Central Air Conditioning, what brand to buy or avoid...your experiences appreciated

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Skyliner70cc, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    We'll be installing Central Air Conditioning and our budget allowance reallly likes the Goodmen and Comfortmaker install costs. We'll be getting a 3.5 ton unit with a 4 ton evaporator coil.

    Anybody here use either of these brands and what are your experiences? The next more affordable option is a Rheem but for a $1,000 dollars more and 1/2 ton less capacity.

    Both the Goodmen and Comfortmaker have killer warranties on parts. The Goodmen has a limited lifetime warranty on the compressor but the comfortmaker has a no hassle warranty meaning if something goes bad, I can get a replaement entire unit instead of replacing the part.

    Any HVAC guys? What are you thoughts and would you use them or use another brand? We'll be using airconditioning only at night for 7 hours or so to cool things down enough for us to sleep and perhaps 12 hours or so on wekends.


  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    As I recall from scanning it earlier this month, per Consumer Reports, Goodman has the highest maintenance costs.
  3. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

    i have had a Comfortmaker for two years now without a problem 3.5 ton unit it has saved me about $75 a month from our old unit that was 30 years old jmo
  4. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    Thanks, I'm actually leaning towards the comfortmaker and it'll be a 3.5 ton unit too!

    Anybody else have feedback on their ac model?
  5. spad4me

    spad4me Member

    I live in Sunny Arizona right now 120 plus degrees.
    I would ask homeowners in your area. for what works.

    Here you need a heat pump or a gold mine to pay for the electricity you use.
  6. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I found the 2008 Weston House they are running on repeats of This Old House, where they actually tore down the one story and rebuilt a pre-fab three story barn looking structure.


    They are using solar on heat, but on the next to last episode they were putting in these thin air conditioning towers, 2 of them to cool 8 seperate zones.

    If you try to find that episode, they are maybe a foot deep, 3 foot wide and maybe 3 foot tall.

    Season 30: Weston Project

    the link calls it a :

    Air Conditioning System
    Daikin A/C

    They qualify for some sort of super energy credit that the fed is allowing.

    This Old House- home cooling link:

  7. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    My family has used Carrier central AC units since the 70's. They typically last 20 years here in NJ where they are used seasonally.

    Would also like to add that central AC reliability also has a lot to do with how competent the installer is. When the refrigerant leaks out of a unit, the compressor life can be compromised because the lubrication is carried with the refrigerant. Low refrigerant = lack of lubrication - and the unit cycles longer to make up for the lost cooling capacity. A double whammy. I check the pressures on my AC unit every year to make sure that I am not running it low.
  8. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    Hope to see some good info here ...Will be getting central heat and air installed soon....
  9. a/c man

    a/c man Member

    I have been a licensed a/c installer for the past 21 years. I have mainly installed Carrier equipment, but have also put all kinds of brand names in for work and friends. Goodman and Comfortmaker are the least expensive along with Ducane. Buy something you can afford and get the highest SEER rating you can. As far as I'm concerned most manufacturers including the big guys use parts that have been pretty much standardized in the last 10 years or so. Its almost as if you've seen one you've seen them all, until you get to the really techno advanced stuff that's out there now. You only get what you pay for. Make sure you compare warranties as repair costs are ridiculous in this industry. I would recommend Rheem/Ruud over your first 2 choices and don't get a Goodman gas furnace, they're notorious for crummy heat exchangers. Ask for references and get 2 or three estimates. This bad economy has spawned some serious competition in the biz amongst contractors. Good luck
  10. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    I was told

    By a friend that has a a/c bussiness.. that American Standard is the one to beat these days...

    Don't forget to factor in energy cost !!!!
    might just get your money back.....

    of course it all depends on usage... here in texas it runs or 5-6 months non stop !!!!
  11. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    live in Florida..want to get the best system I can buy..60 years old and wont have the money probably 10 years...do not want equipment thats going to puke ouy fast...only have a 1000 square foot house
  12. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    it's interesing

    The best A/C unit i have had was a janatrol and all the a/c guys said it was junk, but it outlasted all the nam brands..
  13. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    I was surprised to find out that my father has a 3.5 ton Amana unit which came with their new house they bought 5 years ago. Its worked flawless for them. Amana is made by Goodmen which is also supposed to be junk.

    My a/c guy says he charges 300 dollars to replace a unit. The a/c I'm buying is made by comfortmaker which has a 7 year no hassle warranty. No hassle means if anything breaks, I can insist on a replacement unit instead of just replacing the broken part. If I had 7 breakdowns with 7 replacements, I'd break even with buying a Trane. I'll take the risk and go cheap since my budget doesn't allow for more.

    Thanks for all the input folks!
  14. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    Well, got my Comfort Maker Seer 14 3.5 ton unit installed last week. I'm happy to say that I saved 300 dollars doing the wiring myself. I'm flabbergasted that a licensed electrician wanted 400 dollars for a job that took me less than 2 hours to complete with 75 dollars of cable and a 25 dollar disconnect box. More money for bike stuff :)

    So far, I couldn't be happier. My unit is quieter than my neighbor's Rheem.

    My AC guy did a top notch install and here are some tips for those who are considering AC install in their future.

    1. Nitrogen pressure testing. My AC guy ran 250 psi of nitrogen through all of the lines to ensure no leaks. It held pressure with no leakage for 30 minutes.

    2. Vaccumn line: AC guy pulled vaccum for 20 minutes to remove all humidity from the system. I've heard some AC guys don't do this.

    3. Dryer installed in line. A line dryer will help with long term reliability.