Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 15

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    6

    Advice for new HVAC unit - new construction - any advice?

    Hello experts,

    I am a newbe currently getting estimates from HVAC professionals to provide a complete HVAC system for my new house (my friend is the GC and I am helping get quotes). The plans are complete. The house is a two-story (with walk out basement) covering a plan area of about 80x40. House is in mid-Michigan (Brighton) and there will be little to no shade trees around the house. Front of house faces south.

    I am unsure as to what HVAC brands are better than others (i.e., are there ones to avoid) and I am looking for advice into what questions I should be asking HVAC professions when I call.

    Due to the house size, my intuition is that the HVAC will be a two system arrangement (2 furnaces and AC units).

    I was wondering about Coleman furnaces - one individual recommended them.

    Just trying to get an idea of options that are out there. I want to do things right the first time.

    Suggestions/recommendations are welcome. Also, if additional information is needed please ask.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    798
    Brand, in my opinion( and consumer reports) has almost nothing to do with quality. Picking a qualified and thorough contractor is what matters the most

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,692
    I tend to agree with Cross regarding brands for the most part. I think we are all a little partial to certain brands that we are firmiliar with.

    The bigger concern is the ductwork layout (placement) and sizing and proper equipment sizing.

    Alot of HVAC contractors do not do new construction because it is so cut throat. I had loyal general contractors and I always tried to keep my quotes tight because I knew that competitors were always trying to get their foot in the door.

    That said, I would bid other work and lose it by a $1,000 when the margins were only 3%-5%.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    1,330
    I agree brand not to important.... proper install. proper sizing. proper maintenance....all will be good... they all break
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,286

    Define _ Right the 1st Time _ ... Contractor Selection.

    Quote Originally Posted by ENGRGRAD View Post
    Hello experts,

    I am a newbe currently getting estimates from HVAC professionals to provide a complete HVAC system for my new house (my friend is the GC and I am helping get quotes).

    The plans are complete. The house is a two-story (with walk out basement) covering a plan area of about 80x40.

    House is in mid-Michigan (Brighton) and there will be little to no shade trees around the house. Front of house faces south.

    I am unsure as to what HVAC brands are better than others (i.e., are there ones to avoid) and I am looking for advice into what questions I should be asking HVAC professions when I call.

    I want to do things right the first time.

    Suggestions/recommendations are welcome.
    Also, if additional information is needed please ask.
    You don't need to ASK Any questions.
    with Completed plans.
    The mechanical contractor needs to address your plans which you have stated ARE COMPLETE.
    Complete must mean ADDRESSES ALL MECHANICAL and BUILDING THERMAL ENVELOPE ISSUES _ not Just finished.

    _ Indoor thermostat set-points and % R.H. specified.

    _ Plans and mechanical specs Complete.
    _ Basement wall detail is provided.
    _ Extended overhangs on West and South facing windows are detailed.
    > ~ R-40 spray foamed underdeck roof?
    _ < U 0.3 windows
    + > R-19 walls
    __ Maximum length of flexible duct < 12 feet.

    Outside air requirement with or without HEPA.
    Maximum infiltration of < 0.2 ACH is stated for builder to adhere to.
    Blower door test SHALL validate.
    Maximum energy use is specified.

    HVAC Equipment and installation budget given.

    What types of heating and cooling?
    Natural Gas is available?
    Solar hot water heater?
    Air or GSHP?

    Geo, hybrid and/or radiant?
    Radiant heating in which areas.
    Space on lot has been designated for GEO-Thermal?

    Humidifier.
    5 inch, MERV 7 or 8 filter.
    Where are the TWO Mechanical Rooms?
    Do they minimize air distribution issues?

    You did say plans are complete, correct?
    RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.
    Your Best local contractor is _ CMR Mechanical, Clare and Trevor.
    http://www.cmrmechanical.com/

    Any specific issues, my e-mail address is in my profile.

    Send PDF of current plans so I can see what relatively complete actually means.
    Last edited by dan sw fl; 10-05-2012 at 05:53 AM.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    381
    All posts are correct when it comes to brand. A proper install and MAINTENANCE is what matters. Duct sizing and lay out is key.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,185
    man, I'd like to see house plans cover everything designer dan listed.
    sure would make life simple!

    name brands like trane & carrier have lower cost equipment
    with different brand american standard, bryant.


    always ask for bids with good better and best options.
    good being 13 seer, better 15 -17 seer best 18+ seer.

    get three bids that compare same size & efficiency equipment.

    install is more important than brand.
    while lots of things are included in a good install..
    I always like to see load calc, not rule of thumb sizing.
    design & sizing for ducts..not just on the job decisions
    mastic seal of all ducts, equipment, plenums, returns & supply boxes.
    not duct tape, not foil tape..mastic tape or paint mastic.
    if anyone is sensitive to smells, avoid hvac caulks as they have strong
    odor.

    new construction is pretty cut throat. companies that do better installs
    often don't get the job because they bid jobs with better practices.
    companies that cut corners get more new construction jobs.
    hvac isn't the place to save money...nor is it the place to go crazy either.
    making informed educate choices will provide comfort and affordability
    every day for the life of the unit.

    shop wisely, and ask questions.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    6
    To all - thanks for all of the information.

