seosmp

Furnace blower motor needs to be replaced on 21+ yo - fix or get new

seosmp
last month
last modified: last month

Hi,

I have a home built in 1998 with the original furnaces and A/Cs - Rheem single stage furnace (RGDJ-10EBRGR). It is dual zone - so 2 units each for main/basement and then for the upstairs.

The main furnace went out and I learned the blower motor needs to be replaced (had a company come out today). He indicated it would be about $320 for the parts and then ~2 hours labor (~$90/hr I think).

Given the age of the units, I'm considering replacing both instead of fixing the one.

First, this HVAC company happens to be a Lennox dealer and so have quoted me for Lennox. I was looking at 90% efficiency but there is a challenge with routing the PVC out of the house. So I may stick with the 80% but upgrade to 2 stage variable blower (SL280V, 90 BTUs and 70 BTUs) and then a 15 SEER A/C unit (13ACX-030). The upstairs unit would be similar but smaller. $5,850 + $5,712.

I had gone with Trane at my old house when I replaced the furnace there (~2002) as my research at that time must have lead me there :).

What brands are considered the best choices nowadays? Trane, Carrier, Lennox, American Standard, ???

Also - any strong recommendations to upgrade to the 90% effieciency model (I'm in NE IL)?

Thoughts on fix vs replace? One / both units, furnace / AC ?

Given that we are w/o heat in the first floor, I need to decide pretty quickly here :).

Thank you!

Comments (34)

  • lafdr

    I would spend the under 500 to fix and take more time to research a replacement. Perhaps it will cost less if you get it during the off heating season? If it were 1500 or 2000 to fix, I would replace. But for under 500, I would repair. Unless there have been issues with inadequate heat with the current system!

    seosmp thanked lafdr
  • cat_ky

    I agree with lafdr, and if I did decide to replace, I would only do the unit with the problem right now. A new system will never give you that many years of service.

    seosmp thanked cat_ky
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  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    I take your location to mean North East Illinois (like Chicago area?)

    If that's the case I would take time to figure what you want. This is a major purchase and major decision. It would be a different thing if the current fix was going to be more than $500.

    In my opinion there is no 'better' brand. You should choose the brand / model that provides the level of comfort you want. That is going to take time to figure out, not to mention choosing the contractor that will install it properly.

    (Trane, Lennox, Carrier, Am. Stnd. all of these charge high premiums for OEM parts. So once that warranty is up -- if you choose one of these brands it will likely be pricey to repair.)

    The various brands have their strengths and weaknesses. You should put your trust into a HVAC contractor that can repair, just as much as replace. Because the new system will break at some point.

    For your climate (Chicago Area if I read your location description right) That climate is a colder climate, so it's in your best interest to spend the money on a higher end furnace.

    Higher end in the furnace realm, typically means condensing furnace. There are challenges to installing a condensing furnace in an older structure. Another reason if you decide to go that route that how well that works comes down to the installation of the system and not the name on the side of the box.

    A bad installation and it won't matter what name is on the side of the box. The manufacturer is not likely to come to your home and give you pointers. So keep that in mind.

    I lived in Chicago area over 20 years ago.


    I service the Katy, Texas area.

    seosmp thanked Austin Air Companie
  • kudzu9

    By doing only the repair, you could possibly get many more years out of the furnace. I had an oil furnace in one house that was still functioning well when it was more than 40 years old. I only replaced it because I switched to gas, which of course also gave me a more efficient furnace. But in your case your 20+ year old furnace may be efficient enough given your constraints, and still have a lot of life left. Your repairs are about 5% of what you're been quoted for all new, so it's in the noise level. Also consider that a repaired furnace may outlast your ownership of the house....

    seosmp thanked kudzu9
  • DavidR

    Another vote here for repair. At that price differential, there's no contest.

    And don't buy this "furnaces only last 20 years" rubbish. My furnace is 24 years old and has only needed a new induction blower (knock wood!). I've had furnaces last 60 years (though not without repairs).

    When the heat exchanger goes, that's usually when it's time for replacement.

    seosmp thanked DavidR
  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    Typically under the guise of 'furnaces only last 20 years' is that they become more costly and more problematic to repair. This greatly depends on the problems you are having. ( A mile in my shoes, sort of thing.)

