New (house) heating system... is this a good/great deal?

Page 2 of 3  


Sounds like a San Francisco deal to me. I do hope they lube you well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Call the local attorney generals office and also the Better Business bureau and find out if the company has any complaonts. ALso google the name of the company and see if there are complaints on the internet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's at least double what I paid for a new furnace/central air combination 2-3 years ago in my 2700 square foot house.
Before you sign anything, check this outfit out with your county/state consumer affairs department. Also shop around, that price sounds steep.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Zone heating is done often in the SFBA, but you're on a tight budget and the amount they want to charge is steep. Call Atlas for a comparison estimate. They are an old, reliable company around here. http://www.atlasheating.com /
Do what others have advised and check out the installation company thoroughly. Do your homework; it's a lot of money to be spending. http://www.trane.com/Residential/Trane-Owners/Energy-Tax-Credit-Summary " As a part of the recently passed tax bill, Congress modified and extended its energy efficiency tax credits for appliances, new homes and retrofits to existing homes, which includes the 25C heating and cooling equipment tax incentive for another year. The new bill extends eligibility to the end of 2011, but reduces the incentive to a $500** maximum tax credit. " Read more about what qualifies for the rebate here - http://www.trane.com/Residential/Trane-Owners/Tax-Stimulus-2011
--

Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What I would look at, were I in your position, is something I'm looking at.
My smallish house was built in the 70s, when electricity was cheap, and there was a drive to use electricity to heat houses. So my 3 bedroom 2 story house (plus basement) has no furnace or ductwork. We could install a traditional gas furnace but we would lose scarce living space and installing the ducts from the basement to the top floor would be complex and expensive.
What I've looked into is "mini split" heat pumps. Some are cooling only, but many can both cool and heat the house. The split is that part of the unit is outside the house, and part is inside. You can have units where you have 2 or more "head" units inside to cover multiple floors.
So it is electrical heating, but the heat pump is supposed to be much more efficient than space heaters. The claims are up to 66% more efficient. The units start pretty inexpensively, around the $2000 mark for name brands. The install would be mounting the outside unit on a shelf, and drilling holes in the brick for the pipes leading to the head units. I haven't priced install yet, but I think for two head units, I'm probably around the $5-6,000 mark.
Now apparently they loose some efficiency in severe cold (-10F) so you might to still have space heating on the coldest days. Where you are, you probably don't need space heating if you have the heat pump.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They don't just lose "some efficiency" at those temperatures. They aren't useful at below 30F, or so. Heat pumps usually have resistance (auxiliary) heat and switch over at around freezing. Heat pumps aren't a good solution if you have temperatures that cold. Heat pumps work very well here (I have two heat pumps, a 2.5T and 3.5T unit) but it doesn't get colder than about 15F here and rarely doesn't make it into the 30s during the day. I'll likely put a mini-split unit in a room over the garage I'm converting into a workshop. I would connect it to the upstairs unit (the 2.5T unit) but don't want the air exchange.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
:Dan Musicant wrote: :> If I have just one heater it will cost me around $7500, with 2 it :> will be $13,290 after 2 rebates from my utility company, PGE :> (evidently about $150 each), a "voucher amount" of $4000, federal tax :> credit of $400. : :Sounds like an awful lot of money. Get an estimate from a contractor you call :and see how it compares before you even consider this. Plus, check with your :state contractors licensing agency about the contractor's reputation, and google :their name plus the word complaints,or scam, or crime. When you contact the :state, make sure you have their state contractor's license #.
I did Google searches as suggested and found nothing negative. In fact the BBB indicates they are "accredited" and that there are zero complaints against them in the last 12 months. Doesn't mean their "bid" isn't high, but my sense that they are legit seems correct. Well, that they probably do good work.
Still, I'm sure going to get other bids. Also, when this guy calls back I'm going to ask him to fill in the blanks, stuff like who pays to repair the holes they make in the walls to get stuff in and out, what are the exact terms of the financing, who pays for permits, zone heating...
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my experience, the BBB doesn't mean squat. Someone can have a terrible reputation, scads of dissatisfied customers, and still have a clean record with the BBB.
Contact your state or county consumer affairs bureau.
wrote:

call
your
google
the
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 07/05/11 16:32, Lou wrote:

Last time I checked, a couple of decades ago, BBB seemed to be a write-only organization. I never tried again.

