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Old 06-14-2015, 10:47 AM   #1
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HVAC from Home Depot?


Has anyone purchased a complete HVAC system from Home Depot? If so, were they competitively priced? What was your overall experience like?

Normally, I would work directly with an HVAC company, but replacing an HVAC system is a costly proposition and it's hard to beat 24-months of interest free financing.

Also, is there a best time to purchase an HVAC system in terms of rebates?

Thankfully, I don't need a new system yet, but I suspect it won't be long based on the repair history of the Janitrol/Goodman crap my builder installed, which is now 8-years old.

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Old 06-14-2015, 11:11 AM   #2
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Goodman is not bad now. 15 years ago the "Builders grade" was the problem. I would suspect you can easily get 15 yrs out of it or more.

They got a bad rap as they were the first to cater to that market but ICP and others have/had equally crappy units.

From what I heard the big box stores charge you 10% more than the same contractor sells it himself. People love seers points and selling gimmicks but like air miles how much are they really worth. Can do better without them. People buy from them to get a sense of confidence someone will answer the phone and have a tech available unlike Joe's heat em and cheat em.

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Old 06-14-2015, 11:20 AM   #3
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I wouldn't buy through home depot, period.

You'll need to shop around for a good contractor - the install and sizing will make or break your system.

-------------
When it comes to brands, my general impression is that the quality of low end brands has gone up (often the design is the same, but with stripped down controls) while the quality of lennox/carrier/york/trane has gone way down and they're all similar now.

Goodman has done some stupid things with their furnaces even after buying amana such as using crappy igniters and building two-stage furnaces with a single speed venter motor. The basic a/cs don't have pressure cutouts any more -> the one really good affordable unit they used to produce was a 14 seer with pressure cutouts and a compressor blanket. They went cheap and replaced it with a builder's pos - no compressor protection at all, probably noisy.

Saw a recent gmv goodman furnace once - cabinet quality is pitiful, very thin metal and not well put together.

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Old 06-14-2015, 11:26 AM   #4
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HVAC from Home Depot?


The Goodman system I have had for 15 + years has not given me much trouble . Replaced a couple of capacitors , an ignitor and maybe a sensor .

Also a combustion fan , but that was my fault . I dumbed up . :-(

Nothing I could not service myself .

But I buy for price and usually at Johnstone Supply ( the company I work for has an account with them ) . And they sell Goodman & other brands .

You have to understand that builders usually install builder grade equipment and appliances . That is the way it is .

I guess , if you buy a custom home , you might specify custom / higher dollar equipment and appliances ? But if you do , it is going to increase the price of the house .

And most buyers are not educated sufficently to know the difference . They are more into what color the paint is and the number / size of the closets .

God bless
Wyr

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Old 06-14-2015, 11:35 AM   #5
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NOBODY builds the quality they used to. Including appliances. The consummer does not demand it or maybe cannot. It all depends on the share values of these companies and they are all in it to make huge $. If they can save $2 per furnace ansd they sell a million it is huge for them. In my experience Lennox, Trane and York and Carrier still build reasonable heavy units and care about their long term clientele and advertising. Rheem is good and has never been flashy and has a stable market. Their circuit boards are excellent. The rest of the market the quality varies according to pricing and who owns who.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:51 AM   #6
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Well, all I know is that in my previous home I had a Trane system that was rock solid. Gave me absolutely no problems for 15 years. In this home, I have two Goodman units. Here are the specs:

1st Floor: Goodman 4 Ton System (GSC130481, CAPF4860C6)
Evaporator coil replaced
Evaporator blower replaced
Condensor coil replaced*
Condenser fan replaced
*Did not include 11 lbs. of Freon, which cost me $550

2nd Floor: Goodman 3 Ton System (GSC130361, CHPF3636B6)
Evaporator coil replaced (twice)
Evaporator blower replaced

Thankfully, both units carry a 10-year parts and compressor warranty, so all I've had to pay for is labor, but even that gets a bit expensive with all these repairs–especially the Freon, which Goodman will not cover.

Having said that, there is one difference between my Trane and the Goodman equipment, which out of fairness I should mention. The Trane condensing unit was installed in a shaded area. The Goodman's are in the sun most of the day. Not sure if that make a difference or not.