    Erratic, intermittent problems are costly problems to fix. Because in the way in which these problems occur you can have issues of the furnace shutting off for a time, resetting on it's own a few hours later. Nuisance type tripping.

    I am not in the business of trouble shooting ghosts. That leads to educated guessing and in some cases can exceed the cost of a new furnace.

    There are manufacturers currently with life time heat exchanger warranties. The heat exchanger is covered for your lifetime as long as you own the home. Original owner only, not second or third owner.

    So the replacement of a furnace only due to a failed heat exchanger, is a bit misguided statement. It all depends on what is wrong with it. Part of this equation is also in consideration of how old it is.

    With that said... just a bad blower motor - I would repair it and then start the often long process of replacement if that's what you want.

    I just recently replaced a 17 year old furnace due to erratic type problem, estimate of $850 to repair with a disclaimer the repair cost could go higher. Had nothing to do with a failed heat exchanger. When you're at $850 repair est. and very likely to go higher if not immediately within months to a year that's a pretty significant discount off the install of a new appliance.

    That discount only applies when you don't repair the furnace. The other issue here is climate... my climate is a low use heating climate, but you're going to need that furnace to operate the AC in a high use AC climate like I live in.

    So here where I live there is rarely any discussion of condensing furnaces and such, because you would never recoup the cost of one of these here in this climate I live in. The reason I say this is that the decision to repair or replace is a complicated one.

    Blanket statements like: Only replace the furnace if the heat exchanger is cracked doesn't hold up for all scenarios. The reason to replace is a complicated one. Had the home owner decided to repair the furnace in this example I would have repaired it. In some instances it works out, but I've seen situations in which nuisance type furnace problems would have been better to just replace the furnace, because usually over the course of a year or so, the costs to repair keep piling up, in some cases exceed the cost of a new furnace.

    It's best to avoid blanket statements, concerning HVAC topics.


    It all depends on the situation.


    I service the Katy, Texas area.


    seosmp thanked Austin Air Companie
  • jalarse

    Our fan motor on our furnace went out 3 weeks ago. Propane furnace and electric heat pump. Fan motor works both. Husband is retired commercial HVAC. He replaced the fan motor cost about $80. System is about 19 years old. He said we are good to go. We are both in our 70’s, and the heating/cooling system will outlive us.

    seosmp thanked jalarse
  • Elmer J Fudd

    Like the other commenters in this thread, besides Austin, we're just homeowners.

    How long do you plan to remain in this home?

    Here's what I've learned from living with and replacing systems in several houses:

    -- It's very likely your ducts leak. Probably a lot. They may or may not be accessible to seal and depending on where located, it may or may not make a big difference

    --It's extremely likely that both your furnaces and your A/C equipment are oversized. If so, the furnaces won't run long enough to provide evenly heated areas from room to room and the A/C won't run long enough to reduce humidity in the house on hot and humid days. These problems are very easily fixed by replacing the equipment with sizes determined via load calculations (done by the HVAC contractor) that are required in some areas for a building permit anyway. Smaller units that will run more cheaply while providing better comfort.

    --Newer (and smaller) equipment for both heating and cooling would operate more efficiently and so save you money.

    --A higher efficiency than your existing 80% furnaces are available (though a bit more expensive to buy) and would also save you money. I get it that maybe to retrofit the house for the different needs of higher efficiency equipment may be a challenge but that's something that can be priced out so that a dollars and sense decision can be made.

    --Most HVAC contractors will tell you that at the top tier of brands, most equipment is of equal quality. Many makes have two different labels (Think of GM having Cadillac and Chevy at one time, more similar than different). An example is that Carrier and Bryant are the same and share models though with different names and numbers and Carrier is more expensive. So too for Trane and American Standard. While most contractors are happy to install and work on any brand, they tend to focus their buying on just one brand because just like airline frequent flyer programs, they get better discounts by using just one brand to have greater buying volume with one.

    Good luck.


    seosmp thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • seosmp

    Hi!

    Thank you all so much for the replies! Been out on some college visits!

    @Austin Air Companie - I am in fact in the wider Chicago area :). If you have any recommendations for a great HVAC contractor, please do let me know!. :)

    The consensus seems to be to just fix it and prepare for replacement so that if it comes down to it, I will be able to make a decision quicker at that point.

    I actually found the blower motor part online (has a generic video to replace), but it looks a little intimidating to replace. I have fixed many things (including the fan in our upright freezer and will be replacing an ice maker soon, attic fan, etc. etc.), but don't feel comfortable tackling this.