--
Cheers,
Bev
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just got a call from the guy who came over my house on Saturday. I told him I'm investigating my options. Then I asked a few questions:
I tried to find out what exact relationship his company has with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E, my utility company), and he says that this is a state program (CA), and that it's just with PG&E and California Energy Services, noone else, and that the contract was awarded to CES because of their stellar record, rated A+ and 15 years without a complaint.
He says that the Trane discount on the furnaces is $2000 apiece (2 furnaces proposed for my house) for a total of $4000 and that that discount will expire at the end of the month (i.e. end of July 2011). PG&E's rebates are $150/furnace. He says that the Trane discounts are for this program only (I asked him that question specifically). He said there's also a tax credit available of up to $200/system, but in my case it probably doesn't matter. My income was so low the last two years I paid zero federal taxes.
I asked him about permitting (I'm in Berkeley, CA) and he said the inspector would come out and check out the furnace installation, nothing else and that it would be part of the program, no charge to me. If the program wasn't involved, I would be subject to a $300-$500 permit fee.
The no interest loan for one year is just that, never pay any interest with one catch, being that I have to pay off the loan entirely by the end of one year or I pay plenty of interest. The loan is through Wells Fargo. If I don't anticipate being able to pay off by the end of a year I can get a 9% fixed interest loan, otherwise it could be 25-26%. I have a HELOC, so I could pay off the loan no problem before a year's up.
He says the furnaces would be 20,000 BTU apiece (he said that since my house is almost 2000 square feet, the rule of thumb to have 10,000 BTU/500 square feet of floor space determines that), with 6 registers each. He said if I need a 7th register it would be no problem, no charge. The ducts would be 6-8" R6 insulated. They'll run flu exhaust as required, the one in the attic up through the roof and sealed as required. The furnaces would be suspended (i.e. in the crawl space, it would be suspended above the ground by brackets) and would be in the center of the house to avoid long/short runs, or at least ameliorate them.
The problem of access was another thing I brought up. I wanted to know if I'd have to pay extra for that. He said around $150-200. The furnaces are 95.5% efficient, dimensioned 20" x 30" x 40", so they'd need a 20x30" hole to get them in.
Do you guys still think this is a scam or that I'm being over charged or that they really should check out the house more carefully?
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Make sure you can keep the humidity low in the crawl space. Someone I know has a furnace there and had to replace it a couple of times because it got rusty and quit working.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can go online and find the prices that you could buy the furnaces for. ACwholesalers.com is one site, you can find others. As an example, you'll find that you can buy a Rheem gas furnace that's 45K BTU for $1200 including delivery. That's a 95%, dual stage, variable speed blower, a top of the line unit. And that's YOUR cost for buying one. Presumably a HVAC company can get even better pricing. If you want AC too, that adds a similar amount. Trane eqpt costs a bit more than Rheem, but it sure isn't enough more that they could be giving a true $2K discount on a furnace or it would be free.
Also, according to ConsumerReports, Rheem actually got a higher rating than Trane and some of the other companies. I think overall thought CR said that the differences were not statistically significant, so I would not be paying a premium price to get a Trane.

That sound fishy too. I've never heard of a municipality waving permit fees because of any special program. But a quick call to the building department could verify it. It's Berkely so the fees could be high, but $300 to $500 sounds high to me. Here in NJ you need 3 permits and the cost is around $200.

That is where a lot of the total cost is, running the required ducting for a new install. The prices you had posted for the complete system, ie $7500 for one furnace, $13,000 for two, actually sounds reasonable.

That sounds very low if modifications have to be made to get access to an attic. Also, what kind of access? Something that leaves a permanent access thats larger or just a temporary hole cut in the ceiling and then covered back up? Either way, $200 sounds very low.

