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  1. #1
    Gentlemen,

    Yesterday I had a sales rep from a reputable hvac contracting co visit my house.

    My systems are old - 26 yrs.

    We talked about replacment, since my utility bills are so high.

    The number ( aka price, which I will not mention) that he showed me made me very depressed.

    I just don't think that I can swallow a bowling ball that size at this time.

    Part of what we discussed was a Zone Control System.

    Today it occurred to me to ask you this:

    Do you think that, instead of replacing everything and adding a Zone Control System, if I just added a Zone Control system to my existing systems, might that drop my hvac bills any significant amount?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    996
    What type of equipment are you running? Gas furnace, air handler heat pump. You don't say in your post. I don't think a zone system will realy save you anything on your utility bill. I will definetly make your zones more comfortable though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Farmingdale NJ
    Posts
    36
    Be reasonable about your estimate of what is a high price.

    I visit homes every day. Let's just say that your home is worth 400 to 500 hundred thousand. a $15,000 system saving you money every day and making your home and the air you breath fresh and comfortable/ Less than 5% of value of house? Who is kidding who

  4. #4
    In response to question one: 2 gas furnaces and 2 AC units.

    In response to the 2nd question/point: I realize this is the first time that I have looked into replacing an hvac system.

    To be honest, I don't know much is "a lot", or if my expectations are even reasonable.

    The number that I received from the sales guy was about the same as the number you mentioned, but my house is worth about $ 220,000. And it's not in the boonies - it is fairly high-rent suburban Atlanta.

    I know that most of the other people who post questions give a lot more detail about comparing specific models, etc.

    I was just floored by the estimate. I didn't expect it to be close to the price of a new set of tires, but I also did not expect it to be the 3rd most expensive thing that I have ever bought in my life - behind the house itself and my most recent car.

    Maybe it's just an unpleasant (in my view) reality that I have to face, similar to my hair falling out.

    I am a salesman for a living. Unlike builders or general contractors, I have a strong aversion to trying to work 4 sales guys against each other - trying to beat them to death on the price - even if their firms' reputations are the same.

    I don't know. Maybe I should try being a jerk for once. The temptation is pretty strong. I don't imagine that this will be a very well received idea here, but I wouldn't be the first person on earth to do this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,157
    You did say": 2 gas furnaces and 2 AC units. "

    1) if you do anything other than replace a 26 yr old system you will be ------that would be insane

    2) do you realise how much work is involved in having a properly installed system put in ? you house is big enough that you need two systems . What do you think would be a reasonable price to have two systems installed?

    3) your a salesman - get out there and sell man!

    (you are a used car salesman arent you?)


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    6,328
    2 A/C & 2 Gas heaters in use for 26 years. How much have you spent on your cars during that time???


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,157
    2 A/C & 2 Gas heaters in use for 26 years. How much have you spent on your cars during that time???


    How many cars have you bought in that time?

    How many cars have you sold in that time



    I have a strong aversion to trying to work 4 sales guys against each other - trying to beat them to death on the price -
    even if their firms' reputations are the same.

    So you dont seem to mind F***ing someone over as long as you get the deal you want , and now you are concerned that someone is going to do it to you and you dont like it .

    Ill bet you sell used cars /////or hot tubs

  8. #8

    Hold on a second

    Man,

    I guess I hit some sore nerves. Actually, I sell insurance (general liability and workers comp, mostly) to contractors/construction guys. I'll bet that wins me even more points with you guys.

    How much have I spent on cars ?

    Over the past 15 years, 1. $ 7500 + 2. $ 18000 + 3. $ 22000 = $ 47500. They were all used. I have owned 3 different cars since I got out of college 16 years ago.

    How much do I feel that I should spend on a system ? That's the big question. I have never done it. Unfortunately, none of the previous owners of my house did it either.

    A Trane guy came over and gave me a number about equal to twice the price of my first call as listed above. We are not supposed to talk about this, but I don't know if that is a lot or not. You tell me.

    As I said, that really bummed me out. I said on another post that maybe that's just an unpleasant reality that I nave to get used to, similar to my hair falling out.

    "So you dont seem to mind F***ing someone over as long as you get the deal you want ,and now you are concerned that someone is going to do it to you and you dont like it."

    My point is that I don't like screwing people over. I never do it. I tip 20% regardless of the service. I never haggle with anybody. People have to make a living. However, if I can stop being such a nice guy for a minute, I might save myself enough to cover my outrageously high utility bills for 6 months.

    I like having relationships with my "vendors" - but these bigger dealers have 1. sales guys 2. installation guys 3. service guys. You can't have a relationship (as a homeowner anyway) with a 50 person firm.

    I have been asked a couple of times what I think a reasonable price should be. I don't know. You tell me. I'm not in the business. I can tell you if you are getting shafted on your workers comp or liability (no, I don't want to sell you any), but I don't know the first flying thing about reasonable expectations for hvac system replacement.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    The zoning system, if we can get back to your original post, would be used to replace both exsisting systems with one new one. This would require some duct changes unless of course both indoor systems are sitting next to each other and can be tied together easily. Is it a good option? Yeah it can be, but it will not be like 2 systems. You would however maintain two thermostats and now one higher efficient system. Your savings may be significant in energy over your old system in efficiency, close to two new units but minimal savings in up front costs.

    Price it both ways.

    We all know how hard it is, trust me, its easy to never think twice about having to buy a new system when all is working well. Its expensive stuff, and having it done correctly isnt cheap either. Your right, it probably is the third largest expense if you dont include college for yourself or your children.

    That being said, if you cut corners on it now, you may be stuck with it for 15 years or more. If you buy a junker of a car to get by with until you can afford better, you only have it for a short time and even then, regret steps in when you end up relaizing that you shoulda just bit the bullet in the first place.

    Take advantage of low interest rates get a 2nd mortgage, use the tax advantage, and the energy savings to offset the cost. Its just a matter of tightening the belt a little and juggling the budget. At 26 years, your system could fail at any time completely. Who knows what the cost of money and equipment will be then. Right now this industry is struggling with price increases and inflation many of us have not seen since the Carter years. I suspect you should jump in now, rather than wait till all the price increases take place.

    I doubt the dealer will not net much over 2% after all things such as overhead, labor, INSURANCE, materials, design, equipment, INSURANCE, warranty, and INSURANCE are figured into it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Theres always selling the house and buying a new one.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,769
    You already have the duct work for 2 systems, stay with it.

    As far as fair price goes, it varies way too much from area to area for us to tell you the first bid was too low, or the second too high.

    Get bids on like equipment and systems, and form your opinion on that.

    Its your house, get the comfort that you want, don't waste time with (we can just put this that and the other thing in types). Get references.

    And Good Luck.

    BTW, comp is way too high, and so is health,(just wanted to get that off my chest)LOL...
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    6,328
    My point is this. To many times i put in a bid and the customer gets sticker shock. So & So will do it for so much less. Would you go with the lowest bidder for your roof. NO.
    This is your greatest investment, the money you put in now will pay off for a long time. Just in the short term the value of your home will go up 50-75% of the total cost of the job.
    The decreese on your monthly heating/cooling bills will only add to your savings.
    Narrow your search, Get at least 3 bids for the same equ. Go to the jobs of the contractors and talk with the owners and the workers.
    A new system can only be installed properly the first time. After that it's very costly to make corrections.
    You get what you pay for.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,157
    People have to make a living.


    Doc: well said.

    Getting a price twice the cost of your first car would be a shock but like Doc said ,if you cut corners on it now, you may be stuck with it for 15 years

    Think about changing one system at a time. Refi or second on the house before rates go back up

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