    Thanks!

  • strategery

    Replace. New furnaces are much better in terms of energy efficiency. You would also get a warranty.

    seosmp thanked strategery
  • kudzu9

    Hmmm. $500 vs. $10K? That might not pencil out even with possibly better efficiency and a warranty. I suspect the the payback period will be in the distant future if the repair works out. My partner thinks I should have gotten rid of my '96 Corolla years ago and splurged on a new car, but it just keeps on ticking with the occasional minor repair.

    seosmp thanked kudzu9
  • DavidR

    Seo, you sound like a DIY of about my level. I've replaced a furnace blower, and I expect that you can too.

    seosmp thanked DavidR
  • tigerdunes

    for your location, if possible, I would definitely go for a properly sized high eff 95+ condensing furnace . not a fan of the Lennox brand, look at AmSTd...


    good luck


    IMO

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  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    @Ray Austin - I am in fact in the wider Chicago area :). If you have any recommendations for a great HVAC contractor, please do let me know!. :)

    It's been over 20 years since I lived there, so unfortunately there isn't anyone I would know to recommend.

    The consensus seems to be to just fix it and prepare for replacement so that if it comes down to it, I will be able to make a decision quicker at that point.

    yeah, that's right. Due to the age of the furnace I would recommend you have your HVAC company do this repair. You need to know who can fix it, that is the service you want. --- anyone can replace, replace, replace.

    You don't garner that kind of information by doing it yourself.

    A company that fixes it, should be your first choice to replace it -- because you know they can fix stuff too.

    Service first, then design of the system, then brand/ model.

    If design is already good: Service first, then brand / model.

    Design has many, many attributes: duct design, flue pipe design as in condensing furnace, refrigerant piping design, return air design, zoning (if needed) design.

    If you need design and skip it -- your system will likely not perform well in extreme weather.

    Some Additional thoughts: Comfort means different things to different people, due to climate concerns you system may run more on the heating side than cooling side or as in my climate of Katy, Texas more on the cooling side. So your system should be designed to perform well for what mode it runs in the most.

    How long due you plan to own the home? This is another important side of the equation. If you plan to live there less than 10 years you get the enjoyment of the new system and possibly recover a small amount thru that time. The investment will probably help you sell the home faster if your home is being compared to a home that has an older HVAC system than what you have.

    Typically cost recoup times run as high as 15 years. However, this depends greatly on the equipment that is being used with what is chosen for it's replacement. If you plan to only live there 5 years or less, the newer equipment will likely only help you sell the home faster.


    seosmp thanked Austin Air Companie
  • tigerdunes

    repair a 21 yr old system, in Chicago area, old furnace is probably 80% eff...really!...

    seosmp thanked tigerdunes
  • seosmp

    First - thanks for all the additional replies! It's quite a big decision! Particularly when the house gets down to 56 degrees :).

    Second - I took all these replies to heart, did more research, got additional quotes for new and for repair, with probably the most important thing to me was the statement that the brand doesn't matter as much as the design/installation. I was not confident that I had this quality in the 2 quotes that I received. I then did some more digging, found an HVAC contractor on Yelp with a lot of great reviews, and decided to have him come fix it and get new quotes. His recommendation was to use a universal blower motor (although he was willing to do OEM). Given the age, I went this route - with capacitor. Total was just over $200.

    So now I have Bryant quotes to sift through :). I may start another thread on this as I now have 3 different quotes with different sizing.... I would like to figure this all out to be ready to replace next time something goes wrong...

    THANKS!!!

  • kudzu9

    So, for $200 you are warm again? :-)

  • North Texan

    The first thing to do is look at the quotes and find out how they arrived at the sizing. If no Manual J was performed, they are all just tossing darts are a board.

  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    While most contractors are happy to install and work on any brand, they tend to focus their buying on just one brand because just like airline frequent flyer programs, they get better discounts by using just one brand to have greater buying volume with one.

    This is probably true to some degree, but someone like me it's more about service efficiency due to the location of the supply house of the equipment I sell / install. (install comes with the sale of the equipment - I am not a supply house).

    In order to see any discounts on equipment you would have to be buying $100k a year or more in equipment. Those discounts might be as little as $100 per complete system bought. It only becomes significant in 'selling more'. So then the argument is more about selling more and more equipment. I can tell you from a business perspective it wouldn't take long to fall from grace if you participate in that. I sell no where close to $100K a year in equipment. Not even marginally close and I am fine with that.

    My focus is being the HVAC service king for my area. While I do sell and install equipment I don't sell equipment that frequently. In many cases I am fixing and repairing still working equipment.

    Look at it this way: all equipment breaks and it's likely to break when it's hot out in my case and climate. So it's not efficient for me to sell brands in which I have to drive all over town to get parts. Supply houses for equipment I sell is within 5 miles of my house. Time efficiency, the summer is only so long. No one calls me for AC service in the winter. (unless it's warm / humid outside)

    If I have 3 or 4 calls come in, I am booked for the day. If one of those calls leads to new install, I am booked even longer. With that said, I provide top notch service everyday including weekends and nearly all holidays.

    With out service, that brand means nothing. They all break, so because of the pro that I've become with all this experience of fixing any and all HVAC brands it's more about 'better service'.

    I know there are companies out there that fall in love with a certain brand. I simply know better because I am the one who actually runs the call. I also know that failures can happen in 3 short years of operation if someone thinks a brand cures all ills.

    Just a few additional things to keep in mind in your selection process. Not all HVAC companies are created equal. I am me, that's the way I prefer to do it... my way. I don't try to be 'like someone else'. They can't be me either.

    Better service doesn't mean free. It means it's better because you can get it when you need it. In most cases (80% of the time) I can have your system back on line and functioning with in 3 hours from the moment you call me.

    HVAC service is a local thing. Service can't be better service if I am driving for hours to get to the call. Sometimes I make exceptions, so as with everything it depends.


    I service the Katy, Texas area.

    seosmp thanked Austin Air Companie
  • Elmer J Fudd

    Austin, every market is different and you do what you do. When I've had work done very recently, most HVAC businesses that were recommended seemed to be in the 4-8 technician range and do a high volume of systems installs and their own tin knocking. Some were larger and only few smaller The two installers I used most recently (in two different areas) happened to be Bryant-focused but of course would provide any brand.

    When a top rated contractor also offers competitive prices, my conclusion is that the price is a factor of both efficiency gained from the know-how of repeated daily install work as well as purchase price advantage from volume discounts. Maybe that's a wrong assumption but someone who does a lot of one thing is going to be better (and faster) than someone who doesn't.

    seosmp thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    Well we can save the labor problem by paying by piece work. We'll pay a set amount per piece of equipment installed.

    So what happens under this arrangement is that in order for the installer to make more $$$ they rush to install the equipment and in many cases things aren't done the way they should be done.

    Remember, often times these systems are installed in tight spaces. You have to remove the equipment to install the new... we're not talking about new construction here.

    Yeah, I've crunched the numbers. Hate to be the bearer of bad news. It never works out like you think it will. At least not in this climate.

    No problem, we'll pay the installers by the hour. Not properly supervised and they will ride the clock... to again make more $$$.

    Then the customer sits there in the hot house wondering why it's taking so long for the new system to be installed with 3 guys running around yacking on cell phones, taking smoke breaks, etc.

    (PS: I don't smoke)

    seosmp thanked Austin Air Companie
  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    It's a dead end job. All I ever do is wake up to do another job for this employer that is trying to kill me in a hot attic. I do this install job right and I'm awarded yet another install job. I do that job and afterward I am awarded yet another job in an even hotter attic.

    Tomorrow I get to look forward to the same thing. They say I'm doing great at this 'efficiency thing'.

    Trying to be 'efficient' I missed the board I was supposed to step on and slipped fell thru the attic. Gonna be laid up for a good 2 weeks, the company is going to charge me back take out of my pay the cost of the sheet rock repair. No worries I am on workman's comp. but it only pays a fraction of what I was making while working.

    At least after those two weeks of being laid up I get to start again the goal of killing myself in a hot attic....

    Sincerely, the life of an HVAC installer.

    *** to paint a picture for you *** when you work for someone besides yourself.

    seosmp thanked Austin Air Companie
  • Elmer J Fudd

    The install teams that did my jobs were not how you described at all. I'd call them "happy guys in their 30s+ who like to make things" and they seemingly enjoyed having a new site, a new task, new challenges to "get it done". You don't need to be an HVAC installer to be disgruntled with your current job and those I encountered were anything but that. I asked a few if they ever did repair or maintenance work and all responded to the effect "No, that's boring".

    The larger of my two installs (two separate systems) involved no attic or basement work at all. There are few parts of the country that have hotter attics for more months in the year than the Houston area. That's your choice.

    Working efficiently and working hastily are two different things, don't you think?

    Austin, do you consider all skilled trade jobs as dead end jobs? Plumbers, auto mechanics, carpenters, cabinet makers, all need years of training and experience to be good. Are the tasks repetitive? Sure, to a point. So what? Most jobs are like that. People do what they like to do, don't they?

  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    Elmer,


    That's the difference from Houston to California. I assume all these houses you have had work done are all in California, right? (those differences are staggering compared to this climate here)


    What do you pay for a house in California? What is the climate like? (I know this varies depending where you live / mountain effects, elevation effects, etc.)


    You could buy a mansion in Texas compared to what you would pay for a cracker jack box in California. Licensing rules are much more stringent in liberal land over there. If I had to imagine you can't change a light bulb over there without having to pull a permit. Am I right?


    Do I consider all skilled trades jobs as dead end jobs? If you work for someone else here in Texas... I think there's a good chance that is true at a high percentage.


    Why else would I want to improve and start my own company? Without me obtaining my HVAC license it was a dead end job to me. I'm sure things are different in California. I could have made excuses claiming it was a dead end job. I didn't make excuses. I did something about it. That was over 12 years ago.


    But in my opinion... California is not a challenge professionally for the AC market. Maybe certain swatches of area over there like in the desert as an example, but certainly not as a whole. It's mostly a moderate climate in many areas over there.


    It was my choice to move to Houston area, because I was a happy 28-30 year old (at that time) looking for a challenge. I could have chose anywhere. I could have gone to Hawaii or anywhere. I could have chosen commercial refrigeration, freezers and so on. It's not what I wanted to do, mainly for my other love of real estate. Air Conditioning and real estate go hand in hand. (I own a rental here)


    I chose what I chose because I knew it would challenge me. If you've not in a spot to grow... obtain knowledge etc. --- how long is your cooling season in California? Here most years it's 9 or 10 months, that played an important part as well as no state income tax here. (not that we don't pay plenty of other taxes, but I considered many things when making that move over 20 years ago from the Chicago area.


    I've been to California before... long time ago in the Mid 80's. Anaheim area for a week vacation (I was a teenager then)... It's about as different from Texas as night is to day. I doubt the weather there has changed much in that time.


  • Elmer J Fudd

    " Licensing rules are much more stringent in liberal land over there. If I had to imagine you can't change a light bulb over there without having to pull a permit. Am I right?"

    California has many types of building contractor licenses that I believe Texas doesn't believe are necessary and doesn't have. It has nothing to do with politics.

    All require some number of years of a work experience working for a licensed contractor and passing a substantive technical test. Texans must think this to be a dumb approach?

    We can change all the light bulbs we want anytime.

  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    That may have sounded like a political attack Elmer, now that I reread it. But I meant that as a joke. I believe it's true that licensing and regulations increase costs.

    In Texas, to get a *true* HVAC license and not just some registration with the state as in a technician --- you need 4 years of verifiable experience, someone with a *Real HVAC License* to vouch for you for that 4 years of experience, then you have to take and pass the HVAC license exam with a 70 or better. It's a timed test, but open book. It's by no means an easy test. You also need to have the means to buy and maintain General Liability Insurance.

    Open book is easy: uh, no. The test covers multiple books, the refrigeration book alone is like a phone book of a major metropolitan area that is if you're old enough to know what a phone book is.

    I believe it's a dumb approach when you have to pull a permit for everything and anything. It's mostly a money grab in my opinion.

    Those permit rules are implemented by politicians. We have to pull permits here in the city limits. Most of my work is in the county, there is no requirement to pull a permit in the county here. (That makes the job easier to get done and move onto the next job, which is important in this climate. California climate is nothing when it comes to air conditioning, in most cases. )

    With that said, I know what the building code is in Texas and I follow it, even though I am not pulling a permit 99% of the time.

    -------------

    The point that was lost though is that your climate would make it extremely difficult for an HVAC technician / installer to make a good enough living only doing air conditioning work. This is why I was against moving to a more moderate climate. I wanted to work doing what I wanted my career in HVAC to be about.

