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  1. #1
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    Aug 2010
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    suburbs outside New York City
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    71

    Load Calculations

    First let me thank all of you for helping us out over the past two years. We have decided to no longer sink money into our current 12 + years old a/c and heating system and go with something new and better. Following are my questions:

    We received 3 proposals from 3 different companies. Only one of them came to our home and spent 1 1/2 hours examining all duct work, inside unit and outdoor unit and measured the entire home including 2 walk in closets and laundry room. They then gave us a proposal stating that our 3 ton condenser was undersized. I first asked them for our sq. footage and they came back with 1,930. We were shocked because the builder told us it was 1,666. We did, however, purchase an option that gave us a loft with skylights and I'm not sure if the 1,666 was with or without that attic conversion. If it was not include it bring the sq. foot up to maybe 1,860. Do you think a 3 ton was too small even at the higher loft calculation? Our home is two story, open floor plan.

    Questions 2: The other proposals that were given to us were prepared without doing load calculations. One company said they didn't need to do it (we are not doing business with them) and the second company told me if we decide to do business with them, they will come in and do the load calculation. I asked this particular company how they can make a recommendation without doing the load calculation first and they said because they did all the original installation for our builder (which they did). However, the builder did try to cut corners and as I said the original 3 ton may have been determined before they offered the loft option.

    Question 3: We have called numerous companies to look at our current configuration to get a proposal. We insisted on them doing load calculations and 99.9% said they don't need to as they will just replace with the same size we have now.
    What gives??????? Is this the way its supposed to be? Load calculation "after" you sign a contract? How can any of them make an accurate recommendation? Can you please tell me how to handle this and what the proper procedure is?

    BTW, I have asked the company that did the load calculation and their recommendation for a 4 ton condenser vs our current 3 ton, for back up documentation that supports their recommendation as I have to present it to The Board of Directors of our Association for approval. (I just asked for it this morning and have not received a reply).

    Thanks so much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    What gives??????? Is this the way its supposed to be? Load calculation "after" you sign a contract? How can any of them make an accurate recommendation? Can you please tell me how to handle this and what the proper procedure is?
    Hey, lets make like your a fence builder. I am planning on hiring someone to build a fence all the way around my property, can you come out and measure it and tell me exactly how much material I will need, and give me a bid? No we can't Mr. Bill, but we will give you a bid, and if you like our bid, and sign a contract with us, we will be glad to tell you how much material you will need. The reason we can't do this Mr. Bill, is then all you would have to do is take our time and material list, and call around for the cheapest bid, without anyone else even coming out. Mr. Bill do you work for "possibly" free if you don't get the job? no sir we don't. Kind of get the picture now?
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
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    71
    Ok, of course I get what your saying but we are not looking for the "lowest Bid" we have ONLY contacted reputable companies in our area. Three to be exact and one is completely out of the running. So now its between two.

    We are educated enough to know that a bad installation will give you major ongoing problems. We have no intension of taking their load calculation and giving it to someone else because I want to know what the second company comes up with.

    This stuff should be standard procedure. I should not have to sign a contract to get someone in to do what they are supposed to do. How the heck can I sign a contract for a recommendation that may not be accurate and could potentially cost me $1,000 more because the first recommendation was wrong!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    16,000
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    How the heck can I sign a contract for a recommendation that may not be accurate and could potentially cost me $1,000 more because the first recommendation was wrong!!!
    My advise to you is stop calling folks you don't trust, it sounds like you have some trust issues. Your telling me that just because your shopping reputable companies in your area, and all of them performed a load calculation and you liked them all, that the lowest bid means nothing, that you would probably go for the highest bid? You might be one rare bird, but you also need to take into consideration, you have come to a place here were we deal with customers like you everyday, and we know what 99% are looking for. As I said you might be the rare bird.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    16,000
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    We are educated enough to know that a bad installation will give you major ongoing problems..
    Please don't get some salesman/estimator that performs a "perfect" load calculation with the latest and greatest LC software, mixed up with a company that does not, but performs the best "turn key" installation on the planet, they are to different animals.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    4,408
    Has the existing 3 ton when operating properly cooled your home to a comfortable temperature?
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
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    I didn't say that if we can save some money that would be great. What I said is that we are not looking for the lowest bid. We got three bids which I believe any educated consumer should do. Each company recommended a different configuration. One recommended top of the line Carrier, the other went mid level Carrier and the third (whom we eliminated) when with a bottom of the barrel condenser paired with a top of the line furnace. We were told by the other two that the recommendation by the third was outrageous

    We have Payne now - which we hate and advised all three that we wanted Carrier (and not the bargain basement line).

    Any consumer that just gets one bid is out of their minds. Your correct, we don't automatically just trust what someone tells us. We do our homework then make an intelligent decision. We are both in the high tech field for 25 + years so its not difficult for us to grasp an a/c & heating recommendation.

    So our number one priority is that the company we use will do a top notch installation and recommend the "correct" configuration for our home. We will then look at the prices (which once I get a new proposal from the company that did the load calculation (as we don't want top of the line Carrier) I'm sure we will have the prices are similar. We live in New YOrk NOTHING is cheap here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    West Monroe, LA
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    1,535
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    Ok, of course I get what your saying but we are not looking for the "lowest Bid" we have ONLY contacted reputable companies in our area. Three to be exact and one is completely out of the running. So now its between two.

