Why can't I live closer to someone on the contractor map!
I've gotten five quotes for a new heat pump and no one has mentioned a Manual J. I asked the guy today about it and he chuckled as he said, "it'll cost you a few hundred dollars." He said he'd "like to set me up with a 4 ton unit." All he had to go by was my house square footage, the # of registers I had, and the fact I currently own a 3.5 ton unit.
The Trane contractor I have the best feeling about thinks they can look at my house blueprints and do a load calculation. They come highly recommended but they just go by the rule of thumb sizing method. I'm still willing to do business with them because they offer a 10 year labor warranty, had the most reasonable price, and I just get a good vibe from the guy. He guarantees me he will do a good job but I am still concerned if I'd be getting the correct size unit.
I've called someone on the contractor map but he doesn't want to make the drive to perform a Manual J. I've called a local energy consultant about a manual J and they were trying to get me to do a blower door test and then a Manual J....that's several hundred dollars. Honestly, I don't think it's worth the money.
I took Baldy's advice and downloaded the HVAC-calc program but feel uncomfortable doing that correctly.
I was settled on the 16 or XL20i but since they don't come in half tons, maybe I should go with the XL15i in 3.5. Maybe 3.5 is too big for my home right now but it seems to be doing fine...other than being older than dirt.