As I said before, they guy didn't even go into the attic to look before quoting the job and proposing to install a furnace up there. That is shyster. If they do business like that, I don't want to find out what else they would pull in the middle of the job.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 7 Jul 2011 06:03:04 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"
:> I just got a call from the guy who came over my house on Saturday. I :> told him I'm investigating my options. Then I asked a few questions: :> :> I tried to find out what exact relationship his company has with Pacific :> Gas and Electric (PG&E, my utility company), and he says that this is a :> state program (CA), and that it's just with PG&E and California Energy :> Services, noone else, and that the contract was awarded to CES because :> of their stellar record, rated A+ and 15 years without a complaint. :> :> He says that the Trane discount on the furnaces is $2000 apiece (2 :> furnaces proposed for my house) for a total of $4000 and that that :> discount will expire at the end of the month (i.e. end of July 2011). : : :You can go online and find the prices that you could buy the :furnaces for. ACwholesalers.com is one site, you can find :others. As an example, you'll find that you can buy a :Rheem gas furnace that's 45K BTU for $1200 including :delivery. That's a 95%, dual stage, variable speed blower, :a top of the line unit. :And that's YOUR cost for buying one. Presumably :a HVAC company can get even better pricing. If you want :AC too, that adds a similar amount. Trane eqpt costs a :bit more than Rheem, but it sure isn't enough more that :they could be giving a true $2K discount on a furnace or :it would be free. : :Also, according to ConsumerReports, Rheem actually :got a higher rating than Trane and some of the other :companies. I think overall thought CR said that the :differences were not statistically significant, so I would :not be paying a premium price to get a Trane.
I talked at length with a friend of mine who's installed two home heating systems and his attitude is I should do my homework and figure out what I need to do and do it myself, with help where required. He said the information I need is mostly stamped right there on the heater. He installed one in the house he bought, totally fixed up and sold and bought a used heater for $500 or so and installed it in a house he's partners on and rents.
I'm going to look into buying online as you suggest. I'm also going to get some contractors to come over and figure out systems and get quotes. I may go for one of those or maybe work a deal where I do some of the work, especially if cutting access and repairing it is part of the project. I have most of the tools and some experience.
: : : : : :> PG&E's rebates are $150/furnace. He says that the Trane discounts are :> for this program only (I asked him that question specifically). He said :> there's also a tax credit available of up to $200/system, but in my case :> it probably doesn't matter. My income was so low the last two years I :> paid zero federal taxes. :> :> I asked him about permitting (I'm in Berkeley, CA) and he said the :> inspector would come out and check out the furnace installation, nothing :> else and that it would be part of the program, no charge to me. If the :> program wasn't involved, I would be subject to a $300-$500 permit fee. : : :That sound fishy too. I've never heard of a municipality waving :permit fees because of any special program. But a quick :call to the building department could verify it. It's Berkely so :the fees could be high, but $300 to $500 sounds high to me. :Here in NJ you need 3 permits and the cost is around $200. : : : : :> :> The no interest loan for one year is just that, never pay any interest :> with one catch, being