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.
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.
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!
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:
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
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
Calculations should include Heat Gain / Loss.
This takes into account orientation, shading, window area,
Duct sizes for adequate air distribution for various thermal loads.
Sheetmetal ducts have less friction and are more difficult to install
Flex is for quick and dirty or hard to reach areas.
Duct insulation is important as is the location of ducts.
On 5 May 2005 12:02:19 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
Over 3000 things to do with eggplant:
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.
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?
Over 3000 things to do with eggplant:
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,
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
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