Twin Cities Contractor
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6
    Can someone recommend a good HVAC contractor for the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area? I am looking to replace my furnace.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Central MN and the Twin Cities
    Posts
    1,530
    What city are you in? I am located in the Twin Cities and know of most of the companies around here.
    Warning: Just because I am over the head injury doesn't mean I'm normal!

    The day I stop learning.... I'm dead!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6
    I live in Roseville.

    Thanks!

  4. #4

    twin cities contractor

    I just got through getting bids in the twin cities area. Two possibilities are Aspen and the second is Standard Htg.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Central MN and the Twin Cities
    Posts
    1,530
    Sorry I was gone out of town on family buisness suddenly.

    If you live in Roseville you do not need a Mpls or St. Paul licensed company so that is good. They often may cost more. Who have you gotten bids from? Has a load calc been done?

    As far as Aspen and Standard.....

    Aspen Air is a Mpls licensed company. I have seen only a number of Aspen Air's install jobs. But I have never seen an Aspen Air job that was not "hacked" in.(IMHO) They are a newer company. The first I heard of them a few years ago was they flooded the area with duct cleaning coupons. I still get their coupons ever week or so in the mail. I have looked inside mutiple duct systems right after they finished "cleaning" them and it was not even remotely clean. I have also been called out on service calls where they replaced part of a system (A-coil for example) and found their sheetmetal work to be aweful! From what I hear they are cheaper. I also hear they pay their guys cheaper, so I suspect the quality of their help is possibly in relation to that. Maybe their install would look better if they did an entire retro job. But anyway I never heard of this company until the last 5 years.

    Standard Heating and AC is also a Mpls licensed company, and one I know well!! I know people who work there, I have worked there once upon a time, etc. Their bread and butter is gravity and "lowboy" jobs in old Mpls and St. Paul. They do pretty good sheetmetal work for the money and have been around a long time.(75 years) They sold out to Blue Dot for some years but now have been bought back to my knowledge. (Do a search for Blue Dot on this site.) My biggest complaints about their work is they size their ductwork to "tight" in my opinion, and they do not have a micron gauge or digital refrigerant scale on any truck in the company. They "time in" their refrigerant charges instead of weighing it in, and pull vacuums based upon time instead of measuring it.(How much time they have.) So with their vacuum pulling and refrigerant charging practices I refuse to refer anyone to them for anything involving refrigerant work like AC work. Post some questions or do a search for more details to understand what I mean.

    Warning: Just because I am over the head injury doesn't mean I'm normal!

    The day I stop learning.... I'm dead!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2

    twin cities hvac contractors

    hey Grasshopper,
    What do you think about Priority Heating and Cooling
    in Woodbury, MN?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Central MN and the Twin Cities
    Posts
    1,530
    I have heard of them and seen one or two of their trucks on the road, however I have never seen a system installed by them. Sorry.
    Warning: Just because I am over the head injury doesn't mean I'm normal!

    The day I stop learning.... I'm dead!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    143
    Grasshopper,,,,,,,what is your territory in the cities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Bemidji, Mn
    Posts
    3,573
    Grasshopper whats up man, how are the cities treating ya? Youll have to heap up here this winter for some ice fishin!

    You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel...

    http://rapalaguy.spaces.live.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    53
    interesting thread...

    We live in Mounds View, and I'm very interested in where this thread ends up. We've been searching for a quality contractor in the Twin Cities for a couple of years - our furnace and A/C are old, but to this point have continued to function. We almost made the move last spring, but other financial demands came up and I wasn't willing to low-ball on a new HVAC system - I know good contractors don't come cheap, and a good, properly installed HVAC system is far more important to me and my family than most other luxuries of life.

    I could add several Twin Cities contractors to this thread who, from a homeowner's perspective, would not meet the definition of a quality contractor as defined on this forum. Load calcs are not done by the majority of contractors - some almost laugh when you ask for one - "I've done lots of houses just like this one - they're all the same." Many contractors aren't interested in installing a system that meets your needs or desires, and will try to steer you to something you don't want, even to the point of bad-mouthing your "wants" in a system (ie. 2-stage thermostat for a 2-stage furnace, high-efficiency vs. 80%, Aprilaire air filter, etc.). Most of the contractors I've talked with don't instill much confidence that they know what they're doing, or that they will install the system well. There just aren't enough quality contractors out there, and those that do exist are not easy to find! I'm very thankful for the help I've received from all of you on this forum - I feel like I've at least gleaned enough knowledge to recognize when a contractor knows his stuff (or at least when he doesn't).

    At any rate, with finances stabilized (for the moment, anyway) we're trying to get the furnace and A/C replaced now. So, for grasshopper, any input on any of the following? I'd love to get your input as someone who may actually have seen their work and knows of them from a professional perspective!

    Northern Heating and Air Conditioning (NHAC) - Ramsey
    Perfection Heating and Air Conditioning - Stillwater
    Apollo Heating and Ventilation - Oakdale

    Have also considered talking with another company, based on word of mouth (not sure if they work in my area, and also haven't had much success with word of mouth recommendations so far):

    Palmer Heating and Air Conditioning (Mendota Heights)

    I'm very interested in your recommended contractors - I'm guessing you may have a short-list of people you feel good about, so please feel free to pass them along!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    947
    Originally posted by grasshopper


    Standard Heating and AC is also a Mpls licensed company, and one I know well!! I know people who work there, I have worked there once upon a time, etc. Their bread and butter is gravity and "lowboy" jobs in old Mpls and St. Paul. They do pretty good sheetmetal work for the money and have been around a long time.(75 years) They sold out to Blue Dot for some years but now have been bought back to my knowledge. (Do a search for Blue Dot on this site.) My biggest complaints about their work is they size their ductwork to "tight" in my opinion, and they do not have a micron gauge or digital refrigerant scale on any truck in the company. They "time in" their refrigerant charges instead of weighing it in, and pull vacuums based upon time instead of measuring it.(How much time they have.) So with their vacuum pulling and refrigerant charging practices I refuse to refer anyone to them for anything involving refrigerant work like AC work. Post some questions or do a search for more details to understand what I mean.


    Hey, I am also a former employee of Standard Heating circa '98-'04... Would I know you?

    The goal there was always to push the work out, their streamlined methods have caused problems from time to time and I found that any new or better methods were quickly put down. They were bought back from the now defunct Blue Dot by Ted and Todd, management was stable during that time and has been since. Even though they have their shortcomings I would recommend them as they are far better than most contractors in the Twin Cities.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    143
    I cannot echo what Tas stated anymore. When I got a tune up 2 years ago. The guy left his truck running in my driveway. I could not belive it....I'am looking as well for recommendations..... I have heard good things about Apollo ......... I think in searching on this board once...Try a search using APOLLO

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the interesting comments thus far.

    I have received bids from:

    Action Heating & Air (Spring Lake Park)
    Hoffman
    Schwantes

    All contractors recommended a furnace size without doing a load calc. I asked each contractor upon receiving there recommendation about calculating the heat loss to come up with the appropriate furnace size and each responded by saying (more or less) based on their experience, this is the size furnace I will need to heat X square feet in this type of house.

    If someone has experience with these contractors or could recommend a contractor near Roseville, I would appreciate their comments.

    To reply to Grasshoppers comment on my other posting, my current furnace label reads:

    CRANO
    Made by
    Crane and Ordway Co.

    Ice fishing season will be upon us very soon!

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