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  1. #105
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    24
    I came to this thread late, but I have to throw in 2 cents worth. There are apparently some excellent HVAC guys out there, but damn if I can find one. I spent $27K on my HVAC, and another $20K on the heat side. FYI, I only got two bids. My problem is not the price, but the job is appalling. My blame is not the contractor, but the system. There's no licensing and no inspection. There is too much work available these days (low supply, high demand). The consumers are ignorant to this specialized trade. Besides, how often do you really buy a new HVAC system? You can try to do better next time, but that could be a while.

    I'd also say that the science is nice, but the experience is just as valuable. To all you smart, hard-working HVAC guys, god bless you. You can sleep well knowing you did well even if no one else does. To the rest, well...

  2. #106
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,516
    Originally posted by engineernj
    I came to this thread late, but I have to throw in 2 cents worth. There are apparently some excellent HVAC guys out there, but damn if I can find one. I spent $27K on my HVAC, and another $20K on the heat side. FYI, I only got two bids. My problem is not the price, but the job is appalling. My blame is not the contractor, but the system. There's no licensing and no inspection. There is too much work available these days (low supply, high demand). The consumers are ignorant to this specialized trade. Besides, how often do you really buy a new HVAC system? You can try to do better next time, but that could be a while.

    I'd also say that the science is nice, but the experience is just as valuable. To all you smart, hard-working HVAC guys, god bless you. You can sleep well knowing you did well even if no one else does. To the rest, well...
    thank you
    sorry your system didnt turn out well experience is the key
    and willing to learn is the problem

  3. #107
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    Originally posted by csj
    I want metal duct runs with limited flex ductwork, R-8 insulation, a 14 SEER/8.40 HSPF or better unit with variable speed airhandler, programmable thermostat, an Aprilaire 2200 media filter and 2 returns..one upstairs, one downstairs witht the downstairs return having to be run through a closet with a false floor (which I will install). Thats it. Nothing strange.
    Man, I wish all of my customers came to me telling me they want a high end system with a media air cleaner, a quality duct system, and more than one return!

    Detailed proposal, and willingness to explain the eqipment, not a problem!

    I would try to sell you on 2 stage equipment and zoning though.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #108
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    Was the system at blame designed by an electrical engineer?
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  5. #109
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    24

    Smile

    Was the system at blame designed by an electrical engineer?

    Nope, just paid for by one.

  6. #110
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    477
    hey csj cry a river don't ever diss this trade.

  7. #111

    Lightbulb

    A novice comes onto the forum and posts that he has to comment on the HVAC trade, and then proceeds to show his ignorance on almost the entire thread concerning contracts/proposals, permits and the do's and don't's in a customer/contractor arrangement.

    Contractors make contracts! That's what we do.
    You have the right to accept or reject any offer made.

    Why come on this forum *****ing and moaning about ethics and quality?
    I could spend an eternity *****ing about things I don't like but there would be little time for anything else. Point is, you would be better off actually looking to meet YOUR objectives instead of bemoaning an entire trade for your problems dealing with someone to perform your work for THEIR price.
    Express your concerns face to face with potential hire's, get their info and make your choices based on fact and not a bunch of crybaby conjecture.

  8. #112
    I have got to tell ya, these sound like some pretty high numbers for a system that you are describing. Generally speaking your H&C system will cost about 5% to 8% of the value of the home, is this even close to what you have ?

  9. #113
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    24
    You're not too far off, house was about $600K including everything, heating and cooling $ 47K, or close to 8%.

  10. #114
    Have you sought estimates to get the problems resolved?

  11. #115
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    9
    >> I have got to tell ya, these sound like some pretty high numbers for a system that you are describing. Generally speaking your H&C system will cost about 5% to 8% of the value of the home, is this even close to what you have ? <<

    Interesting. So if my home was a 2,500sqft ranch, moderate insulation with a calculated heat loss of around 85,000btus AND was worth 300k, then my HVAC system would be between 15k and up to 24k ... BUT given the SAME home above and the only change was that it was valued at 600k that my system should be in the range of 30 - 48k !!!

    Good grief .... you don't see a problem with your industry?

    I think that homeowners are looking for a contractor that can design to the heating/cooling requirements of the structure NOT to arbitrary "cost" of the structure. In fact with the above example even your low-end estimates would buy me a high-end geothermal solution! At least the hacks that quote ton/sq ft would be more professional!

    Bob

  12. #116
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304

    Be reasonable

    Diveguy, that post referring to 6-8% looked to me like a rule of thumb, it's not something I have seen repeated in the industry. While the industry itself is going through growing pains and has its share of difficulties, I don't agree that you have identified one here. IMO you were too quick to make a judgement based on little information.

    Here is my take on the industry: In the old days an AC was almost a novelty appliance, and even in the early 1900's people had a perverse tendency to dial the temperature in theaters way down to impress their customers (from the book "Air Conditioning America"). This resembles the conditions of high humidity and low temperature in a problem installaton today. Even then the industry's pioneers were trying to persuade people they should use lower humidity and higher temperatures, but the customers would not listen. This is very similar to the technical transition I see going on in the industry today, except with mold and some other problems it's more of a serious need. But most homeowners and I hate to say most AC techs, seem to be either unwilling or unable to deal with humidity issues.

    There is a contemporary issue with air leakage that is being pushed to the forefront, for reasons of energy efficiency, humidity control, and sometimes reasons of damage to the building structure. In the old days houses were much more leaky and this made duct leakage more of a side issue. The HVAC industry is having to deal with changes in the way many buildings are built and used, and many of the people in the industry have their hands full managing the change.

    We are seeing an off-kilter awareness of energy efficiency, where the rules are pushing low energy use but potentially at the expense of getting the humidity job done. The shortcoming has to be made up by the HVAC person who designs and/or installs this equipment. We are seeing the effects of intense price competition, when the job is not standardized enough to just look at prices. Again the HVAC guy has is pushed between doing a job right, and doing it cheap -- and not all of them are able to take the high road. In the old days they could rely on a few simple skills to do a passable job, but the world has changed faster than some of the people. Isn't that the same position so many of us are in?

    You should really have a lot of sympathy for anybody whose job requires them to crawl up into a Texas attic in the heat of summer.

    Regards -- P.Student

    [Edited by perpetual_student on 10-13-2005 at 09:27 AM]

  13. #117
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    9

    Texas attics!

    P. Student,

    >> You should really have a lot of sympathy for anybody whose job requires them to crawl up into a Texas attic in the heat of summer. <<

    Hey, I resemble that remark! I fixed my cousin's condensate line in Austin this summer (August and temps were above 100 in the shade). Simple fix .... lines were cut and placed nicely, probably dry fit, purple primed but NEVER glued. 15 minutes and I was outta there and probably lost 10lbs. Soooooo yes to do this every day would not be fun!

    And I do appreciate the historical changes in the industry. And indeed with the increased focus on energy costs more and more homeowners are going to be looking to their "professional" for recommendations and advice as part of the replacement or new install process. These professionals WILL need to take the time both explain the design considerations and trade-offs of equipment efficiencies, service capablities and controls in an environment that includes a "whole-house" approach. This will require a heat-loss calc and will also require the profesional to understand insulation and air-infiltration strategies. We'll see how many are able to embrace such changes ....

    Bob

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