Best time to buy a furnace and AC?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Maxthemutt, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    Goodman - I’ve read enough of the hvactalk forum to understand that Goodman’s biggest reputation problem is that they’ll sell to anybody with money- handyman, hack or homeowner. It’s the quality of the installation that matters.

    Remember, they have to bring the pieces of the system to your house and then assemble it and tune it. It’s not like buying a car that was built in a controlled environment and is a finished product.

    Something else I learned online - all ducts are undersized. And returns are too small.

    “Costco” - they wouldn’t use the Lennox dealer I wanted to use. It worked out okay in the end with the factory rebate and a healthy discount for paying with a check.

    We were married in November and were redoing my wife’s 28-year-old home. I decided on a variable speed everything communicating heat pump with a SEER of 20. Why? Because it’s quiet, cold and sucks the humidity out. It’s semi-tropical here, plus we’re near the river. The old American Standard 3.5 ton unit and air handler was loud, clanged, and seemed to have one speed - breezy.

    I also had them tear the duct work out of the crawl space- it was duct board and flex and really nasty - and put in insulated round steel. Why? It seemed like the thing to do.

    I hope it lasts 15 years. They don’t make them like they used to. I’ll be pushing 85 by then if I’m around.
     
  2. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    Lots of brands have had numerous coil failures. The pros kick them around regularly on hvactalk.

    Metal is expensive, thin metal transfers heat better than thick metal, and then there are problems related to installation.

    I have a 10-year parts warranty and I paid $600 for a 10-year labor contract.
     
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  3. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    Check what kind of bids you can get. (If you are hiring all the work). 1991 is not that old. ;)

    Do you have ducts? I really want a ductless AC, heat pump. My understanding is @20 degrees F to 115 they are very efficient. Really cold days the efficiency drops fast. So I would keep my furnace. It would idle half the winter but when sub zero it would take over. (So a few more yrs service). Plus then I would have a automatic backup.
    Yrs back my furnace failed. Person who was supposed to check house didn't bother to call me that inside temps were under. 40f.... I was lucky no serious damage.
    What fuel are you using now? In my area IF you allow power company limited control. (IIRC 15 minutes every two hrs they can shut off your electric water heater, electric furnace, AC...). But in exchange you get half price electric for those items.
    I told them I wanted to hook my dryer, stove, oven... To that as well. But they won't allow.

    As said if you have any concerns about heat. Replace it now.
     
  4. sarge83

    sarge83

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    I am currently running 2 Carrier HVAC's one from 1985 and the other from 1996. The 1985 model heats and cools far better than the 96 model. I know I am living on borrowed time but I intend to run them into the ground. So far I am spending about $200 a year on maintenance for them. But my HVAC repairman is getting ready to retire and his/my supply of old parts will be going away, so my time is soon...
     
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  5. LEO/Dad

    LEO/Dad Navy Veteran

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    I just replaced our furnace. Original 1957, cast iron burners.
     
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  6. Maxthemutt

    Maxthemutt

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    Te
    Tempstar
     
  7. ked

    ked

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    Those ECM motors are sure expensive to replace!
     
  8. papershoot

    papershoot

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    Natural gas became available to my home last fall. Just after of getting quotes to convert the house from propane, the upstairs furnace died. It was original to the house built in 92. The lower unit provided enough heat to get us through the winter. In May we got house plumbed for NG. Also, the upstairs HVAC system and propane hot water heater replaced. I had the 15 year old downstairs HVAC unit converted to NG, which turned out to be a bad decision. In July the house was not being cooled. They discovered a freon leak, from the manufacturer, in the new upstairs unit. They also found all of the freon had leaked out of the lower unit. The cost to replace the freon was staggering, so I did not even consider repairs on the lower.

    This was on a Friday afternoon, so we had a weekend w/o AC. We ended up having them replace the lower HVAC unit. I hope we are good now. We bought a 2 ton 14 SEER Trane unit for upstairs and a 3 ton 15 SEER Trane unit for the down stairs.

    For my area, April or October would be a good time. In Minnesota, I would have it done this time of year.
     
  9. LEO/Dad

    LEO/Dad Navy Veteran

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    I believe some of these motors are now split, so you just have to replace defective part. Still expensive.
     
  10. Maxthemutt

    Maxthemutt

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    I got my first quote for a Rheem 96% efficient two stage furnace and 13 seer AC. $7900 and qualifies for a $400 rebate. That's a bit more than I was expecting.

