My New AC & Furnace Experience

I am in the process of getting a new Air Conditioner, Furnace, and Thermostat so thought I would write up a blog post about my experience. First my HVAC system is a Trane system and is almost 24 years old and is still working but it is due to be replaced. I had to have the furnace repaired about a month ago and the technician had to turn down the gas flame to make the furnace work. So I figured that I would replace it when companies are looking for work as it would be somewhat cheaper now. If I waited until summer time and my AC goes out then I am sure the cost and labor would increase dramatically.

I had Goggled the Internet looking at different system and I wanted a system that would be efficient. I realize that the higher the efficiency, the higher the price. But it would pay for itself in the long run with lower utility bills. So what I wanted was a 4 ton system with a AC rating of 16 SEER and a furnace with a 96% rating. With a 96% efficiency rating on the furnace I would also receive a rebate from Oklahoma Natural Gas company for $550. You see the high efficiency already started to pay for itself.

So I first asked company #1 to come out and give me an estimate. We stopped by our local store on Sunday and they said the lady that handled the estimates was off and would not be back until Tuesday since Monday was a holiday. She called actually on Monday and we setup an appointment for Wednesday. She arrived with a service technician from the company that would do the install. They took a quick look at my old system and recommended only a 3 1/2 ton system and gave me three estimates for a new Trane system. The middle range system was energy efficient with a Trane XR-17 AC and a Trane XV-95 Furnace. That is a AC rating of 17 SEER and a Furnace rating of 95%. Their first estimate was for $13,142.53. I said I thought that was a little high so they each called their bosses and came back with an estimate of $11,798.85. Why are estimates over $10,000 have to include cents? They offered 2 years labor warranty and Trane has a 10 year parts warranty with a 5.99% financing. This was still more than what I wanted to pay so told them I needed more estimates before making up my mind.

The next day I call company #2 and they gave me a quote over the phone, without coming out to look at my existing system, for a price of $9,500.00 for the exact same Trane system. Plus they would warranty their work for 5 years and had a lower finance rate of 3.99%. Still a bit more than what I wanted to pay but was much better than company #1.

Next I started looking at HVAC manufactures on the Intranet and also my neighbor had a recent Goodman system installed about six months ago. Also the technician that recently fixed my furnace about a month ago recommended a Goodman system. So I started paying more attention to the Goodman brand. They were not rated as high as a Trane on Consumer Reports but I found out their limited warranties was the best of all HVAC manufactures and actually Goodman was the largest HVAC manufacture in the world. Goodman offers lifetime warranty on their AC compressors and on their Furnace heat exchangers and 10 years on all other parts. So I started looking at dealers on Goodman’s website for my area.

Now I wanted a Goodman 4 ton system with an AC rating of 16 SEER and a Furnace rating of 96% and with communications between the thermostat and the units which provides greater efficiency.

I called company #3 and they came out that night for an estimate. They looked over my system and also recommended only a 3 1/2 ton system. The AC unit was not capable of the communications but was a 16 SEER system. Their estimate was $8,759. They said they would email me an estimate the next day which they did. I wasn’t real happy with the AC unit but they called later that morning and reduced the estimate to $8,300.

Still I wanted more estimates so I call two companies the next day. The first came out, company #4, at 5 pm and gave me an estimate of over $10,000.00 which I knew immediately that it was too high and told him so since my last estimate was for $8,300.00 for the same equipment. He then called his boss and said they would match the $8,300 bid. He didn’t seem very happy, guess he lost a lot of his commission. Still this was for a 3 1/2 ton system. I told him I wanted to see what models he was quoting me with and he said he would email them to me the next morning. He never did!