    Mostly air conditioning related problems. I don't regret that choice. The only choice I regret is not getting my HVAC license sooner than what I did. But I probably wouldn't have as much knowledge as I do from the myriad of employers I worked for over the years... seeing different ways of doing things.

    This is why I said: HVAC installer is a dead end job. I believe it would be true even for California, because you'd never make enough to support yourself *only* doing AC installation work.

  • Elmer J Fudd

    I don't doubt that you know your area but from your comments, it seems you really don't know mine.

    Licensing and regulating contractors raises costs? Not hardly. I'd bet fees fund the effort. Even if not fully, it's public money well spent.

    Dumb to require permits? Even dumber to have unsupervised/uninspected work done in an industry (construction and building trades) that has too many scoundrels looking to cheat and cut corners whenever possible.

    The local HVAC codes require load calcs and independent duct leakage testing (and remediation) for every equipment install or replacement job. Guess what, the load calcs usually show that the equipment being replaced was oversized. And that ducts leak more than they should. Do you ever do these on your jobs or do you simply replace like size for like?

    GOOD HVAC companies are very busy here. I waited 3 months (March to June, not peak time at all) for one because it was booked up, 6 weeks (also in the Spring) for the other. There's plenty of business for better operators. The vast majority of the state requires heating and cooling systems for other than the most modest homes, even if most don't have the extremes of heat and humidity that Houston has.

    My first question when screening bids was "Do you normally get permits". Anyone who answered other than Yes was crossed off the list.

    Do as you wish, good luck.


  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    Well in over 25 years of doing this I have never gotten someone who asked me if I 'normally pull a permit'. I answer my phone and talk to people directly -- there is no middle man with me. You call me you get me.

    Pulling a permit, inspecting a job via a permit doesn't guarantee a quality problem free system. I have gone back on pretty installs that aren't working. (Hot humid climate here) -- same thing with a heat load calculation. Extremely easy to make a mistake unless you are building new construction. Even new construction, mistakes are made regularly.

    Heat loads are not 'exact science' 90% of the time as I have said countless times before the properly sized system is in fact 'over sized'. So you're preaching to the choir of this board not understanding the 'true' science behind the operation.

    If someone requested me to pull a permit... it would go something like this: "If you live in the county, outside the city limits there is no one to perform the permit inspection."

    You're special Elmer, I'll give you that much.

    With that said, if someone called me to perform a 'on location' heat load calculation I would do it for them. However, I charge for it based on a per HVAC system charge.


    I waited 3 months (March to June, not peak time at all) for one because it was booked up, 6 weeks: To me this sounds like crappy service. They probably use this excuse again when you call with some problem too?

    But to each their own. Service means different things to different people. I know I wouldn't settle for that.

    I service the Katy, Texas area. Service Today. (very little waiting)

  • Elmer J Fudd

    No middle men for me - the owner in one case, the Ops supervisor in the other, did the inspections, bids, load calcs. How can you bid a job without knowing what size equipment is needed?

    The waits were because their reputations keep them busy. It was scheduled installs, not emergency calls. Neither project was an immediate need, both places had working systems. The calcs for heating in one (newly purchased) said what was there was almost 2X too large. 10 minute blasts of hot air resulting in unevenly heated, uncomfortable spaces.

    You seem to decide in advance how you want to work and then move backwards from there, disparaging what elsewhere are normal steps for jobs that you don't want to do. Maybe that's why you don't do much install work. I'll bet there are other HVAC people in your town who do plenty of installs, so perhaps it's something you don't like doing.

    We wouldn't get along.

  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    We wouldn't get along.

    The only reason, is you and your perceptions.

    I can't be everything to everyone. I am fine with offering great fast service with no excuses. If the job needs an install of new equipment I am happy to provide that service. I don't push equipment if it's not needed.

    The excuse we're too busy 'you'll have to wait for weeks' could be solved by hiring more workers. There's a reason for everything, everything Elmer. You know because you said these workers you saw didn't believe the HVAC installer job is a 'dead end job'.

    If it's not indeed a dead end job, then there should be ample amount of workers to meet the demand. Or is it just a big fat excuse?

    The deeper we go, the more clear it becomes to me. Maybe not to you because you are blinded by your own way of thinking. Which it's your given right to think however you want. I don't hold that against anyone.

