I am in need of a new HVAC system for my house in NorCal. Looking at a 5 ton single stage on the AC side, 14 seer unit. Single stage 100k btu 80% furnace. Also was quoted on 5 ton AC 17 seer two stage with a two stage 100k btu 80% furnace. Any brands to avoid, are any brands significantly better than others? Is two stage really worth it? More efficient? I have solar PV on the house and our true up on the electrical bill is pretty much zero now with PG&E. The PV system is a 8kW rated system with 29 panels. I'm east of Sacramento County so it gets hot in the summer with high 90's being common. Winter is usually 40's overnight with some occasional colder nights in the 30's. We use the AC more than the heat. House is two story, approx 2900 sq/ft with a dual zone system in it currently.
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I like Trane units.
2 stage is more energy efficient. We have a 2 stage Trane XL20i and our energy usage has been reduced since it was installed. Unit has been in service over 10 years without fault.
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Take a look at carrier systems also. A little more expensive but systems are built tough. Here in Southern New Mexico the AC is on from March to november with days well over 100 degrees. I have not had a problem with my system in 15 years
Trane 2 Stage, 16 Seer with heat pump. This dropped our Electrical Costs and Natural Gas usage.
Great unit but the real part of the equation is the installer. Make sure you have a great installation.
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I am looking to get another myself. Mine has been blowing capacitors lately. I am looking at RUUD now after having a Trane. The Trane was great and lasted about 16 years but they are kind of pricey for me.
I like Trane a lot myself, if I was looking at lower priced units, I'd look at American Standard (also owned by Trane, but priced lower).
Here's the rub on AC systems. Will two stage high SEER systems save you money monthly on your power bill? Yes. And the more the system runs, the bigger the savings over a single stage unit. However, there's the other side of the coin to consider. Two stage high SEER systems are more expensive up front (some like Carrier, significantly more expensive), and are more expensive to repair should anything go wrong with them. So overall, will they actually save you money in the long run? Depends on how reliable they are and how much they run.
As to best brands, an independent HVAC guy I know locally who's been installing and repairing these things for over 30 years, claims 'all' the current equipment is significantly inferior to units built years ago. Personally, I opted to install a single stage 14.5 SEER Goodman unit given it saved me a fair amount of money upfront and offered a good warranty. After a year and a half, so far so good.
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With your moderate winter temps and solar installation would a heat pump be worth considering? Probably $500-1000 more up front.
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Many many many threads on this question.
Www.karmanator.com will find them.
I purchased Daikin systems. Very happy.
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Coleman makes top end systems. Expensive, but worth it.
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Goodman have come a long way. With such a big system, you’ll find a benefit with running the blower all the time. Distribute the air you’ve paid to heat or cool. If I were to upgrade just one component it would be to select a variable speed furnace.
This is the approach I took. My buddy who installed my system, said ignore the SEER rating, go with cheaper unit and save the money upfront. Then replace it every 10-15 years instead of 15-20 and you'll automatically get a higher SEER unit as the rules change.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
I am a licensed HVAC contractor. I have been in the business for awhile. I completely agree with others about Goodman products. They are much cheaper than the well-known brand like Trane, American Standard, Carrier...
There is no need to go with the higher SEER and high efficient furnace. Unless you want to pitch the money away then stay with Trane. They were great in the past. I don't care much for them. Most of the components on their system are proprietary and not cheap.
Find an independent contractor person for the job, you can save the money. Big truck company will charge much more for the same system.
On the other spectrum, if you want to save energy, Ductless system (mini-split) is another option (available in heatpump or ac only). It can go up to 22 SEERS, and very quiet. You can get a multi-zone system for your 3000 sqf home. Again, Daikin (parent company of Goodman) makes good systems.
NRA Life Member
Just bought a Trane, had 9 estimates. Try to get model numbers with the estimates. To compare apples to apples. One of my quotes ended up $2000 cheaper for the same unit.
I sell Carrier (wholesale to local contractors), but full disclosure, installed a Goodman at home before I started working for them. It has been fine for the last 12 years, not a hiccup.
Another quality budget line is Payne.
Probably the best deal I sell is Bryant.
Their units are IDENTICAL to the Carrier's, at a lower price point.
I quit school in elementary because of recess.......too many games
Check into local rebates. Sometimes going up 1 SEER point will get you enough $ back to cover the increase.
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Well, I have a 2.5 ton Carrier HP that needs replacing. How much would I expect to pay for a Goodman system installed?
I assume my old lines could be used.
Pretty much the same. I've had my Goodman system for 6 years and just had the first issue. A small nail like sized hole in a piece of copper in the condenser. My AC guy came buy, quickly found the issue, soldered it (took 1 minute flat), recharged it (probably took 12-13 pounds) and back up and running. I've had roofers and a fence guy in the area of my condenser and one of them was probably the culprit.
From my installer, and my memory isn't 100% on this. I'm in TX so think 100 degree and high humidity all summer and hot, and I don't mean the good kind, from late March through October. It was 91 on Sunday here, in mid October. He said here where I live, two stage makes little sense financially long term. When the sumbitch kicks on you want full power going. He said two stage is more expensive to fix, more cost up front and he has s single stage on his own house, Goodman unit, because of both. Single vs dual stage is really geographic dependent. I took the savings vs dual stage and put it into more insulation in the attic and radiant barrier.
So do companies that drive smaller trucks have lower prices? Also can you explain why the SEERS matter? It is so good to get the straight scoop from a real pro, especially one that is also a nuclear engineer and is willing to share his good lucks with the rest of us.
As long as the lineset and ducting is fine, my buddy charges $4,000-4,500 usually. Area average is around $6k for lower end models at a good price. $8k from rip off company like Michael & Sons. $8-10k for average cost on higher SEER units at average costs. Finally $12k or so for high priced plus high SEER.
Email me for contact info, he's not in the HVAC business any longer but will do installs for my friends if I ask him to (just did buddy's for $4,200 IIRC). The downside to using him is that he doesn't do service on the units, he'll fix stuff that's in the one or two year warranty (not sure which) and not immediately or emergency. His recommended lower end brand has 10 yr parts only warranty, but you'll probably want to use your own contractor for immediate or emergency services.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
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