Buying Oil Heater and Central AC Unit Direct

Hi All, My house is currently 35 years old, and it has an oil furnace with baseboard hot water heat. I think my current heater is a Columbia brand. I just got it serviced and it is running at about 75% efficiency. The service tech suggested that it might be time to get a new one. Also I have a separate central air system from Trane which is also about the same age. There is an outdoor unit and something up in the attic too. The outdoor unit is rusting quite a bit, but it still works fine. The last time I had someone come out to service it, they also suggested getting a new one soon. These are obviously big ticket items. I'd like to replace both with quality systems, but want to save however I can. Is there any way I can order a good system myself, get it delivered, and then hire someone to install to save some cash on this? Any other suggestions on getting a good deal for these? Any help is appreciated. I am in the Philadelphia area. Thanks, Brian
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Sure, you can get a great deal by hiring the best HVAC company in your area. Have them install a unit that's correctly sized, installed and set-up to operate with-in the manufacture's specifications.
That' the best way you can save your money!
Otherwise, purchase a system on the web and have your favorite hack finish the job and continue to pay out the nose for utilities.
It's your choice!
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kjpro @ usenet.com wrote:

Hmmm, And warranty issue when it is needed!
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Most guys in the trade just totally hate people like you. Why? Because cheap folks like you typically want the technician to use all his years of experience to tell you makes, models, size, and so on. And then you go out and try to save a buck, and expect him to use his years of experience to install it.
If you proceed, please expect a couple things. First, don't ask your installer for any technical details. Size, etc. Second, expect the install to cost a heck of a lot more. Cause you'll pay a house call each time he has to come out to the house. You'll (from lack of experience) end up not buying a bunch of important parts. Since you're supplying the parts, you can expect him to have to come back four or five times, as you try to track down parts.
You won't get any warranty from the installer. So, in a couple years (or weeks) when the system breaks, you'll have to pay the guy to come out and pull out the bad part. That is, if he's willing to diagnose what is wrong. Diagnosis costs extra. Then you can be without heat or AC as the case may be. For a couple days while you get the part. And then a couple days while you schedule the install.
You can likely save a few bucks -- but it's false economy.
--

Christopher A. Young
(Using backup computer. In a couple
  Click to see the full signature.
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The best way to save money on a new comfort system is to get the highest efficiency, correctly sized, equipment you can afford, with a top quality installation, by a master contractor/tech.
You can get it done right and save a bunch of money over the years on your utility bills, with a quite, efficient comfort system, *OR* you can take your chances and get it done cheap.
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On Wed, 29 Aug 2007 11:10:10 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

GO PISS UP A ROPE IN A STRONG WIND YOU CHEAP BASTARD!!!! I hope you end up with some hack to do it for you, serves your cheap ass right.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Snipped
Hi Brian,
I will say this quickly and get out fast before the locals get restless. I also live in the Philli area and have a similar situation, house built in 77, original oil heat and AC, techs want to replace both as they are "very inefficient and you can save much money by replacing them." Cost of replacement for both is around $12,000. As hot as it has been this summer, average electric bill is $200 and paid a total of $1600 for oil last year. Year before was a little higher around $1800.
Now if I replace oil furnace and gained 30%, which is impossible as it would place my efficiency at over 100% (cold fusion anyone?) it would save me around $540 per year and if I replace my existing AC and gained the projected $300/ month savings (representing a credit from Atlantic City Electric of $100/ month...yeah thats thats gonna happen), I would show a savings of around $1800 per year (assuming that I am running my AC for four months during the summer).
Based on these wildly optimistic and, thus inaccurate, figures it would take seven years to show any gain from this installation. This does not take into account rises in oil or electicity, but also does not account for maintainence and repair costs for the equipment, (how much is the solid state control board on a thiry year old furnace? vs. the electronics for the new, improved stuff?) Before you get your knickers in a twist, the question is retorical, Ok Bubba? (the thermostate has already been belt sanded and acidified)
So, what to do? My own approach is to wait until my present installation dies or becomes terminal and then bite the bullet. As long as the major stuff, heat exchanger, coils, condensing unit, remain in working shape the payback period is too long to justify the capital outlay to replace them.
Take the 12K and invest it into something that pays a high rate of return and then you can pay cash when it finally dies.
Just my take,
Flame on.
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Wow, I came here humbly ignorant of anything about hvac and ended up being called all kinds of names. Obviously I came to the wrong message board, and obviously $12,000 is a drop in the bucket to the hvac bluebloods on here. Sorry for inconveniencing you all and sorry for my ignorance. Thanks for your advice Doc and everyone who kept the personal insults to a minimum. I guess I know where not to come for a recommendation when I decide to get a good heater and ac through a dealer given the pleasant and non-condescending demeanor of these folks. I'll just go crawl back under the rock from which I came now and resume my miserable existence with my functional 35 year old heating and ac systems for now. Thanks anyway.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Bzzt, wrong answer! I'm sorry you aren't going to the next level. No consolation proze either... Buh bye!
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You're welcome, Dickhead!
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