Homeowner Replacing Split Heat Pump System - Advice

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-15-17, 06:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Homeowner Replacing Split Heat Pump System - Advice

I am your normal, everyday homeowner. The Mrs and I have a small (1800 sq ft) 2-story home that was built in 2005. The compressor on original 2-ton Ruud upstairs unit has cr*pped out. I've been told that the compressor is not replaceable and that I need a new outside unit and air handler (attic). I don't have a particular problem with going that route. But I could really use some advice, please.

I am in a complete quandary regarding what to do. I've gotten estimates from four different contractors, all reputable. I was all set to go with a 15 SEER Trane unit for about $4200 installed. Compared to the other estimates, this seemed like a good price. The other estimates ranged from $4500 for a similar Trane unit to $5600 for a 16 SEER Carrier.

The problem I'm running into is determining exactly what manufacturers are good and which are not. Consumer Reports gives Goodman terrible ratings. But some other sites rate them very highly. American Standard and Lennox get the highest ratings from Consumer Reports with Trane, Carrier, and Bryant close behind. Then there's Trane. Three of the four contractors that I've gotten quotes from quoted Trane which I always thought was good. But now I'm reading less than flattering things about Trane. I've been on so many sites, I have no idea who makes good equipment and who doesn't.

To complicate things: My wife's brother-in-law is more handy mechanically than I am. He was in a similar situation and needed to replace the heat pump in his home. He found a good deal on a Goodman (4 ton, I believe). He set and wired the outdoor unit and the AHU and he hired an HVAC guy who works for a contracotr to finish the installation for him on the side. He has suggested that I do the same. This makes me REALLY nervous. Even for $1000 less, I am afraid of having someone other than an approved contractor do the installation.

So...do I go cheap and buy a Goodman on eBay, have it shipped to my home, and have the guy do the installation on the side? Or should I stick with a factory-approved contractor? If I opt for the latter, what brand do I go with?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-15-17, 08:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,304
Received 32 Votes on 29 Posts
Goodman has horrible reviews because they sell to anyone with a pulse, then when the installation goes bad the equipment gets blamed. It's all about the install here more then the name on the box. Sizing, selection, and installation means the world to the end product.

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/...vac-brands.htm

http://efficientcomfort.net/document...ign_Issues.pdf

http://efficientcomfort.net/document...ty_Control.pdf

http://efficientcomfort.net/document...s_Properly.pdf

I would highly recommend against hiring some random person on the side to come install the unit. Way too much stuff to go wrong.
What if he wires something wrong and sets your house on fire? Then you have to explain to your insurance company why you knowingly hired an uninsured guy to do a side job on your home.
Consumer reports doesn't know anything about hvac equipment. This isn't a tv or refrigerator. This is equipment that will be sized and assembled in your home.
 
  #3  
Old 01-15-17, 11:18 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,107
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The other thing about buying it yourself and having someone hook it up is the warranty. I'm not positive, but I believe I've seen mentioned here that there is no warranty from the factory unless you buy from a licensed dealer and have them install it. And Billy Bob the friend? What kind of warranty is he going to give? He may indeed be a good tech/installer, but what about when something not covered by warranty goes bad? Think he's gonna pull $400 out of his pocket? And who's to say he'll even be around in a year or two?
 
  #4  
Old 01-16-17, 07:12 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Gunguy (I'm a gun guy, too) & Roughneck! I greatly appreciate the advice.

Gunguy...your advice pretty much coincides with what my gut told me. It may be OK for my brother-in-law who has a great deal more DIY talent than I do. But the thought of buying a unit on eBay and paying his buddy to install it scares the doo-doo out of me. And I'm not all that concerned about saving $1000. Piece of mind is priceless to me.

And thanks a lot for the advice and links, Roughneck. I did not think to check Angie'sList for manufacturer reviews. I had heard that there were only a few manufacturers. I remember decades ago, it was the same with VCR's.

I've gotten a $4200 quote for a 2 ton Trane 15 SEER unit. But the quote does not list a model number. I'm going to ask the guy to amend it to include that so that there are no surprises. He came highly-recommended. Only has five reviews on Angie'sList but it's a small town. But all five are good. He installed a unit for a neighbor and the neighbor gave him a thumbs-up. I did not see his company listed on Trane's web site (one of the other companies that quoted me is). Should that be a concern to me?

Again, thanks very much for your help - much obliged!
 
  #5  
Old 01-16-17, 08:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,304
Received 32 Votes on 29 Posts
I wouldn't pay much attention to Angie's list reviews either. You can pay for good reviews there. The link is just a write up on manufacturers and installation.
Some of the best contractors are the ones that only advertise by word of mouth.
Read all those links through. There's a lot of information in those you need to know before committing to anything.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: