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New Goodman HVAC Unit

Old 03-11-2009, 06:55 AM
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Default New Goodman HVAC Unit

I'm sure there are some HVAC experts on here so I though I would solicit some comments. I am in need of a new HVAC unit and I was wondering if Goodman units are good quality? I currently have an older Goodman that has bit the dust , but the service company says that Goodman quality has been greatly improved since they were bought by Amanaa. Does $7700 installed for a 5 Ton (A/C & Heat Pump), 14 SEER unit sound about right? The job will include running some new ducts, a new drip pan, new float switch, and removal of old equipment. Backed with a lifetime compressor warranty, 10 year parts, and 10 year labor warranties. Any opinions?
Old 03-11-2009, 07:18 AM
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Seems a little pricey to me when you can get the system on ebay for around 2500. Not sure how much other work you're getting done though. A few friends and myself have been doing the ebay thing for several systems...buy the unit and have somebody install on the side. Most straight replacement installations have been done for about $500 in labor. You won't have warranty for labor but if you get someone to install correctly, there should be very little work needed in the short term.
Old 03-11-2009, 07:27 AM
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Loss the price and post your question here. http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/

in the residential section.

I saw a scapel on Ebay for just under $10.00 for DIYers also.

I would also add have the job permitted and inspected.
Old 03-11-2009, 07:43 AM
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So HVAC is equivelant to surgery? Did you spend 10 years in HVAC school and residency?

More than any other field, HVAC people despise the DIY folks. $7700 for that job sounds like unlubricated anal rape to me. I replaced my own 4ton SEER 10 compressor and evaporator for $700 4 years ago. Cools like a champ.

Wanna see the HVAC guys throw a snot-blowing fit? I also took the online test and got my EPA card so I can buy R-22 at Johnstone Supply.
Old 03-11-2009, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by t5killer View Post
I am in need of a new HVAC unit and I was wondering if Goodman units are good quality? I currently have an older Goodman that has bit the dust , but the service company says that Goodman quality has been greatly improved since they were bought by Amana. Does $7700 installed for a 5 Ton (A/C & Heat Pump), 14 SEER unit sound about right? The job will include running some new ducts, a new drip pan, new float switch, and removal of old equipment. Backed with a lifetime compressor warranty, 10 year parts, and 10 year labor warranties. Any opinions?
It's difficult to say without knowing how extensive the duct modifications are. But the price sounds on the high side. Some of that cost is in the 10 year labor warranty, which is not something standard with Goodman. Goodman warranties the parts for 10 years, not labor. Are you confident this installer will be around for 10 years to stand behind that labor warranty? The Goodman units are fine, will last a long time, and their warranty is very good. IMO, Trane equipment is top of the line and better built from an overall construction standpoint, but the internal parts are pretty much the same. Make sure you are getting a SSZ14 (Puron) or GSH14 (R22) true 14 SEER outside unit, and not a 13 SEER series outside unit paired with a larger air handler to achieve a 14 SEER rating. That's a trick some el cheapo installers pull to save themselves a few bucks. Spend $75 extra and have the installer install the optional TEV on your inside unit and you will benefit from greater efficiency. Make sure your line set is upgraded to the tubing sizes specified in the installation manual. Another el cheapo trick is to reuse the old line set (tubing between the indoor and outdoor units) which is probably undersized for the new unit if it is more than five years old. That reduces efficiency. Require the installer to use a White-Rogers thermostat and you will be assured of getting a good one instead of the cheap junk most install. The cost difference is about $10, and no, the other one your installer will want to use is not just as good. Ask your installer about variable speed vs. single speed air handlers. The cost difference is a couple hundred dollars, but of course many try to upsell it as a $1000 upgrade.

Get several bids, and stay away from Rheem/Rudd equipment. My 2 cents.
Old 03-11-2009, 09:11 AM
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itwonder:

Thanks for the info. No, I do not know if the installation compnay will be around 10 years from now, but they are a medium to large size company that has multiple technicians, so I feel a little better about using them than joe blow's a/c service. I checked the BBB and they are an accredited member. I have 3 other companies coming today to give estimates. What is a TEV unit?? Good advice about the copper tubing, I'll have to ask about that. Any other advice??????????
Old 03-11-2009, 09:19 AM
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In my opinion...way high.

I had my 5 ton with gas furnace replaced 2 years ago. Prices ranged from $3,500 to about $9,000 depending on contractor and equipment.

Ended up going with Goodman and having all my ducts re-insulated for $3,500. No complaints. Heats and cools very well.

They also had to take the old gas furnace apart to get it out from under the house.
Old 03-11-2009, 09:25 AM
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Expansion valve. All new systems have returned to that system. Goodman is regarded as low line stuff here..kinda basic. However, to me, simple is better. I like copper coils, limited solid state controls.

alot of the cost involves how easy it is to access and service your equipment. Is the air handler buried in the attic?
Old 03-11-2009, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Expansion valve. All new systems have returned to that system. Goodman is regarded as low line stuff here..kinda basic. However, to me, simple is better. I like copper coils, limited solid state controls.

alot of the cost involves how easy it is to access and service your equipment. Is the air handler buried in the attic?

