Air Handler and Rep Woes

Hi there...just posted this in alt.home.repair - before I noticed this group! Sorry for the duplication...
We recently decided to switch from our old oil furnace to an electric system. After doing some research and conferring with the technician from a company that does both oil and heat pump systems, we went with an air handler that we were assured could heat our home *without* the heat pump...the logic here was that at a later point (when we could justify the additional $$$ cost), we might install a heat pump and if so, would already have the air handler in place.
The problem is that the air handler cannot effectively heat the house. Our house isn't huge, but it's evidently too large for the two heat strips that provide the electric heat through the air handler. It takes
several hours for our house to climb to 66 degrees!
In talking with the installing company about this, the service manager stated simply that we only purchased half a system and we shouldn't have expected it to effectively heat our home, and that the rep told us
as much but we insisted on doing it anyway. Squeegee?? That's not how the sales rep represented the situation at all. We were completely clear with the rep that we were not interested in purchasing a heat pump and he was clear that this air handler would still do the trick. Why in the name of all things holy would we purchase a system that was more expensive than a regular electric furance solution knowing it wouldn't work?? Yeah. Right.
Now the company is balking.
So my questions are:
1. Does anyone out there have just an air handler heating their home? We have a Lennox cvx32MV 024/030 air handler with variable speed fan and even heat strips (EvenHeater).
2. Anyone have any idea if additional strips can be added to this model? Manufacturer's website is woefully lacking in info...
3. Anyone have any ideas on how to get the installing company to make good on their word and guarantee? We think the rep just wasn't well informed, but is now fibbing to cover his behind. Any suggestions? They
are a well-respected company with a great reputation and nary a complaint to be found...not sure how to help them do the right thing in
this case...
Thanks for the help!
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What does your contract say?

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Yes, an air handler w/heat strips is simply a forced air electric furnace.
Generally heat strips can be sized from about 5 - 20 KW but it depends on the air handler. How much strip heating is in your air handler?
Heat strips aren't too expensive to add as long as the air handler is designed to accomodate them and as long as the circuit has the ampacity and proper breaker protection.
What's in the proposal from the contractor??
It's foolish to buy an air handler with the option of adding a HP at a later date. This was common in the past but for maximum efficiency coils and HP's need to be matched very closely and in a couple years the systems will change enough where you'll likely need a new air handler/coil to match the HP.

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you failed to tell us what the heating capacity was on you old oil furnace, I'm thinking at least a minimum of 40,000 btu's, up to possibly 100,000 btus or more. Its been my experience that people who switch from fossil fueled heating systems to hp or electric strip heat are NEVER as satisfied as they were with the fossil fuels. The issue magnifies the older the customer.
the first thing that has to happen is a load calc performed. If the installing contractor didnt do a load calc, he's a hack, I dont give a shit what kind of reputation they have. guessing does not cut the mustard in this day & age.
now if he DiD do a load calc and you opted not to go with his recommendations, I would tell you Tough Shit if your house doesnt get warm enough.
the next thing you need to do is educate yourself on a heat pump's COP or coefficient of performance. what does that mean? basically it means if you spend one dollar for X amount of electric strip heat, for the same dollar you could get 3X 4X or 5X of heat from a heat pump!!!!! 4 times as many btu's for the same damn dollar!!! Installation costs are a one time deal, the monthly utility bill goes on forever.
getting back to your lennox piece of shit air handler, its rated at 2-2.5 tons of air or 1000 cfm MAX. I sincerly doubt you can install more than 10kw (2 5kw strips) in it. Blower isnt big enuf to move enuf air to keep anymore strips from melting
long story short, sounds to me thst you got butt-fucked, by your own choice, by not going with a heat pump. Even at that, the strip heating should be able to heat your house entirely on its own, when its too cold to effectively run the hp.
Now if I were you, I'd bypass the sales weenie, the sales manager, the moron tech and go right to the company owner. And if that didnt work I'd take out a full page ad in the local newspaper.
BTW, what does your contract state in writing?
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Post some pics of your tits and we'll see what we can do for you...
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Adding or increasing the size of the electric heat strips is probably an option. There is no way you will ever be satisfied with this arrangement. Straight resistive electric heating is expensive unless you are somewhere like Florida or the Texas gulf coast. You will spend in electric bills enough to have bought the heat pump in just a few years. Get the heat pump.

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Most of the folks here read home repair, also. You'll get answers both places.
In most places in the world, heat strips are much more expensive to run than oil or natural gas or propane. So, you'd be better off with some other heat. Go fish is a bit direct, but his advice is good.
I'd also suggest that you call two or three other companies. Ask em to come out, tell them you're cold, and want their advice. Don't mention the first company, and refrain from bad mouthing. I'm guessing you'll get several other sets of advice.
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