    The Goodman guy is coming on Sunday. He's got to be less than that.
     
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  11. papershoot

    papershoot

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    My upstairs split HVAC unit was $5,700 for a Trane 2.5 ton XR-14 (14 SEER) unit. That is installed and total cost. The lower unit was a 3 ton XL-15 (15 SEER) was $6,895 total cost. They both two stage forced air NG furnaces. I did not even ask for other bids on the lower unit. It was in the mid nineties that weekend and both units were out.
    I got a quote for a 2.5 ton Amana 14 SEER unit from a competitor for $6,939. The total quote for HVAC and the gas conversion plumbing was ~$3,700 more than the one I went with. I should have got a third quote, but a couple companies never followed through with one.
     
  12. Brian40

    Brian40

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  13. shadowgunner9

    shadowgunner9 Free Actor

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    I spent about 12 years installing and servicing HVAC, mostly residential, but been out of that game for 18 years now. The place I worked for sold primarily Bryant- good units, quite reliable. When I bought my current house 10 years ago, I bought a Goodman hi efficiency furnace and 16 SEER A/C. Of course I installed myself, because, hey thats how I roll. Got a 10 year parts and labor warranty; never has it even hicupped once since then. I am very pleased with these units, but of course the install must be correct, but I did learn a thing or three doing it for a career back then.
    I got a great cash and carry price on these; so my main point is do not ever let a particular name scare you or think you MUST purchase Brand X or never Brand Q. A little homework and the reputation of the installers IN YOUR AREA will be the deciding factor.
    That said, back in the day we would install quite a few furnaces the very same day the old unit acted up, because, hey its cold out NOW.
     
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  14. Mr981

    Mr981

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    We changed over from a heat pump to a gas furnace in a newer house a few months back when the Carrier and the utility company had some rebates that were worth up to $1k.
    Spring is a slow time for furnace installs--or so I hear--so it may pay to hang out if you can until the rebates are offered if they aren't right now.
     
  15. dac1204

    dac1204

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    You can but those parts are about $700 just for material no labor.

    When I give the customer that option they always ask for another one which is to put a psc motor in. Usually saves about $450. They just lose their variable speed.
     
  16. LEO/Dad

    LEO/Dad Navy Veteran

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    I just installed a new Carrier system from wife’s family. Fan motor starts off slow then speeds up. Also condensing unit shuts off first on thermostat call, then in a few minutes fan shuts down. I retired from HVAC wholesaler in 2012. We sold hundreds of Fasco 1/3 hp psc motors for in the $35 range.
     
  17. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    Here's my favorite line from the hvactalk site...

    The most expensive system is the one that's installed incorrectly.
     
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  18. grumpy1

    grumpy1

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    Start getting some estimates now as it is heading into the slower season, at least around here. You don't have to get it installed right away if you don't want to. Use Angies List or such and check out reviews on local installers and make sure they are licensed and bonded. I have always gone with Carrier and had great luck with them. I found local factory authorized Carrier dealer that has been in business for a couple decades that gave me a really good estimate and went with him and they were great. Got here about 8:30 AM and all done by 2:00 and they really cleaned up everything I also got a 10 year parts and labor warranty from them with no annual check required. I got the basic 13 SEER AC Carrier AC unit and the Performance 80 dual stage furnace with variable speed blower and I really an glad I went with that even though it was more expensive than basic furnace mainly because we finally have enough air flow to cool all the rooms on the second story adequately. I also got new Carrier humidifier and Honeywell digital thermostat. Being in Minnesota you might want to go with 90 percent efficient furnace. You can go higher but you need too weigh initial investment cost versus potential savings. The super efficient furnaces may also be more complex meaning more expensive to repair/maintain. Discuss further with those providing estimate and when comparing estimates makes sure you are looking at differences in equipment, including heat/cool capacity and efficiency, to get fair assessment of provided estimates.

    Good luck but don't automatically go with the lowest estimate as some will cut corners in installation and proper install is crucial. My guy had all certified installers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  19. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    They always have been. Problem is usually it's a failure in one that takes the other out. A slight catch in the motor bearing burns up the controller etc. I've changed enough of one or the other and had to go right back out to get the other part that I don't even bother anymore. The price difference is only 1-300 to add the motor to the controller that it's not worth it.
     
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  20. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    That wouldn't work on most modern furnaces. The board talks to the motor and if it doesn't get the correct response it shuts down. Maybe if it was an ECM upgrade(I've heard of it being done, never seen one)
     
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