A/C Heating - Need bipartisan advice!

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Looks like my A/C Heating unit may be toast. (1700 sq ft house, natural gas, Austin TX)
I was already warned my a/c was on it's last leg because we had to put in 4.5lbs of Freon this summer.
I went to turn on my heater this morning and it wouldn't come on. It just made a buzzing noise. I felt the blower motor and it was hot so I turned it off, spun it and it came on but with a new grinding noise and water (!) came out of the vent! So I immediately shut it off.
I'm pretty much resigned to buying a new unit and I have the money saved for it.
Where would you start? I've read horror stories about incompetent installers. I want a licensed professional and I don't mind paying for it.
I've seen some ads for Goodman's starting at $3750 installed. Is that too cheap?
TIA
Olddog
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What you really need to do, is find out who's good, reliable, and reasonably priced, in your area. I'd suggest calling friends and neighbors. If you know other types of contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc, call them too, and see if they know HVAC people that they like
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RBM wrote:

Absolutely. It is far more difficult to find a good contractor than to find a good unit. When you find a good contractor they will be able to provide you with a range of options and explain the pros and cons of each.
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Yes..That's what I've heard. I've read the installer matters more than the brand of the unit. I have a feeling that's why I'm having problems now.
My main problem is I'm new here and I don't have very many contacts. My wife knows one contractor's wife that lives in Georgetown (couple miles north) but I still don't know how to check them out. The BBB?
Do you think it's appropriate to ask to see the installer's license?
I got the heater running and I sprayed some contact spray in the motor. It's still making a grinding noise but maybe the contact spray needs to work it's way in. Sure heated the house quickly!
Thanks
Olddog
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It's NEVER, not appropriate to ask for any contractor's license. That being said, in many areas getting a license can be little more than paying a fee. Certainly the BBB may know of the most horrendous contractors, but not the really good ones. You may want to let this NG know where you live, at the off chance someone here knows of someone there.

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I put Austin TX in the OP. There are a few Austinites here.
I was asking about the installer's license.
Thanks
Olddog
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Sorry, I was momentarily confused by your other identity. I was referring to the installer's license

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Your real estate broker, neighbors, the home inspector you had, should know a few good contractors. There are alot of options available these days and some very high efficency equipment, do research before buying. www.energystar.gov should help.
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Your real estate broker, neighbors, the home inspector you had, should know a few good contractors. There are alot of options available these days and some very high efficency equipment, do research before buying. www.energystar.gov should help.
=========================================== Thanks...Good advice but the two realtors I've met here I wouldn't ask how to boil a pot of water.
Olddog
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I agree, while I personally get lots of work through local brokers, most real estate people would be the last ones I'd ask, in fact lots of brokers have tried to establish preferred contractor's lists, for which contractors pay to be on.

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retired54 wrote:

If your hand will fit a wrench, you should be able to replace the motor for a couple of hundred dollars.
Remove the old motor, take it to Graingers, say: "Gimme one like this."
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The motor looks like it *could* be easily replaced. I was wondering how it is attached to the fan and do I need to remove the fan housing?
Olddog
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retired54 wrote:

If you can disconnect the wires and mark them, the whole squirrel cage blower assembly can be taken out by removing a couple of sheet metal screws or hex nuts then sliding the blower out of the furnace. Afterwards, the motor can be removed from the housing. Around here most of us take the whole thing to one of the local electric motor shops to get the motor changed out, tested and the squirrel cage wheel and blower housing sandblasted clean.
TDD
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What does he do about the water coming from the vents?
--
Christopher A. Young
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I took it down to Granger and they said they don't stock it. I called another place and they wanted $218 to order it. I sprayed some more contact spray in it and put the old one back in. :-)
I have a gas fireplace and a good space heater if we have a bad freeze or something but I live in Austin where it only gets real cold couple of days a year. Ive been told some years it never freezes.
Olddog
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At a moment like this, I open the phone book. Call the companies with the smallest ads. And see which ones talk straight, and make sense when they speak. Call three of them over, for an estimate. And choose the one that is polite, easygoing, and doesn't try to push you or rush you.
--
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Well duh!!! Of course it's appropriate you tard.

You're going to burn your house down you damn idiot. I hope your insurance premium is paid up. I am the real ftwhd and I approve this message

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<ftwhd> wrote in message wrote:

What is it about HVAC that brings the troll out?
Olddog
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olddog wrote:

Goodman, Armstrong and Janitrol look like clones to me and are what I would call value priced contractor grade units. Another brand in the same category is Ducane. I've installed or repaired them all and the units are good for the price. If installed properly and maintained, will last for years. Trane, Carrier, American Standard and Lennox are considered high end units. American Standard an Trane are like Chevrolet and GMC, almost identical, same parent company. If you get the lower priced units, they'll work just fine and I'd ask the installer to add an anti short cycle timer or install a digital thermostat that has one built in. This will keep the compressor from slamming on and off with power blinks or from rapid cycling due to someone playing with the thermostat. The high end units will usually have that and all sorts of other safeties built in.
TDD
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The water might be a clogged AC drain, you need a service and to learn how it all works. Then shop for instalers and equipment.
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