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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Unhappy Heat Load

    I know zilch about heat load calculation.
    I assume that the new system is comparable to my old system. I don't like to be treated like I don't know what you are talking about...but I don't know what you are talking about. I agree that an educated homeowner is a better customer. But how much is a homeowner going to know about all this? Not much. So I think it comes to price, competition, and trust.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    150
    Kampeh - my reply was more for 9mmnow, sorry.

    I am currently looking to replace my heating system (HW boiler - not HVAC), but the question for HOs applies to my situation, too.

    While I am an educated HO (engineer) - I would bet that time spent with the less-informed HO explaining the proposed system, its specific application to the HOs needs, how you will take care of the HO (service, etc) - will go a long way in winning the bid. Informing up front about how much the system costs over its lifetime (what an eye opener!) and the importance of initial equipment and installation practices influence this will show the HO that you are treating their system as if it were your own, and are not looking to just plug it in and run with the $. This helps develop trust and decreases their concerns with possible higher initial costs. I'll bet that a little hand holding will result in more sales and happier customers - and happy customers will be your greatest sales tool.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Smile

    PS, no apology needed, I was not directing my comment so specifically to yours. I agree with your comment about what (I) want in the contractor, and actually, I was impressed with the guy who came two days ago...he provided all that. But I think I need to compare anyway, it seems foolish to put out that much money without comparing 3 estimates, so I have two others coming today. But I feel bad making them go through this "free" high pressure estimate thing.
    I respect contractors and think they should be able to have integrity and make decent money.
    Good luck on your WH, those are not so expensive, right?

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    150

    Competition

    You should absolutely get 3 or more estimates - and that is where the more info the HO has the better. You wouldn't buy a car without shopping around, and I am sure you use any info you can to negotiate the best deal.

    I haven't put my job out to bid, but I estimate my job will be $6000 - $9000, depending on what type of boiler. So much for not so expensive - although a quality boiler will probably outlive me!

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    where to find?

    In response to the thread about about to find....My husband went through the yellow pages when the Furnace quit Friday night with freezing temperatures outside. He found one guy who came out, but left lots of messages with other places. The guy who came could not fix it...we were not impressed. We paid him $xxx for an hour to change our thermostat (and then put our better one better one back again) and diagnose that the fan in the heater was bad and th wires were old/bad. He barely spoke any English.
    I am a Home Depot fan and I was there getting Space heaters when the guy was messing up my thermostat for nothing. Home Depot was great about sending a guy for an estimate Sat morning. Then we had all the call backs from the messages my husband left and I agreed to an estimate this afternoon from a company I know nothing about. Then the small company that has serviced our system in the past and my husband is very happy with (couldn't reach them until today) said they would provide an estimate too and on top of that, they said they would get our system working right away so we would not be without heat in the interim.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    PS

    WOW!
    I had no idea water boilers could cost so much. Sorry. You want to make a good decision then.
    Thanks for the reassurance on the etimates.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    76
    I had to think about this a bit.

    Its easy to say price isn't a factor, but that would be a line of BS. Its also easy to say value and mean the intersection of enough quality and low enough price, but hard to define what that is.

    So what I'd look for:
    1) Correct installation.
    2) Value.

    Does that mean I want the lowest price? No. It means I want the lowest price that gets the work done right. I think every person here would want that if they were honest about it.

    It seems to me that the lions share of cost comes from taking the time to put the large number of finishing touches on the work that seperates the quality jobs from the rest. I'd spell out those touches in the contract and explain why they are important. Picture differences for cosmetic things (concentric vent caps) would help.

    Some ideas of things I've seen that show what I mean:
    Spray paint inside of large return grills.
    Hard pipe trunks and supply runs
    Insulate boots.
    Mastic everything.

    You get the idea.

    When it comes to service, this seems simple, but show the customer any parts you had to replace. If you can offer it to them. I'm always worried in the back of my mind "Did they even replace anything?" (Not just HVAC...)

