We are enclosing a garage, and making it into a guest room. I need to add a
two ton air handler heat pump. We have called several HVAC companies. They
are coming in at "around" $5,000, and are vague because they "have to see
how it goes, or the length of the runs, or various other lame sounding
things." Shoot, it is a 22' x 22' enclosed space. It is probably one of
the simplest HVAC jobs a guy could do. Ronnie Millsap could get in there
and do the measurements.
What is it with HVAC people that makes them so vague? So arrogant that they
don't think you can even do the math. A company was advertising systems for
$2400, yet when we got them out here, with all the "different" things, it
shot up to "around" $5k. What's up with that? I told him if he couldn't
give me a more exact price than "around", I didn't want him working on my
stuff. He left. All the guy had to do was give me a firm decent price on a
written proposal and he would have got the job. I know it ain't a big
project, or ten houses, but it IS business.
Does anyone here have the the experience to tell me what a 2 ton air handler
heat pump should cost (within $500). Power is less than 10' from the unit,
no restricted access, nothing unusual about the site to add costs.
And what brand would you suggest, and what SEER?
Well, whatever you do, don't----I REPEAT DON'T----listen to any advice
rendered by one Dave (known HVAC hack and all around fundy moron) on
He may suggest you buy a new freezer and just leave the door open to
cool the room
I dont know Hvac or cost but have a question, you have apx 500sq ft .
Who told you you need 2 ton of AC , was a proper load calculation in
writing done by a HVAC Pro? And you have a copy of it ? I ask because
my house 1800 sq is super insulated and tight and 2 ton is oversized
for me. Im in total shade also and go to 90f
If you oversize it you will be humid and unhappy.
All I can say is keep calling different companys.
Consumer reports just rated 7 yrs of repairs on 12 brands all I can say
is Goodman was last, that everyone expected.
Seer , well if you live where you will run it alot of the year the
higher the better, you have to run the numbers on payback.
Maybe in your area they are to busy trying to do heat instals now and
soon things will quiet down and get competitive again.
Steve , If you didnt get a heat load calculation that " overkill" idea
of yours on 2 ton could be a big mistake you will regret. If you
oversize it you will cool but be left humid and clamy.
I superinsulated and made 1800 sq a bit tight I have 2 ton and need 2
dehumidifiers to remove the humidity the AC cant. In winter if you
oversize you will short cycle and get blasts of heat, not comfortable
even heat. So where did 2 ton come from. Unless you are not insulating
well 2 ton sounds way high. Get a pro to calculate it in writing
I've never installed heat pump -- they are not common in NY cause the
winters are so cold, and natural gas (or propane or fuel oil) are used.
Got me, though. Wonder why you're getting the uncertain estimates?
Like the other fine poster mentioned, for five grand you can get a space
heater, and a window AC.
Do you have propane or natural gas available? Where do you live? What
It depends on what all is involved!!!
First off, did any of the "several HVAC companies" actually come out and
look at the job? Or just that one guy? I would NEVER give a customer a price
quote on a job based on what the customer told me over the phone. Get at
least 3 of them to come out and LOOK at the job and then give you a QUOTE
(not an estimate).
Second, how do you know you need a "two ton air handler heat pump"? I have a
2300 sq ft house and I have a 2 1/2 ton system that does the entire place.
There IS such a thing as overkill. If not properly sized, you are asking for
Third, you mentioned the advertisement of "systems for $2400". A LOT
companies do that to "get there foot in the door". I would NEVER buy from a
company that advertises like that. $2400???!! O.K., that is probably what
the equipment costs! Not including the labor, ductwork, etc. How can a
company give a price on something that they have not looked at???
The equipment is one thing. Then (depending on your area) there is the
ductwork (sheet metal prices have skyrocketed), the cost of pulling the
permit(s), the cost of getting an electrician (yes. An electrician. I know
jow to run wire and hook it up properly, but it will not pass inspection
unless someone that has a license "blesses" it), the cost of a helper, etc.
I understand your frustration. It just sounds like you need to call some
more companies and tell them what you one. Don't be abrasive with them and
get demanding. But tell them what you want and tell them to give you a
QUOTE. It's not as easy a job as you think. If it was, you would be doing it
And besides, I don't think Ronnie Millsap even has his apprentice's
SEVERAL companies? If SEVERAL companies have come in at the same 'around'
price I think the person who has the problem is the one who doesn't like the
prices! Do you think that all of them are getting together for your little
job and decided like a bunch of gangsters that they will all come in AROUND
$5000? There is much you are not telling us here except your condemnation
of everyone who works for a living and has to make a profit.
Did you get a permit for converting your garage over to living area? Many
places forbid this and if your doing behind the scenes it may cause problems
when you sell your home.
Fixed prices are always buffered to cover the contractor. In a case where
the job is messy, the customer is messy, the jobsite is messy - the price
will be higher. Nobody can see through a painted wall. He'll get the best
price by paying T&M to someone other than a R&R clown, however he clearly
doesn't have the experience nor emotions for that. Neither do you, it
seems. So he'll overpay and likely bitch about how much is cost him...same
Once again, you don't KNOW this poster. He could be telling the guys, or
making statements every two minutes like "What if we do it this way, or that
way, or how about this way?" In those cases I'm only going to give him an
ESTIMATE and not a quote, people like the one I'm describing can not be
trusted to stay within boundaries of a quotation and then things get nasty
when they think their paying for gold plated material and 500hours of labor.
You seem to forget that the original poster stated 'SEVERAL" companies did
this, and this not being the norm tells me that this is not a normal job or
You are confusing a replacement package unit, the $2400.00, to a new
install. The replacement has all of the duct work, drain, electrical, t-stat
wires and stat installed.
You want a new air handler installed and a remote condenser. Splits are a
minimum of a grand more than package units to start with.
I find when the customer is vague about his requirements the price goes up.
When the customer has specific requests and needs it is a lot easier to
quote. (for me)
You fail to mention the insulation and wall lay out. Those determine where
and how many duct opening are needed.
I suggest you change your tack and call companies to send out an estimator
and have them tell you what you need. Based on the floor plan and
construction details YOU provide at the time of the estimate. Help them to
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