New Member, New Project......
Hey guys, I just got here from another non friendly site.
I have a 10 year old house with a piece of crap York unit that has finally kicked the bucket. I have had to replace several components on the furnace over the past few years and now the compressor just died.
The unit is a 70,000 BTU furnace with a 3 ton condensing unit.
Goodman Gas Furnace Air conditioner Systems, Buy Direct from ACWholesalers.com, Free Shipping.
I am ordering a Goodman 18 Seer, dual stage compressor, Dual Stage furnace and dual stage blower. I am also going to spend the 300 for the Goodman thermostat which is more than a just a thermostat.
I've been doing some research the past 2 weeks now, and wanted to share with you what I have found.
For those of you with older systems, they use R22, a refrigerant that is being phased out, no units being sold after 2010 will use R22 and production of R22 will cease by 2020. Why is this important, well some A hole HVAC people will try and push an old R22 system on you for a 'good' price. The newer stuff to use is R410 and is Environment friendly, I believe it lacks the chlorine, at least I think it was chlorine in the R22.
I was going to replace the outside unit, and after some research, the high efficiency units out there now can't really be controlled by your older inside equipment, the newer stuff is a dual stage compressor, dual stage burner and multi speed blower fan, along with some other valves that control the flow of refrigerant to reduce cost.
I have a gas furnace, and will be installing a heat pump A/C unit and a new gas furnace as the backup source. This is the most efficient setup out there other than geo thermal.
My original unit wouldn't keep the house cool, at 95+ degree days, the unit would run for 12 hours straight and not get below 74-76 degrees. I finished the basement and added a laundry room above the garage and it got even worse, so I upgraded to a 4 ton unit, 3.5 ton probably would have been good, but the model I wanted only came in 3 or 4, so obviously I went with the 4.
I will have to enlarge some of the ductwork down stairs in order to accomodate the higher flow, and I actually opted to have a friend do it as I hate sheet metal work. You could always place a quick ad on craigslist if there is a part that you need help with. There are many people out of work right now and you can get someone to do a side job cheap.
A friend of mine actually does new house duct work and also did some houses in my development so he is going to do that.
I also opted to have a technician help me with a few things, I placed an ad on craigslist and got a service tech that is going to evacuate my old R22 system. I don't care about the EPA or law, but venting R12 or R22 to the air is simply bad for the environment and not a good thing to do, yes I could do it and no one would ever know, but really, this guy charges $65/hr for service, so it is money well spent in my opinion. He is also going to do the leak/vacuum test prior to me firing up the new system.
I may also have the technician braze the lines as if you do it incorrectly, there can be some crap built up on the inside that can damage the compresor. As I said, a few beans for some help is money well spent.
For those looking to go the cheap route which is ok with me as we are all in the same boat, if you replace just the outside unit with a newer unit, R410 requires a higher pressure, approx 50% higher than R22, the coil and lines inside the house depending on condition may not be able to handle that. In theory, you could pressure test it and clean out the lines and coil with some special equipment so that the R22 and R410 doesn't mix, but honestly, after looking at that, a new coil and lines aren't really that expensive compared to dealing with that crap.
As I said, I am doing a majority of the work myself, but you should know that I have a degree in electronics engineering, I am highly mechanically inclined, I have framed houses years ago, done plumbing work, electrical work, repaired cars, built motors etc. I am in the computer field now, but still have a few project cars. I have all of the common hand tools along with grinders, welders, torch, air compressor, assortment of air tools, not that most of that will be used for this install. I will have someone with the 'know' look over my work, test and check things out before I fire it up, but I think a majority of the 'grunt' work can be done by a common guy with common sense.
In my case, I am not revamping a house that is 100 years old, I have an outside unit, I'll run new lines inside, so basically look how it is done and replace what is there, I don't think that much talent is required to do that along with bringing the unit down a flight of steps.
I am going to move the thermostat though, this will require me to run new wires for it, but that is going to be simple as to the common area I want to move it to is right above where the unit will be from the basement.
Also, for those of you that go with a heat pump option over your regular gas fired unit, a new thermostat is required no matter what system you buy, as it needs to be able to switch between the two.
I will update this thread more as I go along, I hope it helps someone make a better decision and not allow some of the so called 'pro' sites discourage you in your endeavors.
I am NOT a professional by any means, other than the numerous repairs that I have done on my own system, I have no experience with HVAC.
sounds like a fun project! Be safe and post some pictures and commentary about how it went.
Welcome, would love to see pics!
I ended up getting this model:
Goodman Gas Furnace Air conditioner Systems, Buy Direct from ACWholesalers.com, Free Shipping.
