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Having a Goodman Furnace *installed*
Old 06-13-2016, 02:51 PM   #1
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Having a Goodman Furnace *installed*

Seems like most of the other threads recommending Goodman furnaces were for the savings of buying direct and then a DIY install.

I'd consider this route, but my A/C is failing (needed 2# of R22 last August, worked OK for the rest of the season, but was just barely cool when started this past w/e). The furnace is 24 years old (~ 82% eff, a draft inducer, nothing else fancy) and the A/C is older (in when we bought the place), so I will replace both A/C and furnace now. That's more than I want to tackle, and could also mean routing PVC air in/out instead of going up the old chimney - more than I care to handle.

I've got a guy coming out for a quote tomorrow, got the name from the Goodman site. Hard to find many reviews on most of their listings. Anyhow, the guy seemed reasonable, but I just don't know if there is any big savings with Goodman over other brands when you hire an installer and a package deal? I asked him, he seemed OK with Goodman, are often the right choice, but depending on just which features we want, other models might be competitive.

So just wondering if I should lean to Goodman or not in this case, or is it just a distraction?

He said he will do the full load calculation, but from history I have a good idea what sizes I need. Leaning towards a 2 stage A/C as we don't keep it so very cold, but like to have the humidity pulled out, but it's also nice to be able to keep things cool when we have a group over on a hot day. That might make me lean to a variable speed motor - more $, but maybe worth it?

I'm not that hung up on efficiency beyond 92% - diminishing returns versus maybe added complexity/repairs?

Thoughts? Things to watch out for?

-ERD50
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:02 PM   #2
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All I know that in my old house, well, it came with a Lennox that was nothing but trouble. So, I had to replace it and the guy said a Goodman would be about half the price of a Lennox, so I went for a Goodman. It seemed to be more reliable than the Lennox. I was happy to see that my new house has a Goodman, too.

I don't know what to do if the quotes for both are the same! I never heard of that happening before.

As for what type to get, if it was me I'd shut up and let him figure out (and tell me) what he wants to recommend and why, before starting to push one type of unit over another to him. Maybe you're thinking like me on that. You're paying for his years of experience and expertise, so why not get what you are paying for.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:06 PM   #3
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I got a quote for a single speed, dual speed and variable...

Big differences in all... I was very surprised how much more expensive the dual and variable were to the single... I can understand the dual a bit as it basically is two ACs in one... but I think the variable is just one unit and it is variable... however, I could be way off...

From talking to someone I know who has variable, he said he did not see the benefit...


Now, if you really want to get something that makes the whole place what you want there was something in the lit that had a variable with what I believe are controllers etc. in each room... the system can cool down just one room if needed... I did not even ask about the cost of this so have no idea... I just know the variable was not worth the extra cost to me...
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:09 PM   #4
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According to the July issue of Consumer Reports, the three most likely to fail conventional central A/C units are Amana, Goodman and York. The least trouble prone were American Standard, Lennox and Trane. (Survey of 6,700 owners who purchased units between 2008 and 2015).
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:15 PM   #5
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Get several quotes. I was surprised how much difference there was for installation of the exact same equipment when I replaced my system last month.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:23 PM   #6
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According to the July issue of Consumer Reports, the three most likely to fail conventional central A/C units are Amana, Goodman and York. The least trouble prone were American Standard, Lennox and Trane. (Survey of 6,700 owners who purchased units between 2008 and 2015).
Lennox and Trane are the ones with the sterling reputations with rating organizations, around here, too. I'm always such a skeptic.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:39 PM   #7
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Get several quotes. I was surprised how much difference there was for installation of the exact same equipment when I replaced my system last month.
Last time I replaced our home system I got four quotes. Three were in the same ballpark, and the one that did the most advertising around town was almost exactly three times the average of the other three.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for replies so far. Good to hear some good reports about Goodman quality, the things I've found seem pretty variable. I wonder if the consumer reports goes into actual numbers? Sometimes the "best" to the "worst" can be close enough to not matter so much?

The > 25 Y/O A/C that just developed the leak is a Janitrol, and that was owned by Goodman at the time. And that worked fine for all these years - though we only run it during the hot/humid spells, not all summer like some people. Sometimes that's just a few weeks a seasons, other times can be many times that. And 76-78 usually, so it doesn't have to run all that much when it is on.

Furnaces are really pretty simple. I've done some repairs on mine to keep it going this long. They are just a metal case with a motor/fan, draft fan, controller board, gas valve and burners, heat exchanger, and then some generic switches/sensors. I had replaced the motor, and had to disassemble the draft fan to lube it a few times. Had the gas valve go out 2 years ago. And a thermo-couple or two (old standing pilot light). Even generic controller boards can be found on ebay for < $100. Everything else (except heat exch) is cheap/easy to replace.

