jaime Rosas, have a total of 31 years of experience, and they brought knowledge and professionalism to the project.

Properly Sized System
The customer also planned on installing solar in the home after the air conditioning was replaced to save even more energy. 

General Air was able to show the customer how his old system was not functioning at full capacity. As Bruce has often found in homes, the existing system was one ton too large.

Not only that, duct leakage resulted in about 4 tons of delivery from a 5-ton system.

“It was pretty straightforward once we designed the system around the environment. We completed a load calculation and found we could resize the system down,” Bruce says. They correctly sized the equipment for the home — which will save on installation and lifetime operating costs — and verified the system was working at capacity upon completion of the job.

The load calculation was done using Wrightsoft MJ7 and the ductwork was tested before and after the job using the Enalays system.

“By doing the calculations it eases their concern over getting a smaller system,” Bruce says.

The smaller-size system, combined with a variable speed blower and variable speed compressor also reduced noise levels by a significant amount.


So why is Tim Bruce a Trane dealer?

“It’s their reputation for being a good product,” he says. “Their aluminum coils are a benefit because they don’t leak, which is the main reason we had to replace the old unit. The older copper coils develop formicary corrosion, which causes leaks to develop. I believe there are fewer solder joints as well.

“The local distributor, an independent Trane distributor — Ince Distribution — is much better than many others, for parts and support.”

Zoning Advantage
What’s not to like about a perfectly-zoned comfort system? Multi-zone systems are becoming more popular as technology changes, such as the XV20 variable speed system, that can match the compressor and fan speed to the load, including load-by-zone, saving the customer energy and providing the best comfort in the home with low maintenance costs and long term reliability.

“We installed a pair of TFM235 PerfectFit media filters to keep the system clean and only require replacing every six months versus standard one-inch filters being changed monthly,” Bruce shares. “The Trane XV heat pump system has 700 levels or increments of speed that allow the system to run only as much as the load throughout the day requires, keeping humidity low and filtering the air for long periods at very slow speed.”

General Air Conditioning met the challenges this project presented. It was able to show how the customer’s old system wasn’t operating at full capacity. They correctly sized the equipment for the home, and verified that the system was working at capacity once the job was done.

Tim Bruce and team also showed how to capitalize on trends.

“Multi-zone systems are becoming more popular, as technology changes, such as the XV20 variable speed system. It can match the compressor and fan speed to the load, including load-by-zone, saving the customer energy and providing the best comfort in the home, with low maintenance costs and long term reliability,” Bruce concludes.

He also showed how important it is that contractors offer options, make customers aware of trends and new comfort products, and provide the highest efficiency product they can find. Congratulations to General Air Conditioning!