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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    64
    Personally, I invested $50 in HVAC-Calc, did my own Manual-J, then turned away all the contractors who either (a) did not want to do their own Manual-J, (b) told me I needed a bigger unit despite my calculations, "just in case."

    The contractor I chose actually recommended the smaller system, and guaranteed it would meet my expectations or they would install a bigger one. He measured my ducts and told me that they simply were not built to handle more airflow.

    Long story short, I got a 2.5 ton system in a 1,800 sq. ft house with high ceilings. On very hot days the system runs continuously and cools to about 74 degrees, but taking all the humidity out. It actually feels chilly and we usually turn it up to 76 or even 78.

    I was amazed at the number of contractors who showed up, asked me the square footage of my house, and without doing any measurements or calculcations said I needed a 3.5 ton system. I showed them the door immediately.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,167
    Just remember dave...one mans chilly is another mans hot. Each customer has their own comfort level. I have some customers that no matter how comfortable it may feel in the house that if they looked at the t stat and it read 74 at its best then they would go bonkers. Your unit should still be able to lower that temp lower than 74 if its running continuously on really hot days.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    64

    Wink

    By "very hot days" I mean maybe 5 days out of the entire summer, when it is over 90 and very humid. On most days, even those in the high 80's, I can get the temp down to 72 if I want.

    Nobody has ever come to my house with the temp at 76 and complained it was too warm. But even if they did, I would just show them my electric bill and tell them to have a cold drink

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,167
    Im sure it is fine and the only reason I bring it up is I have run into this situation in the past. Lets say you decide to sell your house and it just happens to be in a hotter than normal summer and the home inspector is out there this could then become an issue for the new home buyer. You may have 1 company come out and say its fine while another company says its not which could in the end run be a negative to selling your house. Now if you plan to stay there forever mute point obviously.

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    64
    Oh yes, that is a good point. The problem is that the homes here were not designed for A/C. Some contractors wanted to put in a totally new duct system and attic-based unit instead of piggy-backing on the furnace, but that was a huge expense.

    I can definitely understand how some people might not be comfortable with a system that won't make the house 68 degrees if they want.

    I'll be sure not to sell my house in July or August ;-)

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Northern Virginia, Fairfax County
    Posts
    641
    Originally posted by hackmaster
    Cernicky a word of advice. Whenever purchasing services in the trade industry a good rule of thumb is if the guy coming to give your estimate has khaki pants on and a golf shirt toting a brief case with a bunch of brochures...then send him on his way. You want to buy from the person who is doing the install and that can service the unit or with the owner of the actual company.
    As of now, after buying two systems in 10 years and having about seven or eight visits each time, I had the best experience with the owner. In my last round, the owner of a small company with maybe five service vehicles answered my questions, outlined several good options up and down the price range for Carrier and Trane, and quoted a reasonable price for a Trane XL 19i A/C and XV 80 furnace. Then as a good supervisor should do, he highlighted in yellow marker the specific parts of the installation instructions for the crew to follow, dip switch settings, etc.

    Originally posted by hackmaster

    Secondly never go by the fact that youve "heard" they are a reputable company. The only way to know for sure is to get 3 good references on installs that company has done that are at "least" 5 years old. Reason being is you will find out better how they have provided service over the long haul and a better idea of how that companies particular brand has performed.
    To do a complete job on checking reputation of your short list of contractors, check them out with the Better Business Bureau and with the consumer affairs office of your city or county. That way, I learned that a family owned company with maybe 8 or 10 service vehicles that I had done business with for service calls and parts and I liked had gone bad. They were conveniently located on a major highway nearby and always seemed to be working about the neighborhood. They now had changed ownership and had several cases of complaints summarized as marketing practices.

    By the way, I also like to visit the shops and showrooms at their business addresses. That helps give me a feel of what the whole staff is like and whether they have expensive overhead.

    Al

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