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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Smile Homeowners, Inspect your HVAC install


    I'm writing this to hopefully help other homeowners from poor HVAC contractors.

    I hired a small HVAC Co. to install 2 systems. He finished the work but I have been consitently uncovering workmanship problems with the duct work. Here's my list.

    System 1 The addition
    1)Last December the contractor got the heat working so I could have the plaster guys come in. The HVAC contractor went on vaca and planned to finish when he got back (5 days later). I had to go into the attic for something and realized that the return was wide open...sucking cold air from the attic!

    2)About several months after he was "finished" with one of the systems, I went into the attic and felt hot air hitting my face. Turns out one of the take offs from the plenum had a 4" gap in it...spewing hot air into the attic. He fixed it.

    System 2, Existing structure
    3)One of the take offs near the end of the plenum was not fully connected to the plenum. It was deflected off the plenum because of the rafters and the air ended up travelling between the insulation and the outer surface of the plenum. I fixed this since the contractor couldn't help me for at least several weeks.

    4)The contractor finished the system in late July of 2007. On days where temps > 90deg, the system spewed a choking oil smell into the home. I had to shut the system down and leave the house. Contractor couldn't address the problem (too busy with other installs). He never came to trouble shoot it and ended up replacing the coil this year (thought it might be defective)! Turns out there was a 1" wide x 12" tall opening between the return plenum and the air handler! Hot attic air was getting sucked into the system, pollen and all! My son has severe allergies and paid for it.

    5)The main plenum is about 4" taller than the air handler and as a result, the contractor used Aluminum tape to fill that gap. It's peeling back now so I had to repair it.

    6)There was a 1" wide gap between the air handler and the main plenum similar to the one on the return side.

    He came over today to fix the problems. He was very agitated and thought my complaints were ridiculous. We had a few choice words and I sent him on his way. I didn't want him to do a quick hack job so I'll have to do it myself. The sad part is that I think he believes he did a great job. I feel the need to warn others. Thoughts anyone?

    Sorry for the length.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Princeton, NJ
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    south louisiana
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    sorry that you had this bad experience/install.
    it is hard to determine who will do a quality install, keeping in mind
    that it is the installers who are the low end of the education provided.
    most owners attend classes, but not a lot of hvac companies share this
    information/education with the workers.
    sounds like the ductwork & R/A were the biggest problems.
    typical of mid range hvac companies here.
    as for low end...we won't even go there!
    usually the more expensive hvac companies not only educate themselves,
    but encourage nate certification and continuing education for their workers.
    cost of this higher learning is reflected in the price. (not to say that the
    most expensive co is the best!)

    hope your son's health has improved and its good to know that
    you were willing to go the distance to find and seal these areas.

    best of luck to you.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    did you go with the cheapest quote?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    N.E. Ok.
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    You should not of had the furnace used as a construction heater for the plasterers.
    Return not connected could be a good deal in this case.

    As for your other issues, sorry to hear it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    does the guy have a license? insurance? e.p.a. card maybe? probably not. the time to get the answer to these and other exciting questions is before you let him start work. there are a ton of hacks in this world. i don't consider them "in the business". how did you hear about this guy? if you got references, did you check them? what you should be warning others about is if you don't do your home work or you take the lowest bid you could get burned.
    "When the people find they can vote themselves money,that will herald the end of the republic" - Benjamin Franklin

    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action"- George Washington

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
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    we see in every area of the country people like this. in TN, all you have to have is a business license and epa if you handle refrigerant. therefore, my company goes behind a lot of people that have done this. we have a common mistrust because of these guys. it is us, the responsible tech, to assure homeowners that we all aren't like this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    What action did you take locally? Coming here is all well and good but if you just came here to vent and didn't take proper and appropriate action, you wasted your time. Now that you think you have corrected the problems, contact a competent contractor and have them look over your system. Sorry about your misfortune buy this isn't the forum for complaining about HVAC contractors. Go to your HVAC licensing agency, your building code department and the BBB for resolution. Don't just *****, take proper action. Just my 2cents worth.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by troyorr View Post
    Sorry about your misfortune buy this isn't the forum for complaining about HVAC contractors.
    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. No more calls please. You've about summed this comedy of errors up in a nut shell.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. No more calls please. You've about summed this comedy of errors up in a nut shell.

    You are correct, but then you are wrong. Not everybody has your knowledge of HVAC. A newbie who has just found this site may be telling the pro's his problem, his repair's, and just looking for approval or advice.

    You have to belong to this forum for awhile to catch the sarcasim from some and know which way to take it . LOL

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