Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 14 to 26 of 40
  1. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,964
    A 16 seer or a 19 seer SYSTEM is not just what is in the boxes marked 16 Seer or 19 Seer. If your ducts are not correct then that expensive 19 seer system may very well turn into a 10 seer. Kinda like getting a heart transplant, but you still have restricted arteries--the new heart ain't gonna work very well or very long.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  2. #15
    Thanks for all those thoughts.

    First, I live in DC. I've called 6-8 contractors (starting with the ones recommended by name on yelp.com and other sites) but have only gotten written bids out of these 3. I'd go with one of them (maybe) but they aren't answering my questions to clarify their estimates or to give me what I asked for. (I will rely on their opinions about brands that are or are not reliable. I'm not trying to second guess them.) I think the job is pretty straightforward....

    I agree from past experience and good examples from contractors that being clear and detailed up front is the best way not to end up unhappy. What I don't understand is why I haven't found a contractor who will answer my (limited) questions. I'm not even getting scenarios.

    I think I've been very clear with all contractors about what I wanted (a high efficiency system) and, when I found out that currently the highest efficiency systems are in the 19-21 SEER range, I've been clear about that. (Since the 1st quote, which was for a 16 SEER system. I paid them over $$$$ to come out and tell me the coolant had leaked out of my system, when I had told them on the phone that that was the problem. That salesman was, in many ways, the most helpful and he figured out the estimate on the spot. But I got no return phone call when I called a couple times to ask them to price a higher efficiency (19 SEER) system for me.)

    I'm not asking for a lot of different estimates, as one commenter surmised. But I have asked for corrections and clarifications to what I asked for. ("Why a 3-ton system instead of 2-ton?" No reply.)

    I know I'm not supposed to talk prices here. But is it really reasonable for the price of a system to jump from roughly $$$$$ for a 16 SEER system to about $$$$$ for the 19 SEER system? That isn't like other information I've seen on this website. (I've been browsing all Summer.) I'm just feeling like these guys aren't taking me or the job seriously. (When the problem stems from a leaking system, why wouldn't a contractor bid to replace the line set?)

    Keep the ideas coming!
    Last edited by Chris_Worthington; 08-18-2011 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Pricing Removed

  3. #16

    to Tipsrfine:

    So what would be the difference in the ductwork for the 16 v. 19 seer systems?

    Our airflow has been pretty good, I think except possibly for one part. But they included changes in ductwork in the estimate for the 16 SEER system, before the price jumped $$$$$

    Please advise me on what the difference in ductwork would be?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Chris_Worthington; 08-18-2011 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Pricing Removed

  4. #17

    Is it really 50% more to go from 16 to 19 SEER?

    [QUOTE=lynn comstock;11070242][B] Are you prepared to pay 50% more to go from 16 to 19 SEER?

    Contractors get jerked around a lot on "free" estimates.

    We contractors have all had experiences where we bent over backwards to bid the work exactly as the prospect requested only to lose the job.

    Thanks. Is it really 50% more to go from 16 to 19 SEER? That's what I'm asking. And I might be. (I believe in supporting low emissions/energy and also in manufacturers that are pushing the technological edge.) I'm frugal but willing to spend money on some things. (HVAC, not luxury cars.) I just want to know that I'm not being "taken" because of what I'm asking for.

    I'd be willing to pay for estimates, but they all offer them free (except for the first company). I respect contractors' time and hope they'll respect mine. Providing detail and clarity is one way to make it efficient.

    Aside from efficiency, I don't know what to ask for. I need the contractors to tell me. Yes, they may sell me stuff I don't need, or not include work that needs to be done. It's really hard when they aren't willing to explain....

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,964
    Quote Originally Posted by wannaB-efficientDC View Post
    So what would be the difference in the ductwork for the 16 v. 19 seer systems?

    Our airflow has been pretty good, I think except possibly for one part. But they included changes in ductwork in the estimate for the 16 SEER system, before the price jumped$.

    Please advise me on what the difference in ductwork would be?

