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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  Retired contractor, 51 years experience
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Help - Need info re: purchasing HVAC via Online wholesaler.

This answer was rated:

Help - Need info re: purchasing HVAC via Online wholesaler. Bonus for excellent answers. Only reply if you can recommend an online HVAC wholesaler that will not rip me off.

Help - Recently Unemployed needs low cost HVAC system.

Hi. Money is tight and I need a replacement HVAC system for my home using existing duct work. I had a local HVAC evacuate the freon and I removed the old system. Now I am looking for a replacement system.

I live in rural Georgia and I have a buddy that does HVAC in Texas. He is coming to my home in March.

He told me that I should get a system via an online wholesaler and he and I will install the system during his visit. I need a 3 1/2 ton heat pump.

From what I have seen online and my buddy's help, I can save about 50 % or more off the cost of quotes on like systems.

For a bonus I need a recommendation of at least 1 or 2 online HVAC wholesalers that from your knowledge will not rip me off and factors that I should consider re: buying a system online and having my friend install.

I will pay a bonus of up to $ 30 for info that leads me to an online purchase and advise re: the pro's and con's of buying online (excluding comments re: not having a local company do the install or legal issues). I am convinced that there are many companies that will service the unit after it is properly installed.

My buddy states that the manufactures will stand by their warranties in spite of statements to the contrary.



Welcome to Just Answer !

I have been buying equipment in this business for 50 years, and a lot of it recently on line. If you buy from an online wholesaler the one and only way to insure you are getting a good price is shop... Goodman used to give good on line prices, but I have seen them deviate lately... so shopping is the only actual way.


The very best pricing can be found on ebay... but you have to shop and double and triple check there as well...however it is possible to get pricing 50% off of wholesale on ebay, on new. brand name equipment.


The cheapest you can buy is equipment that uses R-22, currently in its phase out process but will be available on the market for another few years, and after that replacement refrigerant not using the chlorine molecule is available... You can buy that equipment if you can still find it. often at 30 cents on the usual wholesale dollar.


The higher the efficiency rating the better. Verify the sellers customer satisfaction score is over 98% with a volume over 1,000


Verify the system is rated for your voltage, around 230 volts *single phase... three phase systems will be cheaper but you cant us it.




I can spend a week finding you a good system... that of course is not viable in this venue at the rates charged.


What will work however if you want to try ebay is look for yourself and then post what you find and I can evaluate it for you.


CLICK HERE FOR A LINK to 3 ton systems, i see most are R-410a refrigerant, if you can find one using R-22 it will be half that... your search would be for 3.5 ton systems, or even 4 ton systems depending on the size of your house.... the longer you shop the better deals you will find and the more educated you will become on the issues.


Goodman brand is near the bottom on quality... mainly their indoor air coils are thinner in the tubing walls and drain pans are plastic... both tend to leak more than other brands.


let me know if you wish to proceed on that basis or not.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Hi Phil.


I will pay a bonus for full detailed answers.


Other than ebay, a recommendation of at least 1 or 2 online HVAC wholesalers that from YOUR knowledge that will not rip me off and some the best online prices.


If I buy over the internet and have a licensed HVAC installer install the system, will the manufacture honor its 5 or 10 year parts warranties?


What brands do you like and dislike and which brands would you stay away from?





Hello again, us contractor types buy 99% from our local wholesale houses on our volume discounts... we do not buy too much on line from on line 'wholesalers'.. those tend to be not as good a deal as we can get locally, with no waiting and no freight charges.


These wholesalers will not sell to the general public, and sell at a steep discount to those who buy a lot of equipment, and for not too much of a discount at all to occasional buyers. You would fit the occasional buyer class...the only wholesalers who will sell home owners sell on ebay as a rule.




I buy some things from ebay.. recently 5 or 6 compressors in the 1 to 7 horse power range... and a lot of hard to find parts. Many of the sellers on ebay *are HVAC wholesalers however.


The warranties will generally be honored since they are parts only, but you must always enquire, read the warranty and ask if its from the date of manufacture or the date shipped and installed.


In the USA , in order of best deal for the money in the least expensive models.


- Rheem, York, Ruud, Amana

- Payne, American Standard

- Carrier, Trane

all of these are generally OK




The dicy ones are Goodman, Luxaire, Fedders, and about 6 other brands

I have forgotten and seldom see.


