Take head of this message and you might save yourself so money. A friend of mine installs hvac equipment whenever and however he can do it...he cannot do the wiring and has very limited knowlege of any service type work that needs to be done to a unit and has limited troubleshooting skills so he calls on me to cover his back whenever problems arise or he needs help wiring something. Ok here is the story. He called me today and said he needed help getting a package heat pump started...he had installed it for a homeowner who had bought the unit over the internet in order to supposedly save some money. My friend calls me up saying its installed but he fears hes done something wrong in the low voltage wiring circuit because the thermostat is not energizing the unit. When I get there he tells me that the homeowner had him pull out an older but working split system heat pump so he could put a newer 12 seer package heat pump in that he had bought off the internet. The homeowner was very proud of himself that he had saved so much money by doing this and found my friend who installed it at a very reduced price thus getting a very very cheap install and getting a efficient system to boot. When i heard what the owner paid for the 4 ton package heat pump I was impressed because it was indeed lower than what I can even buy such a unit for (goodman).
Upon further investigation however I noticed that this unit was not in fact a heat pump but was a straight air package system with electric heat only (15kw heat strips).
So I went ahead and fixed the wiring problem...replaced the heat pump t-stat with the appropriate t-stat for his unit and gave the homeowner the bad news. The homeowner had removed a more efficient heat pump and had installed a less efficient and more expensive to operate electric heat system. His smile quickly faded and he was no longer proud of himself. He states that he specificly ordered a heat pump and thought thats what he got...however any knowlegable hvac guy would have known it wasnt right off the bat by looking the unit over and reading the bill of sale...but since he went the cheap route he got bit. Not only that but I informed him that his 10 year warranty he also purchased from the internet company was virtually useless as most goodman distributors in my area will only warranty parts on units that were bought thru them...thats the way it is in my area. So if he ever needs a warranty part he most likely will have to wait a day or so on parts to be shipped to him via overnight delivery and will pay additional freight for this. Now hes contemplating removing the new system that was just installed because he now knows how high his heating bills will be next winter. So let this be a lesson for the diy masters out there....there is a place for diy but hvac is not one of them. Also the price he got on the system he bought over the internet turned out to be much much higher than if he had gotten the system locally. Live and learn..there are no free lunches.