    Sounds like I really need to touch base with designer Dan regarding the spefications he listed.

    @ energy_rater- I agree. I am a consultant and I have lost jobs that I have bid for less than a few hundred dollars and I understand that it is difficult to have professionals look at new construction because of that reason. However, I will still persevere with alot of good advice from the forums and get a few bids and be back

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,286
    Quote Originally Posted by ENGRGRAD View Post
    The plans are complete.
    The house is a two-story (with walk out basement) covering a plan area of about 80x40.
    House is in mid-Michigan (Brighton) and there will be little to no shade trees around the house. Front of house faces south.

    Due to the house size, my intuition is that the HVAC will be a two system arrangement (2 furnaces and AC units).

    I want to do things right the first time.
    80 foot long house with a mechanical room that is not close-to-center
    may create some real air distribution issues if the extended plenum (header)
    is not long enough and sized properly.

    Hopefully, the basement is ~9 foot high (bottom of floor joists) to accomodate a properly sized duct
    and not seem unsightly
    or create ceiling space issues when the basement is finished.

    One system with 3 or 4 zones may be a relatively easy option to install in a large ranch ( 2 * 3,200 square feet)
    if the thermal envelope is sufficient AND the INFILTRATION is Very low. Of course, one has to select
    a mechanical contractor that is well experienced in designing and installing zoned systems.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    I have a differnt idea for equipment since thsi is a very large luxury home. As large as this home is, you might even consider a boiler and use radiant heat for heating and look at a VRF (minisplit) system with 4 small airhandlers. Then install 2 centrally installed HRV system with exhaust on the bathrooms, dining and kitchen areas and fresh air ducted to the opposite air handlers on each floor. VRF unit will be a single outdoor unit or, it can even be water cooled and installed indoors on a geothermal ground loop, and will be a heat pump as well and can provide heat in the sprign and fall on cool morning when you don't need a lot of heat from the radiant system.... and where radiant can sometimes overcondition the space. Also, when entertaining, you can cool on area (kitchen, dining room) and simultaneously get "Free heat" in another.

    The above I consider to be the ideal system. One step better is a small chiller and multiple air handlers with chilled nd hot water coils. Then supplement with radiant floor heat. You home is almost large enough that you might even consider going that route. I bet you'd be somewhere around 7-10 tons of capacity with regular insulation, less with spray foam.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,286
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    I have a differnt idea for equipment since thsi is a very large luxury home. As large as this home is, you might even consider a boiler and use radiant heat for heating and look at a VRF (minisplit) system with 4 small airhandlers. Then install 2 centrally installed HRV system with exhaust on the bathrooms, dining and kitchen areas and fresh air ducted to the opposite air handlers on each floor. VRF unit will be a single outdoor unit or, it can even be water cooled and installed indoors on a geothermal ground loop, and will be a heat pump as well and can provide heat in the sprign and fall on cool morning when you don't need a lot of heat from the radiant system.... and where radiant can sometimes overcondition the space. Also, when entertaining, you can cool on area (kitchen, dining room) and simultaneously get "Free heat" in another.

    The above I consider to be the ideal system. One step better is a small chiller and multiple air handlers with chilled nd hot water coils. Then supplement with radiant floor heat. You home is almost large enough that you might even consider going that route. I bet you'd be somewhere around 7-10 tons of capacity with regular insulation, less with spray foam.
    YOU WOULD NEVER GET THIS JOB.!..!!...!!!
    Your bid would be 3X's Mine.


    ZONED :
    3 tons + 1 ton Basement + dehumidifier ... 80,000 BTU/HR Max Natural Gas IF
    ACH is Worked on to achieve < 0.2

    Radiant heat would be a great enhancement for a few areas.

    The only complexity is where's the best location for the mechanical room.

    Of course , select the wrong contractor and the system never provides the comfort that SIMPLE Design can.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    If you want an efficient system, don't install any thing in the attic. Fact is , you should not cut or penetrate the second floor ceiling for grills, diffusers or recessed lights. That will save you more money than a system in the attic.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    That's OK, I'm not a contractor. I'm a facility engineer.

    This is a 6000sqft luxury home. It deserves optimum comfort if the HO is willing to pay for it. Nothing beats chilled water for humidity control and flexibility. But yes, more expensive for sure. You could save some costs by doing a 2 pipe set-up only, but dehumidificaiton won't be as good.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event