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Old 06-14-2016, 10:55 AM   #41
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Here's the wiki on Daiken/Goodman. The acquisition was cancelled.




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According to this the acquisition must have been completed:
https://www.daikin.com/press/2015/150107/index.html
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:48 AM   #42
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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

I do not know why they have it here where you need AC most of the year, but one of our friends have a dehumidifier in their house along with the AC.... I do not know how much electricity it uses, but they seem to like the outcome...

There are times when our humidity is out of whack with the temp... and DW lets me know... she is 'hot' when it is not hot... but I will look at the humidity and it is up... but that is maybe two months in a year, so not important IMO....
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:12 PM   #43
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I do not know why they have it here where you need AC most of the year, but one of our friends have a dehumidifier in their house along with the AC.... I do not know how much electricity it uses, but they seem to like the outcome...

There are times when our humidity is out of whack with the temp... and DW lets me know... she is 'hot' when it is not hot... but I will look at the humidity and it is up... but that is maybe two months in a year, so not important IMO....
In our case, the humidity accompanies the higher temperatures, or at least that's the only time it bothers us. But sometimes it is more like "humid and very warm", not "humid and blistering hot".

That's why I think a 2 stage could make sense for us. Lower stage to pull out humidity when it is just humid and very warm, the higher stage to provide max cooling when it gets really hot.

A dehumidifier big enough to dehumidify the whole house would be a big unit, and pump heat into the house as well. I'd rather run the A/C, and even turn on the (gas) heat if I had to, no extra equipment required - but that would be a very rare occurrence (probably never).

My Dad always thought in terms of bigger-is-better, and had a large A/C installed, in a well shaded house, ranch style with full basement (so some 'earth-cooling' effect), and some moisture from the basement. They often had to run it down into the 60's, and it would still be humid in the house. Back then, I don't think they made 2-stage units, but he should have bit the bullet and had two separate units put in, wired so the max unit would kick in after 20 minutes or so.

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Old 06-14-2016, 12:31 PM   #44
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ERD, maybe you should investigate a dehumidifier that can be installed inline with your AC. You might get a better overall result in both humidity and cooling vs assuming a 2 stage will solve that problem.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #45
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ERD, maybe you should investigate a dehumidifier that can be installed inline with your AC. You might get a better overall result in both humidity and cooling vs assuming a 2 stage will solve that problem.
I'll ask, but as I said, we need some cooling along with the de-humidifying. We wouldn't run the de-humidifier alone, so it would be run along with the larger A/C kicking in occasionally in mild heat.

A de-humidifier is essentially an A/C unit, but with both the hot side and cold side coils in the same space (rather then moving the hot side outdoors). I really doubt two separate units would be less expensive than one unit that has two levels of operation.

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Old 06-14-2016, 12:53 PM   #46
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FWIW, I designed transport & residential HVAC for Carrier for about 13yrs, and I can tell you that each class of efficiency from each manufacturer is about the same in quality. There are a fixed number of suppliers for components and all of the manufacturers use those suppliers. The big differences in the designs are the sheet metal and the heat exchangers,a lot of patents involved there. So, whomever you select as your "brand" should turn out OK.

The big variable is in the installation. The local dealer will send out the silver-tongued fox to make the sale, then Dr Howard, Dr Fine, and Dr Howard will show up for the installation. Do your homework here.

Losing 2lb of refrigerant indicates a leak of course, and if the service tech didn't locate and fix that, beware if the new installer doesn't want to replace the refrigerant line(s) and reuse them (easier and more margin for them). You have an old system and if the leak is in the line they will need to be abandoned and replaced. Otherwise, you'll have the same problem in the future.

BTW, we have had a Goodman central air system for about 10yrs now and no complaints. It's paired with an old Carrier "C" furnace (that I designed in the '90s). That was a surprise to see when we bought the house (!).

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Old 06-14-2016, 01:14 PM   #47
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FWIW, I designed transport & residential HVAC for Carrier for about 13yrs, and I can tell you that each class of efficiency from each manufacturer is about the same in quality. ...

