well-temperedforum.groupee.net    The Well-Tempered Forum  Hop To Forum Categories  Off Key    Where to purchase new HVAC? (Now w/ pics)
Page 1 2 3 4 5 

Moderators: QuirtEvans, pianojuggler, wtg
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Where to purchase new HVAC? (Now w/ pics)
 Login/Join
 
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
posted
Ok, so we are planning to replace the HVAC in the new house. It's working now, but I think we want to replace before we hit any super hot weather. We'll do the heating and cooling units all at once. The house doesn't have gas running to it, so all electric and we won't be considering solar etc. (the heating unit will probably be a heat pump since that's common down here?)

Question 1) Where to buy?
So there is a well-regarded local company, then there's Lowes or Home Depot. I know that either Lowes or HD offers various kind of interest free-financing, which we might want to do. But I'm guessing the local company does as well. I have the impression that the local company does good after-care/service. I don't know anything about the service provided by Lowes or HD.
Does anyone have any thoughts about how to decide where to make the actual purchase?

2) What to buy?
I want something efficient and quiet, and then maybe with some good humidity control in terms of both adding and taking away moisture. I know that Lennox is well-regarded, and then there's Carrier? And American Standard?
Any advice about these brands?

Oh, just for reference (if this means anything to anyone) here's what is there right now:
3 Ton Carrier Air handler and 3 ton Seer Goodman heat pump


--------------------------------
My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 12299 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
posted Hide Post
Update: Lowes installs Trane HVAC units.

Home Depot uses Rheem, Carrier, Lennox or Mitsubishi, to some extent this will depend on the local store I believe.

I know our local company uses Lennox and maybe also Carrier.

I have never heard of Trane, so off to google...


--------------------------------
My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 12299 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of wtg
posted Hide Post
I would go with the local company if they have a good reputation.

The company we use installs Lennox, but their tech who comes out to do the maintenance on our unit likes American Standard/Trane (they are part of the same company). He says that Lennox parts are much more expensive and their design is unnecessarily complicated, and for that reason he prefers American Standard. My mom had American Standard and it was a better designed unit.

These guys have some good info on the various brands and models: https://asm-air.com/airconditi...eview-which-is-best/

We have not been terribly happy with our Lennox air conditioner. It was incredibly noisy at startup and our HVAC company has had to come out and do some tech magic several times over the years to address the problems. They're a reputable company and our tech is aces and they stand behind what they install. It will be a tough choice as to whether we stay with them and go Lennox again, or find someone who installs Trane/American Standard, which we think is a better line of products.


--------------------------------
Ever since I first learned about confirmation bias I've been seeing it everywhere.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 23863 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of wtg
posted Hide Post
So how is your house currently heated?


--------------------------------
Ever since I first learned about confirmation bias I've been seeing it everywhere.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 23863 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
posted Hide Post
With some part of this: 3 Ton Carrier Air handler and 3 ton Seer Goodman heat pump. I don't know which part does the heat (some heat pumps do both heating and cooling, and I think Carrier does both as well). This is from the inspection report (I'm not at the house right now). And it's all electric, which I'm worried could get expensive (we currently have gas in the rental).

And BTW the heat works fine, and I think we were there in hot weather as well b/c I remember we talked about how it was nice and cool on on visit way back in October.

Anyway, thanks for your comments about Lennox. I read somewhere online that their parts are unnecessarily expensive and proprietary, so that's something I have on my radar. I'll check out that asm link, thanks!

The local company said they regularly install Lennox, Carrier, Goodman and American Standard, so there are a lot of choices there. And they have a financing option if we want to do that. So that takes away some of the advantage of HD or Lowes...

The local company does seem to be well regarded, which is good.


--------------------------------
My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 12299 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of wtg
posted Hide Post
Yea, that's a whole different set-up that we don't see much of around here. My comments about Lennox and American Standard refer to conventional units (gas-fired furnaces and garden-variety compressors).

I think Goodman is a reliable, but more builder-grade line of products.

