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Residential HVAC- anyone DIY central AC?

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  • #16
    I have a duplex and when the tenant's furnace met its maker (Bryant), I checked around and went with a Goodman in about '98. I installed it myself and have had exactly one problem- the vacuum switch leaked and that part is made by someone else. I had called around for a contractor to check it in order to satisfy the inspector and some went on a tirade about "Those are the biggest POS on the planet!" and "They use the worst sheet metal", etc. I cut the opening for the cold air return and trust me, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the sheet metal- I was surprised by the gauge of it.

    The other unit's furnace quit in about '06 and again, I bought a Goodman, but had someone else install it after finding out (after I installed the first one) that my city doesn't want non-licensed people installing HVAC, so I decided to play the game. I called the same contractor who inspected the first one and he was OK with providing the new ductwork and installation, never said a word about the quality, one way or another. That one has had one problem- the vacuum line to the switch cracked at the fitting and when I looked at the status indicator and remembered to check the vacuum switch, it was fixed. Another part they source from somewhere else.

    I bought mine from Alpine Home Air- they're based in Atlanta, but have distribution centers all over- mine were at the house in about 1-1/2 days. I would do it again but that's a furnace, not an AC compressor, so I would want to hear some of theirs just to avoid too much noise. I would consider building some kind of decorative housing, too- not a huge fan of the look of most AC units, anyway.

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    • #17
      If $5700 includes furnace, condenser, ductwork, wiring, gas piping, and all permits and inspections it is not overpriced.
      Prior boats - (3) X14's, (3) Prostars, and a Tristar.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by JohnE View Post
        If $5700 includes furnace, condenser, ductwork, wiring, gas piping, and all permits and inspections it is not overpriced.
        ^This
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        • #19
          Originally posted by JohnE View Post
          If $5700 includes furnace, condenser, ductwork, wiring, gas piping, and all permits and inspections it is not overpriced.
          I was scanning all the comments to see if anyone mentioned DUCTWORK, my grandfather has been doing hvac for over 30 years, ductwork, registers, would be 2k easy. And pass on the goodman, I think they have a decent warranty now but still not worth it imo.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by AKralk83 View Post
            I'm sure there will be people to disagree, but common rule is generally materials x2 for a project like this. I know there are other variables. 5700 doesn't sound bad for 2 units.


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            • #21
              No ductwork. The only ductwork anyone is doing is basically adapting the current ductwork to work with the new furnace, but that's a given isn't it? No new ducts are being added.

              5700 is getting me
              1 furnace
              1 complete central ac system that is 2 ton
              Goodman equipment
              Electrical is all there, is just needs to be switched over
              No new duct work other than what is needed to hook up the new equipment to the existing ductwork.

              I think the route Im going to take is have my tenant get the AC first. Just doing the AC system is going to cost me 2600 installed. Im going to take apart the furnace and clean it out as best as possible.

              On my side Im going to DIY the job. One guy mentioned if I give him the business of installing the AC system for my tenant, he will come by and backfill my lines with nitrogen, braze them, vacume them, and charge them for around 350-550 USD. That seems pretty fair to me.

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