that I have to pay off the loan entirely by the :> end of one year or I pay plenty of interest. The loan is through Wells :> Fargo. If I don't anticipate being able to pay off by the end of a year :> I can get a 9% fixed interest loan, otherwise it could be 25-26%. I have :> a HELOC, so I could pay off the loan no problem before a year's up. :> :> He says the furnaces would be 20,000 BTU apiece (he said that since my :> house is almost 2000 square feet, the rule of thumb to have 10,000 :> BTU/500 square feet of floor space determines that), with 6 registers :> each. He said if I need a 7th register it would be no problem, no :> charge. The ducts would be 6-8" R6 insulated. They'll run flu exhaust as :> required, the one in the attic up through the roof and sealed as :> required. The furnaces would be suspended (i.e. in the crawl space, it :> would be suspended above the ground by brackets) and would be in the :> center of the house to avoid long/short runs, or at least ameliorate :> them. : :That is where a lot of the total cost is, running the required ducting :for :a new install. The prices you had posted for the complete system, :ie $7500 for one furnace, $13,000 for two, actually sounds reasonable.
This concerns me. I haven't done stuff like that before, running ducting, installing registers. Would it be possible for me to pressure test it? : : : :> :> The problem of access was another thing I brought up. I wanted to know :> if I'd have to pay extra for that. He said around $150-200. The furnaces :> are 95.5% efficient, dimensioned 20" x 30" x 40", so they'd need a :> 20x30" hole to get them in. : :That sounds very low if modifications have to be made to get access :to an attic. Also, what kind of access? Something that leaves a :permanent access thats larger or just a temporary hole cut in the :ceiling and then covered back up? Either way, $200 sounds very :low.
Yes, I could maybe do that myself. Some carpentry, wallboard afterward. : : : :> :> Do you guys still think this is a scam or that I'm being over charged or :> that they really should check out the house more carefully? :> :> Dan :> :> Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net : :As I said before, they guy didn't even go into the attic to look :before quoting the job and proposing to install a furnace :up there. That is shyster. If they do business like that, I :don't want to find out what else they would pull in the :middle of the job.
Yes, that alone has me thinking I have to get some contractors over here. Next time he calls me (probably in a couple of weeks) I will ask him for some phone numbers of customers I can call for references. I have a feeling he won't provide that. However, I think I should call the utility company and the state, if possible, to ask about the program to which he says his company is the exclusive access.
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not much of anything is stamped on a furnace, except the model #, BTU rating, and efficiency. There are installation instructions availabe and you can find them online.
Replacing an existing furnace is something a reasonably skilled DIY person could do. It consists of swapping out the furnace, reconnecting gas and electric, venting the furnace which will be via 2" PVC for a high eff furnace, and doing whatever sheetmetal work is needed to mate up the existing duct work with the new furnace.
However you have no existing duct system , nor is it clear if you need one furnace, two furnaces, how many registers, returns, etc. Doing that duct work is not trivial and without the right tools and skills I'd say it's beyond a DIY. Exactly how you would engage with a contractor to have you do part of it is not clear to me. I'd think most of them would want no part of that kind of deal because of all the potential problems.

