I have a small old house (1300sf) with elec baseboard heat & window A/C that I want to install heat pump heating/cooling. I have "open" basement so duct work should not be a major problem. I know just about nothing (heat=warm, A/C=cool). I was told by "Major Lumber Warehouse" that R-22 coolant system would be discontinued "soon". New systems would be R-410 & repairing R-22 would be "very" expensive. Also R-410 is only 13 SEER & above. He just walked into basement, no measurements, etc. He immediately gave prices for 2.5 ton 10 SEER & 13 SEER.
2nd contractor, similarly did no measuring, etc & recommended 3 ton 16 or 14 SEER.
3rd contractor measured, looked at rooms, etc & seemed more thorough, but he "brushed off" my R22/R410 questions. His estimate was for a 12 SEER (?? ton) system.
The 2nd & 3rd prices are almost identical. I tend to think that the 3rd system is more "designed" for my house, but can't judge if it's appropriate. Should R22/R410 be the determining factor? Can system be to big? Also, is flexduct off metal trunk line ok?
Sounds like 33 is the best so far, but i'm not comfortable with him blowing off your r-22 question. your contractor should give you all the info you need. In my opinion , R-22 is a fine choice, and will not be a problem for some time. Others here will tell you different. Use your instinct to chose thre right contractor. I would not let the 410/22 debate be your deciding factor.
First question, where are you located? This plays into choising the correct equipment.
My first observation of your post is that you are getting one extreme to the other on opinions!
Now lets get to the nitty gritty of finding a solution. First, (this will depend on location, building structure, insulation, windows, doors, etc, etc...) you need someone to actually do a load calc to size the unit to your home. Then they need to layout a ducting system that will provide the correct airflow to not only the rooms, but will allow the unit to operate within specifications. If not, you will compromise the equipments efficiency and expected life span.
This is a guess, but I would find it hard to believe over a 2 ton unit would be neccasary.
Check out the contractor by asking friends, family, neighbors, co-workers who they use and if they are happy with the service they recieve form them.
You need to pick the contractor that does his homework and that you feel comfortable with. How do you think will complete the job to his/her best ability?
Installation is the key to a system that will provide years of service with out the headaches.
I would opt to go with the R22 system as 22 will be manufactured till 2010. The price is NOT expensive as the one contractor was leading you to think. In FACT R410 is more expensive than R22 right now and has been that way from the beginning. R22 is proven to provide years of service if properly installed.
The efficiency of the unit would depend on factors such as payback, utility rates, climate, etc... Ask the contractor to provide you with some sort of payback schedule. Then and only then can YOU decide which SEER fits your pocket book and expectations.
I live in Maryland. All said that main duct would be in ceiling of basement with feeders to LR,DR,kitchen,bath & 3 BR. #1 & #3 recommended ceiling air return & down thru duct in a closet. That makes sense to me.
I've pretty much decided that #3 is closest to "right", but service if needed might be a problem because he is further away (but advertised in my county). I've selected 3 more (truly local) contractors to call.
If you can find a local, competent company that is the one you are likely going to have the best relationship with.
The flex runs are ok, if they are short and sized correctly. The ceiling return is the way to go. That way your not pulling in all the dust that gets stirred up and pulled threw a floor return. Ask if any of teh contractors provide 24 hr, or emergency service. If so, ask what their rate is for an after hours call. They should provide at least 1 year with the system purchase.
Another thing, don't just shop price or you will likely drive away the one that would have saved you the most money in the long run. Also, quality, efficient systems are not something you slap in a wish for the best. They take time to design, install, and set-up to provide trouble free service.
Some may just use their best judgement at the size and shoot you a price. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they assure you that they will do a load calc. and size the duct properly when they get the job. They may not do it up front because it takes time and they might not get the job.
There's nothing wrong with 22 or 410 so I wouldn't let it weigh into your decesion too much.
Avoid the flex if possible.
It can be sized to big and give you alot of headaches. You don't want to pay for a system that won't keep you comfortable. Even if it is a small house, the proper sizing needs to be done. These contractors should be telling you they'll do this without you asking about it. If they don't keep looking till you find one that does.
Trust your gut feeling about them. If you sense they aren't answering your questions knowledgeably, you are probably right. When they get there if you know you want 13 SEER+ then tell them. Good luck.
you found two guys that guess at the size. manual j or not at leats pull out a ruler
last guy gives price on 12 seer but not size
so you at this point dont no anymore than when you started
whats up with the contractors in maryland.
did they at least tell you what brand or are you suposed to guess at that to
find a real contractor that will take the time to answer all you conserns and give you a contract explaining everything they are planning to do
as far a witch refrigerant r-22 is a proven product and will be arround for the life of your unit. even when it is not made anymore it will still be here because of all the units with it still in use. r-410a is new and a little better as it is said. has been proven to be worth while and a good product to. it is going to be arround for many years to come and the price will drop or at least be equal to 22 sone enough. so witch ever one you prefur is the one you use. again this also should be your choice not the contractor. do more shopping and home work on your contractors. get one who will sit down with you and go over everything with you
find a contractor that is a contractor