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Old 06-13-2016, 05:14 PM   #21
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Hey, none of that on this forum, please!
Sorry, fixed it, not that there is anything wrong with that !
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:18 PM   #22
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FWIW- While there are many brands of central air conditioners, the majority of central air conditioners are made by seven companies, marketing merely makes it looks as if you have a wider range of choices. The major manufacturers are:
  • Trane, which also makes American Standard
  • Carrier, which owns Bryant, Payne and Tempstar
  • Lennox, which owns Ducane, Armstrong, Concord, Allied and AirEase
  • Rheem, which owns Ruud
  • Goodman, which makes Amana and Janitrol
  • York, which makes Coleman and Luxaire
  • Nortek Global HVAC, which makes Maytag, Westinghouse, Frigidaire, Kelvinator and others
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:20 PM   #23
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Sorry, fixed it, not that there is anything wrong with that !
Nope, not a thing - although I've heard (mostly from my daughters) that a Goodman is hard to find.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:11 PM   #24
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Can't speak to Goodman, but I'll echo the need to get at least 3 estimates. Big difference in quotes for the same equipment. The contractor I chose would do any brand for the same price.

I'd also do my own Manual J calculations. Everyone wanted to sell me both a larger furnace and AC unit and I stuck to my guns (and calculations) and the subsequent years have proven me right. I do have a two stage furnace and it keeps the temperature exactly at the set point with no noticeable swings. The furnace almost never kicks to the second stage unless I've turned the heat way down while we are gone, even when it is very cold outside.

The small AC also does a great job of dehumidifying as it runs a long time, but is able to keep the house cool on the hottest days.

I'd watch the installers like a hawk. When they made holes for the two PVC furnace pipes, the knucklehead smashed a hole through my brick veneer with a sledge hammer instead of popping out one brick by undercutting the mortar. If I'd caught him in the act it wouldn't have been pretty.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:16 PM   #25
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Nope, not a thing - although I've heard (mostly from my daughters) that a Goodman is hard to find.
She may have that reversed, according to May West, a hard man is good to find.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:35 PM   #26
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I had an Amana installed about five years ago and no problems. I got a good deal on a 14 SEER 5 ton Heat pump and blower installed for $4,600. Goodman bought Amana about 8-9 years ago. No problems with my unit.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:42 PM   #27
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I will just throw out that everybody that I know that has a Trane has liked them....

I have one that is 12 to 15 years old and just had the outside fan motor go out last year... we have lived here 6 years...

My last house I installed one and it was still going after 18 years when I sold the house... sister has one that I think is close to 20 years old... friends parents are also in the 20 year range...


The AC guy said that Trane uses better metal for all their components... not aluminum like many others do....
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:59 PM   #28
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I replaced a 23 year old Day and Night furnace at my house with a Trane in December 2012. Could have opted to fix the old one, but decided to replace instead. Went with the basic 80 percent efficient model. The extra cost for a more efficient model and the re-routing of the flue gases did not make sense in the temperate Bay Area climate. It's quiet and operates smoothly. I also have a 25 year-old Trane A/C unit that still works well.

The rentals are a different story. Most older homes in the Phoenix area have roof mounted combination heat and A/C units. I have had altogether too much experience replacing those. The majority of the Yorks and the Coleman that a property management company installed have not lasted 10 years. Won't install that brand again. The American Standard unit had problems as well, but I don't know if Trane was involved then.

The Carriers seem to hold up well in the hot Arizona climate. And I still have an original Goettl or two from the early-mid 70's. Expensive to run, but apparently bulletproof.

I do have one small Goodman furnace - a basic gas furnace in a small house. No problems in the 8 or 10 years since it was installed.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:00 PM   #29
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BTW, if you are replacing the AC unit, now is the time to evaluate whether your outside unit is in the place you want it. Ours is in the center of the wall on the back of our house, and when it comes time to replace it I may move it farther away from our (new) back patio and our bedroom. It'll require a longer set of refrigerant lines and moving the circuit/remote fuse box, but it might be worth the trouble just to get the source of that noise to a different spot.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:30 PM   #30
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BTW, if you are replacing the AC unit, now is the time to evaluate whether your outside unit is in the place you want it. Ours is in the center of the wall on the back of our house, and when it comes time to replace it I may move it farther away from our (new) back patio and our bedroom. It'll require a longer set of refrigerant lines and moving the circuit/remote fuse box, but it might be worth the trouble just to get the source of that noise to a different spot.