Losing 2lb of refrigerant indicates a leak of course, and if the service tech didn't locate and fix that, beware if the new installer doesn't want to replace the refrigerant line(s) and reuse them (easier and more margin for them). You have an old system and if the leak is in the line they will need to be abandoned and replaced. Otherwise, you'll have the same problem in the future.


_B
Thanks for that 'inside' view! The tech that added the 2# marked that he replaced the caps on the schrader valves. Now, I've read that those are just dust caps, and the valve itself should be doing the sealing. But he did replace them with metal caps that have an o-ring in them, so that might be a reasonable band-aid fix. I understand replacing the valves is significantly more work, and this did get us through mid-August to the end of that season at least. I really don't want to add any more R-22 at this point, I doubt we would make it till fall, and it would just be good money after bad.

I definitely won't allow them to re-use any existing refrigerant lines. If they even suggest that I will probably scratch them off the list!

It's a short run anyhow, and while the spot isn't the greatest aesthetic-wise, the alternative spots worth doing are very far on the other end of the house, and I'd actually prefer to have it where I can keep a better eye on it.

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Old 06-14-2016, 01:37 PM   #48
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Rant time.

I refuse to do business with several of the largest heating and A/C companies in my area because when you have a problem and call for a repairman they send out what is actually a salesman in repairman's clothing. (Yes, I do know the repairman can be a woman.) I've suffered through a couple of "I've located your problem and here are your six options" sales pitches and the sleaze factor was so high I felt like I needed a shower afterwards.

What ever happened to the simple concept of determining what is wrong and telling me how much they will charge to fix it?

And yes, get the Hell off my lawn...
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:56 PM   #49
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Rant time...............And yes, get the Hell off my lawn...
Add this to the scorpions and fire ants.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:00 PM   #50
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I definitely won't allow them to re-use any existing refrigerant lines. If they even suggest that I will probably scratch them off the list.-ERD50
Why not? Mine are copper tubing that run inside the wall up to the attic and across to the evaporator. They were brazed to the new units and work fine.
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Having a Goodman Furnace *installed*
Old 06-14-2016, 02:04 PM   #51
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Having a Goodman Furnace *installed*

We bought an Amana A/C unit in our previous house and it had to be replaced less than 5 years later. Warranty didn't cover it. Never again.

We replaced our heating system last fall and the A/C this spring. Original units were 20 years old; we bought the house last July. We got competitive bids from Costco and our usual plumber. They quoted the same Lennox units, which made it easy. Costco won on one, plumber on the other.

Our plumber referred to their sales people as "comfort consultants". Ugh. It was good to have Costco recommending the same units; since they offer a very narrow range of brands/options I trust them to be selective. I will say that gas and electric bills are way down- more than I would have expected just due to being in a smaller house.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:15 PM   #52
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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.

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
Good list, but I would add one important check: The flue should be checked for cracks, voids, broken tile, anything that can allow exhaust gas to enter the house.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:21 PM   #53
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Thanks for that 'inside' view! The tech that added the 2# marked that he replaced the caps on the schrader valves. Now, I've read that those are just dust caps, and the valve itself should be doing the sealing. But he did replace them with metal caps that have an o-ring in them, so that might be a reasonable band-aid fix. I understand replacing the valves is significantly more work, and this did get us through mid-August to the end of that season at least. I really don't want to add any more R-22 at this point, I doubt we would make it till fall, and it would just be good money after bad.

I definitely won't allow them to re-use any existing refrigerant lines. If they even suggest that I will probably scratch them off the list!

It's a short run anyhow, and while the spot isn't the greatest aesthetic-wise, the alternative spots worth doing are very far on the other end of the house, and I'd actually prefer to have it where I can keep a better eye on it.

-ERD50

Be aware that if they do not reuse your lines then they probably will be on the outside of your house... they do not want to put them inside the wall going up... that just might be the people I had, but a couple of companies told me that is what they did...
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:22 PM   #54
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Reading all these comments about how a particular brand has been trouble prone for one individual yet reliable for another reinforces the importance of getting a good installation. I have to think many of the problems and early failures are directly related to the lack of quality workmanship when the unit was installed.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:41 PM   #55
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Our Goodman unit was replaced with a Carrier which has been great but I have mixed feelings about buying another unit from them after the stunt they pulled transferring production from Indy to Mexico. I know some folks that were burned by that decision.


