Need help with final decision
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  1. #1
    This is a great site, I'd be totally lost otherwise.

    I have gotten quotes from four different contractors on six or seven different systems that I can install.

    #1. Trane system, XR80 Furnace/AH - 100K BTU Single Stage, XR13 13 Seer 3 Ton Heat Pump. 5 year warranty. This contractor didn't do a load calc or take any measurements. Based system off of existing system.

    #2. Westinghouse system, 80% eff. 2 stage variable speed furnace/AH, 13 Seer 3 ton Heat Pump. 8 year warranty. This contractor also did not do a load calc or take measurements.

    #3. Another Trane system, 80% eff. 100K BTU Single Stage Furnace/AH, 13 Seer Heat Pump. 5 year warranty parts, 2 year labor. This contractor tried to tell me my return ducts were drastically undersized, until I pointed out the upstairs cold air returns to him. Also provided no literature or model numbers, returned quote over the phone (not in writing).

    #4. Carrier system, 58MTB060-1-12 2 stage Furnace/AH 90%eff. and I believe 60K BTU?, 25HP430A003 14 Seer Puron Heat Pump. 5 year parts and labor. This contractor refused to quote me until he went back and figured out the load calc, then brought the calc back to me in person with his quote. He also measured the house and all the windows while he was here the first time.

    So, I know what you're thinking - #4 is the obvious choice, right? He's the one I'm most comfortable with, and he spent the most time explaining my options and such. Problem is, his quote is approx. $XXXX more than all the others, which are all within a couple hundred dollars of each other. #4 is probably closer to the right size for my house (approx 2300 sq ft), and is a smaller system than the others, yet is costs substantially more.

    My question is this: I realize quote #4 is for a 14 seer heat pump (others are 13), a 60K 90%eff furnace (others are 100K 80%), and is for a Puron heat pump (not sure what the others are, but I'm thinking they are R22). Does this sound like a reasonable jump in price for those differences? I really like this guy, but that's a big jump in price for me. Pretty much all the other variables are the same across the board, like install and removal, pad for HP, similar thermostats, needed ductwork or pvc, etc. A couple of the other contractors also quoted me for a 90%+ efficient furnace as well, and the price still didn't come close to the Carrier system.

    Just want to make sure I'm not missing something, or if there are any more questions I can ask any of these guys that I didn't already. I didn't know about load calcs when I got the first two quotes, but I did for the last two.

    Thanks!

    <<No pricing please.>>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    High Point, NC
    Posts
    155
    Evidently he is the only one of the four that you talked to that actually knows what you need. Properly sized equipment means more comfort and less operating cost for the comfort. If the others did not do the load calculation, and it is evident that they are oversizing the equipment, I would be hesitant to recommend them. My only recommendation is to try to get another quality quote and see what the difference is when comparing quality. I know people who have sold houses due to being uncomfortable and regret trying to save a few dollars on the HVAC. The 90% furnace is a lot better furnace and will also save dollars on operating cost for many years to come.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Perth - Western Australia
    Posts
    775
    # 4 certainly sounds competant from what you have said & sounds like a nice system !
    i would be afraid of the oversizing of the furnace
    you can wind up loosing money fast with an oversized dual fuel system.
    you an ask this contractor for references from customers hes downsized & installed dual fuel as well as trashing the first three bids & getting 2 more from competant contractors
    dont beat up man # 4 be more concerned over accuaracy of sizing. a properly sized system will outperform, outlast & save you lotsa money while making your house very comfortable.
    The Captain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Perth - Western Australia
    Posts
    775
    by all means insist on r-410 a i would bet that man # 4 is competant with it.
    The Captain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,347
    well where do we start. yes #4 sounds like he has a clue. 2 stage furnace with a heat pump is awesome. when you get bids it is important to tell the contractor what you want. if you want 410 gas then ask for it, if you don't know what you want, ask the sales person to tell you your options. 4 bids is plenty if you like the company and the bid, you have answered your own question. if you think your getting taken, then you are not comfortable with that company, or he did not explain why he is much higher in price.

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