The next estimate, company #5, was supposed to come at 6 pm that same evening but he had to go on a late job and said he could be here around 8 pm which I said that was fine with me. So he then showed up and looked over my system and also spent some time in my attic looking over the space above the furnace and the air ducts. The other companies never did this! I told him what I wanted and he gave me an estimate. He said he would deliver an written estimate the next morning to my home which he did. I was at work the next morning so when I got home I looked over the estimate. It was exactly what I wanted. A 4 ton system with the 16 SEER AC, 96% efficiency Furnace, digital thermostat with communications between the two units. This was exactly what I wanted with one difference. This estimate was for Amana equipment instead of Goodman. Well, Amana is made by Goodman, just has a better warranty. The compressor and heat ex-changer is still warranty for a lifetime but if either goes out they give me a whole new AC or a new Furnace. So I got exactly what I wanted with a step up of the brand name and at a cheaper cost. I bought it. The company is Phillips Heating and Air on SW 149th Place in South Oklahoma City, about 5 minutes from my home, owner Lindsay Phillips. Their phone is (405) 830-8193. If you decide to call Lindsay then tell him I sent you 🙂

I am now in the process of raising the money and hopefully will have by this Wednesday. Lindsay said he could install this coming weekend. I am anxious to get the new system installed.

Here are a few photos of my old system and I will update this blog post when I get the new system installed with new photos.

Old Trane Furnace

Old Trane Furnace

Old Thermostat

Old Thermostat

Old Trane AC

Old Trane AC

2/9/2015

I got my new AC, Furnace, Coil, and Thermostat installed last Saturday, February 7th, 2015. Phillips Heating and Air did the install. They had 3 men and it took them 12 hours. They worked the entire 12 hours except for the lunch and dinner which we provided. They had a problem getting the new furnace in the hall closet where the old furnace was as the new furnace is wider and taller. They also added a filter drawer on the bottom of the furnace which added to the height. The filter drawer will make it much easier for me to the change filter every 90 days.

They had to run new cooper lines between the Air Conditioner and the Coil due to the new system being larger. They also replaced the electrical box outside for the Air Conditioner. They had to replace the old furnace aluminum heat exhaust with new PVC pipes.  Lindsay Phillips returned on Sunday afternoon to tie up some loose ends and to check the charge in the Air Conditioner to make sure it was fully charged. He also told me to call him in a few months when the weather gets warmer and he will check the charge for the Air Conditioner again.

I can’t believe how much quieter the new units are. Outside with the AC running you can’t hear the compressor, only the fan running and it is pretty quiet. The furnace is also very quiet. These units are two stage units so they always start on the first stage to save energy and switch to the second stage only when it has to. The AC unit has a built-in thermometer which reports back to the thermostat so the thermostat knows the outside temperature which also helps to reduce energy.

Again Phillips Heating and Air did the install and they did a great job installing the new units and I highly recommend them to install yours. They are located at SW 149th Place in South Oklahoma City, about 5 minutes from my home, and the owner is Lindsay Phillips. Their phone is (405) 830-8193. If you decide to call Lindsay then tell him I sent you 🙂 I am so pleased with this new Amana system. The units I purchased are as follows and you can click on the link for each item to read more about each one:

ASXC16 Air Conditioner

AMVC96 Two-Stage, Variable-Speed ECM Gas Furnace

CAPT Cased Indoor Coil with Internal TXV

ComfortNet™ CTK04 Communicating Control System

Warranty on the entire system is 10 years parts, lifetime AC compressor, and lifetime furnace heat ex-changer. The thermostat also has a warranty of 10 years when installed with one of their Furnaces or Air Conditioners. This is the best warranty in the industry. No other company that I know of warrants their AC compressor and furnace heat ex-changer for lifetime. Only Goodman and Amana.

I am also going to purchase a Red Link Enabled Internet Gateway and then I can set the temperature using our iPhone, iPad, or a web browser from any place in the world with an internet connection. Here are some photos of my new system:

 

ASXC16 Air Conditioner

ASXC160481 16 SEER Air Conditioner

Amana AMVC960804CN, 96.1% High-Efficiency, Two-Stage Variable-Speed Gas Furnace

Amana AMVC960804CN, 96.1% High-Efficiency, Two-Stage Variable-Speed Gas Furnace

ConfortNet CTK04 Commuinication Thermostat (Auto Heat/Cool mode)

ConfortNet CTK04 Commuinication Thermostat (Auto Heat/Cool mode)

2/15/2015

Been using the new system now for a week now and I am surprised at how fast the furnace heats the entire home when I raise the temperature at the thermostat two degrees. My old system would take 45 minutes and the new systems takes about 10 minutes. I also have the thermostat set to circulate air and about 35% of the time the fan will run on low speed to circulate the air. I can’t even hear the fan running when it does the circulation.

