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  • HVAC Help

    I'd like to reach out to the experts to get your advice on choosing a quality heating and cooling system. Before I drop $6,000-$10,000 I'd like to be sure I have received the best information I can to make an educated decision. Who better to ask than the guys installing the new ones and repairing the ones that break down?

    A local friend that does HVAC for a living has provided much information regarding brand ratings & the various types of systems (AC vs. Heat Pump, Air handler vs. Furnace, Gas vs. Electric etc). I think his most interesting piece of information so far has been "although there ARE some slight differences in quality/reliability between brands, the best system will be the properly installed one". He also says I will need to choose based on the current ductwork unless I wish to start tearing out ceilings and walls to start fresh. I would rather not get into all of the additional construction so I am trying to decide based on the current design. He has expressed that the ductwork appears to have been done correctly the first time (proper amount of vents/returns for the size house) so other than some slight modifications at the furnace nothing major should need to be done.

    The house is a split level built in '73, approximately 1900 sqft with new replacement windows. It is currently an all electric home with a FWA system only (original heater from '73). The local gas company will run gas to the house for free, so I can choose a new gas system if I would like.

    So... my questions to the experts. Is there a brand you would say stands above the rest (what would YOU want in your own home) based on brand history and the way the unit is built? Would you choose to switch to a gas system? Which type of system (AC vs. Heat Pump, Heat pump only vs. Dual fuel) seems to be the most efficient when dealing with climates in the great lakes portion of the country (Cleve, OH)?
    I think I’m struggling the most with deciding which "type" of system to choose as well as slightly with which brand. With so many choices on types of system and then choosing which SEER is efficient enough for the climates I live in (full season changes with real cold winters and up to 100deg summers) it is becoming a tougher decision that I had hoped for. Also, based on my friends advice I am on the fence whether to go with the budget system (like maybe Ducane etc) and trust that I am choosing the proper sized system for the application vs. dropping a bit more coin for something like a TRANE or a CARRIER. If these days you are lucky to get 10 years out of any of them then what is my benefit of paying the extra money?

    Thanks in advance for your input folks. I will appreciate anything you have to offer.

  • #2
    Re: HVAC Help

    I'm a GOODMAN fan, but I know a few here don't like them.

    But GOODMAN has some of the best warranties in the industry, and that should be an important factor in your decision as well.

    But what's most important is the installer..versus the equipment.

    I know I'll get ripped for this, but stay away from York...junk imo.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: HVAC Help

      Trane, Carrier, Ruud/Rheem are what we install
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: HVAC Help

        find out which parts house in town is the best so they will have parts and a good teck dept.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: HVAC Help

          Originally posted by Tech.Man View Post
          I'd like to reach out to the experts to get your advice on choosing a quality heating and cooling system. Before I drop $6,000-$10,000 I'd like to be sure I have received the best information I can to make an educated decision. Who better to ask than the guys installing the new ones and repairing the ones that break down?

          A local friend that does HVAC for a living has provided much information regarding brand ratings & the various types of systems (AC vs. Heat Pump, Air handler vs. Furnace, Gas vs. Electric etc). I think his most interesting piece of information so far has been "although there ARE some slight differences in quality/reliability between brands, the best system will be the properly installed one". He also says I will need to choose based on the current ductwork unless I wish to start tearing out ceilings and walls to start fresh. I would rather not get into all of the additional construction so I am trying to decide based on the current design. He has expressed that the ductwork appears to have been done correctly the first time (proper amount of vents/returns for the size house) so other than some slight modifications at the furnace nothing major should need to be done.

          The house is a split level built in '73, approximately 1900 sqft with new replacement windows. It is currently an all electric home with a FWA system only (original heater from '73). The local gas company will run gas to the house for free, so I can choose a new gas system if I would like.