You might want to check out the level of some of the new AC units... some are really quiet....

The Trane variable speed is rated 55 DB... their single speed is 69 to 82 which looks like price makes a difference...
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:03 AM   #31
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Someone mentioned the importance of a good installation, amen to that. Also, these units do require annual servicing, so if thats being ignored, you could experience breakdowns and service life that is negatively affected.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:25 AM   #32
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Also, these units do require annual servicing, so if thats being ignored, you could experience breakdowns and service life that is negatively affected.
I've never understood the value of "annual servicing" for a central A/C unit. If you have a gas furnace I can see value from the safety aspect, but for someone like me who has a heat pump (all electric), I don't get it. Please educate me.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:45 AM   #33
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I am a big believer in using the more simple versions for heat and ac. No multi-speed super high efficiency etc. i have some goodman units in my own as well as rental. Have been very reliable, but this is anecdotal.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:49 AM   #34
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Someone mentioned the importance of a good installation, amen to that. Also, these units do require annual servicing, so if thats being ignored, you could experience breakdowns and service life that is negatively affected.
I'll add that "annual servicing" does not need to amount to much, and can be done by any reasonably handy person with a little bit of information.

My A/C is over 24 YO, my gas furnace is 24 YO, and I've never paid for service. The only A/C 'repair' has been the R22 top-off last summer. I've repaired several things on the furnace over the years. Either simple preventative maintenance, or actual breakdowns that could not have been prevented or predicted by any "annual service".

Examples - 2 years ago, the gas valve just crapped out. It is a sealed unit, no way to predict or service this. Several years back, motor started squealing mid season, so I took it apart and refilled the 'permanent' lubrication wicks. No warning at the start of the season.

"Annual service" of the A/C is to just make sure everything is clean. Checking the in/out duct temperatures for ~ 14F delta tells you it's working. Replace filters when needed, of course.

For a gas furnace, I'll say it is far better to become familiar with the normal operation (sight and sound) - then you can easily check it many times throughout the season, rather than a 'pro' checking once a year.

For my gas furnace (standing pilot) -

A) Check for proper pilot size and position relative to thermocouple (this is in the manual, or find on line).

B) Turn the thermostat up to 'call' for heat.

C) The draft inducer fan should click on almost immediately, and you should hear it spin up to speed in a few seconds.

D) After those few seconds, it should be drawing enough vacuum in the heat exchanger to trigger a switch which allows the gas valve to open. You might hear this click, but you should hear the gas flowing to the burners. If you want to test this (though it is a fail-safe condition), pinch or disconnect the hose from the draft inducer. With that hose disabled, the gas should not come on, and the furnace should shut down (it might try again a few minutes later, depending on your control board).

E) The gas should ignite across all burners in a few seconds. Check the appearance of the flame (see youtube videos if you don't know what to look for).

F) About 60 Sec later, the air handler (room air blower) should spin up. IMPORTANT - Monitor the flame as this happens - the appearance should not change, that could indicate a leak in the heat exchanger - the blower pressure can drive air into the flame, making it flicker or change colors.

G) Monitor that flame occasionally through a cycle. At the end of the cycle, the flame will shut down, then the draft inducer, and about 60 Sec later, the blower motor will shut down.

That is harder to type than do. And the advantage is, if you do this routinely throughout the season, you are far more likely to catch any problems early, compared to an annual check. I tend to just listen whenever I'm near the furnace when it starts, and will view the flame whenever I think of it, but probably at least once per month.

Other than that, just a little general cleaning, dusting, make sure no obstructions (mouse nests), etc. I have removed the burner, and brushed out the heat exchanger, but there really was no build up, probably not needed.

This cycle is only slightly different for the newer furnaces with an ignitor in place of a standing pilot, and I've seen youtube videos where they show ho to clean the ignitor as a preventative maintenance procedure.

Yes, I think DIY in this case is better and cheaper than an annual service by pro. An oil-fired furnace is a different beast, never had one, but I think that requires some sophisticated exhaust gas analyzer to get the fuel/air mix right.

And even if you feel better with the pro - I'd still suggest you learn how to observe the normal condition, for your own safety. Any thing out of whack, call a pro if needed, before something bad happens, and before the next annual check up.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:58 AM   #35
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I am a big believer in using the more simple versions for heat and ac. No multi-speed super high efficiency etc. i have some goodman units in my own as well as rental. Have been very reliable, but this is anecdotal.
I also tend to lean towards simple, but I might move up the scale in this case. The factors for me are:

We don't use A/C a lot, but when we do, the important thing is almost always to get the humidity out, over getting the temperature down very low. For this, you need a smaller sized unit, so it runs long enough to pull the humidity out. A larger unit runs short cycles, not long enough to reduce humidity enough.

But then, when you have a large group over on a hot day, that small unit can't keep up.

So I'm considering a 2-stage A/C. It sounds like those may need a variable speed blower motor on the furnace, but I'll see what this guy says today.

But you are right, going variable speed on the furnace seems to come with 2-stage burners as well. Not a major thing, but it does mean 2x the 'stuff' for some systems, more to go wrong. Maybe the standard multi-speed blower will work with a 2-stage A/C as well, I'll ask.

Oh, two more things I will talk to him about:

1) When my current furnace was installed (I was at work), they put it right on the basement floor. I'd like to have it elevated 6 inches or so, as a little protection against minor flooding, spills.

2) I want an access panel for the A/C coil in the duct above the furnace (updraft furnace). I don't have a panel now, so I couldn't (easily) inspect the coils and clean them if needed, or monitor the ice build up when we had the low R-22 problem last summer.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:07 AM   #36
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I had a Trane heat pump with my new house in 1986. I had the company that installed it come out every few years to check freon level, etc, and replace a valve or 2. It only lasted 10 years until compressor died. In 1996 had a different company install a newer Trane model. I have not let anyone touch it, and I haven't done anything to it myself except keep it clean inside and out, clear snow and ice off of it in Winter. Still humming away in Winter and Summer, doing its job, knock on wood.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:40 AM   #37
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I've never understood the value of "annual servicing" for a central A/C unit. If you have a gas furnace I can see value from the safety aspect, but for someone like me who has a heat pump (all electric), I don't get it. Please educate me.
I found this explanation on Angies list, which seems pretty complete to me, and it should keep your system running efficiently and hopefully without those failures on very hot days. As for me, I change filters 2x/year, and hose off the outside coils in spring and mid-summer. Further, I do not want to see an electrical coil fail on a hot day, which will leave you without cooling:

Quote:
It needs to be tuned up once a year every year. Also, if the outdoor coils are dirty, if the cooling capacity is not up to par and they are not getting air flow out, things like that can show that the air conditioner needs to be tuned up.

"Going to the outdoor unit we check the indoor coil, the outdoor coil, the capacitors, compressor, do an all systems check on the electrical and make sure everything is tightened, check the refrigerant level, the temperatures and make sure the system is efficient and operating as it should. It is true that you can lose up to 5 percent efficiency because if the system is not operating the way itís supposed to, such as it has dirty coil, over heated motors, lack of refrigerant effects how that system is efficient so as it goes through the year it can lose efficiency if itís not tuned up properly.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:30 AM   #38
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My new home (in 2007) has 2 Goodman units, 1 upstairs, 1 downstairs. Both have had leaking coils replaced (part under warranty, labor paid by me). Bottom unit is leaking again, and having to add R22. I am looking to replace either this year or next and will steer clear of Goodman for that replacement.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:35 AM   #39
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In my area, I think of Goodman as a producer of builder grade equipment. Builders are motivated by small incremental savings x volume and uniformity ( e.g. One size fits all). When the Goodman evaporator coil failed on our unit, I contacted Goodman since it was less than 30 days out of its 5 yr warranty and you could see the capillary tube solder joints were defective. I expected them to offer a parts discount for the replacement coil. The customer service was quite rude. I asked why I should buy a Goodman replacement part and was told to buy whatever I wanted so I told my service guy anything except Goodman and he agreed.
Didn't they get bought out by Daiken? Daiken has been running some end user focused ads in the last year or so.


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Old 06-14-2016, 10:46 AM   #40
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Here's the wiki on Daiken/Goodman. The acquisition was cancelled.

...
In August 2012 Daikin agreed to acquire Goodman Global from the San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for $3.7 billion,[6] after first planning to buy Goodman the previous year. In January 2011, Daikin had announced plans to buy Goodman Global at approximately US $4 billion valuation,[7] however, the plans were put off following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami[8] The acquisition was expected to expand Daikin's presence in the United States and in duct-type and split-system air-conditioners, and was expected to make Daikin the world's largest maker of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems...


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