So far I am really happy with my new system and I can’t wait to see how the Air Conditioner works during the summer. I will update this blog post when summer gets here. I also ordered the red-link gateway to enable the thermostat to communicate over the internet. I will update this blog post again when it arrives and I install it.

2/17/2015

I got my Honeywell THM6000R1002 Red Link Enabled Internet Gateway today and the setup was super easy. Now I have access to my thermostat anytime and anywhere in the world where I have an Internet connection and my iPhone, iPad, or a web browser. I also have an app for my iPhone and my iPad. Below is photo of the Honeywell RedLINK Gateway and a screen shot of the thermostat access using a web browser.

Honeywell RedLINK Gateway THM6000R

Honeywell RedLINK Gateway THM6000R

Screen Shot of thermostat access using a web browser

Screen Shot of thermostat access using a web browser

Next I will be receiving a wireless indoor temperature sensor so the thermostat can access the temperature in another room, probably our bedroom, and then use the average temperature of the indoor sensor and the thermostat. Also coming is a wireless switch that I will be putting next to our kitchen to garage door where I can press a switch when leaving and have it automatically lower the temperature and also a home switch that will raise the temperature when we arrive home. Again to save money on utility bills. I will post photos when they arrive and edit this blog post.

2/19/2015

I received my Honeywell C7189R1004 Wireless Indoor Sensor for my CTK-04 thermostat model C7189R1004. I installed it in my Master Bedroom so now the thermostat will average the temperature between the thermostat and the Master Bedroom to give a more even heating and cooling for the entire home. Below is a photo of the indoor sensor which was very easy to install and easy to connect to the CTK-04 thermostat.

Wireless Indoor Sensor C7189R1004

Wireless Indoor Sensor C7189R1004

3/15/2015

I received my Honeywell REM1000R1003 RedLINKTM Wireless Entry/Exit Remote and now I can set my thermostat to the away mode when we leave the house and back to home mode when we return home. This will also help us to save energy.

Honeywell REM1000R1003 RedLINKTM Wireless Entry/Exit Remote

Honeywell REM1000R1003 RedLINKTM Wireless Entry/Exit Remote

3/16/2015

Got the cover for the Air Conditioning pipes painted and installed this afternoon. Looks much better than just the pipes showing. See the difference with the “New AC Tubing” photo below and the “Covering for the Air Conditioning cooper pipes” photo below.

New AC Tubing

New AC Tubing

Covering for the Air Conditioning cooper pipes.

Covering for the Air Conditioning cooper pipes.

4/17/2015

Update: After two months of receiving my monthly gas bill I find that it has been 50% less usage over the same months for last year. And this is after I raised my thermostat 2 degrees over last year going from 72 degrees last year to 74 degrees this year. I also received my rebate from Oklahoma Natural Gas.

So after two full months plus of usage of my new furnace I am very, very pleased. Haven’t really used the Air Conditioner yet so I will report on it’s usage in a few months.

Jerry J. Jansen

Comments

  1. Mike Jamieson says:

    Great story Jerry. I am buying the same units. How did the summer go with the new AC?

    Mike

    • Thanks Mike, the summer went great. Had to turn the temperature up as it was too cold for me.

      • Jerry,

        I’m building a new home and getting these same units as well. You’re killing us… we want to know about the cooling characteristics with some more detail if possible.

        I have a 2 story home with 2 units (one up and one downstairs). What kind of insulation do you have? I went spray foam (the cost was quite high, but worth it as we plan to stay in the home for 20 or more years).

        I am very curious about the humidity settings… can you adjust humidity on the comfort net thermostat, or do you do it at the humidifier unit on the furnace itself? What did you set your humidity at?

        Were the AC units outside noisy at all?

        Let us know!

