Builders grade units.

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Old 08-18-17, 03:30 PM
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Builders grade units.

Another question. In my research someone mentioned not to buy a builders grade split AC system. Of course no info on what builders grade is.

I know builders often buy low priced items. But what would be considered builders grade AC?

I am looking at either Goodman or Rheem and open to suggestions.
 
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Old 08-18-17, 05:31 PM
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Usually builders grade means cheap, have never heard the term builders grade AC but would use some caution!
 
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Old 08-19-17, 05:13 AM
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I am not able to add a photo from image host?
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Old 08-20-17, 05:32 AM
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The main components in a "builders grade" ac unit are mostly the same as the deluxe unit.
The more expensive models have additional features like slightly lower power consumption, a heavier case, a bit better starting relay, low temperature thermostat and similar components that are ok but have little impact on how long it will last or how much maintenance it will require over it's service life.
 
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Old 08-20-17, 12:58 PM
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Goodman is the cheap chinese brand. I was on a forum called HVAC-Talk for 11 years, and they folks there suggested Rheem as one of the top brands. Please look through this thread:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ai...-46-years.html
 
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Old 08-20-17, 01:04 PM
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Goodman is the cheap chinese brand.
That's not necessarily true. I have many customers that have had Goodman equipment for many years with no problems. EVERY company has stripped down models which equate to builders grade.

At the current time you cannot insert a picture.... just attach one.
 
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Old 08-20-17, 01:30 PM
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Well, I'm not a HVAC Tech, so maybe you're right about that. I'll bet Goodman won't last as long as my dad's Fedders unit did. It ran for 46 years, and was still running the day they replaced it. Thanks.


This new Rheem 3 ton unit was installed about 2 weeks ago.

 

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Old 08-20-17, 02:07 PM
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Equipment manufactured today will not match the quality of your fathers 45 year old Fedders unit.
 
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Old 08-24-17, 08:59 AM
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Todays equipment will be much more efficient than a 45 year old unit.

Goodman has a huge plant here in Houston.


 
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Old 08-25-17, 10:31 AM
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I would much rather have the Fedders unit that would last possibly 50 years than a more efficient unit that is almost guaranteed to break in about 10 years--think Goodman or some other knock off brand. The run cap will pop on the Goodman in 10 years or less, and it is easy to troubleshoot because of the bulge at the bottom. A service tech comes out and charges $400 or more replace the cap that cost him $14 and takes him 15 minutes to replace. The Goodman unit will go completely in 20 years or less--right? Of course wha t is ideal is the equivalent of a Fedders unit that will last as long and is as effecient as a 2017 Rheem. So I save $20/month on electric because the Goodman is more efficient? So what? How much am I really going to save with the repairs and/or replacement of the Goodman? Well.....maybe more than $20...I don't know for sure. In Cincinnati that would only be 3 or 4 months out of the year at the most. In Texas where I live it may be months out of the year. Maybe the savings is more significant than I realize. But, with the long lasting unit, I don['t have to deal with outrageous service tech prices. And, I don't have to deal with going to the supply house and being told I can't buy a $14 cap because I'm not an HVAC technician. Awhhhhh, peace of mind with the Fedders unit.
 
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Old 08-25-17, 11:47 AM
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My electric bill dropped $90 a month when I went from an old 10 SEER unit to a 14 SEER unit. I suspect that a 45 year old unit would have been about 8 SEER when it was new and much lower now.

I used to have an old Fedders unit on my house as a kid. I don't know how long it ran but it was still sitting next to the house 25 years later. It isn't there anymore. I have replaced capacitors and fan motors on Fedders condensers.


Goodman and Rheem are comparable in my opinion but Rheem looks better.
 
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Old 08-26-17, 01:21 AM
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I heard Fedders went downhill when they switch to scroll compressors. IMHO, in that 1970 to 1973 era, they made some of the best units ever made. That one that worked through 46 summers at my dad's house had the original capacitor in it.

I don't know much about HVAC. I was a radio repair technician all my life. But, I do know the old fedders unit was a 3-ton and the new Rheem is a 3-ton unit. But as my dad says, the new unit cools the house down faster and the air blows harder. Why? I don't know. Better blower motor or something else?
 
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Old 08-26-17, 01:45 AM
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Hmmmmmm....Rheem has gone global and sent their manufacturing to Mexico like everybody else...In America today, it's all about the $$$ I guess?

Rheem continues with production shift to Mexico - Talk Business & Politics
 
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Old 08-26-17, 05:40 AM
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When I bought a unit for my house I made sure that is had a Copeland Scroll compressor. I have been in the HVAC business for 25 years and I trust it to cool my family.

I have replace old systems and had the homeowners tell me that they have a lot more air coming out of the grills. The old evaporator coils ran smaller and they were usually not as clean as a new one.
 
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Old 08-26-17, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Houston204 View Post
When I bought a unit for my house I made sure that is had a Copeland Scroll compressor. I have been in the HVAC business for 25 years and I trust it to cool my family.

I have replace old systems and had the homeowners tell me that they have a lot more air coming out of the grills. The old evaporator coils ran smaller and they were usually not as clean as a new one.

Houston204, thank you for that info. If I'm not mistaken, Rheem puts Copeland scrolls in all their residential AC units. I hope that is what my dad got in his new install in Cincinnati. I understand now about the evap coils being larger for more airflow.
 
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Old 08-30-17, 12:53 AM
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Thanks for all the responses and info, greatly appreciated. My old house had a 20+ year old AC system and I was looking at replacing it due to age. Neighbor who worked for commercial AC company told me not to even think about it till it died. That was about 6 years ago, I notice it was recently replaced. So at least 25 years old if not more.

I was vacillating between Goodman and Rheem till I read that Rheem has the most expensive service calls. According to Consumers Reports.
 
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