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Old 06-14-2016, 03:01 PM   #56
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Why not? Mine are copper tubing that run inside the wall up to the attic and across to the evaporator. They were brazed to the new units and work fine.
Agree, I assume the lines can be pressure tested for leaks. Most of the leaks I am aware of usually occur inside the coils vs the lines.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #57
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Reading all these comments about how a particular brand has been trouble prone for one individual yet reliable for another reinforces the importance of getting a good installation. I have to think many of the problems and early failures are directly related to the lack of quality workmanship when the unit was installed.
I think there is a lot of truth to this. After my installers left I cut off all their AC evaporator / humidifier / furnace condenser drain plumbing and redid it. With lots of minerals in the water, it would have plugged up in no time with the shallow slope. Plus they did not add a drip nipple to the drain exit, so the water was clinging to the pipe and running backward on the outside of the pipe until it dripped on the floor. And the plenum adapter they fabricated leaked like a sieve - I had to caulk it to stop the air leaks.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:36 PM   #58
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I definitely won't allow them to re-use any existing refrigerant lines. If they even suggest that I will probably scratch them off the list.-ERD50
Why not? Mine are copper tubing that run inside the wall up to the attic and across to the evaporator. They were brazed to the new units and work fine.
OK, in our case the A/C compressor is just outside the area where the furnace is. The tubing is all flexible tubing that bends around from furnace, up to the floor joists, out the wall to the compressor. I wouldn't feel good about reusing those, as they would need to be bent around to fit the new stuff. Be easy to get a minor kink that isn't leaking yet.

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Good list, but I would add one important check: The flue should be checked for cracks, voids, broken tile, anything that can allow exhaust gas to enter the house.
Good point. We have a chimney liner - the original furnace was low efficiency, so they ran a new liner ( 3" ~ 4"?), "B-Vent" I think it was called. The higher the efficiency, the lower the exhaust gasses, so the smaller the vent needs to be to ensure a good heat rise/flow. I'm pretty sure those are very reliable, and I wouldn't know how to inspect it, other than an inspection camera all the way down? BTW, those have become very cheap now, USB connection to computer - I might buy one just to have another gizmo/toy to play with.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:03 PM   #59
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We have a chimney liner - the original furnace was low efficiency, so they ran a new liner ( 3" ~ 4"?), "B-Vent" I think it was called. The higher the efficiency, the lower the exhaust gasses, so the smaller the vent needs to be to ensure a good heat rise/flow. I'm pretty sure those are very reliable, and I wouldn't know how to inspect it, other than an inspection camera all the way down?
Yep, they won't be able to use that B-Vent if you go with the 92% eff furnace (or any condensing furnace). It'll need to be PVC (IIRC, there was also a type of stainless steel pipe that was approved for this, very pricey).
Running the intake and exhaust pipes with PVC is usually a pretty easy job provided there's a handy nearby exterior wall with no "conflicts." I happened to have a thick interior wall above my furnace ("thick" because it was a "wet wall" with a waste drain there), so I just put my intake and exhaust pipes for my furnace up through that and to the roof. I was a little worried that the intake pipe might get condensation on the outside (cold winter air), so I wrapped it with some thin adhesive foam insulation and I've never had a problem.
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Having a Goodman Furnace *installed*
Old 06-15-2016, 04:44 AM   #60
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Having a Goodman Furnace *installed*

I replaced the old furnace and ad a few years back with high efficiency York furnace and ac unit. The upstairs never seemed to be as cool as it should have been - the variable speed 3 ton unit resolved all that. No problems at all.

Now let me tell you about the Yotul gas stoves I have (look like old coal stoves) big one in the kitchen den area and a small one in the living room - I bought the second one because the wife likes to read in the living room and I felt guilty. They are a joy - this old man loves nothing better then sitting by one on a crisp cold morning. Coffee cup and tablet in hand it is wonderful. They are also cheaper to run and yes they heat the whole house..a little cooler upstairs but that just right...

Some time in September (God willing) I'll walk down the stairs and I'll feel and smell the heat and I'll know fall has arrived.. They are my weapons against the cold. They work during power outages too...



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