need opinion on furnace installer/brand
I live in Central New York and have received three estimates on a furnace replacement. All three estimates were about the same on price and all were single stage low 90 efficiency furnaces. I am having a difficult time deciding on which company to use.
The first estimate was an independent contractor (30 years) who showed up late to the estimate and took a week to give me a price, but came highly recommended by an HVAC employee at my work. This installer would install an American Standard furnace. He also would move the exhaust, which is exhausting onto the back deck and add a return, he also wanted to increase the size on the existing returns.
The second estimate was from an established company who showed up early to the estimate He never looked at the exhaust, but said he would relocate it after I pointed it out to him that it exhausted onto the deck. He said the ductwork looked good, but wanted to increase the size of the livingroom floor vent because the opening was too small. He would also add an electronic thermostat. It was a Tappan furnace with a 10 years parts/labor warranty, and a complete furnace replacement if anything breaks in the first 5 years. The estimator was very high pressure and offered me $800 off to make my decision while he was there which I declined.
The last estimate was an independent contractor (35 years). He said the ductwork was fine, but also wanted to increase the size of the livingroom floor vent. He said since the furnace doesn't usually run when you are outside on a deck, so he would just put an elbow on the exhaust to move it and keep snow from getting in. He would be installing a Coleman furnace. This contractor was more down to earth and less pushy than the other two.
I like the American Standard brand, but the contractor is an hour from my house and I am concerned about repairs/warranty. I like the Tappan warranty
and the fact its an established company close by to the house if there is an emergency repair, but I didn't like the high pressure. My father in law liked the last contractor because he seemed more concerned about the job than selling himself to us. I don't know how well the Tappan and Coleman furnaces compare to the American Standard brand.
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by morr1s; 04-06-2008 at 10:55 AM.
If I had to choose between those contractors I would pick #3.
However, I would probably get a few more estimates making sure they did a load calculation.
I also would be concerned with the furnace exhausting onto your deck. This could cause problems with the wood later on and also might be a code violation.
Ask for something 2 stage with variable speed. This may be to your advantage where you live.
How tall are you Private???!!!!
Hi I live in northern NY and was just going throught the same thing. You can read about it here: http://www.hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=166287
Did any of the places do a manual J? I decided I am going to have E and V Energy do the install. There price seemed decent and they deal with Trane, which is a brand I like. But most important they did the proper calculations and answered all my questions. I think they have an office in central NY.
As Gunnery Sergeant Hartman stated I would make sure that anyone that gives you an estimate does a load calculation or Manual J. If they do not perform a load calc then they are guessing. If you replace a system with the same size system as before who is to say the system was sized right the first time? Also, it should be noted that when they perform a load calc they should also perform a Manual D in order to size the ducts... in order to be sure the current duct sizes are correct and remedy any problems.
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i would throw my money down on #1. Number two would have "accidently" fell down my stairs when he left....tragic. Someone else here said they lived by you and went with the same equipment as your #1....maybe you guys could compare contractors.
Given the brands, and your descriptions....I am leaning hard towards #1 if that helps at all .....and I don't know why it would.
Remember....the load calc and a good hard look at the duct is a must.....no joke.
I only try to be the best.....though i'm not......but in my efforts to be, I hope to learn and achieve more than most !!
I would pick #3 also. If like American Standard brand, see if they can get the particular brand to install in your house. The company that I work for we do it all the time if it would make the customer happy.
Thanks for all the info. I am going to start with teddyc27's suggestion and get one more estimate from E and V Energy, then base my final decision based on all your suggestions.