    But I'm not going to pretend to be something I am not. Poor service with excuses like 'we're too busy' to service our customers... is an excuse to me. To you it's a reason to use someone?

    I question that thinking, especially in my climate in Katy, Texas in which I go to homes that are 90 degrees inside within a matter of hours of the AC going down.

    How long would you take excuses of being too busy, under those conditions?

  • Elmer J Fudd

    In a nearby fair-sized coastal town, the highest rated and regarded restaurant takes reservations up to 7 days in advance. If you want a reservation during prime time, like 5:30 to 8:00 and even on weekdays, if you don't set it up by 3 days in advance, you'll find nothing is available. If you decide today to eat there tonight, you can get a table at for two or four at 8:30 or 9:00pm. It's not near the ocean and there's no view. Everyone is happy to plan in advance and wait because the food is outstanding. It's busy for a reason. There are many restaurants in the same area, even just down the street, where tables are available every night without a reservation. The reason why is also obvious.

    The two installers I used, booked in advance, were considered among the best in the areas concerned. They were busy for a reason. My experiences with them were consistent with that, both were outstanding. There were others I got bids from in each location who touted that they could start in a few days. There's the same good reason for that too as with the other restaurants, also obvious.

    As I said, my situation wasn't an emergency and I could wait for the best. Remember the old adage, often but not always true:

    Excellent quality-Reasonable price-Available Now. Pick two.

  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    If you were starving to death, feeling light headed due to the lack of nutrients I'd say it's a safe bet you would choose an eatery that didn't require a reservation that didn't require you thinking about it a week in advance.

    If it was a nonchalant event for the sake of the enjoyment of the process, booking a reservation, trying to keep up and or show off with the jones'es --- I can see how that might be entertaining to you. Not my cup of tea, but it's your life to live it anyway you want.

    How could the AC be broken? It was working 5 minutes ago. The difference between a working air conditioner and a broken one in a hot climate.

    The big difference here is climate. What you're afforded to do in a more moderate climate would not be tolerated by you if you were to live in Texas. This climate would challenge your thinking in more ways than one.

    I've lived in more moderate climates. I often joke about the climate here in Katy, Texas as being next store to the gates of hell. You spend a whole summer here, you wouldn't doubt a place like hell exists.

    With that said, I had a father of a tenant (his son & family) in a rental home --- the father called me and personally thanked me for such fast response on an evening in June or July this past year. It was 90 degrees in that house by the time I got there.

    You know to paint a picture for you... can you imagine trying to sleep in that for 6 weeks?

  • Elmer J Fudd

    "The big difference here is climate."

    No, not at all. With your restaurant example as well, you're discounting the importance of being proactive and planning ahead in life instead of waiting for a problem to happen. You do emergency service. That's not the only segment of the HVAC business but you speak as if it were. You choose not to do install work, many HVAC companies choose not to do emergency work. No right or wrong, just of a choice of what's preferred or what one's competence allows success at doing.

    Too bad you don't like going to good restaurants to eat. You're missing out on an activity many, many people enjoy. It has nothing to do with oneupmanship at all, very odd you should think so. Maybe there aren't any where you live?

  • PRO
    Austin Air Companie

    You choose not to do install work, many HVAC companies choose not to do emergency work.

    Below is a picture of an Air Conditioning grave yard. This old equipment was replaced by me with new equipment. So to suggest that I don't do new equipment install work is no where near correct.

    Pretty hard to have old junky AC equipment if I didn't do install work. Right?


    I only do emergency work. again that is incorrect.

    The customer tells me if it's an emergency or not. Just a few days ago with temps in the 70's here I installed a new Bosch inverter AC for a long time customer.

    That install was installed around the needs of the customer, not mine. He had some scheduling conflicts to work around. In other words, I don't make excuses.

    Elmer, you see what you want to see and that's fine. But that doesn't make your view correct. Not hardly.

    I work *nearly* everyday. There are only 3 days in which I will not run a service call. Thanksgiving day, Christmas day and New Years day.

    All calls are handled in the order in which they are received. If someone wants to provide a reservation for some time in the future I allow that. But as I have described here that is completely unnecessary under most circumstances.

    I work for you (the home owner) not the other way around.

    The home of better service. (It's better because you can get it when you want it.)

    Welcome home. (Katy, Texas area)

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