Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

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Topic Author
Gardener
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Gardener » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:37 am

Which heating quote is the best?

My heat unit went out and I live in the northeast. We intend to sell the home in the Spring. 3 different companies all indicated that the system needs to be replaced. Repair is not an option, per them.

Here are the 3 quotes on the units/labor:

1. 14 Seer Goodman- $5,562
2. 14 Seer Lennox -$4590
3. 16 Seer Trane- $4,812

Thank you

turkey1234
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by turkey1234 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:44 am

My brother owns his own HVAC business and always says to go with Trane. fyi they are going up 8% starting in January.

nashirak
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Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by nashirak » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:48 am

I would agree with the higher efficiency rated unit. It’s a negligible price increase over the cheaper less efficient unit. Potential home-buyers will like the respected brand name and the higher efficiency (I would).

Teague
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Teague » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:50 am

System design for your house and installation quality trumps price, brand, or SEER.
Semper Augustus

Rupert
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Rupert » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:52 am

Since you're selling the house in the spring, I'd get the cheapest one. Those are all brand-name units. But how old is the old unit, and what exactly did the servicemen say was wrong with it? I don't trust the opinions of any HVAC person associated with one of the big HVAC unit companies anymore. They all make money off service contracts these days and have no interest in repairing a repairable older unit. If possible, try to find a serviceman unaffiliated with the big companies (Carrier, Trane, Lennox, etc.) to diagnose problems. Such guys usually run their own shops.

Topic Author
Gardener
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Gardener » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:52 am

Thanks, is Lennox superior to Trane? OR vice versa?

I've never heard of Goodman.

Do we get tax credits for getting a new HVAC system?

Topic Author
Gardener
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Gardener » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:56 am

Gardener wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:37 am
Which heating quote is the best?

My heat unit went out and I live in the northeast. We intend to sell the home in the Spring. 3 different companies all indicated that the system needs to be replaced. Repair is not an option, per them.

Here are the 3 quotes on the units/labor:

1. 14 Seer Goodman- $5,562 Loves Heating and Air
2. 14 Seer Lennox -$4590 Super Tech (through Lowe's)
3. 16 Seer Trane- $4,812 Charles A. Klein and Sons, Inc

Thank you

Rupert
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Rupert » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:02 am

Gardener wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:52 am
Thanks, is Lennox superior to Trane? OR vice versa?

I've never heard of Goodman.

Do we get tax credits for getting a new HVAC system?
Goodman is a good brand. Comparable to Lennox and Trane, IMHO. All 3 brands are good, and I wouldn't rank one over the others. There are some federal tax credits, but I'm not sure 14 or 16 SEER units would qualify. 14 is the bare minimum efficiency today. The installers should know for sure.

Travel1013
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Travel1013 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:08 am

FWIW Received three replacement quotes four years ago for leaking hvac - cracked pan - all said unit too old for repair and needs replacement.
I removed covering and laid a bead of silicone sealer - running just fine since.
You may want to get an independent 'plumber/technicians' opinion particularly since your selling in spring.

RudyS
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by RudyS » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:24 am

Having a (fairly) efficient new furnace from a reputable brand will likely help sell the house. Don't be tempted to go cheap by a few hundred. Assuming of course replacement is needed. How old is the furnace? Another factor for buyers to consider.

Topic Author
Gardener
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Gardener » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:28 am

Ill double check my notes. But I believe the issue was a bad compressor.

Housedoc
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Housedoc » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:05 pm

Goodman lowest quality. Prone to leaking coils. I suggest Trane.

Big Dog
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Big Dog » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:15 pm

since you are selling in a few months, get whatever is cheaper particularly since Lennox is a name brand. But what you might inquire about is whether any of them will offer a warranty that is transferable to a new buyer. (not all are.) If so, get that one, since it would be a plus factor in the sale, as you can include 'new air conditioner with xx years of warranty'.

btw: you mentioned heating in our original post, but it sounds like it is really the a/c ('SEER' and 'compressor' are usually terms associated with a/c') that needs replacement?

a good source o HVAC info can be found on:

https://hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdisplay. ... ntial-HVAC

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unclescrooge
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:24 pm

Gardener wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:52 am
Thanks, is Lennox superior to Trane? OR vice versa?

I've never heard of Goodman.

Do we get tax credits for getting a new HVAC system?
Hire the most competent installation company.

bloom2708
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:33 pm

When you get quotes, why not compare apples to apples?

At least get 2 Lennox quotes for the same system. There is a bunch of wiggle room in these systems.

Or get a SEER 16 vs SEER 16 quote. or SEER 14 vs SEER 14

We have the Lennox SLP98U and 16 SEER XC16S AC unit.

Multi-stage. Very quiet. I got 3 quotes for the same system. One was $500 less for the exact same system.

For $300 I would do the SEER 16. The future owner will thank you. Use it as a selling point. New 16 SEER AC system and furnace.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by CedarWaxWing » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:46 pm

Why is repair not an option?

That is a very valid question... I have had 3 companies tell me the same with mine... and I found that all I needed was a capacitor and blower motor at very little cost... that was 4 years ago, and it is working great.

I have found that most of these so called repairmen/companies do not wish to repair things... they want to sell a new unit with makes them mega bucks..... make sure you have a full understanding of the problems before replacing these things.

When the heat pumps go out ... a new furnace may be necessary because the old furnaces are not compatible with the new heat pumps... or so they say.