However. since you want a guarantee of best price from a wholesaler I have dealt with and cannot give that to you, I will opt out. and leave you with my best advice, shop on ebay as I detailed earler, try to find a refrigerant 22 system...that will be an absolute steal. then send me the link and I will look it over for you.


I will opt out now


Maybe someone else has a better idea.







Customer: replied 4 years ago.


No do not opt out.


I am going to accept and give you a bonus and use you for more consulting.


I feel you are providing honest, objective information.


I am accepting.


Please answer this:


R22 is going away. What is the risk that future R22 refrigerant system charges will be so expensive that i will have regretted not getting a 410 system?


I found several systems that I am researching.


I will accept now and pay the bonus after you give feedback on which system is best. I will send system info on Sunday.





Customer: replied 4 years ago.


What about this system


Nordyne Complete Split System Heat Pump 16 SEER 2 Ton R410-A for 1,800 or


Whirlpool 2 Ton 14 SEER Split System Heat Pump Package for




Hello again, those two systems are only 2 tons, good for a house in a temperate climate 1200 square feet or smaller


Your original question specified 3.5 tons. thats good for a house in the 1600 to 2,000 square foot range, in a mid range climate


The links I sent you on ebay wholesalers are for the 3 ton size unit, selling from $1,700 and up, plus shipping,


Nordyne is a reputable brand, whirlpool is low mid range brand


I would try to find an old R 22 system at a give away price. there will always be refrigerant for it available at the same price as R 410a more or less, You may never even need to recharge it. Finding one of those might take you a five or ten hours searching on ebay, cost savings could be in the $500 + range


Tell me how big your house is please, and which direction you are from the nearest city

.... keep searching ebay.... type in split system heat pump, 3.5 tons.


see my previous directions and link to ebay 3 ton heat pump systems


That will help me evaluate your options,







Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I have had more conversations since my post so perhaps a 3.5 ton is not right.


The house is 2050 sq ft down stairs and 1025 sq ft up stairs. Built in 1989 with above avg framing. Insulation is avg to below. Single pane aluminum windows. The south wall of the down stairs is at least 50 % glass with 8 & 10' ceilings.


I need a unit for the upstairs and one for the down stairs. I have removed both of the 23 year old units previously installed.


So you can do better than the 16 seer Nordyne in my prior post.


I may be away until later this after noon.


I am in EST time zone. Where are you?


I have many more questions and will pay more for good info.





Hello again,


These systems come in 3 basic configurations...the systems you buy must suit the duct lay out you have and the location of the indoor unit... the 3 types are:


1. Upflow, sitting vertically in a closet and discharging air upward

2. Downflow, sitting vertically in a closet and discharging air downward.

3 Horizontal, sitting in an attic space or crawl space mounted horizonatally and

discharging air in one end and blowing it out the other.


Without that data I cannot tell you if the 16 seer Nordyne unit will work or not.



I am in San Francisco, California.. I have done projects in 20 or 30 states. I use the ASHRAE guide (the industry standard) to estimate heat loads according to the climate zone a home is located in.


In other words you need a very different system for San Diego California near the coast, warm, dry, low humidity...than you need in Florida on the coast, hot, 98% and 98% humidity.... etc.


Northern climates present yet another set of issues. You need a high seer rating in extreme climates, and not so much in milder climates.



The EST time zone you mention spans the hot and exceptionally humid state of Florida, and the much cooler and much less humid state of Maine...and a bunch of other regions in between....


.....and within those regions are homes directly near the ocean, and homes several hundred miles inland... all of those with radically differing heat and cooling load issues.




That is why I ask you which direction you are in from the center of the nearest city... it is a primary factor in estimating air conditioner sizing.... a vital factor actually. So if you can let me know about that, I will appreciate it.




Another factor regarding equipment selection...if you do this job by taking out a building permit as the law requires is a 'Title 24 Load calculation', that is done by protocols defined in the states 'Manual J'


Beyond that, the length of the and size of each air duct is a vital issue in how large a heat pump that can be installed and function correctly. Any mistakes in these areas results in a less than optimal or outright poorly functioning system.


Standard practice is to have a state licensed HVAC contractor arrive, do a manual J heat load and duct sizing calculation and then select the equipment accordingly... quality of the contractors of course varies... on average about 30% of projects end up with design issues to one degree or the other... and that is after 4 or 5 hours of load calculations, duct sizing and filling out state required paper work.





Thats an over view. I can help you however get into the ball park...I can ask you questions and explain in extensive detail why I need the answers... so that I can help you buy a system that will most likely be optimal for your application and budget, and hopefully can be adjusted and modified by your friend to achieve a workable system...


Its not done casually however... it is extensively time consuming, If I help you find the equipment and do the necessary searches it will take me between 10 and 20 hours.


That of course does not fit this venue.


What will work as I mentioned earlier is if you can tell me the nearest city etc..and then do the searching for equipment yourself according to my sizing estimates... then let me know what you have found by providing a link.... and then I can look at it and advise.. that will only take me a few hours..and fits our venue here.



If you really mean what you say and want the lowest price, then you and I can spend the extensive amount of time it will take to find a refrigerant 22 system... if you are not that serious about price, it will be a lot easier to locate a refrigerant 410a system....


That aspect is up to you of course, and I have given you links to ebay so you can do that search... let me know if you need coaching beyond what I have given about the use of the relevant key words in doing the ebay search.




From the data given so far the air ducts are most likely sized to accommodate 2 tons upstairs and 2 or 3 tons down stairs...needed heavy back up electrical resistance heat if you are on the north east and little or none if you are in the south east. I stell need the configuration as mentioned at the top of the post..



If you are willing to pay usual prices, about 20% over wholesale you can get by with a lot less searching.


If you can give me the brand and model number and btu rating of the equipment you removed, and tell me how it worked, then from that I can assess almost exactly what will work.





Let me know if all that makes any sense on your end or not...and answer what you can, we can go from there.







Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I will get you more info later today or tomorrow.


Thanks for the great detailed response.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Hey Phil.


Don't quit on me. Crazy weekend with a lot of unexpecteds.


Now work is crazy. I am going to shop to night and post questions for you.


Currently my plan is to work with you and pay a $ 25 to $ 50 bonus or more after we work this more.


Your response have been great with much informed detail.


Thanks. I will post by tomorrow night.





You are welcome Jerry, stay in touch

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Please comment on these systems, the flows (I have check the orientation - up flow, down flow, etc). Which do you think is the best value among the 2 ton units? Do you have an issue with mixing the air handler of one brand with the condenser of another?

Trane Heat Pump R410-A and matching Goodman Air Handler 10 SEER 2.5 Ton Complete Split System

Item Number : 2TWB0030A100A, ARUF30B14, HKS08XC


Nordyne Complete Split System Heat Pump 16 SEER 2 Ton R410-A

Item Number : JT4BF-024KB, GB5VM-X25KA-B



Nordyne Heat Pump R22 and matching Goodman Air Handler 13 SEER 2 Ton Complete Split System

Item Number : JT5BD-024KA, ARUF24B14

$ 1,050

Rheem Complete Split System Heat Pump 2 Ton 14 SEER 12 EER. RHLLHM Series

Item Number : 13PJL24A01, RHLLHM2417JA

$ 1,600

Nordyne Heat Pump R22 and matching Goodman Cased Coil 13 SEER 4 Ton Complete Split System

Item Number : JT5BD-048K, CAPF4860D6A, MBE1600

$ 1,550


Hello again Jerry

You cannot mix and match the air handlers and outside units between brands, they have different refrigerant metering arrangements, Additionally Goodman while not too bad generally has problems with the coils leaking refrigerant,

The Nordyne system is the best deal in that batch. its a fair price that you can beat by a few hundred dollars if you shop long enough. Rheem, will shop at a lower price than Nordyne because it is not a heavily franchised brand, you pay for the franchise with nordyne

Please note, your Deposit doesn't constitute a payment. Please be sure to rate OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE to complete transaction or ask for more help by clicking REPLY TO EXPERT.

Positive feedback is always appreciated. Please note that if you have a subscription service you still need to rate OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE , however you are not charged again. Thank you.

Please note the 1 to 2 faces (POOR AND BAD SERVICE) are negative ratings. Before choosing one of these, please reply first so that I can further help you

Customer: replied 4 years ago.




I am going to accept and pay a $ 20 bonus because my job may prevent me from doing the shopping that I want to do.


If I open a new question to get more info from you, will you accept more questions from me?


Are you ok with acceptance and $ 20 for our communication in this string?





Hello again Jerry!

Yes indeed I will follow up any future questions you post, but for me to get them you will have to put "Attention Phil" at the start of the question heading. that way I will see it and pick it up... others will mostly leave it alone that way.


Phil and other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you

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