I just had an existing forced air HVAC replaced with geothermal. The old unit was electric A/C with gas heat - both forced air. I chose my contractor because he made some promises about re-zoning that sounded like they'd solve some problems we were having and save some energy costs while doing that (only heating/cooling the area of the house we were using during the day/night).
Unfortunately, the install hasn't gone so well. It's taken almost 4 months now and it's very hard to get the installer to come out and finish the job. We're also experiencing electricity bills that are higher than they've been over the past year even though the last month hasn't been extremely hot. Needless to say, we're concerned but we're not sure what to do. This unit is a new ClimateMaster Tranquility 30 two stage Digital. There have been many other mis-steps including being without A/C for 8 days because the installer wasn't familiar enough with the unit to know that the expansion tank wasn't turned on.
At some point in the process, our installer was convinced that we needed to convert all of our ducts on the main floor to supplies and add one new large central return. During this process, they stressed that return was the most important between supply/return. This was also to replace our original 3-ton unit with a 4-ton. I was concerned that we'd basically lose a big portion of one of our closets and they said we could do a 3-ton unit and not have to go with the huge return. Because of some funky duct work in the basement, they ended up switching our dining room from a supply and return to two supplies. This basically leaves us with 7 supplies and 3 returns on the main floor. This seems to go against the installer's previous statements about return being a major factor. One of the returns is in the middle of the house in a hallway, another is on the East side of the house in the living room and the other is also on the East side in a bedroom. The West side now has 3 supplies and it always seems a few degrees colder over there now. Is this normal? I know it's hard to just read this and immediately say whether or not it was a mistake and should be corrected.. Is there any way for me to figure out whether it's correct on my own?
In addition to that question, I'm wondering if there's any reason to try to call around and hire another contractor to come in and check the work. If so, any general ideas as to how much something like that would cost assuming there's no major duct work to fix, maybe just some settings on the geo unit?
Thanks for your help, I'm really frustrated at this point and I'm not sure what to do.