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jharkin
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by jharkin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:48 pm

Gardener wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:52 am
Do we get tax credits for getting a new HVAC system?
No tax credits I am aware of, but some states and utilities offer rebates or low interest financing for upgrades if you are increasing the efficiency a certain amount.

Look up your state and/or call your electric company and inquire. Where I live its done by a state program called MassSave.


-----

Also I agree with others that big chain installers are often very quick to push replacement when repair is an option... especially if your existing unit is not their primary brand ;) Second the recommendation to find a good independent guy if these quotes are from big companies.

inbox788
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by inbox788 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:42 pm

Gardener wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:37 am
Which heating quote is the best?

My heat unit went out and I live in the northeast. We intend to sell the home in the Spring. 3 different companies all indicated that the system needs to be replaced. Repair is not an option, per them.

Here are the 3 quotes on the units/labor:

1. 14 Seer Goodman- $5,562
2. 14 Seer Lennox -$4590
3. 16 Seer Trane- $4,812

Thank you
What's your rule, "Get 3 quotes, and go with the lowest one", "Get 3 quotes and go with the middle one", or "Get 3 quotes and DON'T go with the lowest one"?

Best what?

Best cost is obliviously the lowest bid, but best value is 16 SEER for only $222 more (ROI may be as little as 2-3 years). Quote 1 cost more (most) and cost more to operate. There's also brand and specific model/features to consider, but I'm not that familiar with pecking order of brands and you may be dealing with different model classes (Yaris vs Accord vs IS350). Are they all same capacity?
So a 3-ton, 16-SEER unit in Phoenix saves you about $81/year (675 x $0.12) in electricity costs over a 14-SEER unit.
https://georgebrazilhvac.com/blog/16-se ... ent-air-co

But really, best is who you think is the the better company and had better feeling about. Were any referrals or vetted? What's their publicly available reviews. For these types of services, it's often scant and inaccurate, but it's that or nothing, and sometimes there are red flags. I try to avoid referral mills and heavy marketing outfits, figuring that at best, they're no better and pay more for sales and advertising rather than actual service. I ask my neighbors who had recent work for referrals.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgr ... gies-list/

Saving$
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Saving$ » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:24 pm

Based on the info you shared, go with the Trane. But you don't have enough info.

1. What is the tonnage of the cooling portion and btu of the heating portion on the units in each of these quotes? Are any of them multi stage units?
2. Did any of these proposers do a proper manual J calculation?
3. What are the other differences - are any replacing the existing lineset, existing t-stat, etc.?
4. What are the terms of the warranties? Some companies offer 12-36 months service along with a new install. Did any include this?

killjoy2012
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by killjoy2012 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:25 pm

You didn't post many specifics, but I'd run away from the Goodman, and Lennox & Trane are about on par with each other.

void
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by void » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:39 pm

Heard Goodman is easiest to fix. If you are selling, go cheap. A home buyer will be happy with a new unit under warranty.

mcamp18
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by mcamp18 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:02 pm

I would post this on www.hvac-talk.com It is a forum of HVAC professionals.

They will drill down and provide expert guidance.

I did that when I needed a new system about 10 years ago. Back then from high to low it was Trane, Lennox,
Goodman.

Expert installer trumps superior equipment. I went with expert installer and best equipment.

Costco sells Lenox equipment.

Topic Author
Gardener
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by Gardener » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:29 pm

Op here.

Ended up going with this option:

3. 16 Seer Trane- $4,812

Plus- the electric company that we use is issuing us a rebate check of $400 as the 16 seer units are considered energy efficient.

Thank you for the help.

fire0216
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by fire0216 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:11 pm

Travel1013 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:08 am
FWIW Received three replacement quotes four years ago for leaking hvac - cracked pan - all said unit too old for repair and needs replacement.
I removed covering and laid a bead of silicone sealer - running just fine since.
You may want to get an independent 'plumber/technicians' opinion particularly since your selling in spring.
Similar hvac issue. Had water leak from HVAC pan. Tech said unit was 10+ years old and recommended replacement vs. $2,000 repair. I said Ok replace the unit. He said 2 weeks (in the midst of a heatwave), so I dragged my butt into the attic to temporarily fix the leaking pan & turns out leak was due to fan blowing water past the pan. I screwed a piece of aluminum flashing to extend the pan & hvac has been bone dry for 5+ years.
Good luck

suemarkp
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Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

Post by suemarkp » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:04 am

With all the EPA rules for refrigerants, you spend a lot of time, labor, and refrigerant when you change a system. If the old compressor was replaced, the system still needs evacuated and refilled. That costs more than the compressor. A new unit doesn't cost a whole lot more and will be more efficient.

I had an HVAC tech who would evacuate the system and refill it with the refrigerant removed from your system (after being filtered). That made a lot of sense to me but no reputable companies here will do that. They say its illegal (not sure why it would be, he not dumping it into the air). The oil-refrigerant balance may be unknown, but when refrigerant is $40+ per pound and you need 16 pounds in a system, that's a lot to pay (plus the labor). And they give you nothing for the refrigerant they suck out. If I had an EPA license, I could buy the refrigerant for $10/lb in a 25# bottle.

The same tech would put on the vacuum, go away to some other job, and come back later to refill. All the main companies here sit around while the vacuum is running for a few hours and charge you labor for it.

My current system is a Goodman. They have a bad reputation, but it seems just as good as anything else to me. Their parts cost less (Lennox can be quite pricey). My issue has been little valves. Had to change the TXV twice, and that requires evacuating and refiling all the refrigerant. Don't know who makes that TXV, but I'm getting tired of replacing it every few years.
Mark | Kent, WA

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