The upstairs HVAC went on the fritz. I have a home warranty (we just bought the house a few months ago) but I hate those things and didn't want to deal with it unless I had to so I called my trusted A/C guy (we'll call him AC1).
AC1 comes and pulls the inside unit open and does the sniff check thing. The evaporator coils are all rusted and his sniffer thing finds leaks. He goes outside (I didn't follow him) and comes back in and says there are leaks out there, too. AC1 recommends that we upgrade to a 2.0 ton unit (its currently 1.5 ton) because the 500 sf upstairs is basically inside the attic (the walls of the rooms are exposed to the attic, not just the ceiling) and because we have no shade and live in GA. AC1 quotes me $ for a 2.0 ton, 13 seer, 10 year warranty on parts, 1 year warranty on labor Lennox unit (no, didn't tell me model number). This also includes labor to move the new unit back a few feet so I have better access to the attic space.
Since I figure the unit is toast, I call the home warranty folks and they send AC2. AC2 finds the same leaks everywhere and also reccommends replacement. But AC2 recommends a 1.5 ton Tappan unit, 13 seer, 10 year warranty on parts (not sure about labor). Once again, I don't know the model number. He quoted me $ for the 1.5 ton Tappan, this include parts and labor. We did not discuss moving the unit back at all (whoops, forgot).
I've dealt with a warranty company before, about five years ago and got royally screwed. They put a cheap piece of junk in, didn't install it correctly, I finally made them send a second company out and they didn't fix all the problems either. Rather than continue to shell out $50 every time my "new" air conditioner stopped working I finally called AC1 guy based on a rec from someone at work and he fixed it just fine (the original two guys had left out the expansion valve and put in the wrong size capacitor which he thinks was from Europe or something because he said he's never seen that size before).
I trust AC1 to do a decent install just based on my past experience. AC2 guy seems knowledgeable, but there are no review on him on Angie's List or any other review sites that I can find. And my bullsh!t detector is not very good, I am a trusty person.
I am, in general, cheap. But it gets really hot in the summer here and I would rather shell out more for quality work than be stuck in the middle of June with no air upstairs. On a side note, I have no idea yet how much the warranty will pay out or if they'll give me cash or make me use AC2 guy.
Can anyone provide input as to the realistic-ness of the quotes and the quality of Lennox vs. Tappan heat pumps?