How much should I have paid for a new furnace/AC?

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We recently had a new gas furnace and central AC installed. Paid about $4700 from a local well known company for Rheem equipment (2-1/2 ton 10 SEER AC and an 80% dual stage, variable speed 75,000 BTU (I think) furnace for a 1750 sq ft home). It took two guys a good 7 hours to do the work. We're in upstate NY.
A second quote from another local company that's well known was anywhere from $4700 to $6500 for Carrier equipment - depending on the efficiency ratings.
A co-worker's husband does commercial HVAC for a school district and does installs on the side. He quoted me for $3700 for a similar Rheem installation.
A neighbor across the street does HVAC for a living - saw the vans parked out front and later on out of curiosity asked me how much we paid - and said he would have come under the quote from my co-worker's husband.
I don't have buyer's remorse - I was ready to go with the co-worker's husband, but my father-in-law is also our State Farm agent and he had insurance concerns and all that good stuff since the co-worker's husband wasn't bonded/insured/licensed to do the work independently. My wife didn't doubt the quality of his work or if he would stand behind it - her concern was if the installation was faulty she wanted deeper pockets to go after if something went horribly wrong. Also would he stand behind his work at 2am in January?
I didn't bother asking the neighbor for a quote first because of something went wrong with the install or if I went with someone else - I wouldn't want problems with him down the road. As a rule I don't do business with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc... - would rather deal with a person I'll likely never see again - not mix business with pleasure - and deal with someone who has deeper pockets should something go wrong and we have to go into litigation.
I think what we paid was probably in the mid-range of what I could have shelled out. For our house, a higher efficiency system would unlikely pay for itself over what we had installed.
Did I get ripped - or was the $4700 I paid on par?
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Did any of them do the actual calculations to verify the size of the equipment they were installing or did they just replace what you had with the same size stuff. If they did not do the calculations, they were all worthless estimates and unfortunately typical of the industry in most areas.

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There are way too many variables here to say if you really paid too much. For example, was there any duct work involved and if so how much? Is it in a basement, crawl space, or attic? It shouldn't be a suprize to you if they charge more to put it in a crawl space or attic! We also don't know how reputable the company is and if they did quality work and set it up properly. 10 SEER sounds low, but since your in upstate NY I doubt that matters much since you won't be using A/C a lot.
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To answer the first question yes, they did do the calculations.
No new duct work - all existing (house is only 22 yrs old) and was done down in the basement.
It rarely gets above 90 degrees here in the peak of summer and the humidity level is usually comfortable - so there wasn't a need for a high SEER AC unit. Seeing that the central AC was a new addition (we didn't have it before), 10 SEER is better than the no SEER that we had!!

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message

yrs old) and was done down

didn't have it

we had!!

These statements disturb me about yoour installer. No previous A/C and you didn't need at least a couple of returns? I guess you won't notice you need them if you don't use the A/C.
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No... the existing ductwork has cold-air returns and all that good stuff. What I was saying is that we never had central AC up until now. Everything checks out - they did a good install (I kept an eye on them - had um "projects" to do in the basement that day while they were working). :-)

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Just where in the article you left in this post does it state that he didn't need returns?
It states that he is getting a 10 SEER unit, which the payback would depend on a few factors. Like climate, usage, and utility rates!
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for some, payback isnt an issue. its a luxury item like a hot tub i think my next luxury item will be one of these http://tinyurl.com/afjt7 :)
i do advocate getting the highest seer/eer system a person can afford
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Can I suggest one of the top two?
Only because the others are more expensive and don't include the nice lady! :-)
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only 22

(we
that
installer.
does it state that he didn't

The first line. No new ductwork.
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Sir, I believe I would have to recommend that you seek additional training.
I see.
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On Sat, 30 Apr 2005 03:12:03 GMT, "Les Wilson"

I'm not in that business but after hanging out in alt.home.repair for many years it seems like what you paid is in the normal range for what people pay for these things. Location has a big effect on the pricing as well.
I agree with your thought on the neighbor and the other guy. I would rather pay a little more any day of the week to have ti done right and not have to worry aobut the "what-ifs" that go along with it. Sounds like you found a good company to deal with and paid a fair price so I sure wouldn't loose any sleep over it.
Steve B.
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And that's what it pretty much came down to.
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Les, Being that the school district probably has the deepest pocket of them all, I'll bet the district attorney would like to know how he can do it cheaper. Stealing is one thing....but stealing from the children is another.
Jabs
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all,
cheaper.
Nah - no stolen equipment or parts... he's an honest guy. Everything would have been bought new from a local wholesaler on my credit card and paid cash for labor.
But we didn't go that route - so it's a moot point.
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Les, SURE...he is!
Jabs
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wrote:

This is Turtle.
'' Les '' still has a chance to get a honest one for about 1 out of 5 is honest. Jabs I see a bunch of these side jobers from the school board and other places and a honest one is very rare to see, but I do see one everyonce in a while. Even when the odds are stacked against Les I had to point out his odds as to getting a honest one out of having 1 in 5 being honest one or 4 out of 5 being dishonest.
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:

    I wouldn't put money on odds like that on a crap table.
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"Les, Being that the school district probably has the deepest pocket of them all, I'll bet the district attorney would like to know how he can do it cheaper. Stealing is one thing....but stealing from the children is another.
Jabs
Before you go getting all huffed up over nothing, it sounds like the reason he can do it cheaper than a regular contractor is that he's doing work on the side, with no overhead. That's exactly how I got a compressor replaced. A friend of a friend did A/C work full time for a local business. The business was an end user of A/C, much like the school here, not a heating/cooling business. The guy did the work and I got a great deal. Nothing illegal about it at all.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

These jobs require some specialized tools and equipment. Who owns those tools? If he uses his work tools on the side, then that is equivalent to theft. His company fronts all the money, but the worker is putting wear and tear doing under the table jobs. And how about the truck that transported those tools? Who owned the truck? And whose contractor license was being used? Most likely, you would have ended up with an illegal furnace that couldn't pass inspection. And who paid for stuff like worker's comp insurance? You did send in a check, didn't you? If not, then you took a huge risk of the furnace guy getting cut on sheet metal and being disabled. Plus you broke the law. Were you planning to send a 1099 for the work, or were you going to commit tax fraud along the way, too? And was the worker in the union? What kind of union guy does scab work on the side. Finally, what happens if the job went bad after the fact? Who is there to stand bye and warranty the work? Or fix the defects? Or do your emergency service call at midnight when it is 40 below? Or to accept the blame when your house burns own, and your own insurance refuses to pay because you had unlicensed work done with no building permit or inspection?
Every part of this deal stinks, and has huge cost risks for very little monetary gain. Don't fall into that trap.
-john-
--
======================================================================
John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 snipped-for-privacy@johnweeks.com
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