I'll be curious to see how he tallies up labor. He sounded like a straight shooter on the phone, I threw in enough info/background so that he knows that he's not dealing with some who is naive about this stuff. Maybe he has enough leeway in margins to bring another brand near the price of a Goodman? We'll see.

-ERD50
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:54 PM   #9
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I have used several Goodman furnaces in my apartments. Smaller ones, but ~40-60K BTUs. Some I installed myself, some installed by furnace guys.

They work great and are made in the USA from what I understand.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I wonder if the consumer reports goes into actual numbers? Sometimes the "best" to the "worst" can be close enough to not matter so much?
CR measured failure rates (repairs or serious breakage) in the first five years of ownership. The rates were as follows:

American Standard 20%
Lennox 21%
Trane 21%
~
York 28%
Goodman 29%
Amana 30%

And to your question, "Differences of fewer than 7 points aren't meaningful..."
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:59 PM   #11
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They work great and are made in Texas from what I understand.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:06 PM   #12
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Goodman equipment is generally marketed to the "do it yourselfer". AC failures run high with Goodman because of poor installation. DW's high school classmate installed my Goodman several years ago, and haven't had any issues. The warranty is exceptional if I ever need it.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:13 PM   #13
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FWIW, Goodman also owns and manufactures central a/c units under the brand name Amana.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:24 PM   #14
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ERD,
Directly to your question--I don't have any direct experience in the price differential of Goodman equipment vs the more heavily promoted retail brands if both are installed by someone else. But there could be a secondary effect: The installers who advertise heavily to homeowners charge more, and they are also likely to carry the brands that homeowners know best. OTOH, a smaller independent HVAC shop, or one which does primarily commercial jobs, may be more likely to carry Goodman (and perhaps other) equipment that is less heavily advertised (and priced lower for equivalent features/quality).
It would be interesting to have the same installers bid the job with various equipment brands that have the same features.
I wonder if a web site with lots of landlords with single-family homes might have a consensus about the HVAC that offers the best value.
The Goodman furnace I installed myself about 10 years ago is still humming along without a hitch. I didn't replace the AC unit at that time, but I'll probably buy the Goodman equipment and do it myself when the time comes (but I will price out an installation by someone else, too, just to see, and get the price with different equipment brands).
It's a tough time to be buying an AC unit. Environmental issues aside, would the cost of another AC recharge be worth it if it enabled a purchase/installation of the AC unit in September? Plus, one year less wear-and-tear on the new compressor.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:34 PM   #15
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The new to me house I just bought has a relatively new Goodman furnace/ac unit in the attic. It's doing okay. We'll see how efficient it is when the first utility bill comes in after we're in the 90's every day.

As far as I can tell, the Goodman is an entry level unit. Not bad, but not great. Much of the HVAC market is in this same class of unit.

I have the same size unit for my 2800 sq. ft. finished basement, however I've only run it a couple of times. It's in the 60's in winter down there and cool enough with fans and a dehumidifier running in the summer.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:37 PM   #16
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I believe Goodman and Amana are the same company and have never heard any bad reports, same with Trane. I've owned both brands, and no troubles. However, I have heard several complaints about Lennox.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:42 PM   #17
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Had a Goodman HVAC unit in the new house I bought in 2006. Ended up ripping the unit out after about five years due to coil leaks at the tube sheet in the air handling unit. Replaced the whole thing with a top of the line Carrier unit and couldn't be more happy. In the subdivision I live in most of the houses had installed, what I call contractor grade Goodman units. I would say conservatively about 40% have had to be repaired or replaced for the same reason I replaced mine. WMMV. Personally I wouldn't touch a Goodman.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:48 PM   #18
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Personally I would touch a Goodman.
Hey, none of that on this forum, please!
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:01 PM   #19
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No experience with Goodman but you see them everywhere around here. Frayne mentioned his good experience with Carrier. I remember my mother not having good luck with her's. The compressor went out after just 5 years of use. I'm sure Carrier is a good brand overall, but crap can happen with most any brand.

My current house is 11 years old and has a Rheem unit. Running well on this 98 degree day. But when it poops out, I'm going to get several quotes and go with the lowest. I've had several brands over the years and none have been head and shoulders over the rest.
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:12 PM   #20
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I replaced the central HVAC about 6 years ago right at the end of the government rebate period.

York 80,000 BTU/hr 95% condensing furnace and 3.5 ton 15 SEER AC

7 grand installed. Single speed, nothing fancy, works great, no problems or issues.
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