Can I Attach a 5-ton Condenser to a 3-ton Coil? - Ask the Expert Episode 270

Today's question comes from Darrel.

"Hey Dan, what would I have to do to make a 5-ton condenser work with a 3-ton coil?"

Air conditioning units are measured in tons. But that's not how much they weigh. One ton doesn't literally weigh 2,000 pounds. Generally, you want to match a 5-ton condenser with a 5-ton air handler or coil. There is some leeway, like a 3-ton condenser to a 3.5 air handler.

The short answer is, you can't. A good tech might be able to get it to work with like a TXV, but you are going to be bottle-necked at the 3-ton. There is no way you will get 5-ton capacity after that. It will mess up your warranty and your efficiency will be off.

My advice is don't mix and match equipment. I don't see any benefit to it.

4 comments (view/add)
  • Bryan
    Posted on 3/9/2022

    I have put a larger evap coil with a smaller condensing unit many times and the pressures are fine and works great.. The only reason i did that was because the larger coil matched my plenum better so I went with a larger size. The one thing you must do is put the matching piston in the evap coil to match the condenser, other wise your going to have upset home owners calling cause they say it's not cooling. Say you put a 5 ton evap coil with a 3 ton cond. your not trying to get 5 ton capacity, only 3 ton capacity, it does work and I have done it with no call backs.

  • Rick Bell
    Rick Bell
    Posted on 9/12/2021

    Space is the only reason I would see someone down sizing a evap coil. I've also heard you can use a 5 ton Cond. and a 4 ton evapcoil...simply because the difference is the 4 and 5 ton evap are the same size. The only difference is blower speed between the 4 ton evap fan and the 5 ton fan.

  • Mac Taylor
    Mac Taylor
    Posted on 8/3/2021

    Hey Dan
    Can you explain the practical difference between SEER and CEER. For Example, how much more efficient is a ductless mini split with a SEER rating of 20 than a window AC unit with a CEER of 15? What kind of energy savings are you looking at?
    Throw in an explanation of HSPF if you want!

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/4/2021

    CEER is for window units. SEER is for other stuff. CEER combines the efficiency while running and while on standby. SEER measures cooling efficiency over an entire season. It is generally recommended to combine SEER to SEER and CEER to CEER. So while you can't really compare the different ratings to one another, what you could look at is the AHRI estimated operating costs of two different units. HSPF is Heating Season Performance Factor. It's used to measure heat pump efficiency, and higher is better.

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