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Old 06-08-2017, 11:16 AM
Roman Roman is offline
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Residential HVAC- anyone DIY central AC?

I need a new central AC for my tenant, and honestly im sick of having window AC's, so I would like one too.

I got quoted for a 2 ton system, goodman GSX16 with a GMVC96 furnace for 7700CAD/5700USD Installed. Seems a bit pricey and I have to do two systems. IF I diy this and sell my boat I could upgrade into a really nice one....or do some nice upgrades to the tow rig and the boat....lol, but seriously it seems like i can save like 2500USD on each one. I dont see this taking longer than a weekend to install one

So What should I be asking these guys when they come in?

As an FYI I own a side by side rental on a corner lot. 700 square feet upstairs, main floor, and unfinished basement. So I guess 2100 square feet total? We both share a common block wall, that's it. Separate attics, separate basements. I think my side can get away with a 1.5T since Im in the shade beside another house. ITs my tenant side that might need 2T due to southern exposure and elements.

Ofocurse noone does manual J calculations...and they base it off square footage. I might do one...I think i remember doing that in thermo class where you add up things like windows, doors, light bulbs, ect to calculate btu's.

Has anyone succesfully DIY'd?

I cant see the ductwook being too hard.
Im fine to do residential and commercial electric.
Father inlaw in a gas man so hell come down and do that connection for the safety of his daughter and get away from the wife lol.
Does the a-coil come in its own box? if so seems pretty simple. Do they typically just drop over the furnace with ease?
I deleted my chimney when i redid the roof so Im forced to 96% or higher right?

OR am I missing something here where you really need experience to get this right.

The only part is the refrigerant part. Is that where I am paying for all my labor? (I understand, dont lecture me on insurance/licenses/tool costs/ect. I too had to go to school to learn)
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:37 PM
Wakerider16 Wakerider16 is offline
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Take a look at the ductless system. Those are much easier to put in and more cost effective as long as you can get over the sight of the handler on the wall (which I personally do not mind).
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:43 PM
ryancassidy ryancassidy is offline
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I think you need experience to do it right. Not that it's hard, but it does involve soldering coolant lines, there are certain restrictions with the High Efficiency in their location and venting etc. Not to mention there are some specialized tools to "get it right".... Shop around... $5700 isn't that bad if it includes the duct work IMO.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:49 PM
ryancassidy ryancassidy is offline
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Ohh FWIW, I've just had 4 of them installed in the last 2 years.. Three 4 Ton and one 2 Ton system. I've also seen two of the ductless systems installed and had family with them. They work OK... but depending on your location, they aren't for the deep summer heat IMO (I could be narrow sighted on that) and you'll need several to do multiple rooms etc.
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:45 PM
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JLowder JLowder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman View Post

The only part is the refrigerant part. Is that where I am paying for all my labor? (I understand, dont lecture me on insurance/licenses/tool costs/ect. I too had to go to school to learn)
This is the exact reason right here why I stopped doing residential AC and focus solely on commercial work now. Nobody understands the "cost of doing business" all the while they vote for people and parties that increase regulation and cost which has to be passed onto the consumer. Yet, they don't want to pay for it while decent contractors get accused of ripping people off or gouging.

My advice, is to get 3 bids from reputable contractors with good reviews or recommendations and pick the one you feel comfortable with. Just like in boats, you get what you pay for.
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:47 PM
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JLowder JLowder is offline
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And don't buy goodman... in my opinion, Carrier has the best residential equipment right now. That's what I installed in my house and not because I got a deal on it.
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:53 PM
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Keith2230 Keith2230 is offline
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The ductless systems work just fine as long as you don't need the heat/cooling in multiple rooms. That's really the determination factor to go with ductless or not. I've got a few Daikin mini-splits running server rooms and they're real workhorses.

Price seems pretty reasonable. Get a couple more quotes if you're really worried about that. I'd have to recommend going with a professional. The real problem you'll run into is getting the information to install it correctly. Unless you're a dealer the manufactures typically won't share the details with you because of the liability. R134a is a mixed gas so gone are the R22 days where you could just top it off so you really want to get the load right the first time and not have issues with it. Just to play devils advocate if you did install the furnace incorrectly it could potentially kill someone. If that weren't bad enough already you'd have no chance of defending a law suite against you. Please don't take this the wrong way. I know that's an extreme possibly of what could happen and I'm not saying you couldn't install it right. However, the HVAC industry is set up to work against you as a DIY'er and it's not just for profits but also to protect you and everyone else from the liability of an incorrectly installed system. Is it really worth risk to save a few bucks?
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:12 PM
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etduc etduc is offline
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For your location. 95%+ afue gas furnace, is a no brainer. (91% are available, and simpler install)

You don't have to buy a GSX16 (16 seer) outside. The smallest size is 2 ton. To go to 1.5 ton you will have to go to different model. With a single stage compress unit. (14-15 seer)

Doing it right, is more complicated, than it looks. My guys make it look easy.

So where are you, buying your freon? R410a, not readily available, without EPA certs. Refrigeration copper, is not available at Home Depot. There is black market, but you take your chances.

Also, if you buy equipment via internet. It voids the mfg warranty! (Seller must be within, your region, AND has service department to your area.) Call Goodman.

A reputable dealer, would do a load calculation. In your case, it's about getting correct size furnace, for heating needs. For humidity control, never over size the cooling unit. They must have run time, to provide comfort and low operating cost.
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:23 PM
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jeffbare jeffbare is offline
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You lost me at "sell my boat"...
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:38 PM
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homer12 homer12 is offline
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Not sure I'd do Goodman either as was previously stated. You should definitely get a couple quotes, but just remember - HVAC equipment has top shelf and bottom shelf manufacturers too so you probably won't get an apples to apples quote on the equipment because each contractor will have their preferred brands.
If you're going to DIY - a couple of answers for you. Yes, get the 95%+ and you can run PVC pipe for flue - easy. Yes, the a-coils come boxed and unboxed. You can buy the matched boxed coil with the furnace you buy sticking with the same brands and match together simply.
You can run insulated flex duct pretty easily if you have attic or crawl space to do it in. I'm guessing it will take you and a buddy longer than a weekend to do it all for one system.
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