          So... my questions to the experts. Is there a brand you would say stands above the rest (what would YOU want in your own home) based on brand history and the way the unit is built? Would you choose to switch to a gas system? Which type of system (AC vs. Heat Pump, Heat pump only vs. Dual fuel) seems to be the most efficient when dealing with climates in the great lakes portion of the country (Cleve, OH)?
          I think I’m struggling the most with deciding which "type" of system to choose as well as slightly with which brand. With so many choices on types of system and then choosing which SEER is efficient enough for the climates I live in (full season changes with real cold winters and up to 100deg summers) it is becoming a tougher decision that I had hoped for. Also, based on my friends advice I am on the fence whether to go with the budget system (like maybe Ducane etc) and trust that I am choosing the proper sized system for the application vs. dropping a bit more coin for something like a TRANE or a CARRIER. If these days you are lucky to get 10 years out of any of them then what is my benefit of paying the extra money?

          Thanks in advance for your input folks. I will appreciate anything you have to offer.

          Goodman has better warranties than Trane or Ducane. They offer a 10 year parts warranty, lifetime heat exchanger warranty, and lifetime compressor warranty. A lot of others can't beat that! Most o the time you will hear 5 year warranties for what Goodman gives to you for a lifetime........I would do more research if I were you......Good Luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: HVAC Help

            You really need to make sure you choose a brand that is carried locally and has good support for availability of parts. All brands will at some point need to have work done on them, and if your furnace goes down in a cold spell, you dont want to have to wait days for the parts. I have had customers with furnaces that are not locally supported and had to wait over a week for some parts while they relied on electric space heaters to keep the house from heating up. Lennox, trane, carrier....all good brands.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: HVAC Help

              I'd suggest a split system....that means a gas furnace for those cold winter days
              and a 3 1/2 to 4 ton air conditioning system for those hot summer days
              maybe even toss in a dehumidifier in the mix

              As far as brand go I'll echo the experts here...find the popular brands used and serviced in your area
              Remember your power company and gas company may still offer rebates as well as Federal and state tax credits.

              I went from a 20 year old Tempstar brand to an American Standard system which has been very reliable
              and amazingly energy efficient. Sadly I did not qualify for my local power company rebate
              They offered $400.00 but it would have cost me an additional $2200.00 to get that, you can do the math [duh]

              Do Not buy a heat pump system..it gets too cold for your area and you will not be happy.

              The critical key is the installer.. he must size your system correctly too small or too large and you'll have
              high utility and service bills. take the time to inspect your old duct system and ensure it does not leak
              and has proper insulation wrapped around it....even if you have additional costs to upgrade your
              ducts you'll be happier down the line. don't just rely upon them being sized right etc.

              New windows? low-E type double pane thermal type? they really make a difference
              attic insulation? has it settled? blow more in and you'll have better climate control in the living spaces

              Finally do it right the first time even if costs a few shekels more, you will save money in the long run!
              in other words "been there done that!!"

              good luck

              Cactus Man

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: HVAC Help

                AS far as brands I would definatly go trane. Dual fuel, heat pump with 90% or higher efficiancy, with the heat pump set to lock out and go to gas at 30-35 degrees. Heatpumps really arent very effective around 35 or colder. If you can swing the cash, Geo Thermal is the way to go. It will hurt the pocketbook initally, but you will be paying very cheap bills to operate, stay comfortable year round, plus the gov't gives a nice lil tax credit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: HVAC Help

                  Geo will NEVER pay itself back in savings. NEVER! Unless you can get someone to give you the equipment, dig the well(s) for free and install everything for a case of beer.
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: HVAC Help

                    Originally posted by Ish View Post
                    AS far as brands I would definatly go trane. Dual fuel, heat pump with 90% or higher efficiancy, with the heat pump set to lock out and go to gas at 30-35 degrees. Heatpumps really arent very effective around 35 or colder. If you can swing the cash, Geo Thermal is the way to go. It will hurt the pocketbook initally, but you will be paying very cheap bills to operate, stay comfortable year round, plus the gov't gives a nice lil tax credit.
                    I second the duel fuel HP. I'm not a big fan of Trane residential equipment. Damned parts when it breaks down (which it will evetually) will eat your lunch.

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