I am being quoted the following to replace my AC and Furnace in Va.
Amana 3 Ton
96% VARIABLE SPEED GAS FURNACE 14.5 SEER AIR CONDITIONING UNIT PLUS
COIL, PAD FOR OUTDOOR A/C WITH DISCONNECT BOX AND NEW DIGITAL
LIFETIME HEAT EXCHANGER UNIT REPLACEMENT
10 YEARS PARTS AND 10 YEARS LABOR
I am being quoted an additional 600 dollars for dual fuel for natural
The firm says that Amana's waranty is the best in the industry. The
estimater went out and looked at the house but did not conduct a Manual
J or a Manual D. He says the old unit was a 3 ton and the new 3 tons
are much more efficient than the old ones. So it will be just fine.
Is this bid inline with other products? I am trying to call different
firms but each one carries a different brand unit so it is hard for me
Spending 10K is a lot of money and I want the best value I can get.
Please provide name brands with good reps.
It depends upon your actual location in Va, but $10K sounds reasonable.
You should however compare the net savings of this system to a less
expensive system. If you can have a $5K system installed that costs less
than $5K more to run and maintain over its life then you will have saved
with the less expensive and less efficient system. Don't be fooled by
warranty claims--most other name brands offer extended warranties. They
aren't free, but then neither is Amana's, it's simply figured into the
equipment price. Carrier, for example offers systems with lifetime
warranted stainless heat exchangers, and for a bit extra you can get
the10yr P&L. Even with the extended warranty I believe that they will be
lower than Amana. They also run specials that are true discounts over
the normal prices. The price of a comparable system may or may not be
lower than 10K, it depends upon going rates in your area. Shop around,
and keep in mind that the extended warranties offered should be figured
in to the final figure in order to get a true comparison. What is more
important than brand is the installation. A poor installation will cost
you in future repairs and in energy savings. Even with full warranty
you have no guarantee that the system is delivering it's advertised
efficiency, or whether it is providing the degree of comfort that you
You need to get at least 2 other quotes. There are PLENTY of other qualified
companies in the DC/NoVA area. Don't get hooked on "Amana has one of the
best warranties in the industry". As I said, check around.....
Get another contractor. Goodman owns amana. That is
a high bid. You could get Trane for that much
money. Our company stopped selling Amana because of
too many call-backs. Insist on a manual J, at
I agree with Kathy. The fact that he didn't do a manual J is a warning
signal. The fact that it is more efficient than the old unit does not
have anything to do with proper sizing . Size and efficiency are
Size is like Horsepower, efficiency is like Miles Per Gallon.
Get another bid and dump this guy.
High? High is relative. I could find you a dozen contractors in my
area that charge more than that for the Amana quote.
I could also find you a pile of guys that would do the job for $5K.
Equal? No but its the same equipment.
Most important is find a company that KNOWS what they are doing.
There are a lot of good brands on the market, but it's the installer that's
much more important. I prefer Rheem/Ruud, but I've seen companies do bad
installs on them also. Check the details of any warranty. I'm not familiar
with Amana's, but if it says something like "must be authorized Amana
dealer", then you're locked in.
Heat loss/gain calculations are good, but the new equipment's size and
corresponding CFM must match your existing duct work. If your house has had
new windows and insulation since the existing equipment was installed, a
heat loss/gain calculation should show that you need smaller equipment. If
anyone comes back to you and says they did the calculations and you need
larger equipment, show them the door. They are just trying to exploit the
common consumer misconception that "bigger is better".
I'm not familiar with Amana, but I wouldn't think it's more than 2,000 BTUs.
Most systems are already oversized a little. If a load calc shows a 2-1/2
ton, he'd probably be ok, but he still has to check CFMs.
I suggest you change your shopping plan.
First you should plan on at least three quotes.
Second, your first concern should be the professional installer, not
what is installed. I say that because of two reasons.
No matter how good the equipment is, if it is not properly installed, it
will not be a good system.
No good installer is going to suggest poor equipment. The local
installer will know what equipment works well in your area and has parts
available in your area etc.
Don't fall in love with a particular brand or feature.
As noted, the most efficient is not always the best buy and the cheapest
is seldom the best buy.
Start asking around. Check with neighbors, friends, co-workers and
family for names of good installers.
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