    We are educated enough to know that a bad installation will give you major ongoing problems. We have no intension of taking their load calculation and giving it to someone else because I want to know what the second company comes up with.

    This stuff should be standard procedure. I should not have to sign a contract to get someone in to do what they are supposed to do. How the heck can I sign a contract for a recommendation that may not be accurate and could potentially cost me $1,000 more because the first recommendation was wrong!!!
    While I agree with Mr. Bill on his example of what most customers do with numbers once they get all the info. Most will in there minds try to save money by calling other HVAC companys and given them all the info. That I worked hard to come up with and say what would you charge me for this? This is a wrong thing to do by customer.

    Think of it this way I did all the homework and took the test and pasted but the other companies are cheating of my paper. Sure they can do it cheaper, they didn't spend the time doing the work and it is easy to give a lower price. I have seen this backfire on contractors and customers. Example customer calls me back & says xxx company can do the same job for $$$ less. So you cut your price that low only to see the other company go even lower. All we are doing as a industry is cutting our own throts.

    An then the customer gets what they pay for a job that should cost $$$ to be done correct but the price gets cut so corners get cut and the customer thinks they are getting a deal. When in turn they are not. Not this guy or my company. I refuse To work like this as my name and my companies name are important to me. Simple fact anyone can do the job for less but again then you get what you pay for!!!!

    As for me I do a load on every home and provide a estimate on site that same day unless it is something that is not normal and I need a sub contractor to do something that we can't. Years of experience and a good relationship with subs make this easy as I know what it will take for them to do the job $$$$ wise. Once I complete my load and review over with homeowner on what needs to be done to solve there comfort needs. I work up a detailed estimate that day but do not provide my load cal. Or material list until
    They sign a contract.

    This ensures then that the equipment I will install will be proper sized without any cost increase! At the bottom of my proposal is says total investment/cost and that is what they will pay for us to do the job unless they want to add or remove something. Most customers don't understand the importance of proper sizing and get scared that there system will be undersized. This gives other companies tr chance to come in and say you need bigger and will will do it for the same price or less.

    The contractor that did the homework and provided you with the load gets my vote hands down everyone else wants to lazy and just install what you already have which may or may not be the proper size system.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    We got three bids which I believe any educated consumer should do.

    Any consumer that just gets one bid is out of their minds. Your correct, we don't automatically just trust what someone tells us. We do our homework then make an intelligent decision.

    So our number one priority is that the company we use will do a top notch installation and recommend the "correct" configuration for our home. We will then look at the prices (which once I get a new proposal from the company that did the load calculation (as we don't want top of the line Carrier) I'm sure we will have the prices are similar.
    I totally agree with all you said above. I am not arguing with you, are trying to discourage you, your about to invest a lot of cash, I was just trying to make sure "in my own little way" you have all your bases covered, which it looks like you have a clue.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    I'm not sure what you mean by cooling properly. Since we have two story ceilings in some areas and an open floor plan, I'm not sure if we can do better.

    I was able to get the a/c down to 68 if I wanted when it was working properly but I don't remember if it ran all day to maintain. I do remember being cold and I remember setting the upstairs temp at 69 or 70 and it being able to maintain it.

    I did not make a habit of setting the temp "under" 70. I only did it a few times if I had been out jogging and was over heated. Normally we would have it set at 70- 72. Now I have it at 74 and its working because the service guy was here and saw the TXV was 3/4 way closed so he tapped on it and got it open.

    We do have one room that never gets quite as cool as the rest of the house but all three companies told me that putting in a new system would not change that much it has to do with the duct work (I think he said that) but either way I understand.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckman06 View Post
    .


    The contractor that did the homework and provided you with the load gets my vote hands down everyone else wants to lazy and just install what you already have which may or may not be the proper size system.
    As long as it wasn't anything more than a dog and pony show.

    As you do we also do a load on every home and then set down with the homeowner and go over it. We will not give a copy unless they sign with us however.
    Make your expertise uniquely valuable.

    Make your influence uniquely far-reaching.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckman06 View Post
    The contractor that did the homework and provided you with the load gets my vote hands down everyone else wants to lazy and just install what you already have which may or may not be the proper size system.
    I totally agree with you here, but what do you mean "provides you with the load"? You even said " I work up a detailed estimate that day but do not provide my load cal. Or material list until They sign a contract".

    So all of them should still work up a quote with a LC even if they don't get the job? Is that because it's the right thing to do? or is that because it's what you do and you think everyone else should also?
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  13. #13
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    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by cooling properly. Since we have two story ceilings in some areas and an open floor plan, I'm not sure if we can do better.

    I was able to get the a/c down to 68 if I wanted when it was working properly but I don't remember if it ran all day to maintain. I do remember being cold and I remember setting the upstairs temp at 69 or 70 and it being able to maintain it.

    I did not make a habit of setting the temp "under" 70. I only did it a few times if I had been out jogging and was over heated. Normally we would have it set at 70- 72. Now I have it at 74 and its working because the service guy was here and saw the TXV was 3/4 way closed so he tapped on it and got it open.

    We do have one room that never gets quite as cool as the rest of the house but all three companies told me that putting in a new system would not change that much it has to do with the duct work (I think he said that) but either way I understand.
    I think your 4 ton guy did a dog and pony show for you! You can maintain your home at 72* with a 3 ton but now you need a 4 ton?
    Make your expertise uniquely valuable.

    Make your influence uniquely far-reaching.

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