Yep, the air handler is in the attic. I will probably have to lay down some plywood just to make it easier to access.
Old 03-11-2009, 02:30 PM
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#1 Goodman bought Amana not the other way around. While their product quality has improved a bunch in recent years, it's by no means top notch stuff. They still bring bus loads of Mexicans across the border every day to work each shift at the factory in Texas.

#2 If you want the best product Trane is a good bet. They use some different materials in construction of their equipment than most others and their compressor is spoken of highly throughout the HVAC industry. From my standpoint as an HVAC business owner I like Tranes warranty policy the best of any company I deal with and we sell several brands, Goodman included

#3 If the price sounds high I'd get a couple more bids. It can't hurt. Pay attention to the guy especially if he's the person doing the installation. How's he dressed, what's he driving, brush up on some the technical side of A/C work and ask him questions, ask for references, length of time in the trade etc.

#4 Here's the biggy!! The main thing you want to look for is very difficult to qualify and that's the expertise of the installer. HVAC manufacturers and companies are about a dime a dozen but a good one is worth it's weight in gold. For example, the compressor on the A/C unit works best at a very specific superheat or subcooling number. Very Very Very few companies in my neck of the woods (Michigan) even know how to check it let alone adjust the refrigerant charge accordingly. Your A/C will work with a charge that's not dialed in and you probably won't even know the difference unless it's way off. But the thing is the unit will consume more, maybe much more electricity than it would if charged up correctly. Costs you serious $$.$$ over the life of the unit and you won't have any way of knowing unless there are operational failures.

The point is it's the installer more than the equipment that makes a difference in operating efficiency and product life. Hire someone based on that. I'd rather have a mediocre product installed well than top of the line stuff installed half assed.

#5 You may want to investigate equipment that uses R-410 refrigerant and R-22 begins phase out next year. That can lead to problems ($$.$$) down the road.
Old 03-11-2009, 02:50 PM
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Variable speed fan coil will make all the difference esp. if it can dehumidify with out lowering your temp setpoint in your house, it can also extend heat pumping temp range without the aid of strip heat thus enhancing your HSPF rating. I second the R-410a refer. What is the lifetime of the lifetime compressor warranty? Price seems abit steep---where I am located we'll do a fairly difficult attic job with vs fan coil Carrier equipment for about 6,500.00. Dont know the extent of your ducting... This is also the best season for replacement. Most comps. are slow and will price match.

PS.. paying some billy bob on the side will prob. cost more down the road. Finding someone to warranty a hack job will be almost impossible. Make sure who ever installs has insurace and all licensing. If some jack ass puts his foot thru your ceiling you wouldnt want to pay for it would you?
Old 03-11-2009, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by CopyKat View Post
So HVAC is equivelant to surgery? Did you spend 10 years in HVAC school and residency?

More than any other field, HVAC people despise the DIY folks. $7700 for that job sounds like unlubricated anal rape to me. I replaced my own 4ton SEER 10 compressor and evaporator for $700 4 years ago. Cools like a champ.

Wanna see the HVAC guys throw a snot-blowing fit? I also took the online test and got my EPA card so I can buy R-22 at Johnstone Supply.
What was the superheat on your installation when finished there Sherlock?
Old 03-11-2009, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by t5killer View Post
I'm sure there are some HVAC experts on here so I though I would solicit some comments. I am in need of a new HVAC unit and I was wondering if Goodman units are good quality? I currently have an older Goodman that has bit the dust , but the service company says that Goodman quality has been greatly improved since they were bought by Amanaa. Does $7700 installed for a 5 Ton (A/C & Heat Pump), 14 SEER unit sound about right? The job will include running some new ducts, a new drip pan, new float switch, and removal of old equipment. Backed with a lifetime compressor warranty, 10 year parts, and 10 year labor warranties. Any opinions?
BTW.... Is this quote for the A/C unit and coil only or are they replacing the furnace/airhandler also?
Old 03-11-2009, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by s_ebels View Post
BTW.... Is this quote for the A/C unit and coil only or are they replacing the furnace/airhandler also?
Replacing everything except some of the ductwork, the electric breakers, and the wiring.

Another question for ya'll: How big of a unit should I be looking at? The heating/cooled area is roughly 2150sq/ft, with mostly 9' ceilings, but the family room and the master bedroom have 16' cathederal ceilings. No shade trees near the house, and a total of 22 windows/doors. Slab construction. Roughly 6-8" of blown in fiberglass insulation in the attic with gable vents and ridgecap vents. I currently have a 3.5 Ton unit, but during the summer, it will run all day and not cool the house below 78 degrees. I was thinking a 5 Ton would be the way to go, but now I am worried about short cycling and high humidity levels in the house. Forgot to mention that I live near the Mississippi Gulf Coast and it is not unusual to have 95 degree weather for several months during the summer.
Old 03-11-2009, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by t5killer View Post
Replacing everything except some of the ductwork, the electric breakers, and the wiring.

