New Central Heating and Cooling

I am going to put central heat and cooling into a remodeled (rebuilt actually) home. I read up on it and have been reading here. My problem is the first guy came and gave me a quote by just looking at the rooms, asking me what the square footage was poking his head up into the attic, and taking a look at the electrical box.. In Consumer Reports, it said don't let them do that they should do some other things in fact they say: "Contractors who bid on your job should calculate required cooling capacity by using a recognized method like the Air Conditioning Contractors of America's Residential Load Calculation Manual." I am assuming that his 15 minute perusal of the house and writing of estimate might not have included this?
BTW, I am in California - Central Valley - very hot - not often freezing and the bid was on a 2 ton Trane and 8 supplies and one return and a T_STAT for which he estimated 7,055.00 bucks. Sound right? I have at least two others coming in the next couple of days and hope to at least sound not completely air-headed when they come.
TIA, Ashby
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Forget about the hack.
$7k for 2ton is a good price (for installer not for you).
Two many variables, you should ask 1) SEER rating 2) SingleStage vs 2 stage 3) Variable speed AH 4) Ask for TXV 5) Is ductwork needs to be modified? 6) If so will it be tin vs flexy 7) Ductwork leak testing 8) Insured & bonded contractor with worker comp. 9) etc
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I was looking at the brochure - it is the XL1200 - SEER 12.50

Not Two-Stage Gas Heat

No variable speed Indoor blower - Has a Direct Drive 2-speed blower -

I don't see anything that appears to explain this. This is?

No ductwork now at all

I will ask - which do I want?

This they are.....

The etceras scare me a bit -
O.K. I will be far better prepared for the next estimates.
Thank you so much. I just really don't know anyone who knows anything about this, so your help is ever so appreciated!
Cheers! Ashby
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Probably won't change your decision, but if you're a P.G. & E. customer you can get a rebate on a new system. A 12 SEER will get you $200, a 14 SEER gets you $425, etc. Plus another $10 on a qualifying t-stat. Check out their website:
http://www.pge.com/res/rebates/central_air/index.html
Also, near the bottom of the page are links to real useful info, like what a TXV is.
And, beginning next year, the feds are going to mandate minimum 13 SEER units.

later, L
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On Thu, 05 May 2005 11:51:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cwnet.NOSPAM.com wrote:

That sounds good.

Thank you. I will for sure get one of those!

I think that seals it and I will specify 14 in the estimates..
Thank you for the extremely helpful reply. I am beginning to feel like I can discuss this in a reasonably intelligent manner with the next bids. I really hated feeling at the mercy of whatever they chose to tell me.
Cheers! Ashby
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Calculations should include Heat Gain / Loss. This takes into account orientation, shading, window area, construction. Duct sizes for adequate air distribution for various thermal loads.
Sheetmetal ducts have less friction and are more difficult to install than flex. Flex is for quick and dirty or hard to reach areas.
Duct insulation is important as is the location of ducts.
TB
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On 5 May 2005 12:02:19 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

He did none of this. I will write him off and hope for better estimates. I think I shall just keep calling places until someone does it right. I will be willing to pay a bit more for someone who does things right to begin with. I mean it would seem that a company that does a thorough estimate would most likely do better work?

Ah. I was wondering about that as I have a very sunny - gets afternoon sun - kitchen.

This is none of that. It is a wide open attic over a brand new ceilings - I don't even have the insulation there yet.

O.K. I will read up on duct insulation.
I am so happy to find you guys! First you saved me from buying a new lawn mower (and no doubt filling it with diesel and yanking till my arm fell off trying to start it) and now all the help with this.
You are the best!
Cheers! Ashby
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No, it means they have better control over costs. It has nothing to do with the ability of the installer to do a good job. There are hacks that have nice trucks, professional looking contracts and estimates, and say "please" and "thank you" as they slip the money from your pocketbook. Best to check with people that he has done work for.
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wrote:

Ah a renaissance man. I recall the name from rec.food.cooking.
O.K. So, I will not just off the bat rule this guy out. It is a small and rather straightforward kind of house (it was built after WWII when materials were scare from a salvaged army barracks.) I will check around and see what I can find about the company.
I am planning on asking for an estimate for 14 SEER with sheet metal ducting, heavy duty insulation and a TXV. Do you feel that I am heading in the right direction here?
Cheers! Ashby
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He gave you a price quote, not an engineering analysis. He may be right on.
To determine exactly what you need there are some calculations that must be done. It takes some time to do that detail work for a job he may or may not get. If he is experienced, if he has done many jobs, he is probably able to quote a price by using the data bank of his head. If you accept his bid, he can (and should) do a more detailed layout for capacity, piping, ducting, etc.
Let me give you an example. I worked for a company that had two people doing quotes for the sales staff. Quotes involved making tooling for molded parts. One guy would take four to six hours of estimating, calculating, getting prices for materials. The other guy would quote off the top of his head in less than five minutes. The guy that was taking the long time complained to the president of the company and said he would not be responsible for making the tools at the prices quoted by the fast guy. He then asked both to quote four jobs. Estimator A took two days to get the quote. Estimator B took 15 minutes. On each item, there were within $100 on tools that cost from $8000 to $12000. The $100 difference was small change compared to the tens of thousands of dollars the tools would eventually bring in making the molded parts and that time saved in being more responsive to the customer.
This is not to say the contractor gave you a good or bad price, but he is comfortable in doing the job for that rice. See what others have to say before you disregard the first one. He may or may not do a good job at any price.
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