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  1. #1

    Goodman HVAC system - worth upgrading?

    Moving into a new house, mid-atlantic area, ~1400 sqft one floor, R19 walls, R30 ceiling, with a full (~1300 sqft) unfinished basement.

    Standard equipment is a Goodman single stage system:
    - 69k BTU 92% AFUE furnance GSX130301DB
    - 2.5 tons 13 SEER AC GKS90703BX

    [This is what they also equip crawlspace-only homes with, ie. no capacity upgrade with the full basement.]

    I asked the developer to price out 2 upgrades:

    A. Single stage:
    - 92k 95% AFUE Dual$aver furnace (single stage thermostat, but internally can run a 60% btu initially, then moves to full heat after a given time). Also adds a 10yr unit warranty. GMH950904CX
    - 3.0 ton 16 SEER AC - adds lifetime compressor warranty SSX160361

    B. Dual stage
    - 92k 95% AFUE variable speed blower (10yr unit warranty) GMVC950905CX
    - 3.0 ton 18 SEER AC (and lifetime compressor warranty) DSXC180361
    - 'ComfortNet' protocol with top of the line CTK01 thermostat CTK01

    Based on internet list pricing I found for these models:

    - between std and 'A', the developer wants 3x the price difference
    - between std and 'B', the developer wants about 2x the price difference
    - 'B' is about twice the of 'A'

    I don't know if my prices are low, or their's are high.

    I was looking to get some incremental upgrades:
    - a little more efficiency (lot more on the AC)
    - longer warranties
    - higher capacity to better handle the basement (assuming at some point some/all might be finished space)
    - dual stage (knew that would be more $$)

    I'm trying to decide if the costs are justifiable. I don't know how Goodman is on service life. I've heard of Trane, York, Lennox, Carrier before, never Goodman. If it's not the most reliable brand, do I want to be putting "good money after bad". [FYI - no option to get any other vendor's HVAC system installed).

    I know moving from 13 to 16 or 18 SEER can save money. But will I save THAT much money to offset the higher up front costs. [As new development, I don't think I have the ability to claim any efficiency rebates, even if ones were available.]

    Option (C) I guess would be to just run with this equipment, save my money, and figure when it dies, replace it then with a better system.

    I have a couple of days to decide if I want either upgrade. Any replies would be appreciated.

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,960
    I'm trying to decide if the costs are justifiable. I don't know how Goodman is on service life. I've heard of Trane, York, Lennox, Carrier before, never Goodman. If it's not the most reliable brand, do I want to be putting "good money after bad". [FYI - no option to get any other vendor's HVAC system installed).

    I know moving from 13 to 16 or 18 SEER can save money. But will I save THAT much money to offset the higher up front costs. [As new development, I don't think I have the ability to claim any efficiency rebates, even if ones were available.]

    Option (C) I guess would be to just run with this equipment, save my money, and figure when it dies, replace it then with a better system.

    I have a couple of days to decide if I want either upgrade. Any replies would be appreciated. Jeff
    The mid-Atlantic states covers too large a climate differential; from Delaware to Virginia is a big difference in heating & cooling. What state & large city are you near?

    You normally gain more efficient delivered performance when U seal the duct system & make sure it is sized right for both heat & air.

    Return Air Filter areas need to be sized to achieve a low initial 300-fpm velocity through a clean cheap fiber glass throw-away filter; 500-fpm max for deep pleated filters.

    The main thing is to get optimal performance out of the equipment you have; upping the SEER alone, may or may not get you much A/C savings in a Delaware climate situation; maybe not even in Virginia.

    The Goodman equipment has improved & I would not be concerned about it; however, if the install was not performed to "Best Practices," then you may lose in every category...

    Does the 2.5-Ton cycles on the hottest days? How much if any?

    I personally, would not upgrade solely to get higher SEER in most of the states you are talking about.

    Stating where you are located would be very helpful to all of us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,720
    I hate to say it, I could be wrong, but in my experience new houses have the worst installations because new construction hvac is so tight that you could lose the contract over 5 cents per house. So the hvac companies will use cheap inexperienced labor to throw the easiest duct system (usually undersized) possible. With that said it is probably not wise to put a high efficiency unit in if the duct system is not properly sealed, sized, and installed because you won't get the true efficiency anyways. I hope I'm wrong about your situation and you have some good knowledgeable installers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,875
    1400 sq ft new construction in your area shouldn't need a 2.5 ton single stage A/C let alone a 3 ton 2 stage. 2 tons should kill the place.

