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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,913
    Then pick the option that gives you the best bang for your buck from his choices.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    It was mentioned before but make sure your existing duct work has been tested for proper airflow and sizing. Town homes are notorious for poor airflow. If your duct work is undersized or has too many restrictions due to trying to run it to the various levels your new variable speed motor will cost you more to run and may increase noise levels. Go with 14 or 15 SEER AC not 13 SEER. Compare EER and go with the better unit. No 2 stage cool needed if you want to save some money. No more than two stages of heat (usualy needed to get VS motor). The duct diagnostics would include readings like static pressures, TESP, filter pressure drop, evaporator pressure drop, and others. An actual measurement of the current airflow through the furnace. CFM readings at all registers for balance. Test for return air duct leakage. Sealing undersized leaky ducts can make thing worse.

    The current system could be rusted out from a condensate leak or improperly fired furnace, testing would be needed to determine but rust is a sign of a problem.

    I believe that an energy audit or at a minimum a blower door test be done to determine infiltration on existing homes. Infiltration is the biggest energy robber that usually can be improved relatively inexpensively giving you the best ROI and may result in a smaller system saving you more money. Also a proper heat load calculation cannot be done without knowing the infiltration. The infiltration is usually just a guess and loose or semi tight is used to cover the contractors a** resulting in an over sized unit. Was attic insulation measured?

    Is the unit just working or is it working efficiently? With energy prices going up it would be wise to use a contractor that can DOCUMENT the efficiency of the unit. Chances are most cannot due to the training and cost of the equipment to make accurate measurements.

    Ask a few more questions and get some answers before you make your final pick... you are the one who either enjoy a quality install or live with an expensive disappointment. Follow the other good advise and keep us updated.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    Quote Originally Posted by cmajerus View Post
    not in my house it's not!! If the heat ain't on the air is! sometimes April to Oct.
    man, Hate to see your light bill! I turned ours on this afternoon for the first time! You get a call to my parents this afternoon?

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    2,677
    Quote Originally Posted by mayguy View Post
    man, Hate to see your light bill! I turned ours on this afternoon for the first time! You get a call to my parents this afternoon?
    It costs me an extra $20 or so a month compared to winter time so I don't even notice. Yes I went there, mice had a warm home this yr, all the insulation from the compressor jacket was in the electrical cabinet, and all but a couple wires were chewed up and the start kit was trashed.
    I'm getting her a price on a HP
    You can't fix stupid

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    Quote Originally Posted by cmajerus View Post
    It costs me an extra $20 or so a month compared to winter time so I don't even notice. Yes I went there, mice had a warm home this yr, all the insulation from the compressor jacket was in the electrical cabinet, and all but a couple wires were chewed up and the start kit was trashed.
    I'm getting her a price on a HP
    Yikes... I almost took the covers off, but I was beat, Been down in Chicago for a 4 day weekend, and go to LC take mom up to Hudson today, so drove over 1,000 miles the last 6 days..

    We talked about the HP today, and Cost of running that would be damn close to half of what they pay for the LP, and I didn't know what the turn around time would be. Goig to bid the 15i? (better heat out put than then 16i) If you are pricing them a new HP, I have an extra IAQ I am plan on putting on the furnace for them anyway.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Springfield, Clarksville. Tn
    Posts
    37

    Simpler is better..

    How much to you actually save.... you can by more efficent equipment but how far down the road is the break even point when compaired to simpler systems.... For my money simpler is always more dependable, I'm not really interested in saving money 15 or 20 years from now.
    Ken

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    ….then things got weird.

    Okay, you guys haven’t failed me yet, but our furnace/AC replacement has taken a turn for the odd.

    We were all set to go with a contractor we liked, let’s call him “Contractor E,” when a previous bidder called back. Let’s call her “Contractor S.”

    Contractor S claims that Contractor E’s plan is a code violation. One of “E’s” options was a two stage AC and a furnace with a variable speed blower. “S” says that they can’t put in a two stage AC because our basement is unfinished. She says that the return air is the cause of the problem and that because our basement is unfinished, it’s considered one big area, one big “furnace room.” She says that we could only put in a single stage AC because of this. “E” says he has no idea what “S” is talking about. I have no idea what either is talking about.

    They both tell me the other one is wrong, but how do I know which one is correct? Is there a resource I can contact to find out if “E’s” option is a code violation? Does what “S” has to say make sense to someone here?

    To be honest we weren’t sure we were going to go with the two stage AC to begin with, but I’m more concerned at this point with the contractors abilities. Should “E” have known better, or is “S” making stuff up?

    Thanks much!

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    Quote Originally Posted by MPLSRYAN View Post
    Contractor S claims that Contractor E’s plan is a code violation.
    Huh!? That's a new one for me!


    Finished or unfinished basement has NOTHING to do with code for A/C type.

    Chances are you are going to close off most of the vents, and maybe leave one open in the basement in A/C mode. The A/C is only is needed upstairs.

    Is there any returns down in the basement?

    I think Miss. S is blowing smoke.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    Maybe there is a code for needing a furnace room to contain the equipment but still highly unlikely it would be code violation in most any town or city. Which if your planning on finishing part of the basement it would be a good idea to close it off from the rest of the finsihed area anyways but still should not have any bearing on weather or not it can't be installed. I to say she's blowing smoke or smoking it, LOL !!!

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by mayguy View Post

    Is there any returns down in the basement?

    I doubt it. I'm at work now, but I can't remember seeing any. We planned to finish the basement at some point, and we would certainly separate the furnace from the rest of the living area, but that's a few years away still.

    Is there someone in my city I could call to check on this?

    "Mr. Deputy Secretary of Unfinished Basement Duct Work, I'd like to ask you a few questions..."

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    Call the inspection department and talk to a city inspector. I never heard of such a code. If contractor S can't show you the code from the book show contractor S the door.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    I am not in Mpls, so I don't know for sure, but like MBarson said, Call your city inspector, and see what they say.. I am sure they are going to say "Huh!?"

    I think she is useing that to scare the other guys away.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    2,176
    They could be talking about combustion air intake as a part of the code.

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