    Be willing to answer questions. Don't try to answer those you can't. Take it as a action item and get back to the customer if you don't know. At least shows you aren't out to BS them.

    Don't as me for my name and address while sitting in my dining room.

    Don't call my kid "the seed corn." Creepy.

    Do correct bad information, but don't do it in a way that attacks another contractor.

    Oh yeah, if you have sepeate sales and install crews, make sure the sales guy calls to check during and after the job. He's the guy (gal) that the customer has the trust bond with and is more likely to get told about something the customer doesn't like than the crew is.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Frown Price

    I just got a 2nd estimate that is $5,400 (10 SEER, Carrier)vs the first that was $8,600 (12 SEER, Trane).

    The first was trying to compete on service and reputation. The second was trying more on Cost.

    I'm not sure which one I should take, I think they would both work out all right.

    The price difference is not small.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965

    Re: Price

    Originally posted by kampeh
    I just got a 2nd estimate that is $5,400 (10 SEER, Carrier)vs the first that was $8,600 (12 SEER, Trane).

    The first was trying to compete on service and reputation. The second was trying more on Cost.

    I'm not sure which one I should take, I think they would both work out all right.

    The price difference is not small.
    But the difference in equipment is huge!
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Unhappy How Huge?

    What do you mean? I think most of the difference is in service. I have learned that TRANE is a leader. But is it "huge" differnece.
    I confess, a very important factor to me is exterior size and and appearance, because I just put in nice patio in the back yard. I want an unobtrusive good looking unit, and I don't have information yet to make judgement on that.

  11. #24
    So what I am seeing so far is, workmanship,quality,and mostly price. I am getting the impression that the homeowners are not really aware of the benifits of 10 seer to 16 seer, the advantages of a 90%compared to an 80%. I see this all the time in our field,the homeowner is not aware of the differant and complexicity of the systems they can get into, humidification,air quality,zoning. etc etc. That is the reason I asked the question as i posted it. They know the differance between a Ford and a Chevy then the Cadilac. but not up to par on the brands and the products out there to benifit them in the long haul; We all see the brands listed here and problems with everyone of them, Even new auto's have problems. Lets phrase this a new way A scenario here.. Ring ring ,,hello mr 9mmnow i am looking for a new furnace can you come and take a look and give me an estimate. Have you looked at brands and know what your looking for mr customer. No I dont. This is where it gets to be good, How is a cutomer to know the better of the brands offered ????/ Trane,Lennox,Bryant, Carrier,York,Goodman,Amana,whirlpool,you see the problems so far? single stage 2 stage, Help us guys out homeowners... We are here to learn by you the homeowners also.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Colored AC Units

    I saw an add about designer colour and good looking AC Units, I love it! But none of the three estimates I got could include that. I'm bummed the units look so ugly outside. SEER? What the heck is that??? Seems like gobbledigook to confuse me and force me to make financial decisions.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    11

    Good Thread

    Some of these homeowner replies mirror my own experiences.

    I go out on one estimate and meet a very informed, HVAC savy homeowner that asks all the right questions and is up on many of today's advanced products. The next estimate, I get a homeowner who'll barly give me 10 minutes of their time and is only interested in "the lowest price you can do it for." Very frustrating for me but, I'd much perfer the 1st homeowner to the 2nd any day. The problem is, it's not always possible to get a good read on your prospective customer from just a phone call. I'll usually try to explain the advantages of the different features and efficiency ratings but, many times get nothing but a blank stare in return.

    What I struggle with constantly is to try to generate some excitment about my products. Not possible with most people at least in my neck of the woods. I see people willing to drop $7500+ on a new plasma tv, but balk at spending more than a minimum for a home system designed to bring them comfort for many years. My feeling is that the majority of homeowners approach buying an a/c system no differently than a car, a tv or anything else. To the price shoppers, they're only buying a box and it makes no difference (in their mind) who they buy it from.

    I guess in a perfect world all my customers would be educated on all things HVAC before even calling me. Then they would already know what they're most interested in and I could save us both a lot of time.

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