    A basement won't add enough heating or cooling load to need a bigger A/C or furnace.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,040
    Don't bother with a "16 SEER" A/C with the GMH. You sure won't get it. I wouldn't waste the money on the GMH. If you want comfort, got to the GMVC. Otherwise stay single stage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,161
    if you set aside some money to seal ducts and returns
    then the money you spend to heat & cool will be
    delivered into the space you live, not into the spaces
    where you don't live.

    then air sealing the house, so that you aren't paying to
    heat and cool the great outdoors. a lose house is
    expensive to condition, a tight house is easy to condition.

    replacing equipment is expensive, unless you need to replace asap,
    take the time to research your options. get several bids.

    my analysis show that 15-17 SEER is the best performance/payback.
    less than that, you lose efficiency, higher than that you pay for name,
    bells, whistles and less than specified SEER.

    what is your location?
    has anyone done a load calc?
    3 tons for 1400 sq ft seems oversized to me.
    investing in the load calc & air/duct sealing is money well spent.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,185
    A NEW 1400sqft house shouldn't need more than 50,000BTU heat just about anywhere in the continental US. If 50K wont keep a 1400sqft new house warm the insulator/air sealer failed miserably.

  8. #8
    House is in Phila Pa. 2 exposed qalls (at 90' angles); 1/2 of one wall is 2 car garage; there is southern exposure on the other sides

    First floor has 9' ceilings; basement should have 8' to the underside of the joists. 11 windows throughout the house, all Anderson low-E ones (builder grade, don't think they are top of the line). About 5' of basement is below grade.

    I can't speak to the quality of the construction. All houses before ours were modular, which looked to be well built. Ours will be the first (not single house) built stick frame. I'm thinking more chances for mistakes and sloppy work, but that's just speculation.

    There's no option to get in ahead of closing (say, with a crew I hired to better seal the ducts). They will replace the HVAC system, but only with Goodman equipment. I spec'd out the equipment list, sounds like at least for capacity, I may not have done the best job.

    I know prices are frowned upon. Let's say, for the 'A' configuration, Nice try..

    I don't know what expected lifetime of new equipment is. My current furnance is an Carrier electronic ignition one from the 80's.

    Thanks again for any help.

    Jeff
    Last edited by beenthere; 10-04-2012 at 09:41 PM. Reason: prices

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,271
    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite4 View Post
    Moving into a new house, mid-atlantic area, ~1400 sqft one floor, R19 walls, R30 ceiling, with a full (~1300 sqft) unfinished basement.

    Standard equipment is a Goodman single stage system:
    - 69k BTU 92% AFUE furnance GSX130301DB
    - 2.5 tons 13 SEER AC GKS90703BX

    I asked the developer to price out 2 upgrades:

    if it's not the most reliable brand, do I want to be putting "good money after bad". [FYI - no option to get any other vendor's HVAC system installed).

    Option (C) I guess would be to just run with this equipment, save my money, and figure when it dies, replace it then with a better system.

    I have a couple of days to decide if I want either upgrade.
    ANY replies would be appreciated. Jeff
    Deal Busters ... I'd be lookin 4 a different residence.!
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    Deal Busters ... I'd be lookin 4 a different residence.!
    Too late for that.

    I can't say that the standard equipment is substandard. I'd like to think that are better configurations available (what I tried to specify), but I'm not sure any are worth overpaying for.

    I also can't say that at some other development (in our price range), the options would have been any better. Unless you are doing a 100% custom house, nothing is never perfect, there are always tradeoffs. I'm surprised they wouldn't have configured standard / better / best configurations. However based on my dealings with them, I'd guess it's not an area they think is worth offereing upgrades on (flooring,cabinets,counters - that's a different story!)

    I'm not happy with the time (or perhaps lack of it) to decide. I've been trying to get HVAC upgrade quotes since August. Their HVAC group is not very interactive - I asked to meet with them in person with them, I was told they don't do that. The reality is they didn't have to offer me any upgrades, so perhaps I'm lucky I even got these quotes from them.

    So back to the question at hand: for these systems, at these prices, would you take one, or pass?

    Jeff

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    87
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Last edited by beenthere; 10-06-2012 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,875
    Homeowner314, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Your post has been deleted.
    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,870
    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite4 View Post
    Too late for that.

    I can't say that the standard equipment is substandard. I'd like to think that are better configurations available (what I tried to specify), but I'm not sure any are worth overpaying for.

    I also can't say that at some other development (in our price range), the options would have been any better. Unless you are doing a 100% custom house, nothing is never perfect, there are always tradeoffs. I'm surprised they wouldn't have configured standard / better / best configurations. However based on my dealings with them, I'd guess it's not an area they think is worth offereing upgrades on (flooring,cabinets,counters - that's a different story!)

    I'm not happy with the time (or perhaps lack of it) to decide. I've been trying to get HVAC upgrade quotes since August. Their HVAC group is not very interactive - I asked to meet with them in person with them, I was told they don't do that. The reality is they didn't have to offer me any upgrades, so perhaps I'm lucky I even got these quotes from them.

    So back to the question at hand: for these systems, at these prices, would you take one, or pass?

    Jeff
    Its because RNC contractors do not know any better. They put in the same cheap stuff as many times as they can. Whenever a homeowner asks for something outside their comfort zone (i.e. upgrade) they have no clue and typically F it up.

    If you can't do your own contract with a pro:

    1. Stay within the RNC contractor's comfort zone: no fancy systems!!!
    2. Make sure your duct is accessible to get the right sizes put in later.
    3. If your future duct is not accessible.....good luck.
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

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