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Old 06-14-2015, 11:56 AM   #7
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HVAC from Home Depot?


The industry has had a lot of problems with coils.

Having a blower motor fail is pretty normal.

You have builder's grade equipment, probably oversized. 7 tons of cooling is a heck of a lot for a house; you need to have a load calc done before replacing. With ducts in the attic, may make sense to get leakage measured; proper sizing means nothing if 30% of the capacity is being lost to the attic.

you can get a manufacturer's labour warranty with new equipment - strongly recommended these day.

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Old 06-14-2015, 11:58 AM   #8
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It is not always poor equipment that causes problem . Sometimes it is poor workmanship by the contractor / installer .

God bless
Wyr
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
The industry has had a lot of problems with coils.

Having a blower motor fail is pretty normal.

You have builder's grade equipment, probably oversized. 7 tons of cooling is a heck of a lot for a house; you need to have a load calc done before replacing. With ducts in the attic, may make sense to get leakage measured; proper sizing means nothing if 30% of the capacity is being lost to the attic.
Yes, I was told this builder designs its own systems and typically over estimates it needs, but it is a rather large house–something I'm regretting now that my wife and I are empty nesters. Our home size is 3,721 sq. ft.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:00 PM   #10
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HVAC from Home Depot?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WyrTwister View Post
It is not always poor equipment that causes problem . Sometimes it is poor workmanship by the contractor / installer .

God bless
Wyr
I've heard that before and I think you are absolutely right. I'm sure some of these issues were caused by substandard installation.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:06 PM   #11
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HVAC from Home Depot?


The metallurgy of the heat exchanger of the Junkitrol was bad and a lot split. Probably half recycled pop cans and who knows what in them. ICP had hordes of heat ex failures when the compression rivets popped out. Who knew copper was a bad idea to use on steel. Different rates of expansion. Now they use a steel ring.

Unfortunately some companies are always pushing the boundaries how to make cheap heat exchangers. Crimped together, compression rivets, recycled bad metal and the list goes on. In the old days they used good steel and a welder. The tubular heat exchangers on high efficiency units are better.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:12 PM   #12
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Again , I am a DIY'er when it comes to HVAC . But I can not help but think that some / a lot of the refrigerant leaks are due to poor or sloppy brazing / silver soldering ?

Think about it . A slow leak generates possible service work , for some one , further down the road .

And please do not get me wrong . I am not saying all or most HVAC techs do business this way . But I would bet some do . And they may be doing a lot if installs .

Back to the quality of equipment . You have to understand many people buy Fords and Chevrolets because they do not have the money for Lincolns and Cadillacs .

Same situations with other purchases .

God bless
Wyr

God bless
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:28 PM   #13
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Naw, the problem is 8-10 years ago when China got rich because of outsourcing they all of a sudden wanted to get out of the dark ages and outhouses and have modern plumbing. Same with some other countries. Price of copper spiked and the HVAC guys decided to make the coils paper thin and we got lots of leaks. They are getting better now as that is costing them big time for warranty replacements but it really had to do with the price of copper. Some had issues with joining copper lines to aluminum coils but Lennox has always been copper only.

I doubt there is sabotage going on to create work but just poorly skilled welding on a few. Most leaks are from the service valve caps not being sealed properly not welding.

Lincolns and Caddies are no better than my Ford Escape. They just have more bells and whistles and stuff to beak down. If you want real quality you buy a Mercedes as those engines are incredibly well built along with the car but you pay dearly. Ford and GM know people don't keep cars for 10 years anymore so they don't build any more quality into the Lincoln or Caddy then necessary.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:47 PM   #14
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Maybe not sabotage , but a fair share of " I do not care " ?

As for as residential split systems , how did / do the thin coils work out with the higher pressures of R410a ?

Or does it still come down , more to , the quality of the brazing / silver soldering ?

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Old 06-14-2015, 12:57 PM   #15
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The majority of leaks are on the evaporator which is running under 150 psig even with R410 so it is not really high pressure. I cannot speak for everyone to know where the leaks are. I heard York and Goodman had some problems joining the copper to the aluminum coils in the condensors. The thin coil leaks I find with a electronic detector and they seem to be in the rows of copper not the elbows and joints at the ends. Never dissected one as they are covered in aluminum fins, just change them out.

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