I'm guessing Steve is your guy; he lives in a climate where heat pumps are more common, I believe. And he has the tech knowledge about installs, etc....


--------------------------------
Ever since I first learned about confirmation bias I've been seeing it everywhere.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 23863 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Does This Avatar Make My Butt Look Big?

Minor Deity
Picture of Cindysphinx
posted Hide Post
Research this carefully on Yelp and elsewhere. There is a major company here where the salespeople try to sell you stuff you dont need because they work on commission. They told us we needed a new unit, and rewiring, and duct work for $10,000.

We got the existing unit repaired by another company for $300.
 
Posts: 18443 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Steve Miller
posted Hide Post
Heh. We were just talking about this today.

HD, Lowes and Costco go through companies who install for them pretty much exclusively. These companies, and the equipment they sell, are fabulously expensive. I'm not sure how they get away with it. Lennox and Trane are both considered premium quality but neither is worth what the big boxes charge. The Costco contractor I spoke with this morning told me their average residential change-out runs some $14K Eeker

There is no need to spend that on a house. I had my furnace and 5 ton A/C changed out last year for $4,500. I went with a mid-priced system. The unit I selected is labeled "Payne", but may just as well have been labeled "Day and Night", "Bryant", or BDP. They're all made by Carrier and when you get one in the box it comes with all three stickers. You install the sticker that matches the brand you sold the customer on.

Carrier branded stuff is considered a cut above the BDP line but, like Lennox, is more complex and the parts cost more.

Other mid-line brands would be Rheem (I had Rheem equipment on this house for 20 years) Ruud (same as Rheem, or at least it was), Whirlpool and York. There other mid-brands too, some of them regional.

Toward the bottom end would be Goodman and Janitrol, both made by the same company. I don't know that there is anything wrong with either one of them - they sell very well and I don't hear any crying about them. The techs who work on them like them because they are very simple and parts are nearly generic. The ones I've seen seem a bit noisy - perhaps an issue if the outdoor condenser is going to be near a window or something.

Yes, your house has a heat pump system, essentially an air conditioner that can run both like an air conditioner (cold air in to house, hot air to outside) or a heater (hot air in to house, cold air outside) depending on the season. They usually include a bit of supplemental electric heat for when temps drop below about 40 degrees outside.

Where to buy? I'd use "Buzz", "Next Door" and/or Angie's list to start getting quotes. Perhaps ask people at work who they use.

Why are you replacing what you have? How old is it?


--------------------------------
Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 27514 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Steve Miller
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:
I want something efficient and quiet, and then maybe with some good humidity control in terms of both adding and taking away moisture.


Any properly-sized residential HVAC system will keep a house at around 50% RH if the humidity outside is higher than that, the air conditioner is running, and the house is reasonably tight. If there are times you think you might want to add humidity you can have a humidifier installed as part of the HVAC installation.

If the reason to add humidity is to stabilize the piano, you are likely to get more value for your dollar by installing a Dampp-Chaser system on the piano itself.

As for efficiency; every unit, regardless of brand, is required to be labeled with a SEER rating - a rating of efficiency. These ratings run from about 10 to over 20. The number you are going to want is around 13. Go more efficient than that and things get weird - controls get complex, compressors go to two speed, units grow to enormous size and the cost goes up exponentially. There is little to no payback to going with more than a 13 SEER unit in your climate.


--------------------------------
Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 27514 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of wtg
posted Hide Post
Steve raises a great point about relative cost. A friend got quotes from Costco installers and from the well-regarded company we use. Prices were for identical systems by Lennox.

Costco price, with 10 percent rebate promotion: $6000

Little company price: $4500

I buy lots of stuff at Costco, but not this kind of stuff.


--------------------------------
Ever since I first learned about confirmation bias I've been seeing it everywhere.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 23863 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Nina
posted Hide Post
Throwing a monkey wrench into things....

