HVAC guys, get in my thread and talk to me.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Resqu2, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    Just bought a 1185 sq ft townhouse & I’m looking at my system trying to figure out what I need to do, if anything. I have a 2 ton AC unit (not a heat pump) with a NG gas furnace, also have a gas water heater. The unit was made in 2010 and has a newer compressor. It’s a 13 seer unit and I live in region 4 on the map. The unit is a HEIL and I see it gets bad, bad reviews online. I’m considering replacing it at tax time early next year so I’m doing my research.

    Should I stay with a AC unit only with a new gas furnace. (gas heat is nice & warm)
    Should I go with a heat pump with a gas furnace to back it up.
    Should I go with one of the variable speed units, more upfront cost I know or a 2 stage unit.
    What seer rating would be the min you would recommend?
    Finally any brands? I like American Standard as we have a ton of them at work and they require the least amount of service work of all our brands. I know a Goodman is also great in my limited experience as that’s all I have ever owned plus that’s all my Dad would install, mine at the old home is 10 years old and never been touched.

    My goal is of course reliability but a close second is I want the most energy efficient system that I can afford and I don’t care to pay more upfront for many years of cheaper energy bills.

    Thanks for any and all info.
     
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  2. HalfHazzard

    HalfHazzard Señor Member

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    Tagged, love these discussions.
     
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  3. Southwind

    Southwind

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    Why do you want to change it?
     
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  4. nerr

    nerr

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    I'm not an HVAC guy, but have owed a heatpump and 80% efficient furnace for 12 years. If you are in VA, then you're in better shape than I am in NE for heatpump utilization. My heat pump is air-based (they make more efficient ground-pipe-based, but more expensive), so it will not work below 20 degrees F. Also keep in mind that the heated air coming out of the registers is cooler than gas-heated (at least the 80% efficient ones). My wife hates sitting in front of the heatpump heated air as it feels cold to her. The heat pump is very good at holding a constant temperature, but slow to get a cold room heated. Mine kicks in emergency heat (mine is Natural Gas) if heatpump can't heat fast enough. For the past couple of years, we've not used the heatpump, both because of the relatively cheap NG cost and my wife's aversion to heatpump air.
    You have to try to figure out relative cost of electricity and gas in your area. But on most systems you can force it to run the alternate-to-heatpump, thus saving wear on the heatpump.
    I have a Lennox. Only 2 things needing to get fixed in 12 years: an AC expansion valve (under warranty) and a condenser on the heatpump (about $50). I also paid for yearly maintenance which doubled the warranty time and got 2 free checkups a year (furnace and heatpump). I don't regret paying for the warranty (I'm old and want to maximize uptime), but for what I paid for the maintenance I could have bought a replacement heatpump or furnace.
    For what it's worth, I am still glad I got the heatpump for some added flexibility. Don't know if I'd replace a perfectly good A/C unit at only 8 years with one though.
     
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  5. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    Unit has a bad rep, know the compressor has already been replaced once.

    13 seer seems low by today’s standards? Want the best bang for $ spent on heat/cool.

    New unit will have a nice long warranty, will probably pay for extra years if it’s reasonable.

    In the end I may not but looking at options
     
  6. Mark2Glock

    Mark2Glock Redneck Handyman

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    Do not go the route of heat pump. Goodman products have fairly good with very low call backs. Heat pump costs at least double over standard AC with a life expectancy of measly 8 years with a lot of problems. Costs more to run and is more expensive for repairs. I am not a fan of working on Heil heat pumps. York used to be good but not like they used to be. Hope this helps somewhat.
     
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  7. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    Thanks much, I have been leaning towards AC unit only with a new gas furnace.
     
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  8. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    I would change it when it breaks, keep a fund going so you are ready. If you want in the meantime add a split system to the room area you are in the most. They get over 20 SEER and are not very expensive. You can use it to keep the part of the house you are in comfortable and the main system can keep the rest of the house reasonable. That would give you the best energy efficiency and if the main system poops out you can hide in the split zone until it is fixed.
     
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  9. napp32

    napp32

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    My Daddy had a saying he used a lot, "If it ain't broke, don't monkey with it". That sounds like pretty good advice in this case.
     
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  10. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    Where it’s a townhouse it’s a very open concept style layout so a split wouldn’t help much but we use them in places at work and they are great little units.
     
  11. mmcbeat

    mmcbeat

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    Last year, after a lot of research we replaced our HVAC. As you are probably aware the installation is as important or more important than the brand. I went with a company that I had been using for service. They had an excellent reputation with outstanding reviews. They recommended several brands and we went with Lennox. We were very pleased with the new unit.

    When we had the HVAC installed, we had no intention of selling our house. However, we moved to be closer to family. We had our house up for sale during the hottest part of the summer. Our realtor said the new HVAC was the deciding factor for the buyer.
     
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  12. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    I know what ya mean about the install, my plan when it’s time is to buy whatever system I go with and do my on install so I know what I’m getting. I will just have to pay a guy to bring a Vac pump and do that part and let him start it up the first time. This will save me a ton of money in the end.
     
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  13. ked

    ked

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    make sure you have enough return air. that compressor shouldn't go out in 8 years. low air flow will kill a compressor.
     
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  14. LEO/Dad

    LEO/Dad Navy Veteran

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    Many contractors don't even advertise a brand on their vehicles. They can install about anything. As said, reputation and honesty means a lot. Our utility is offering a $800 rebate for installing a 16 SEER or up A/C.
     
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  15. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    Seems to be an issue with the HEIL units from what I’m seeing on line. My return is a 20x20 filter size in a wide open area. I feel like it’s a good install from everything I have looked at.
     
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  16. ked

    ked

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    just keep in mind that filter size and duct size are two different things. It's my experience that the duct work is often undersized , or constricted. if they use wall cavities, often they drill a few 2" holes in a top plate for the air to flow through. make sure there are no restrictions. that goes for the supply ducts, as well.
     
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  17. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    Yea I do need to look at that. I will probably venture down there tomorrow, it’s a somewhat of a crawl space but you can stand up somewhat. I have seen wall cavities used like that before but have never done anything like that myself when I did installs.
     
  18. ked

    ked

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    there are charts that will tell you how many CFMs will go through a wall cavity. just figure the sq inches. don't understimate what an installer might do.
     
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  19. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    Wit
    With the room I have underneath I’d be surprised if it wasn’t hooked to a duct but nothing would really surprise me today lol
     
  20. Lt. Donn

    Lt. Donn PSO Survivor. currently in NW Georgia

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    Definitely stay with the gas heat!...way better than heat pump...just replace the a/c unit...there are some really efficient models out there
     
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