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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22

    Unhappy

    I'll refrain from naming the contractor (at least for now). Anyway, I'm located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia and I've been having countless problems with my 15 year old York heat pump. All the problems have been taken care of via AHS Warranty which the seller's purchased (and I've renewed once) since I bought my home. I've had 5 service calls and 6 different parts replaced in 18 months. Each service call was $50 and I paid $412 to renew the warranty for a second year (which I'm 6 months into at this point). One of the 5 service calls I didn't have to pay the $50 deductable because it was a "RECALL" service call only a few weeks from the last call. Anyway, I really don't have bad words for AHS at this time because certainly I would have spend more for labor and parts then the $612 I've paid to date between renewing the warranty and paying the deductable on 4 occasions. This includes the motor, starter capacitor and fan blade for the air handler, and the motor, fan blade and defrost module for the outside unit and no less than 9-10 technician visits to my house between diagnosis and replacement of parts (usually each service call required two visits).

    Anyway, I just had to state my fairly positive experience with AHS considering all the negative experiences. However, all the information I've read on this forum about AHS and the "lowest-bidder" information regarding parts and contractors had already convinced me that I wasn't going to renew the warranty again this year. And that takes me to the main point of the post. My latest problem is that my heat pump runs constantly. The tech said the entire outside unit needs to be replaced. Now, I don't know for sure whether the entire unit replacement is going to get approved or not but regardless of whether it is approved or if they just try to fix it by replacing a part I'm going to cash out and use whatever little bit of money I get and put it towards a new system. I should state at this point that the same local contractor has always been dispatched for each of my service claims through AHS. The last problem I had a few months ago I got a quote for a new Carrier Infinity heat pump system from this contractor. However, at that time I was very leary of the fact that they seemed unwilling to do more than ask me basic questions about my house (sq. ft.) and quote me a new system based on that limited information and based on the old heat pump currently in my house. However, I wasn't seriously plannig to get a new heat pump then and left it at that. So, at least I had a ballpark price that I could use to compare with another contractor.

    So, (are you sick of reading yet?) fast-forward to about 30 minutes ago when I'm on the phone with the contractor trying to find out the status of the recent service claim (I've never had any contact with AHS in any of my service claims except for when I opened the claim). I stated that my intention was to cash out instead of getting a replacement part or unit. We then discussed a few other things (all the while it sounds like he's trying his hardest to get me off the phone because he's too busy). Then I state that my intention is to get a quote from another company to compare and he didn't have much response to that. And then right before ending the phone call I said, "you might remember me from a few months ago when I said I felt you needed to perform a ACCA Manual J load calculation and that I would like that to be done if I'm going to have your company install my new heat pump." He kind of half laughs and then says something like "well, weren't not going to be able to do that". And I say, "so you are saying you can't do this for me?". And he says something like "No, we can't". And that was the end of the conversation. Needless to say, I won't be using this company. And this is all due to this forum. I have not contacted any other contractors yet and I'm hoping this is not the norm. I really hope that I can find someone that knows what I'm talking about when I say I want a Manual J load calc done and doesn't laugh and essentially tell me to get lost. I can't believe a company would rather lose business then provide something that seems like it's a reasonable service to provide to customers.

    [Edited by takeflight on 03-29-2005 at 05:51 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    You are wise to have a calc. done first.However,how will you know if it is done correctly?

    Some can't do one,some think they can,and some know what they are doing.Sad but true,at least in our area.

    Several posts here,where the owner gets quotes and calculations,three calcs., three different sizes.


    Have you read enough here,to know the information they must gather, to do a proper calculation?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22
    dash:

    Good questions. Without taking too much of your time, are there any FAQs or posts on this forum that sum up what I should be looking for? And if your answer is "do a search", that is fine. Meanwhile, I will continue to do my information gathering on this forum.

    Would you recommend a homeowner purchase the load calc software advertised on this forum? Obviously I'm not a HVAC professional but I do have 10 years experience in the IT field so I'm definitely at home in front of a computer.

    I have also found an article on the U.S. Department of Energy's website that, among other things, states the following...

    Key factors for correctly sizing a heating and cooling system include:

    -the local climate
    -size, shape and orientation of the house
    -insulation levels
    -window area, location, and type
    -air infiltration rates
    -the number and ages of occupants
    -occupant comfort preferences
    -the types and efficiencies of lights and major home appliances (which give off heat).

