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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    San Diego
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    I’m going crazy.

    Do people write these estimates just to confuse the consumer?
    I have a very old Gaffers Sattler: Input 120,000 btu’s output 96,000 btu’s
    Want to replace and move to attic and add air conditioning.

    I have 4 bids ~ the range in pricing is quite significant ~ 32% or more

    Live in San Diego
    Ranch house 2200 sq feet – just replaced the windows dual glazed – vinyl American integrity 7 windows; 2 sliding doors; 1 bathroom door with jalousie window
    Summary of bids is as follows :

    Used this gentleman for plumbing work but he is licensed for all
    1. Suggesting Rheem 100,000 btu rated furnace, new a/c unit one zone 4 ton unit, condenser – 13 seer
    Everything necessary to code, use existing vents and registers / ??? Air grill in hallway ceilings, new access hole .

    Recommended by architect
    2.Another bid Amana Goodman 90,000 btu 85% horizontal fau – connect o existing ductwork, replace ductwork as needed , supply and install return air system complete with filter grill – relocate gas piping and high voltage electrical attic area, supply and install Amana Goodman 13 seer high efficiency air conditioning system complete with coil, condenser and refrigerator piping. Supply and install digital night set back thermostat. Need to hire an electrician

    3. Bryant 90,000 M#311 afue 80 4 exchanges per hour
    Digital ht/cl thermostat
    Air-conditioning 113R 048 4 ton system
    Permit and duct testing
    New supply replace all associated leak proof ductwork
    New return including all associated leak proof ductwork – on ceiling
    Gas piping 20 ft

    4. Trane XL 80 100,000 btu 5 ton
    XL R410A/R22 5 ton
    He also had a silver and gold quote for larger units 10 yrs parts and labor and much steeper prices

    Any advice – what are they not telling me that they should be telling me. I am more interested in the first 2 bids they seem the most reasonable . What do you think of the 2 products offered; the price difference between the 2 is over significant - is it worth it?


    Overwhelmed and in a quandary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Post Likes
    what is the heat gain/loss of your home with the new improvements? have them all perform a man. j.

    bid #2 by archie didn't even indicate a size for the condenser/coil.

    #3 with the permit and duct testing and "leak proof duct work" sounds like the highest quality, and the best investment.

    #4 sounds like home depot

    #1 sounds like the least expensive with the least experience.

    make damn sure a permit is pulled with any of the bids.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Post Likes
    you may want to consider upgrading your equipment for a more comfortable living environment.

    i.e., 2 stage condenser, 2 stage, or better yet, modulating furnace with variable speed blower motor, high efficiency filtering system, humidification, de-humidification, true HEPA filtration, air exchangers.....

    i just bumped your lowest bid up by 20K.

    good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    Are you in the hot part of SD? How are they deciding on size of equipment? Is the house insulated? Sure not that many windows. How cold does it get?

    The Trane bid is a more expensive furnace, bigger A/C and more expensive unit since they don't have R22 in a base model. Note that their unit will still be 13 SEER despite a "14" model #.

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