Regarding "Keep Cool and Save Electricity This Summer" by Lynn O'Dell (June 3): My experience, two years ago, in replacing a 35-year-old gas heater and a 30-year-old 3-ton air-conditioning system with the newest and highest-efficiency units of SEER 15 was disastrous. My problems were:
* Gas and electricity usage did not decrease.
* Maintenance costs for the heater, after the one-year labor warranty ran out, have included several electronic devices (of which there are many)--replacement at $250 per trip. (Our old heater never required any maintenance except cleaning and filter replacement.)
* The high-efficiency heater, which is next to our bedroom, sounds like an aircraft's after-burner. The burner is constructed of sheet metal, unlike the cast-iron unit in our old heater--can you imagine the labor cost of replacing the burner?