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  1. #1
    Part I: 1550 sq ft "ranch", 60% very high vaulted ceilings, 40% flat 9-foot ceilings. Located in Eugene Oregon, built 1994, "Super Good Cents" energy certified. Currently has a 2-ton Janitrol heat pump, and a 50,000 BTU Day & Night 80% gas forced air with a 1/3 HP blower. West side of house bakes in the afternoon in the summer.

    No problems heating, system moves plenty of air, no excessive cycling.

    Cooling has been a different story since Day 1. If it's 90 outside, the hp has to run continuously to maintain 80. If it's 100, it can't get the house under 85.

    So I'm talking to contractors. Nobody has done calcs. Based on my input, and their agreement that the existing D&N furnace and air handler (and 30-Amp circuit) can handle up to a 3-ton HP, they're recommending the 3-ton.

    Does a 3-ton sound outrageously oversized for this house? They say it's "slightly" oversized but nothing to worry about.

    Part II: Goodman 13 SEER vs. Similar Other Brands. I've been leaning toward the Goodman due to price (duh!). An equiv. Lennox and Trane are ~$800-$1000 more. In the professional opinions of all here, is the initial lower price of the Goodman really false economy, given that I will probably live in this house for at least the next 20 years?

    Thanks for any input.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    Posts
    215
    First things first.
    You need to find out why your eleven year old unit has not worked properly.

    Just blindly replacing it without knowing the real cause of your cooling problem could be a mistake... you might end up with a new system that still has problems.

    Get someone who will do the load and ductwork calcs, you might have to pay to get them, but its worth it, especially when an existing system has been problematic from day 1.

    This will tell you if your existing sytem is indeed undersized, and whether or not your ductwork and blower are up to the task. (its harder to move cool air than warm air.)

    If everything comes back OK, and your system is sized right, you need to find the cause of the poor cooling, and correct that before you replace your system.

    As far as brands go, you will get a lot of opinions on them, especially when it relates to Goodman. Many people, (me included) think they represent good value for the money. Others hate 'em, and wouldn't have one if it was given to them. Most of this is do to poor performance in the past, but Goodman seems to be making a real effort to improve their quality. Others hate them because Goodman wholesalers will sell to just about anyone, and they feel that this hurts their ability to compete in the marketplace.

    It can also be said that many of Goodman's problems stem from poor installations, which is what you are going to have a lot of when unqualified people buy them and install them.

    Now, you said that you plan on being in the house for the next 20 years. The difference in price between the units you are considering works out to about $50 a year, not a whole lot of saving there.

    Go with the company that comes in and really tries to solve your cooling problem, not somebody who just automatically upsizes your unit without any back-up info. Let them suggest the brand. All things considered, a premium brand with a poor install will not work as well or last as long as an economy system with a good install.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,174
    Agree with dave.

    You need your duct system evaluated before you just throw a bigger unit in there.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,296
    Originally posted by typical homeowner
    Based on my input, and their agreement that the existing D&N furnace and air handler (and 30-Amp circuit) can handle up to a 3-ton HP, they're recommending the 3-ton.

    Does a 3-ton sound outrageously oversized for this house? They say it's "slightly" oversized but nothing to worry about.

    An equiv. Lennox and Trane are ~$800-$1000 more. In the professional opinions of all here, is the initial lower price of the Goodman really false economy, given that I will probably live in this house for at least the next 20 years?
    FALSE ECONOMY is exactly right !
    Additional ~$900 will seem like Nothing compared to repair bills and down times.

    3-ton does not seem to be drastically oversized but
    Relative Humidity may not be maintained at < 55%.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    OR
    Posts
    3
    Call your local public utility(484-1125) first. They may have 0% loans available for heat pump upgrades. And Yes, 3 tons seems excessive...They probabley have your home in a hard copy file if is "super Good Cents". They can check their files, sound like it might be a Weichart home? They may even provide load calcs, have a list of approved contractors, Energy Star equipment, duct sealing, out-door lock out tstats, filter dryers, commissioning etc. sPEC.S WRITTEN INTO THEIR "CENTSIBLE CEAT PROGRAM.
    But first have your charge checked (CheckMe) and have your ducts tested, your local utility will test your ducts free of charge. CALL LOCAL UTILITY FIRST
    Charlie

    [Edited by chas05 on 06-22-2005 at 03:32 PM]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12,037
    Originally posted by chas05
    Call EWEB (484-1125) first, 0% loans available for heat pump upgrades. And Yes, 3 tons seems excessive...What is your address? I can check our files, sound like it might be a Weichart home? We'll run load calcs, have a list of approved contractors, Energy Star equipment, duct sealing, out-door lock out tstats, filter dryers, commissioning etc.
    But first have your charge checked (CheckMe) and have your ducts tested, EWEB will test your ducts free of charge. CALL EWEB FIRST
    Charlie

    [Edited by chas05 on 06-22-2005 at 10:45 AM]
    easy tiger...

    You are very close to using this site for your advertising without proper permission. Just go easy... thanks

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  7. #7
    Appreciate everyone's advice and opinions so far.

    EWEB is the Eugene Water & Electric Board in case anyone is wondering.

    The volume of air in this 1550 ft. house is probably equivalent to a 2000 foot house without vaulted ceilings, maybe even a little more. It's fairly tightly built but not exactly a sealed vault. The living/dining/kitchen has vaulted ceilings, and very high, lots of windows, also 2 skylights. That's the west side of the house that gets baked in the afternoon in the summer.

    I've sifted through many threads here and elsewhere. For every slam on Goodman, I can find praise. The same seems to be true for the "name" brands. Often someone has a bad experience with a Goodman, Trane, or Lennox, and that sours them on the brand forever. Every brand has its occasional lemon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    230
    Plant some trees (or something )on the west side for shade. Tune up your current system.
    I had a block full of duplexes that were all built with the same equipment. The one on the west side baked but the ones on the east were fine. I put up car ports on the west side cuz I could (plus an education on fan direction and closing fireplace flues in the summer), and wala everybody is happy.

  9. #9

    Update

    A 3-ton 13-SEER Goodman was installed today, along with a new 3-ton evap coil. All the lines were replaced between the h/p and the coil in the air handler. The tech seemed to know what he was doing and the job looks professionally done. Hey, the condensation line runs 100% downhill now for one thing, which wasn't the case on the original unit. lol.

    With 85F outside, 79F inside, I'm getting 59F at the register farthest from the air handler (20 deg. diff). Does that seem about right? That's WAY better than I've ever gotten previously.

    There's a problem though, which the tech informed me of. When testing the h/p in heat mode, the pressures go sky-high. He couldn't figure it out. Cooling mode looks fine. It was the end of the day and he promised he would have someone contact me to look into this further tomorrow.

    At this point I haven't paid them any $$ and they haven't asked for anything. Obviously I won't write a check until the job is finished correctly.

    Any ideas on the very high pressures in heat mode?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927

    Re: Update

    Originally posted by typical homeowner
    With 85F outside, 79F inside, When testing the h/p in heat mode, the pressures go sky-high. Thanks.
    Maybe he should wait for a cold day to turn on the heat.

  11. #11
    The tech actually mentioned that, but he seemed to think the readings were way too high for that to be a plausible explanation. Obviously I don't know. That's why I'm asking for expert opinions.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    715
    I wouldn't run a Heatpump in the heating mode very long at those temperatures. Better wait for a cooler day to test the unit in the heating mode.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,174
    Way too hot to run the heat pump in heat mode.

    The pressures should sky rocket under those conditions in heat mode.
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