This is your house, not the builders, so that would be your guys at your cost if any, not his. Nothing says you have to use the builders contractors.
I am pretty certain the builder has shopped out who is going to do his work for the lowest rate, and that usually does not mean quality work.
I hope he let's us know the heat loss/heat gain of the home. It sounds like it'll be a tight home with good insulation.
Just to give a bit more info, see below. I pasted this from a different thread I had done earlier about heat pump vs. propane furnace. But it will probably help here..
-Philadelphia, PA area. Number of days that AVERAGE 32 degrees or below..35. Number of days that the LOW temp drops to 32 degrees or below..100 (basically Dec through mid March). On average, the lowest temp of the year is 23 degrees.
-House will be well insulated. 2x6 walls. R19 in walls, R50 or so in attic. I have stressed the importance of insulation to the builder. Assuming I go forward with the spray foam (builder estimated about $6K extra), the house should be as tight as I can make it.
-Gas is not available unless I want to spend $60,000 to extend the line
-Propane about $2.80ish a gallon
-My current electric with PECO is $.165 a Kwh
-House is about 3200 sq ft., about 1600 on 1st floor and 1600 on 2nd floor. Basement is just as big, and will likely be finished in the future.
-I plan to have an efficient woodburning fireplace (RSF brand..heat capacity 1500-3000 sq ft) in the family room, which should be able to heat much of my home..at least the first floor from what I am told by the fireplace experts. I understand I'll be loading this fireplace several times a day.
-I prefer propane for the range and hot water heater, and I plan to install a whole house generator in the future, so I want to have an underground propane tank (500 gallon or so?).
-My contractor is pushing a 85% efficient propane furnace. I want to do an electric heat pump with a propane backup.
-I plan to be in the home 20+ years.
O Ceiling R-45 ... spray foam on underside of roof ... ALL ducts in conditioned space
O Walls R-16
O Windows U < 0.3*
O Air Change per Hour (A.C.H.) < 0.25*
_ _ If one Strictly Adheres to the 4 mentioned energy conservation measures
" Builder needs to Guarantee performance < 16,000 BTU/Hr @ 10'F per floor."
//.. < 32,000 BTU/Hr total < 3 tons.
Your average HVAC won't do it or don't know how to.. If I were building MY house, I would find and demand my choosing of companies unless this builder is a Topnotch company, speaking of which, I haven't found any in my area that I could rely on 100%...
Best of Luck..
Just a followup, now that I'm deep into the house build. I am in a bit of a bind. After asking for the Manual J analysis for weeks, the builder never sent anything. Then I met with the HVAC guy on site one week ago, and was told for the first time that they are doing a single unit 5 ton 95% 13 SEER heatpump (with propane backup). ONE UNIT? Not 2 units, not even zoning.
Before we signed the contract, the builder said they almost always do 2 units for anything over 3,000 sf. Now suddenly my 3,250 doesn't need 2 units? The contract simply stated.. "Heating: Electrical heatpump with propane backup" Yes, very generic, and I should have called for more detail, but I didn't know. Contractually I'm not sure how this is handled but that's a question for a real estate attorney I guess.
How can a 3250 sf two story house be comfortable with just one unit? Builder and HVAC guy assured me it would be fine of course, but I have my doubts. Keep in mind, this builder has been working with the HVAC company for decades, so neither wants to step on the other's toes. My guess is the builder basically told HVAC they're doing 1 unit so make it work. So it seems like the fox guarding the henhouse. Know what I mean?
Anyway, I'm in SE PA area, 2x6 walls, Andersen 200 windows, house faces south, almost no tree coverage. I asked for some analysis and they simply provided me with what you see attached. What does this truly tell me? I've heard that the Manual J doesn't truly specify whether 1 or 2 units is needed? Is this true? If it doesn't, what tells us that?
I had another HVAC guy come through, and he said I'd be "OK" with one unit, he would have done 2 units (bigger heat pump in basement, smaller heatpump in attic). So now I want to get a 3rd opinion, or is there a way that I can run it myself? I believe there are programs out there. Any suggestions?
The builder said I could pay $3600 for a 2 zoned setup, or pay $6100 for a 2 unit setup. I never budgeted for that, so now I'm in a major bind.
Bottomline, what SHOULD this home have to have acceptable heating/cooling? I don't want a 5 degree differential between floors for the next 20 years.
I posted this as a separate thread recently, but just wanted to update this thread as well since everyone had been so helpful when I originally started thinking of 1 vs 2 vs zoned..