Another question for ya'll: How big of a unit should I be looking at? The heating/cooled area is roughly 2150sq/ft, with mostly 9' ceilings, but the family room and the master bedroom have 16' cathederal ceilings. No shade trees near the house, and a total of 22 windows/doors. Slab construction. Roughly 6-8" of blown in fiberglass insulation in the attic with gable vents and ridgecap vents. I currently have a 3.5 Ton unit, but during the summer, it will run all day and not cool the house below 78 degrees. I was thinking a 5 Ton would be the way to go, but now I am worried about short cycling and high humidity levels in the house. Forgot to mention that I live near the Mississippi Gulf Coast and it is not unusual to have 95 degree weather for several months during the summer.
That is a good way to tell if you're dealing with a real live HVAC professional or not. If he's the real McCoy he'll do a heatloss/gain calculation on your house and tell you right to the btu how much you need.
I run a calc for every place we do even if it's an emergency furnace job in the middle of winter. When talking about HVAC folks the urge to oversize equipment in exceeded only by the sex drive.

Off the cuff, I'd say you are in the 4-5T range for your climate. The caveat there is whether the existing duct will support 5T of airflow. That depends on how generous the original installer was when the 3.5T system was put in.
Old 03-13-2009, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by s_ebels View Post
What was the superheat on your installation when finished there Sherlock?
Where did you get the necessary tools to do this job? Acetylene torch, service gauge set, vacuum pump, micron gauge, refrigerant recovery machine, holding tank, nitrogen w/ regulator, accurate digital thermometer with probe, and above all knowledge to do the job properly? I guess you did a load calc? replaced the lineset or acid tested/ acid treated? pulled a vacuum to 500 microns? verified it would hold proper vacuum? Installed correct breaker or fuses for new equipment? I'm willing to bet you missed a few of these important proceedures. SOUNDS LIKE YOU GOT LUCKY, but you are not completely out of the woods. Your system may last 30 years or may fail prematurely due to a missed installation step. ;? A small amount of acid in the system may take years to cause the inevitable problem, small amount of non-condensibles could take awhile to cause a problem too. Yes, heat pumps or A/C's can last 30 years with proper install/maintenance. My parents have 2 Trane HP systems, 1 is going strong at 26 years old and the other (upstairs) was replaced last year (around here the upstairs unit works quite a bit harder than down).
Old 03-13-2009, 05:25 AM
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I found some civil engineering software on ebay maybe I will build a bridge or something. Is there a differance in stenght of differant mixtures of concrete? Is that important?
Old 03-13-2009, 07:46 AM
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These threads on A/C usually are quite humorous, this one actually has some good advice. If you are going from a 3.5 ton System(system is ductwork, coil, blower, heater, outdoor unit) to a 5 ton, you are going to have to pretty much re-do your entire duct system for this to work properly. The refrigerant lines are not big enough, the wiring going to your outdoor unit may not be big enough as well. As far as heating (electric or gas) If you have electric heat wire may not be large enough as well. The new systems require a much lower static pressure to operate properly than the old 10 seer systems. $7700 is not over priced or too steep for a reputable, professional HVAC installation. On the other hand it may be to low for everything that you need done. Get some other bids, make sure they do heat gain/loss on entire home, this will tell you the proper size of unit required for the entire home. If they are changing out ductwoork, make sure they do a room by room load calc, this will insure proper air flow into each room. The line sets size have to match the size of unit as well as distance from cooling coil to compressor. Good luck and remember this decision will last you 15 years+. If the DIY knew how to install a A/C system properly they would hire a professional.
Old 03-13-2009, 07:53 AM
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By the way, there is a energy program in the stimulus package for air conditioning replacement. Up to $1500 tax credit on the replacement with a 16 SEER and 13 EER rating or higher.
Old 03-13-2009, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bsh102 View Post
By the way, there is a energy program in the stimulus package for air conditioning replacement. Up to $1500 tax credit on the replacement with a 16 SEER and 13 EER rating or higher.



I have gotten 5 estimates and I asked every contractor about the tax credit and only one was helpful trying to determine if the unit he sells was eligible for the credit. I ended up choosing that contractor because he seemed more knowledgeable than the others, did the heat load calculations, and he is literally right around the corner from home.

I ended up going with a Heil 5 ton 16 SEER 2 stage compressor with 410A refrigerant and the variable speed air handler. The contractor will replace all of the ducts, run new copper tubing, install new drip pan and float switch, and install new Honeywell programmable touch screen LCD thermostat.

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