If you think you will be replacing both your A/C and heater any time in the near future, it might be worth your while to bite the bullet and get a heat pump. This is a single unit that will both heat and cool your house (well, not simultaneously). There's no reason to buy two new thingies when one will do the job, IMO.

The new ones are super-efficient and will save you money in the long run.

I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods. I'm assuming it's fairly moderate. I'd be doing my usual stick to the middle choice UNLESS your climate is extreme one way or the other (cold or hot) and/or you are personally extreme one way or the other (can't stand to be hot, can't stand to be cold), or both.

We paid for a very close to top of the line heat pump system in AZ, because we wanted to make sure it would keep the house cool in the summer. We never regretted it. We bought a multi-speed Carrier, FWIW. Out here, we just installed a Trane heat pump, and it's been great. We replaced a failing ancient whatever, and the difference was immediately noticeable.

Someone's advice to check with Yelp was good--also Angie's list might be good. You'll probably want to do annual checkup/maintenance on it and you'll want a good, reputable company. They can install and then be your go-to for maintenance.

Also worth it, imo, is getting a "smart" e.g., programmable thermostat. That will also save you buckets of dough, since you can program it for one temperature while you're at home, another at night while you're asleep, and a third when you're not in the house. Many have apps where you can turn it off/on/adjust from your phone as well. Very handy and worth the money in terms of convenience and savings.

My 2c!
 
Posts: 32280 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of wtg
posted Hide Post
She already has a heat pump, I think.

Just a terminology thing...there are programmable thermostats that are not smart thermostats...there might not be a huge advantage to the smart thermostat...

https://lifehacker.com/what-ca...-t-already-472975733

https://www.howtogeek.com/2651...ally-save-you-money/

SK, you might also check to see if there are any rebates from manufacturers, or possibly from your local utility, if you install a new system.

BTW, why are you thinking of replacing it?


--------------------------------
Ever since I first learned about confirmation bias I've been seeing it everywhere.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 23863 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
posted Hide Post
So our current HVAC was installed in 1993. No one can believe that it’s still working! We could wait but we really don’t want to have it go out in the middle of the hottest weather so we figured we’d get it replaced in April or May.

Steve, I’m surprised to hear how expensive HD and Lowe’s are! Though maybe I shouldn’t be. I will get estimates and compare, and report back of course, but I won’t be surprised if the local company is cheaper.

Oh and I will google around some more but the local company is really well-regarded, so that’s good.

Steve thank you so much for all the comments on the different models and the details, like the SEER number. That’s all super helpful!

Re humidity, yep my only concern is being able to add it a bit in the winter, summer humidity w/ AC on seems pretty good in our current house so I’m assuming it will be similar. It’s the winter dryness that worries me. But I’m not sure I want a dampp chaser, I know there’s a lot of mixed opinions about them!

Nina re your comments, my understanding is that down here it’s most common to have spoilt systems, and my impression thus far is that the split system is cheaper than a single unit.

And we do want a programmable thermostat, although probably not a smart one.


--------------------------------
My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 12299 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serial origamist
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of pianojuggler
posted Hide Post
I have nothing to add about selecting a brand, type of system, or installer. I will just share this tidbit: someone I know had a big, fancy heat pump installed that was supposed to be sooper-dooper efficient. When they got their first electric bill after it was installed, it was several times the usual amount -- many hundreds of dollars.

They called the installer who came out and discovered that he had left some test switch in test mode in the outside unit and a heating element in the unit had been on continuously for over a month... in the summer.

The installer basically said, "oops, sorry 'bout that" and left the customer to pay the electric bill.


--------------------------------
pj, citizen-poster, unless specifically noted otherwise.

mod-in-training.

pj@ermosworld∙com

When a door closes, a can of worms opens.

 
Posts: 26989 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
posted Hide Post
PJ Eeker


--------------------------------
My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 12299 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2 3 4 5  
 

    well-temperedforum.groupee.net    The Well-Tempered Forum  Hop To Forum Categories  Off Key    Where to purchase new HVAC? (Now w/ pics)