        Scott

        • Scott,

          My home is 20+ years old so it just has the standard roll insulation in the walls. I don’t have an extra humidifier unit as it would not fit in my small area where I replaced my furnace with the new Amanda unit. Sorry but the only help I can give you is your last question and the AC unit outside is pretty quite, even my installer was amazed at how quite it was.

          Jerry

  2. Jerry… Thanks so much for your detailed review. I’m in the process of replacing my system and ran into you post. It’s very helpful since I’m also an Oklahoma City residence. I like everything about your setup to the point that I’m inclined to duplicate it in my 15 year old single story home. Only mod I’m thinking off is to see if my current Cox router and OG & E smart hour thermostat will work in place of the Honneywell system. I will be gathering estimates in the next few weeks and will definitely get one from your installer.

    • Thanks for your comment. The OG&E smart hour thermostat should work. You don’t need any router with it as it uses your electric meter for it’s connection. I had the OG&E smart hour thermostat on my old system but I elected to go with the Honeywell thermostat as it will give you info on any trouble with the system. Hadn’t had any so far. It is also nice to be able to use the iOS app to change the thermostat when I need to or even to adjust the thermostat’s schedule. After a year and a half with the new system I am still very happy with the system and still love it.

      If you don’t mind give my installer my name when you call him and he will treat you great!

      • I wil. Like you, I’m making a list of must haves and going to get 3 to 4 estimates before I Proceed. I have some friends in the HVAC business but still want to do my research first. These things are not cheap…

  3. Thanks for posting your experience as I’m also looking at the same system though I live in Tennessee. Do you mind providing the price you paid? I’m assuming it was a little less than $8,300. Also, how much less were your electric bills last year and this year compared to your old unit?

    Thanks again for sharing!

  4. Brian Peterson says:

    Good morning sir,
    Last year I had a Goodman model DSXC 160481 A/C with a Goodman GMVC 80805CN Multi post gas furnace installed. Recently, we had a power outage and my A/C would not turn on when power returned. We live in a rural area in southwestern Arizona, my installer is in the Phoenix area so getting a repairman here was quite difficult. Long story short, 9 days later, 3 trips here to our place, several parts replaced, it turns out it was the cheap Braeburn 5220 thermostat the whole time. My question is this, do you believe the Comfortnet CTK04 thermostat with all the bells and whistles is worth the hefty price tag? Any advice you have will be great. The Contractor I used is one of 2 that comes to our town regularly, and with their 5 year labor warranty to go with the 10 years parts and lifetime compressor and lifetime heat exchanger warranty etc I got from Goodman, even though I’m extremely displeased with their service and expertise, I’m stuck for 5 years anyway with their labor warranty.

    • I thought it was worth it and that is why I had one installed. It will also display any trouble that may occur to make it easier to diagnose the problem. I can access mine using my iPhone or using my Amazon Echo (requires a separate wi-fi router from Honeywell). You can also add extra wireless room temperature sensors. Still very happy with my system after one and a half year of service. I had a power outage last week which did damage to my home computer but my thermostat survived just fine.

  5. It sounds like getting a new AC and furnace is a good idea. I like how you had five different companies give you an estimate. That is a great way to find out what you really need, and get an honest price.

  6. Zachary Schaumann says:

    I love the sound of this set up, out home is roughly 1900 square feet and we are looking to get install heat and ac, the only thing you left out was the final cost. Would you be willing to share that info?

  7. It was helpful.Thanks for sharing.It looks great.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving Jerry…
    I was wondering if you can tell me where to find the pipe covers you used. I finally got my HVAC installed and need to improve the looks of the pipes. I will share with you my complete experience with pictures after the coverings are installed. Thanks.

    • My installer got the pipe cover for me after the HVAC install so not sure where he got it. He was going to install it but I told him that I could do it. I am sure you could call him and he will tell you where he got it.

  9. very good blog site
    http://www.furnacesreviews.com/

  10. “Thank you for the listing on your web page. You have a good looking web site.”

  11. “I visited your web site today and found it very interesting and well done. I can tell you have put a lot of work into it.”

Speak Your Mind

*