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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    East Bay, Northern California
    Posts
    10

    Quality Installation

    Everyone says that installation is more important than brand. How do I know which installer is better?

    The first guy who gave me an estimate is from a medium-sized, licensed company that gets positive reviews from customers on an Internet message board for consumers in my area. But, the guy who came to my house was just an estimator/salesperson. He's not the guy who will install the furnace and ductwork. However, he seemed to know a lot, and he took down info for a load calc (number of windows, insulation, etc.)

    The second guy is a one-man, licensed operation who does the work himself. He was referred to me by a contractor who is remodeling my bathroom right now. The contractor does excellent work, and he speaks highly of the HVAC guy. When the HVAC guy came out to my house, he seemed like a good guy and seemed to know his stuff, but he did not do a load calc. He looked around the whole house, took some measurements under the house and asked about the square footage.

    I'm not sure how to evaluate these two operations other than using gut feeling. If all else were equal, I'd rather give work to the little guy. Anyone have suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,721
    Good reviews on an internet board? How do you know that the people are real. Are they using their real names and addresses?

    Is this a new install, or a swap out.

    If you like the one man show guy. Tell him you want to use him, but you want a load calc done, or you don't feel comfortable enough to use him.
    If he refuses. Then you know that he may not want to do other things right either.

    Remember, cheaper isn't always better.

    Check out this thread about a contractor that was recomended, but didn't do a load calc, or size the duct to standards.

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=175142
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Best chance with the one who did the load calc.,but then that's only a small part of the design and install.


    Fact is you have a slim chance of choosing the best in design and install.Way too many things involved,but you'll likely know for sure if you pick a bad one.

    That's where the brand comes in ,at least in some parts of the country,some brands deal with the best,and some don't,some back up the work and some don't.


    Best of luck !!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    East Bay, Northern California
    Posts
    10

    To Beenthere

    The job is what you'd call a swap out, I guess. I am replacing a 35 year old system with all new ducts and new furnace.

    I think the cost will be about the same with either operation. I am waiting for a "formal" estimate from the medium-sized company, but the approximate estimate they gave me was very close to the one-man show's estimate.

    I'll ask the little guy to do a load calc. Good advice. Thanks.

    I think the message board is a pretty good source, although you never know. A lot of people on there use real names and leave their phone numbers or email addresses. But, I suppose if a company was really crafty, it would post a bunch of fake stuff about itself. That sounds like a lot of work for potentially no return though, since I live in a huge metropolitan area and the message board is not that widely known. It's a "parents network."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,721
    I have no doubt that many(if not all) of the good references on the board are real. Just wanted to point out the possibility.
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