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  1. #1

    Confused

    I am looking into installing central air in my parents' home and have been told by a contractor that the installation price will go up by about $2,000 if I wait until after July 16th because of some new regulations. (I live in Massachusetts, not sure it this is a state or federal reg.) Does anyone know if or why this is true?

    Also my mother has respiratory problems and I was thinking of putting in a whole house air cleaner. Should I have this installed at the same time as the central air?

    Any recommendations you have on which type of air purifier or central air unit is the cleanest or best would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry for so many questions

    Thanks,

    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    9
    Don't know about any July thing. After January 1 2006 you will not be able to get the less energy efficient 10 SEER units that are available now. More efficient units are more expensive; but if you can afford the extra costs, it makes sense even NOW to get a more efficient unit. They really do save a lot on operating costs.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. That's probably what he was talking about. He said that as long as he bought the equipment by July 16th it would be grandfathered in and then he could install it whenever.

    Does about $2,000 sound right for the cost difference? (Is is 10 SEER vs. 13 SEER?)

    Thanks again,

    Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by matty1stop
    He said that as long as he bought the equipment by July 16th it would be grandfathered in
    That must be a state law then....there isn't any July 16th date in the Federal regulations. The skeptic in me says that I'd press this a bit further just to make sure you're not being scammed by someone trying to hurry you into signing a contract. Ask him specifically what regulation he is talking about.

  5. #5
    Thanks,

    That's why I was asking. I appreciate the help.

    Matt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    S.W. PA
    Posts
    3,298
    the date is january 23 2006 for 13 seer

  7. #7
    Do you think it is worth the extra $2K to get the 13 SEER anyway?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    in Mass, you really don't need a high seer A/C unit. You'd be better off sinking that $$$ into a high effeciency furnace. JMO,
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by matty1stop
    Do you think it is worth the extra $2K to get the 13 SEER anyway?
    We're not allowed to discuss prices here. Please see the forum rules.

    If the majority of the incremental cost is in a variable speed (VS) furnance / air handler, then I would say there is some justification for spending more. The major benefits of VS are quieter operation and increased humidity removal. Of course, you also get somewhat reduced operating costs but I wouldn't make the decision on a cost basis alone.

  10. #10
    Sorry, I didn't mean to violate the rules.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Anyone have any advice on what type of whole house air cleaner is the best?

    Matt

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    While the law for 13 SEER doesnt go into effect until January, your contractor's distributor may be cutting back on the 10 SEER stuff he stocks for whatever reason. There are contractors and distributors who may choose not to be "stuck" with potentially dead inventory. I cant say whether or not that is justified or not but they may feel it is. There may also be a price increase for equipment or his labor that goes into effect. In the past 2 years we have seen several each year as a result of matierla and fuel costs increasing.

    Whole house air cleaners are fine provided they do not jepordize the system airflow. You can be pretty sure that the better the filter, the more important maintenence is. You can choose a media filter, electronic, or even ultra-violet. The choice really comes down to what your concerns are. If it is mold or other bacteria you may select a good media filter and UV light. If it is odor, such as that from smoking or a pet, you may condiser an electronic air filter. The best can be represented many ways in regards to price, effectiveness, and intention.


  12. #12
    Sorry, I should have provided some criteria for what I meant by "best". My mother has respiratory problems as a result of smoking for the past 50 years. She no longer smokes and there are no pets in the house so I don't believe smell is the issue, although she is very sensitive to things like scented candles. Mold may be an issue becuase the basement does occassionally get water.

    If there is any other information that I could provide to help determine what is best please let me know. Sorry I don't even know enough about this to know what questions to ask.

    I apologize if this isn't the right forum for me to be asking dumb questions like this but I was just trying to do some research and I figured that I would solicit some advice from the people who know.

    Thanks again for all of the advice and your patience.

    Matt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Its not a dumb question by any means.

    Not to sound like I'm passing the buck but I think a sitdown discussion with her doctor may help. He/She may need to tell you what contaminants put your mother at risk the most. Also, I am in no way trying to be insensative but HVAC systems used in residential applications are by no means intended to be used in applications where clean room or such steril environments are required.

    Based on what you have told me, I suspect a good media filter, properly installed and designed in conjuntion with UV lighting, properly installed and maintained would be best in her case. The key is that they are considered when the installation is being done and not afterthaughts. This way, airflow considerations may be taken into account. Humidification and Dehumidification should also be controlled by keeping the RH levels between 40% and 60%. Controllong the humidity alone will make a difference but you should also consider the filter.

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