Advice on buying HVAC system

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Bubba,
The problem is finding that "good" company. Part of doing that is knowing enough about the subject so that when I am talking to the incompetent or the crook, I can recognize him for what he is.
I like to buy quality. Many years ago, I got 3 prices on a major HVAC job and selected the highest price because that contractor was able to convince me that he knew what he was doing and that I needed the more costly duct design that he proposed. I was never sorry about that choice. Of course, I want to save as much money as I sensibly can, but buying junk equipment or hiring a "junk" contractor is not sensible.

In a later post you talked about Lennox equipment. Are there others you think I should steer clear of or consider favorably because of quality, serviceability/cost, performance, etc?
I live in Southeastern VA (near the bay) and desire year around humidity control, expecially during those months when little to no heat or airconditioning is required.

contacts.
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Start by reading all manufacturers brochures and online info . Companies make a variety of equipment in different price ranges . Most have a low end single speed 80% furnace with cheap low seer AC. Then top line 93-94.5 % efficient furnaces with VS DC motors for more comfort , humidity removal, lower electric usage and very high seer AC units. It depends on where you live- your heating cooling needs and cash you have. If you live where it gets -20 to 100f and it is humid look into the most efficient equipment, Some areas will never see a payback because temps are to moderate. You need a good instaler, a load calculation and price comparisons on different equipment . It is smart to know what you want first, many uneducated instalers shy away from VS DC and 2 speed condensers. Ive had several try to talk me into simple non efficient equipment and one refusing to sell it to me . Insulated metal ducts are worth the cost.
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'Most have a low end single speed 80% furnace with cheap low seer AC. Then top line 93-94.5 % efficient furnaces with VS DC motors for more comfort , humidity removal, lower electric usage and very high seer AC units. It depends on where you live- your heating cooling needs and cash you have. '
It also depends on how long you are planning on living in your home ; Variable Speed DC motor furnaces will take a very long time to get a payback on ; they get an arm and a leg for them . IF youre planning on staying in the house for 20 plus years, then okay...otherwise, they are only good to impress the Friday night Card Game regulars (if they are so duped). Weigh up how much you run the Cooling...if you are not big a/c buffs, then going with an extreme EER a/c unit is pointless due to a long payback period. If you want to save a good 25% of the cost...go with a Rheem, Goodman , or Tempstar brand over hyped up advertised brands like Trane, Carrier, and Lennox. Each one of these brands will last as long as the others so long as they are properly maintenanced.
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No Dave wrong again but since you sell "trailer equipment " and are not a dealer of anything but Goodman you lie. Does Goodman have VS DC??? No . As I posted the numbers before, a 6 yr payback can be seen with VS DC. You never counterd my numbers but hid. Not only do you get more efficiency, but more humidity removal , using a humidistat-thermostat. You can even control Fan Speed at the thermostat! You told him to read Consumer Reports , atta boy Dave , read it again Dave, the Carrier Infinity VS DC was rated "A Best Buy " in Comsumer Reports. And I bet it is more efficient than Goodman .
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OH NO!!!....Not some MORE bad advice from well known hvac HACK and all around fundy idiot, dave?
Why should this not surprise anyone?
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http://mb-soft.com/solar/saving.html "Free Home Air Conditioning! Save Money on Your Electric Bills! ...this system was invented and designed by a nuclear physicist!...And the coolest (pun intended) part of this is that all of the comfort in the house is PRECISELY identical to that when using conventional air conditioning. The temperature and humidity levels will be identical"
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DO NOT USE THE CONTRATORS HVAC COMPANY!!!!!
Find a high end local company. You want Variable Speed Heating System(preferably 90%+) 2 Stage Air Conditioning System, Zoned house, Good Thermostats, Fresh air Ventilator, Humidifier, Ultra VIolet Purifier, EZ trap condensate trap, High end media filtration, or whole house hepa, 10 Year Manufacturer Parts and Labor. Stick with higher end equipment Trane etc. Stay away from builders grade stuff. Stay far away from Goodman or Nordyne product. This system will be expensive, but it is your home comfort system for the life of your home. You are going to be here longer than in your car, and how much do you pay for a car???

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Bob Pietrangelo wrote:

Unless you have one of the few home builders that does not hire the cheapest bare bones subs possible. A few near me hire established competent HVAC companies.

Isn't Amana (HVAC products) now owned by Goodman? Amana used to be known as a quality name in HVAC. I also here that Amana is also producing a line called "Xenon" but they are taking great pains to keep this connection a secret, which means Amana is unlikely to stand behind "Xenon" products in the long term.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote on 29 Jan 2005:

Much as it pains me to agree with Bubba (and it really does)...
Most of the manufacturers really are making their equipment as cheaply as they can. If you've picked a good HVAC contractor, that person can steer you pretty well on what brands they're comfortable working on. Remember, a lot of the problems will turn up in the warranty period, and no HVAC person is getting rich on warranty calls.
Be careful of contractors who offer only one brand (e.g. Lennox). Lennox makes good stuff, but if you want to get it repaired, you'd better be really happy with your Lennox dealer, as independent HVAC shops pay through the nose for parts.
What you will want to think about is the efficiency rating of your heating and A/C systems and how long the payback is. That will depend on your local climate, cost of fuel, and price difference in the variously efficient models.
Contacting your local gas company and/or electrical company will often yield you some very good advice on the efficiency issues.
--
Doug Boulter

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On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 19:49:26 -0600, Doug Boulter

It "pains" you because Im right. Just because I wont hold you , coddle you and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. You get it straight from me. You dont like it. Tough shit.

Dealer or no dealer there parts are ridiculous in price and you the customer will pay for that.

Bubba
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I read the book called "This Old House, Heating Ventilation and Cooling" from the HVAC guy in the "This Old House" TV show. That was a good reading. It gives you a lot of pros and cons of various systems and how they are related to the regional need.
What he suggested is to choose the right HVAC contractor instead of choosing the right system. This sounds like a good advice because there are too many variables in choosing the right HVAC systems, and there are regional requirement to sort out, and many tasks require a licensed professional to install. You will have to deal with a HVAC contractor anyway. Unfortunately, I don't remember whether he mentioned anything about how to choose the right contractor other than making sure the contractor belongs to a national-wise association or something.
Jay Chan
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