Seer in a/c is comparable to miles per gallon in your car
The higher the number the more efficient as for annual saving it will vary with location ask, your contractor he should be able to spread some light on the situation.
I actually do understand that much aout SEER (and a little more). But it's still hard to feel intelligent about making choices. One of the three bidders told me I would be fine with 10 SEER, other two said that was a very bad choice, not only for efficiency reasons but for noise level, quality, etc.
You seem to answer what it is your looking for....
unobtrusive.... if you want to enjoy your patio PLEASE do yourself a favor and spend the money on a high efficient r410a system that is very quiet compared to others. Some a/c units you have to yell to hear each other then some units you can easily hear each other talk normally right next to the unit.
Why is it when you ask a homeowner about getting there furnace replaced most never ask about a load calc. but the think they know it all, I did my homework,look at me I'm an educated buyer, you can't fool me by taking shortcuts how dare you choose my furnace without doing a load calc types, are the ones that continually get ripped off and never complain about it because they are sure they made the right the decision !!!! I mean sure !!!.
My mind is made up if a customer asks for a load calculation they just told me that they will beleive anything and at that very moment I wish I was a used car salesman so I could give them the equivalent document in a car buying process which would be the 200 point check list that was just completed before the car went on the lot.
I have done many load calcs and found out that I am pretty good at choosing the right equipment without them, which is the same thing anyone with a half a brain in this field has found out.
Interesting point fat eddy and I will tell you why. I got an estimate from a contractor who did the load calc and came up with a 3 ton ac and a 115 BTU input high efficiency gas furnace 80% AFUE. OK mister contractor I take your word for it because this is your business and I guess you know what you are doing. Then I get a second estimate and this person comes up with the same thing 3 ton ac and a 88,000 BTU gas furnace 80% AFUE. So I ask how did you come up with that recommendation? He say's years of experience. I know his company has the experience because they came highly recommended. So my question is now how do I decide based on what you said about being able to figure it out based on your abilities. I'm not trying to start a fight, but I'm trying to figure it out. I like both companies and they have good refs, whats a mother to do?
Go with the guy that didn't do a load calc. he sounds more experienced and honest.
That has got to be one of the most irresponsible post made on this site.
Originally posted by fat eddy
Go with the guy that didn't do a load calc. he sounds more experienced and honest.
How can you make this type of a suggestion based on what little bit of information that has been provided?
I read a lot into the speed at which she typed her post at, she sped up when she talked about the first company showing an uneasiness about this contractor, then she slowed down while she talked about the second one signalling to me that she had a higher comfort level with him and that she trusted him more with her gut feelings which are usually pretty accurate.
i just read your post from eariler today and you make very good points. Let me try and explain the HO position in some cases. Yes we may now something about cars because we touch them everyday. We know when its not running right on a day to day basis. But our HVAC systems, that's a different story. We don't know how they are working until they stop. And because it was working fine all of last year it is out of sight and out of mind. Then it stops and we panic because its cool outside or its hot outside and we don't want to be uncomfortable in either situtation. So we call you guys. Some of us actually have budgets to work with and some don't. I'm sure you can tell the difference from the moment you walk in who we are and if we have a budget to work with. So you say my system is gone, and I need a new one. But I have not replaced the system in this house for 15 years or maybe even never. I don't have a clue about what is available nowadays. 80%, 90% AFUE and 12 SEER or 16 SEER, what the hell are you talking about? LOL $5,500.00 to $10,000.00 for a new system. I don't want to drive it I just want it to keep me comforable and I don't have that kind of money at the drop of a hat. But if I have to spend that type of money then I guess I will. And then I realize, being comforable is more important than I thought. Being comforable for the next ten to fifteen years is very important, so where do I start. That's where you guys come in. yes I need you to take your time and explain to me the stuff thats on the market. Where I will get the most bang for my buck and yes quality work. Why is 90% better than 80% or why my house could work with 2 stage or 2 stage variable speed and will 12, 13, 14 SEER will save me money in the long run. Why is Trane or Carrier or Lennox the better choice. You cannot expect us to always know these answers. Yeah if its not an emergency I can take the time to find the answers, and thats OK too, but if I need it tomorrow or the next day help me as much as you can. And when it all said and done and I'm a happy customer and I think you have given me a fair price and quality workmanship, guess what, you will get all of my referrals and all of their referrals and so on down the line. But if I think you took advantage of me and raked me over the coals because of my lack of knowledge, I will tell that too.