    The article's URL is http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumeri...heets/cb7.html


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    12,901
    I see you mentioned a heat pump. Do you have natural gas?
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22
    The backup/emergency heat is electric. My house is electric only and gas isn't an option in my neighborhood.


    Originally posted by twilli3967
    I see you mentioned a heat pump. Do you have natural gas?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    12,901
    Good luck in your search for a quality HVAC contractor. I'm in Toledo and we never use heat pumps. I don't just mean "me", I mean HVAC contractors. Lots of reason, they just don't sell.

    I have a Geothermal unit in my homw, very effiecent. It may not be practical for you.

    There are a lot of highly qualified people on this site that can advise you.
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    Originally posted by twilli3967
    Good luck in your search for a quality HVAC contractor. I'm in Toledo and we never use heat pumps. I don't just mean "me", I mean HVAC contractors. Lots of reason, they just don't sell.

    I have a Geothermal unit in my homw, very effiecent. It may not be practical for you.

    There are a lot of highly qualified people on this site that can advise you.
    what do you mean by "I'm in Toledo and we never use heat pumps."?
    and, "I have a Geothermal unit in my homw, very effiecent."?

    if geo isn't a heat pump, then what is it?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    12,901

    Wink

    OF course it's a heat pump. I was mainly talking about air to air hp's. I hope I cleared that cleared that up for you and you can get the knot out of your shorts
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,874
    Twill,
    Here in the west central part of the buckeye,
    We have h/p's all over. I have electric heat with a heat pump myself.
    I swore h/p's were not fot this area, But I put mine in 7 1/2 yrs ago and haven't looked back since.
    Gas prices have doubled twice, My electric rate has remained the same all 7+ yrs.
    I've never been cold, and my weather is no different from yours.
    Except your to close to michigan !

    Todays heat pumps are not your fathers heat pump. Your company is missing the boat, at your customers expense.

    [Edited by Toolpusher on 03-29-2005 at 09:20 PM]
    If you try to fail, and succeed.
    Which have you done ?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    22
    I don't have a problem with heat pumps myself. I just have a problem with my 15 year old heat pump.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    12,901
    I don't disagree other than to say it's an extremely hard sell. Toledo Edision tried a program to sell heat pumps called heatpumps plus. You used a hp and fossil fuel kit. We signed up along with abour seven other dealer and the utilty gave a 400. rebate....

    Big failure. Our electric rate is extremely high and consumers in this area want nothing to do with hp. Yes I know my geo is a hp...

    But I would like to think I'm just a little smarter than the average consumer.

    I'm all electric, out in the country, new house 5yrs old,3000sq ft and my highest electric bill was 228.

    Take a drive over sometime or call a Toledo contractor and tell them you want to buy a hp. They'll laugh. We still sell them to people who don't have gas or that don't want to convert.

    We do sell Rannia water heaters though....Peolpe want them, in fact they are going crazy over them since Paul Harvey started endoring them.

    Take care.
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    12
    Have the load calculations done before you go any further. Tell the company that you want room by room load calculations not just the entire building.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,633
    Not that I want to rain on your parade takeflight. In fact, I sympathize. But you'll be amazed at how much you won't get from cashing out.

    Here's the deal: Your system is probably eminently fixable. But though they may seem like nice guys the AHS contractor is probably one degree north of being a butt crack mechanic. So they get to submit shoddy claim after shoddy claim. Then IF they convince AHS that the only solution is new equipment, guess who gets to pay more: You or AHS? That right! You! Just pulling numbers out of the air for a moment, they might pay the contractor a flat $1000 or less for the installation of a new heat pump (just the outdoor section). Then you get to pay for the "upgrades". Upgrades are specific exclusions to the coverage. You'd be surprised how many there are. They could add up to more than $1000.

    But assuming that you do get a cash out then you might get 80, 90 or perhaps something close to 100% of the $1000 that they pay the contractor - which will be less than half of what you need for a new outdoor unit bought at retail rates.

    But, I could be wrong. Maybe you have a better contract with AHS than what I describe. Maybe your system really isn't fixable. Who knows? But I can tell you that AHS has probably flagged your situation. They don't like multiple calls anymore than you. And they're likely suspicious of that contractor just like you. As such, if that contractor insists on new equipment then AHS may opt to send out another contractor for a second opinion (at their cost of course). If that contractor says that it's fixable, they'll likely let him try.

    Anyway, I dunno why I'm relaying this depressing information. Ultimately it's only a guess based on very limited information.

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