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  1. #131
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    It makes us suspect your duct is not handling 3.5 tons very well. Imagine attaching a garden hose to a fire truck. It'll feel like a lot of flow, but it wont flow what the right sized hose will, and won't do a great job of putting out your fire.

    Again, my wag was 900 cfm at .8. Love to know what the number is if you get it checked.
    No luck yet in finding an air balancing tech to come out and measure total cfm of my supply ducts and ESP. Haven't totally given up looking, but I fear my chances of finding a tech who makes "house calls" to private homes are slim to none.

  2. #132
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    5,060
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    No luck yet in finding an air balancing tech to come out and measure total cfm of my supply ducts and ESP. Haven't totally given up looking, but I fear my chances of finding a tech who makes "house calls" to private homes are slim to none.
    Any competent residential HVAC company should be able to take these measurements on every job. The company that you plan on using should be able to do this, if they can not, continue to look for a company that is competent enough to do the job correctly.

    This is pure basic hvac 101 and should be done on every job. Most companies want to jump right up to HVAC B4I** "make the up-sell segment" the consumer will never know.

  3. #133
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,032
    Go to www.comfortinstitute.org and search for a contractor in your area. They should have the tools and training to test all issues you have. Good luck

  4. #134
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    Aug 2012
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    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    Go to www.comfortinstitute.org and search for a contractor in your area. They should have the tools and training to test all issues you have. Good luck
    Finally! This site lists 2 contractors in my county and 1 in the next. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll be calling them later today.

  5. #135
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    503
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    Any competent residential HVAC company should be able to take these measurements on every job. The company that you plan on using should be able to do this, if they can not, continue to look for a company that is competent enough to do the job correctly.

    This is pure basic hvac 101 and should be done on every job. Most companies want to jump right up to HVAC B4I** "make the up-sell segment" the consumer will never know.
    Haven't discussed this with the contractors I'm considering. But like the Manual J, I'd suppose these "tests" wouldn't be performed until AFTER I make the commitment to buy from them. Time is money to the contractor and believe they'd only invest that time in jobs where the customer commits to paying for the job. If they performed these calculations and tests everytime they went on a "free estimate" call, they'd likely go broke quickly!

  6. #136
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Load calculations should be done before so the contractor knows what size unit to quote. The installation costs can be impacted by size since it can affect breaker size, wire size, gas piping (if its' a furnace) size of lineset (whether or not hte existing can be reused), and expecially any ductwork modifications that might be needed. Smaller units have smalled widths, and may need a new plenum made.

  7. #137
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    7,032
    Comfort institute members will usually perform the testing for a nominal fee and sometimes if they are awarded job they may knock that fee off of quote. Everyone prices things their own way. You will most likely be impressed by the thoroughness of the inspection that you will go with that company regardless of price diff because they, in most cases, are far more in tune with all of the possible problems and remedies to solve them. Make sure they test in and test out even if you go with another contractor so you can see the improvements in writing

  8. #138
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    7,032
    Same goes for load calculations the contractor should do a load calc when quoting but he probably won't show it to you unless you are willing to pay him for it until he has the job. This is because if he gives it to you then anyone else that quotes the job will use his load calculation after the first guy spent time and headache to figure the calculation

  9. #139
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    503
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    Load calculations should be done before so the contractor knows what size unit to quote. The installation costs can be impacted by size since it can affect breaker size, wire size, gas piping (if its' a furnace) size of lineset (whether or not hte existing can be reused), and expecially any ductwork modifications that might be needed. Smaller units have smalled widths, and may need a new plenum made.
    I agree. But I think the quotes I received are based on "rule of thumb" estimates on unit tonnage, with the ancillary modifications being quoted at "worst case" pricing, which benefits the contractor in the end if less costly work is actually performed. That is, the quotes include work such as "re-use or replace copper lines as required (may need to route new copper through attic)", "install appropriate breakers", "modify plenum and air handler stand to fit new equipment".

  10. #140
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    503
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    Comfort institute members will usually perform the testing for a nominal fee and sometimes if they are awarded job they may knock that fee off of quote. Everyone prices things their own way. You will most likely be impressed by the thoroughness of the inspection that you will go with that company regardless of price diff because they, in most cases, are far more in tune with all of the possible problems and remedies to solve them. Make sure they test in and test out even if you go with another contractor so you can see the improvements in writing
    Thanks! We'll see how far they're willing to go during the "estimating" phase before i have to pay for testing up front.

  11. #141
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    Thanks! We'll see how far they're willing to go during the "estimating" phase before i have to pay for testing up front.
    They will most likely charge you an upfront fee for the testing. They also offer a 100% refund if you think the testing was not worth it. Everyone advertises FREE ESTIMATES but if you want it done correctly you must pay one way or another.

  12. #142
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    Same goes for load calculations the contractor should do a load calc when quoting but he probably won't show it to you unless you are willing to pay him for it until he has the job. This is because if he gives it to you then anyone else that quotes the job will use his load calculation after the first guy spent time and headache to figure the calculation
    We'll see what the "Comfort Institute" guys tell me about Manual J results during the "estimating" phase. One contractor who quoted me on the 4 ton two stage and the 3.5 ton single stage direct replacement indicated he did the Manual J calculation and it came out to 3.5 ton, so it "appears' his recommendations were based on Manual J. Of course, I have to take his word for it, because he didn't do it in my presence. He took all my information and window measurements back to the office and then emailed me the estimates on both units. The quote included a statement regarding Manual J results, but didn't include the actual calculation data. Not surre I want to use him as a contrador, however. As discussed in another thread regarding HVAC contractors doing electrical work, he doesn't think he needs an electrician or an electrical permit to change wiring from the a/h and or from the disconnect to my breaker box. I read the Florida statute and I disagree.

  13. #143
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    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    when you call them tell them you want to know the esp and duct issues so they will send a "comfort consultant" rather than a "salesman"

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