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  1. #1

    Ordering a heat pump system online?

    We're almost set to begin finishing our basement and one thing I'm struggling with is the hvac unit.

    We have about 1,200 sq ft to finish and we do want a separate unit downstairs mainly so it's not so cold in the winter.

    We have a GC for the basement build, but I got a few separate quotes for hvac.

    Everyone is saying 1.5 ton heat pump for the space. Quotes are about $ for trane 14 seer unit.

    I really don't want to pay $ for a unit that won't be used that much (in atlanta) if there is an alternative.

    How bad of an idea is it for me to buy the system myself online and then pay to have it installed? I've found multiple places online that have budget line rheem heat pump systems for under $ .

    One person told me installation should run around $ . Is that in the ball park?

    Any other major problems I need to consider? As long as its professionally installed, the dealers say I can send in the paperwork and the warranty is good.
    Last edited by beenthere; 07-06-2013 at 06:16 PM. Reason: Prices

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,668
    Prices aren't allowed. In my experience if bought online the manufactures warranty is voided. You have to have an EPA certification to buy charged ac equipment. If I were installing a unit the customer supplied, which I probably wouldn't, I would charge the exact same amount minus what the equipment cost me which would most likely be less than what you pay for it online, so in the end you would end up paying more than if I supplied the equipment. You may be able to find someone on Craigslist to install it but don't expect it to be a quality install or last very long.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cummins, GA
    Posts
    1,547
    Bad idea.

    No warranty by the manufacturer if you purchase online. They track the serial numbers.

    Good luck finding a good contractor to install this online bought system. Any decent contractor wouldn't touch a web bought unit.

    No pricing info allowed.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Ridley View Post
    Bad idea.

    No warranty by the manufacturer if you purchase online. They track the serial numbers.

    Good luck finding a good contractor to install this online bought system. Any decent contractor wouldn't touch a web bought unit.

    No pricing info allowed.
    What is it that voids the warranty? When I say buy online, it's from a brick and mortar dealer, I just found them online.

    Is the warranty voided if the unit is not sold directly to a professional installer?

    If the warranty is voided, then definitely no deal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,434
    If it's not professionally installed, no warranty.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,972
    As Jtrammel stated, you are supposed to be licensed to buy a split system. Only disreputable supply houses try to circumvent those regulations.
    As for potential problems, who will design and install the duct system? Who will cover labor warranty? What constitutes "professionally installed?"
    Here's my position. I am trained, licensed by the state, licensed by the EPA, insured and bonded. I have paid for all the preceding things and I have purchased many expensive tools. Do you think I should work for wages?
    Do you take your own eggs and bacon to McDonald's and expect a lower rate?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,668
    Its voided when sold on the web as far as I know. I seriously doubt you will get a liscenced contractor to install a system you bought on the web, especially for the amount you stated earlier, maybe a moonlighter with no insurance/liscense and most likely not the knowledge to do the job to manufactures specs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    641
    1.5 ton is 18000 BTU, about the size of a large window unit. And there's the easy answer: just get a window heat pump.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,434
    Why not do a minisplit?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,564
    Neither prices, nor pricing discussion are permitted here.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    641
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Why not do a minisplit?
    If it's used infrequently, the extra cost will never pay itself back as opposed to a quality window unit.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,434
    Quote Originally Posted by NiHaoMike View Post
    If it's used infrequently, the extra cost will never pay itself back as opposed to a quality window unit.
    Since the OP is mostly concerned about heating maybe plain electric heat would be the best solution? Expensive to run if it's used much.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    641
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Since the OP is mostly concerned about heating maybe plain electric heat would be the best solution? Expensive to run if it's used much.
    High wattage reflector light bulbs ("heat lamps") are about as efficient as plain resistance heating gets, especially if you really only need the heat in one area. Back when I lived in a college apartment, during the winter, I set the thermostat as low as it goes (just for backup freeze protection in the unlikely event it goes below freezing) and used a 65W reflector bulb as the main heater. It actually got so warm in even a 62F room that I had to put the bulb on a dimmer to throttle it back when I needed to.

    At night, I positioned my PC (a fairly new Athlon 64 at the time) so it blows warm air over the bed to keep my face warm. 150W (Athlon 64 running Folding@Home) all night definitely beats a few kW cycling on for even a short time.

    With Bitcoin, you can earn revenue that "subsidizes" the cost of heat or even net you profit. (It's too bad that where I currently live, heating needs are pretty mild even in the middle of winter and a Bitcoin setup would never pay for itself...)

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