Were those new installs that included doing the duct work or just replacements of the furnace?

There is no pressure testing involved.

I'd be very surprised if the state had a program to assist with the cost of new furnaces for low income folks and it was only through one company. Typically the state will provide some of the funding, but in every case I've heard of it's been open to all vendors. To do otherwise would be grossly unfair and have all the other vendors bitching.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 7 Jul 2011 13:20:34 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"
:>
:>
:> :> I just got a call from the guy who came over my house on Saturday. I :> :> told him I'm investigating my options. Then I asked a few questions: :> :> :> :> I tried to find out what exact relationship his company has with Pacific :> :> Gas and Electric (PG&E, my utility company), and he says that this is a :> :> state program (CA), and that it's just with PG&E and California Energy :> :> Services, noone else, and that the contract was awarded to CES because :> :> of their stellar record, rated A+ and 15 years without a complaint. :> :> :> :> He says that the Trane discount on the furnaces is $2000 apiece (2 :> :> furnaces proposed for my house) for a total of $4000 and that that :> :> discount will expire at the end of the month (i.e. end of July 2011). :> : :> : :> :You can go online and find the prices that you could buy the :> :furnaces for. ACwholesalers.com is one site, you can find :> :others. As an example, you'll find that you can buy a :> :Rheem gas furnace that's 45K BTU for $1200 including :> :delivery. That's a 95%, dual stage, variable speed blower, :> :a top of the line unit. :> :And that's YOUR cost for buying one. Presumably :> :a HVAC company can get even better pricing. If you want :> :AC too, that adds a similar amount. Trane eqpt costs a :> :bit more than Rheem, but it sure isn't enough more that :> :they could be giving a true $2K discount on a furnace or :> :it would be free. :> : :> :Also, according to ConsumerReports, Rheem actually :> :got a higher rating than Trane and some of the other :> :companies. I think overall thought CR said that the :> :differences were not statistically significant, so I would :> :not be paying a premium price to get a Trane. :> :> I talked at length with a friend of mine who's installed two home :> heating systems and his attitude is I should do my homework and figure :> out what I need to do and do it myself, with help where required. He :> said the information I need is mostly stamped right there on the heater. : :Not much of anything is :stamped on a furnace, except the model #, BTU rating, and :efficiency. There are installation instructions availabe and you :can find them online.
Check. My "friend" is given to rants and hyperbole. He's cool, smart, talented, painted houses (mostly interiors, I think) for a living until he made some serious money buying fixing up and selling a house with pretty damn good timing during the early 2000's housing boom. I have to take a lot of things he says with a grain of salt. : :Replacing an existing furnace is something a reasonably skilled :DIY person could do. It consists of swapping out the furnace, :reconnecting gas and electric, venting the furnace which :will be via 2" PVC for a high eff furnace, and doing whatever :sheetmetal work is needed to mate up the :existing duct work with the new furnace. : : However you have no existing duct system :, nor is it clear if you need one furnace, two furnaces, how many :registers, returns, etc. Doing that duct work is not trivial and :without the right tools and skills I'd say it's beyond a DIY. :Exactly how you would engage with a contractor to have you :do part of it is not clear to me. I'd think most of them would :want no part of that kind of deal because of all the potential :problems.
I think I understand. I will probably get at least a handful of bids and go with one. I was pricing ducting at Home Depot today. Looks to me like that would cost me there from $400-$800, but I wouldn't even know what to get, how to install it. I have zero experience in HVAC. : : : :> He installed one in the house he bought, totally fixed up and sold and :> bought a used heater for $500 or so and installed it in a house he's :> partners on and rents. : :Were those new installs that included doing the duct work or :just replacements of the furnace?
The first install was, I think, mostly if not entirely a new install. He said he rand ducts and installed the registers himself, at least some of them. This was a conversation we had last night, I don't remember exactly, but the house was old, just as old as my 101 year old house. I don't know what heating it had before he installed the furnace.
The furnace in the house he co-owns and rents was an insert furnace, that I believe went in what had been a fireplace. The installation probably didn't involve ducting at all. I think they ran a flue up the chimney (?). He said that he and his partner did it in 2 days. : :> :> I'm going to look into buying online as you suggest. I'm also going to :> get some contractors to come over and figure out systems and get quotes. :> I may go for one of those or maybe work a deal where I do some of the :> work, especially if cutting access and repairing it is part of the :> project. I have most of the tools and some experience. :> :> : :> : :> : :> : :> : :> :> PG&E's rebates are $150/furnace. He says that the Trane discounts are :> :> for this program only (I asked him that question specifically). He said :> :> there's also a tax credit available of up to $200/system, but in my case :> :> it probably doesn't matter. My income was so low the last two years I :> :> paid zero federal taxes. :> :> :> :> I asked him about permitting (I'm in Berkeley, CA) and he said the :> :> inspector would come out and check out the furnace installation, nothing :> :> else and that it would be part of the program, no charge to me. If the :> :> program wasn't involved, I would be subject to a $300-$500 permit fee. :> : :> : :> :That sound fishy too. I've never