Ok, I know it has been a while, but I still want to get the information I have out there.
We ended up getting this system:
Goodman Air: Mitsubishi Mr Slim: Goodman Heat Pump: Buy Wholesale Direct
It is a 4 ton A/C, heat pump with 90,000 btu gas furnace for backup heat, dual stage burner, compressor and variable speed fans, inside and the outside unit.
I have had it installed now for about 3 months and my impression is that this system is BAD ***!!!!!!
The outdoor unit is very quiet, insanely quiet actually, not that I cared about that, but it is very nice. The inside unit is also very quiet, you can't hear the system, but you can hear the air being blown.
The one thing I like is the inside fan is a variable speed, so it adjusts itself for economy. When it starts up, it also starts up very slow and then gets faster so you don't hear any noise especially when you really crank it up, you can't hear like some houses where the duct work expands and makes the noise.
We also chose the correct thermostat for this system, you can use any store bough system you like as it will connect to the unit with no problem, but you would be a fool if you did that. The thermostat is a little expensive, but it is awesome. The stat is more than a device to set the temp, it is computer controlled so that it can make adjustments in order to be efficient, or you can bypass that to make it cold or hot quickly. This stat will determine if it is too cold to run the heat pump, or may even run both the furnace and heat pump. It will also determine how many gas burners will fire up, for example, if the house is 68 and you want it 70, it will turn the heat pump on and if it is too cold, then it will turn on one gas burner. If your house is say 50 and you want it 80, then it will fire up all burners and run the fans on high to get the house warm.
There is also a feature to run the inside fan on a very very low speed for those decent days, just to filter the air and circulate it, you can use this option even with the windows open, this will get the upstairs and lower floors the same temp and move the air around.
The list goes on and on with this stat, if you buy this system, get the stat, I assure you that you will NOT be sorry.
one other thing I like is that the stat is powered off the 24volt source from the unit, so there are no batteries to replace as with most digital units.
To wire up this stat is also a JOKE! 2 wires for power, 2 wires for the control. That's it. I used my existing wire for this. It is very simple, basically the 2 control wires got from the stat, to the inside unit control board and then you run the same 2 wires to the outside unit. That's it, you are sone!
Also with using this stat, you don't need the all fuel board, or the heat pump tstat either, it is all computer controlled.
Configuration? Configuration is a JOKE! All you do it plug the unit on your wall and it goes and finds all of the components like when you plug a USB device in to your computer. It will come up and say "heat pump xxxxx" Found Variable this and that "found" it will do this for everything that you have installed. No configuration on your part required.
As for the unit, I have never installed an A/C system in my life. I have done all kinds of construction work, some plumbing and all that stuff, nothing of a real professional nature, but I am mechanically inclined.
I replaced an old junk YORK system that was only 10 years old, it came with the house, so we were stuck with it. The dimensions were almost the same, close enough. I did have to add some pieces to the gas line which isn't too hard, you can get already threaded pieces from home depot or lowes, I would just suggest you get all different sizes and extra, you can always return it. I also picked up the paste instead of the thread tape, this is the top of the line stuff, 8 bucks for the jar, but worth it. I used that on all the threads to prevent leaks. I extended the pipe and connected it with a union.
Before I went further, I turned the gas back on, with a bottle of soapy water, I sprayed down each connection on the gas line, you want to look for bubbles, if you see bubbles, then you have a leak. I had no leaks as expected. It is tough to screw up a cast iron line, dope the pipe, thread it and tigthen it down. 2 pipe wrenches is all I needed.
The electrical connection was also a joke, standard 110v. The inside unit comes with a junction box installed so all you have to do it connect the 3 wires with a wire nut. Code also requires that the wire be secured with in a few inches of the box, staple it or tie it down, no biggie.
I now had power, gas and control.
The outside unit was the same deal. I connected the power from the existing line, same style, there were some screws that attach each wire to the board, there are 3 lugs, 1 for ground the other for power, clear as day. As for the control, it was a simple 2 wire conection to the same connection inside that I used for the thermostat. Simple as that.
In order to vent the gas vent, my old system used 2.5 inch pvc pipe, it only had one vent. I added a second.
On the inside unit, there needs to be a vent in order to vent the gasses outside, there is also an option for it to suck air in from the outside as well, this prevents the burners from sucking the house air causing a draft. My only crappy system did not have one, so I simply ran some pvc for the intake, and used the existing exhaust pipe that was installed. If you don't do this, you will emit fumes inside the house and that can be fatal. The inside unit has the connections right on top, so all you have to do is glue the pipe in. It was a joke.