Thanks for your time.
Yes price is last, unless you come in with a ridiculously high estimate of 25% or more over the next guy. I will pay a little more for good quality workmanship but there is a limit.
But have you considered the fact that the guy that gave you that out of this world bid may have been offering a system that would give you trouble free service
and not some system that he could get as cheap as china sells them and charge you just under retail for.
You say that you asked your potential contractors questions that they could not answer and you probablyscared them off.
I am sure you have done your research , but the things you asked them are the fundamentals thatwe learn in school--yes school-
sometimes a little learning can be a dangerous thing. The guy that gave you that out of this world bid was probably the only one that woiuld have done an excellant job for you.
Meeting a contractor and insulting his intellegence by asking him questions that you feel he wont know would run most people off.
You can also brush up on your spanish and get a unit from your home improvment center, and se habla on the way out the door , and pick up your installation team that way.
They will even help you load your new unit into the trunk of your BMW for you si!
CT2, I didn't want to put the estimates down but you leave me no choice, 2 of the contractors estimates were for two Trane 3 ton systems, 14seer. One contractor 15,000 the other 24,000 no extras. I see a big difference. The contractor with the high bid was a bit condescending and didn't seem to want to address my concerns, shame on him. The lower bid contractor did seem to want to address my concerns but was a little pushy to sign. I did not and had no intention of ambushing my prospective contractors with questions they cannot answer. As I said in my first post tell me you don't know the answer, I'll respect you more for that. Communication, communication, communication. It doesn't say much for your industry if one contractor comes in 9,000 over the next.
Lack of concensus
>> have you considered the fact that the guy that gave you that out of this world bid may have been offering a system that would give you trouble free service
You would be doing every homeowner a huge service if you could describe how we would know that.
Here's my opinion and you will not like it: If this industry were not pervaded by hacks, the pros would be able to form a simple concensus as to how to choose a decent HVAC pro. We are not seeing much concensus here and I wish we were.
In my experience the highest bid I ever heard was from a guy who wanted to replace every component, said my 7 tons AC was "undersized", he wanted to install 9 tons. My Manual J calc says 5 tons or smaller. I am frustrated there.
I've seen all too many businesses who wait for the check to clear and then become deaf to problems. I suggest that's what all we homeowners are afraid of. We never know what we are going to get, until then the only sure thing is a cheap price (which I do *not* advocate, by the way!).
Regards -- P.Student
P.S. I do think 6 bids is kinda high, it sure makes it look like trying to start a price war. Perhaps the homeowner can make it more plainly clear that they want quality and value, not cheap price. But if you cannot get a bead on quality and value, what is left to do?
[Edited by perpetual_student on 02-15-2005 at 10:47 AM]
Thank you Fat Eddie, (How do you tell speed?)Look It's like I said heat load calcs are a tool thats it. It's not the reason to chouse a contractor. This is my
call on the customer, lets say they are replacing there furnace only. I look at the old furnace get the BTU rating Lets say 100K understanding it's only 50% efficent.I will assume they are not getting much more then 50K of real heat in the home. not I have established that. At this point I get to know my customer in general convesation this way I get a feel of what there dept of undestanding is of our business. I will ask questions like did you do any add ons since the furnace was put in. I will inspect the insulation attic and inspect the present duct system I will inspect the electral(proper grounding).I will ask the customer a important question . were you happy with the heating when the unit was working. Lets assume all is well. no add on's insalation good ducts good. they were happy with the old heat I will be putting in a 80% 75k or 80k BTU Furnace.This will give them close to 20% reduction of their gas bill with the same amount of heat.I will put that up against any heat load, and knowing the area you work in is the bigest tool you can have