heard of a municipality waving :> :permit fees because of any special program. But a quick :> :call to the building department could verify it. It's Berkely so :> :the fees could be high, but $300 to $500 sounds high to me. :> :Here in NJ you need 3 permits and the cost is around $200. :> : :> : :> : :> : :> :> :> :> The no interest loan for one year is just that, never pay any interest :> :> with one catch, being that I have to pay off the loan entirely by the :> :> end of one year or I pay plenty of interest. The loan is through Wells :> :> Fargo. If I don't anticipate being able to pay off by the end of a year :> :> I can get a 9% fixed interest loan, otherwise it could be 25-26%. I have :> :> a HELOC, so I could pay off the loan no problem before a year's up. :> :> :> :> He says the furnaces would be 20,000 BTU apiece (he said that since my :> :> house is almost 2000 square feet, the rule of thumb to have 10,000 :> :> BTU/500 square feet of floor space determines that), with 6 registers :> :> each. He said if I need a 7th register it would be no problem, no :> :> charge. The ducts would be 6-8" R6 insulated. They'll run flu exhaust as :> :> required, the one in the attic up through the roof and sealed as :> :> required. The furnaces would be suspended (i.e. in the crawl space, it :> :> would be suspended above the ground by brackets) and would be in the :> :> center of the house to avoid long/short runs, or at least ameliorate :> :> them. :> : :> :That is where a lot of the total cost is, running the required ducting :> :for :> :a new install. The prices you had posted for the complete system, :> :ie $7500 for one furnace, $13,000 for two, actually sounds reasonable. :> :> This concerns me. I haven't done stuff like that before, running :> ducting, installing registers. Would it be possible for me to pressure :> test it? :> : :> : : :There is no pressure testing involved. : The guy from California Energy Services did say they'd pressure test the system. : : :> : :> :> :> :> The problem of access was another thing I brought up. I wanted to know :> :> if I'd have to pay extra for that. He said around $150-200. The furnaces :> :> are 95.5% efficient, dimensioned 20" x 30" x 40", so they'd need a :> :> 20x30" hole to get them in. :> : :> :That sounds very low if modifications have to be made to get access :> :to an attic. Also, what kind of access? Something that leaves a :> :permanent access thats larger or just a temporary hole cut in the :> :ceiling and then covered back up? Either way, $200 sounds very :> :low. :> :> Yes, I could maybe do that myself. Some carpentry, wallboard afterward. :> : :> : :> : :> :> :> :> Do you guys still think this is a scam or that I'm being over charged or :> :> that they really should check out the house more carefully? :> :> :> :> Dan :> :> :> :> Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net :> : :> :As I said before, they guy didn't even go into the attic to look :> :before quoting the job and proposing to install a furnace :> :up there. That is shyster. If they do business like that, I :> :don't want to find out what else they would pull in the :> :middle of the job. :> :> Yes, that alone has me thinking I have to get some contractors over :> here. Next time he calls me (probably in a couple of weeks) I will ask :> him for some phone numbers of customers I can call for references. I :> have a feeling he won't provide that. However, I think I should call the :> utility company and the state, if possible, to ask about the program to :> which he says his company is the exclusive access. :> :> Dan :> :> Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net : :I'd be very surprised if the state had a program to assist with the :cost of new furnaces for low income folks and it was only :through one company. Typically the state will provide some of the :funding, but in every case I've heard of it's been open to :all vendors. To do otherwise would be grossly unfair and have :all the other vendors bitching.
I'm going to try to get to the bottom of that. I can call my utility company and ask them for specifics and maybe call the state and find out. Thanks for the help!
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He may be talking about a "blower door test", which is done as part of an energy audit to find air leaking into the house. Basicly they place a fan into a door or similar opening, seal it up and then use it to create as slight pressure differential betwen inside and outside the house. Then they look for drafts coming into the house around windows, doors, outlets, etc to identify points that can be sealed to reduce heating/cooling load.
That kind of audit can be part of meeting the reqts for the programs where the state or utility kick in rebates, funding, etc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 8 Jul 2011 04:40:31 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"
:> :> This concerns me. I haven't done stuff like that before, running :> :> ducting, installing registers. Would it be possible for me to pressure :> :> test it? :> :> : :> :> : :> : :> :There is no pressure testing involved. :> : :> The guy from California Energy Services did say they'd pressure test the :> system. :> : :> : : :He may be talking about a "blower door test", which is :done as part of an energy audit to find air leaking into :the house. Basicly they place a fan into a door or :similar opening, seal it up and then use it to create :as slight pressure differential betwen inside :and outside the house. :Then they look for drafts coming into the house around :windows, doors, outlets, etc to identify points that can be :sealed to reduce heating/cooling load. : :That kind of audit can be part of meeting the reqts :for the programs where the state or utility kick in :rebates, funding, etc
Understood. Seems like a good test to do. Maybe my utility company will do that for me. I have had some weatherizaiton done here but I'm sure I'll want to look at those issues again once a gas heating system is installed.
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/7/2011 1:54 PM, Dan Musicant wrote:

A few years ago I got a card in the mail from a local organization that said it had two programs to provide energy-related repairs and upgrades to qualified homeowners, and suggested I contact them to learn all the details. Turned out the programs were gov't funded, limited to properties that, upon inspection and following an energy audit, were deemed to be in good condition, yet would benefit from energy-related improvements. There were additional income/home value guidelines that had to be met.
Anyhow: the program didn't work with an exclusive contractor. I had to get three bids, and anyone who wanted the work could bid on it. I can't imagine a state-funded program getting away with limiting its work to any particular contractor, because the others would justifiably cry foul. I think they'd do the same if the local energy company played favorites, too. So I'd certainly ask the state and utility about this - and you might ask if there are any (other/legit) programs that you might qualify for. If this is some sort of scam, you might still find a program that'll help you out.
In my case, they had two programs available: qualified homeowners/properties could either get an outright grant of funds for authorized improvements, or get a no-interest deferred loan that was fully forgiven after ten years _if_ the homeowner continued to own and occupy the home for the duration of the loan. If the home was sold prior to the end of the loan term, you have to pay a pro-rated amount: 90% after one year, 50% after five years, etc. These types of programs are pretty common across the country, so it can't hurt to call your city and county and inquire if they have such a program.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
:On 7/7/2011 1:54 PM, Dan Musicant wrote: : :> Yes, that alone has me thinking I have to get some contractors over :> here. Next time he calls me (probably in a couple of weeks) I will ask :> him for some phone numbers of customers I can call for references. I :> have a feeling he won't provide that. However, I think I should call the :> utility company and the state, if possible, to ask about the program to :> which he says his company is the exclusive access. : :A few years ago I got a card in the mail from a local organization :that said it had two programs to provide energy-related repairs and :upgrades to qualified homeowners, and suggested I contact them to :learn all the details. Turned out the programs were gov't funded, :limited to properties that, upon inspection and following an energy :audit, were deemed to be in good condition, yet would benefit from :energy-related improvements. There were additional income/home value :guidelines that had to be met.
Interestingly, this company and the guy they sent out did not ask me about my income. Possibly, they already know that I am already qualified for a cut on my utility bills (based on my income) and I was therefore pre-screened. : :Anyhow: the program didn't work with an exclusive contractor. I had to :get three bids, and anyone who wanted the work could bid on it. I :can't imagine a state-funded program getting away with limiting its :work to any particular contractor, because the others would :justifiably cry foul. I think they'd do the same if the local energy :company played favorites, too. So I'd certainly ask the state and :utility about this - and you might ask if there are any (other/legit) :programs that you might qualify for. If this is some sort of scam, you :might still find a program that'll help you out.
Either it's limited to this company or the guy was lieing. I'm going to make some calls and find out! : :In my case, they had two programs available: qualified :homeowners/properties could either get an outright grant of funds for :authorized improvements, or get a no-interest deferred loan that was :fully forgiven after ten years _if_ the homeowner continued to own and :occupy the home for the duration of the loan. If the home was sold :prior to the end of the loan term, you have to pay a pro-rated amount: :90% after one year, 50% after five years, etc. These types of programs :are pretty common across the country, so it can't hurt to call your :city and county and inquire if they have such a program.
I'm going to see what I can come up with. About 6-7 years ago I found out about a program with the city I live in (Berkeley, CA) where for low income homeowners, I could apply for interest free loans, up to two of $35,000 each. I qualified and used some of the $70,000 allocated to me to tear off and replace my roof. It had gotten to the point where it was imperative, it not looking like the patching with roofing tar that I'd been doing personally for a few years was going to get me through another winter! I got several bids and picked one that looked good and cost effective. That cost about $18,000, and it happened at the end of 2005. I tapped this again around 3-4 years ago when I suddenly needed a trenchless sewer pipe replacement during which it was revealed that I needed my water main replaced. Again, I found the company that did the work.
So, I owe $27,000 right now, interest free until I either sell the house or turn 90 years old. If I want to use that again I believe I have to reapply. Not sure it's there for me until I talk to them, which I haven't done since the sewer work. It is money I have to repay eventually. Maybe there's something else, though, maybe something involving the utility or a state program, or maybe county, as you say. I haven't heard of a county program, but it can't hurt to inquire.
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan Musicant wrote:

40,000 BTU total sounds quite low from my experience. I just had an 80,000 BTU York (98% efficiency) installed in my house in Seattle. All my previous houses (around the country) had furnaces of around 100,000 BTU (80% efficiency).
If there is an "exclusive state program," he should be able to refer you to the appropriate state agency for information and confirmation of details.
Permit fees are often included in the quote from major installers.
The 25%+ interest for not paying in full within a year is typical. It is likely that that rate will be charged on the FULL amount, even if only a small payment remains. Be sure you KNOW all the terms in advance!
Again, get at least one other quote from a contractor of your choice; preferably 3. Find out what they recommend in the way of number, size, and positioning of the furnaces as well as the cost.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.