I am getting ready to install central air in my 3rd (top) floor Chicago
condo. I have got several bids but almost everyone tells me a
different story. I was wondering if you guys could offer some advice
on what I might be missing.
My condo is 23' x 60' and has 4 bedrooms, 1 bath, kitchen, dinning,
Note that I only plan on living here for another 2-3 years max so I
don't want to overspend on this project.
I have gotten quotes on Trane, American Standard, America Star,
Comfortmaker, and Westinghouse.
I have been told that Trane, American Standard, and America Star are
all about the same since they are made by the same company. Is this
correct? Is there really that big of a difference between these
brands or are they all sufficient?
I have been quoted between $6,500 - $10,000 for this project
I have heard estimates of 2 ton and a 3.5 for the condenser. No one
has done a Manual J yet. Will they Manual J always come out the same,
or can the contractors fudge the numbers to make is say what they want
it to say?
Furnace vs. Air Handler:
I have baseboard steam/radiant heat so I really don't need a furnace.
However it would be nice to be able to control my heat on really cold
nights and have it as a backup. Some contractors told me that they can
actually get the furnace cheaper than an air handler.
Will a 100,000 BTU 80% furnace be any louder than an air handler?
Is there anything I should be concerned with?
I am having the ductwork installed in my ceiling in the non-conditioned
space. I know the duct needs to be insulated. The contractors very on
how they want to insulate the duct from using fiberglass, bubble
insulation, and the factor-insulated ductwork.
Is there a big problem with any of these methods? Is the
factory-insulated ductwork that much better? If so does it cost a lot
Any advice would be very much appreciated.