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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    9

    Question

    I live in central Alabama and just purchased a 35 year old home that needs a new HVAC system. Since propane and electricity are the only energy options, I've decided I'd like to replace with a heat pump. Can you guys give me an opinion of who's heat pump is the best VALUE? I went through this exercise a couple of years ago when updating my existing home's gas furnace and coil - I chose American Standard for that and have been very satisfied.

    Also, what is everyone's thought on using my other fuel (propane) as the auxillary heat source? I understand that you can incorporate a 'furnace' into your system for really cold days. Not sure how much I'd need that in central Alabama where nights in the teens are very unusual. Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your opinions.

    Jimmy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,879
    If you were happy with the A/S, and the company that put it in for you, might want to stay with them.

    Youo might be better off staying with electri back up.

    Compare your electric rate, to what LP cost, and decide from there.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    698
    Unfortunately "value" is a loaded question. Many dealers/contractors feel that the brand that they carry is always the best value.

    You could say that Goodman is a good value. Generally solid equipment at a reasonable price, without a lot of frills, and good reliability and warranty. It is like the Chevy of HVAC. Many feel that Trane, York and Carrier are "better" units which might give longer service life, and have other "best in class" build and features. These are perhaps more Lexus of HVAC. Remember that for the same SEER rating, the efficiency is the same.

    Mostly the decision depends on your budget and how you define value. You can get a good long life out of a Goodman, but the probability of one of the "better" brands living longer is higher. As is often stated here, the quality of the installer and the installation usually has a lot more to do than the actual hardware.

    paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    At least look at teh top of the line products and comfort they provide,kile a Carrier Infinity and others,variable sped fan for dehumidifing,two speed compressors,etc.


    The products should last 15 years,10 of of which could be under a P&L warranty.

    So ten years ,3650 days ,is economy and comfort worth a dollar a day,or less?

    With systems that can maintain low humidity,to discourage mold growth,what's the value?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    706

    Post get many quotes

    get as many quotes from as many contractors as you can stand. best value you can get is to shop around. prices vary GREATLY between companies. minimum of 3 quotes, but prefer 5 or more. ask questions, write them down so you don't forget. ask for customer references. customers that live around your area and have a similar house structure. not customers that live on the other side of town as temp. conditions may be slightly different. a solid, reputable & honest company will have no problem getting you a couple of numbers to call. if the contractor won't provide you with references, still get the quote, but rule them out as the jobber. only a few reasons why a contractor can't provide customer references. top two, they don't do much work in your part of town -- lack of quality work performed. don't buy into " i believe in customer privacy, i hope you understand, i wouldn't give your number out, like i said, it's about privacy" . many a times i have had an install go & look awesome. i ask the homeowner if i may use them as a reference in the future. if you did a good job, most will say no problem, glad to help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    9

    heat pump brands....

    Are any brands notorious for a bad heat pump? I'm very unfamiliar with this type system - I've always had a natural gas furnace coupled with an outside unit. I understand the concept of a heat pump but was wondering which brands are best/worst. Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,879
    Thats a loaded question.

    We all prefer our own brand.

    Mine is York.

    Get a good installer, and you'll have a good unit no matter what the brand.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    beenthere should have put that last sentence in bold. You really need to not worry about brand jdeas. You need to be scared silly about the contractor. Most do not install systems as they should. There are many dozens of things a contractor does to make the system work right and last long. My list focuses on dry climate AC. Dry climate AC is actually much easier than in humid areas. And my list is short. There's much more.

    Think of it this way. Car assembly plants make very little. They get pre-made parts shipped in from all over the world, put it together and paint it. What if those parts skipped the final plant and the car dealer had to assemble the car and paint it? At that point car quality would vary tremendously. You'd care a lot less about where the parts came from and a lot more who's putting it together. The same is true of HVAC. The brands that you're so focused on are bit players. They are parts shippers. And their parts have in many cases reached near parody in terms of quality. The contractor designs, orders, assembles and tests the system. He determines your system's quality much more than the brand.

    The only parody that some contractors have reached is that of hack. Quality work done by the book represents a minority of what goes on out there. Choose your contractor well and go with his brand.

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