There is something to consider when running the PVC. The flow needs to be correct for proper operation, so you can only run the pipe so far and have so many elbows. I thought this would be a problem, but the install guide tells you exactly how many feet and elbows that you can have in an easy to read chart. I was so below the minimum it wasn't even funny. My intake and exhaust pipes were a mere 12 feet, far below any danger. If you have a newer house and the vent goes out the side, no worries, just check the little chart.
The next thing was the refrigerant lines between the inside and outside. I chose to go with all new lines. The existing lines could have been cleaned and reused, but for a mere 100 bucks, I replaced them. I ran the lines in the same fashion, it is easier to have two people, be careful in bending the lines, take your time and do a little at a time, you don't want to kink the lines. I took my time and had no trouble. I did have to have someone outside to hold the line while I put it in place, otherwise it would have just came through the wall.
Once the lines are run, they need to be connected, now the outside unit come charged with the R410, usually for a certain amount of line, the inside coil comes charged, but with nitrogen, you basically have to vent that out before connecting. If you open the coil up inside and do not hear it venting out, then there is a leak and you need to replace it. It comes charged to keep moisture out and to also show that in shipping, no leaks or holes are in the unit. All you do is cut the pipe cap with a tubing cutter prior to attaching the lines.
At this point, you still need to connect the lines, this is probably the hardest part for most people. You can solder them, but most companies request that you braze the lines. Brazing is the same as soldering for the most part, except, a higher amount of heat is used. This connection is stronger than soldering, but either will do.
you could at this point opt to have someone come in and finish the work for you, most of the labor is done.
See the outside unit comes charged, but the valve is basically closed, so when you connect the lines, you need to open the valve to let the refrigerant through. BEFORE you do this and waste the refrigerant, you SHOULD test the lines and connections for leaks, they normally do a vacuum test and then a pressure test prior to opening the valve.
I did not have the equipment to do either test. I placed an ad on craigslist looking for an hvac guy to do side work. I got 10+ responses within a day. One of the guys that contacted me was actually the boyfriend of my wife's cousin, never met him before, so no big deal.
He came out, brazed the lines, vacuum test, pressure test and I think he removed some refrigerant to get the setting that he wanted. He was there less than 2 hours
If you never did this install, I would highly recommend that you have someone check your work over. It is money well spent.
The duct work lined up with my existing and no modification was necessary, if yours is a little off, then you can bend/shape it or simply pick up some new pieces from the home depot or lowes. If you are replacing a similar unit, then you'll figure out what you need once you get it in place.
The inside unit does not come with a hole cut out for the return vents in the house, this is because you can attach the return on either side, there are some dotted indentations where you cut. I used sheet metal screws to attach and the proper duct tape to cover all connections. DO NOT use regular duct aka duck tape, you want to use a roll of aluminum tape, it cost like 18 bucks a roll, but that is the proper tape to use that won't fall off with some condensation.
All in all, I saved about $2,000.00 on the unit by ordering it online, more like $1700.00 and then $2,200.00 on the install. I took me about 6 hours work, not including trips to home depot and lowes.
I wanted to test the unit to see what it can do.
My old system on a 95+ degree day, with the unit on high, the lowest it hit was 76 inside and it ran for more than 12 hours straight, it was never able to get it to 70.
My new system. It was 98 degrees on the day I tested it, I wasn't keeping an eye on it, I just let it run for a good 2 to 3 hours. I got a facebook update on my Black Berry from my wife's status. "Snuggled up with the kids drinking hot chocolate wrapped in a blanket" "Oh did I mention that it was July?" I went inside and checked, 57 degrees!!!! I was cold, but had a smile on my face from ear to ear!
I'll try to answer any questions you guys may have, but I am no professional so take it for what it's worth.
I'll get some pics soon and post them.
good job! I was wondering how you handled the brazing and refrigerant. I'll consider DIY when my system goes someday as well.
To increase efficiency, we also installed a TMX valve, this help regulate the refrigerant. I didn't have it with me to install, so my friend brought it with him and soldered it in.
When you connect all of the lines, the refrigerant is still in the unit until you open the valve, it was pre charged. It would have been fine if I just opened it and fired it up, it was within spec, but he put the gauges on and got it to a perfect pressure gas/liquid mix or whatever.
With the extra money, I installed a wood stove in our formal living room, I did hardwood, then a marble under the stone, I get to put the chimney up tomorrow.
Make sure they also do a proper vacuum. If a job is not installed right than you will have a lot of problems. Later Paul
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