- Mar 27, 2004
- Atlanta, GA
So figuring with how tech/mechanical savvy everyone is here I figure it would be a good sounding board for what is amounting to my 3rd largest purchase in life - ya know when you spend these $$$ you gotta do your legwork. So I have been in my condo for just over a year now (closed in Jan 2018) and I knew all the appliances and HVAC were original (water heater was replaced within last year) so they are all pushing 18-19 years old. Home inspector even warned me they are all living on borrowed time - I got a steal on the condo so I was willing to live with the aged appliances and HVAC but have been keeping my home warranty intact for "just in case". Well my HVAC has broke down 2x times now and its $85 per breakdown for them to come repair, went without air last summer for ~3 days in the Georgia heat because parts needed to be ordered and this winter it was 2 days without heat while waiting for parts. Always seems to happen during the extremes when the system is running its guts out to try to keep me comfortable. Today I decided to throw in the towel warranty be [censored] and actually spring for replacing the full system so I won't be left high and dry once cooling season pops up as well as to hopefully save some energy $$. So system is builder grade First Co. 1.5 ton heat pump system and place was built with in ceiling air handler (these are a PITA). I had a 20 year old First Co. unit in my last apartment and seeing all those heat pumps outside I would wager to say that 75% of them were still running, very reliable based on my experience. The breakdowns and inefficiency are what is making me spring for a replacement. My condo complex I would say there is probably a solid 30% of the original First Co. units left - the rest are mainly Goodman or Amana replacements with a Lennox and Carrier here and there. So getting into the in ceiling air handler that sits in a ~10" deep recess between my bathroom ceiling and my neighbor above floor. I had 2 companies straight up tell me to my face they had no interest in giving me a quote because the job was so involved due to the air handler, 1 other company just went silent on me. Of 5 companies I had out for quotes only got pricing back from 2 of them. Company 1) Replacing with a Goodman matched system (Goodman, Amana and First Co. <- First Co. are made by Amana) are the only vendors who make the air handler I need. They wanted $5250 cash, credit card price was a few hundred higher due to CC processing fees. Their scope was so limited and the pushing towards paying cash was a huge turnoff for me but I hung on to the bid to compare. Company 2) During a run to Costco there was a gentleman at the HVAC display so I figured might as well make the most of this membership beyond gas and some household necessities. Quote was for a mismatched Lennox 14HPX heat pump and First Co. air handler. $5725 but after all the cash back crap it ends up being $5076. Company that Costco uses offers free 1 year preventative maintenance and they will cover labor on repairs up to 10 years if I stay on their PM program. I am about to sign the contract with them but wanted some input. 1) Lennox 14HPX - this is their base model heat pump. Any good bad or ugly on this heat pump? I don't really need much more than this as my SEER rating is limited by the air handler, unless I revamp and expand the ceiling dead space where the air handler is located I am going to be limited to ~SEER 13, I have had both estimators tell me this is a function of the air handler space, apparently the higher SEER unit air handlers are larger because they have more coil. 2) Should I have concerns of the mismatched system (Lennox heat pump hooked to a First Co. air handler)? Quite a few of my neighbors have the Goodman systems that were priced out by Company #1 and they are noisy AF especially during heat pump season, imagine an annoyingly loud aftermarket turbo blowoff valve when they switch back and forth from defrost mode. I really don't need to add to the noise. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!