    Thanks!
    I am certainly not an expert in ductwork. I mentioned it because I felt it important that you & other homeowners reading this thread be aware of the importance of properly designed ductwork. I don't feel it is mentioned enough in some of these discussions. I think a lot of people think their "system" is what the contractors pull out of the boxes the air handler & condensing unit comes in. More & more homeowners have been made aware of the importance of having a manual j performed, but not so much on the manual d, t, & s. Also of equal importance, is understanding the importance of having a proper "thermal envelope" in place around your living/conditioned areas of the home. An a/c system job is to remove the heat inside a home, heat that is created internally in the home, and what heat gain is from the outside of the home by way of air leakage and solar heat gain. The more heat you can prevent from entering your home in the first place is less heat that you have to remove with an a/c system. The first step is always to evaluate what you can have done to your home to improve it's thermal envelope (air leakage and insulation). Then have all the manuals performed by an expert to ensure you are getting the "system" you are paying for. Do your homework first so that you will recognize this expert when you see 'em.
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-20-2011 at 10:18 AM. Reason: price in quote
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
    Posts
    7,281
    Shoot me an email ( it's in my profile ) and I may or may not be able to help out here, I do have a few connections in the area.

    Chris

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    [QUOTE=wannaB-efficientDC;11073372]
    Quote Originally Posted by lynn comstock View Post
    [B] Are you prepared to pay 50% more to go from 16 to 19 SEER?

    Contractors get jerked around a lot on "free" estimates.

    We contractors have all had experiences where we bent over backwards to bid the work exactly as the prospect requested only to lose the job.

    Thanks. Is it really 50% more to go from 16 to 19 SEER? That's what I'm asking. The Bryant product is manufactured by the same company that manufactures Carrier. The contractor switched to Bryant to soften the sticker shock. Carrier is more money. 3 ton (180B) is the smallest product in this top line of equipment http://www.bryant.com/products/ac/evolution.shtml see Specs tab. The earlier quote is for the 16 Seer 2 ton stystem is the best the contracter could do without upsizing. All of this gets complex especially when you want to know about what is under the hood. Sales people are seldom techs and they wisely avoid trying to answer searching technical questions. Even techs avoid those questions because few homeowners are really equiped with the knowledge to make any sense out of the under-the-hood information. ... I just want to know that I'm not being "taken" because of what I'm asking for. I told you in advance the essential price differencial and I have nothing to gain by lying. I'd be willing to pay for estimates, but they all offer them free (except for the first company). I respect contractors' time and hope they'll respect mine. Providing detail and clarity is one way to make it efficient. We have a tech sales person who loves to get sales opportunities with engineers because he will explain the under-the-hood to their satisfaction and win the sale. He doesn't go there for most customers because few people actually know how the refrigeration cycle works and they would commonly think that the tech is a show off and that they are getting a technical snow job.

    Aside from efficiency, I don't know what to ask for. I need the contractors to tell me. Yes, they may sell me stuff I don't need, or not include work that needs to be done. It's really hard when they aren't willing to explain Can you explain the mechanical refrigeration cycle, identify the 6 principle components and explain the function of each? What do you know about airflow and ductwork and why some rooms cool better than others? For example: here is what you should know about ductwork: http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings...s/db/34122.pdf Do you really expect the sales people to educate you? ....
    The top efficiency units manufactured are Bragging Systems. They represent less than 1% of all sales but the developement costs for the bragging systems are more than the cost to develope the minimum Seer equipment. Because of low sales volume, it also costs more to manufacture and to inventory them so they are available in the market. Yes, 50% is a fair premium over the 16 Seer systems because it is also more efficient and has other premium features.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,627
    on a 2 ton system the energy savings on a 19 seer over a 16 seer is very little ,on 2 ton units it is very easy to get 16 seer in single stage units the 19 seer will be 2 stage .i would want a 2 stage system

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The depths of hell in PHX AZ
    Posts
    1,140
    This is why I won't do free estimates anymore.

    What most homeowners don't get is that there is alot of time involved for a GOOD contractor to do a bid. And most homeowners are not going to spend the extra money on a two stage system. As you have already proven by your gripe on price increase. Guess what. That increase is justified. The units DO NOT come cheap. Go price a variable 25 seer somewhere. It will blow the top of your head off. The fact is after 16 it is no longer a conventional unit. The technology changes along with the price. You won't get your ROI back most likely anyway. And if you run the numbers and find that you can get a good ROI then it's a no brainer

    Homeowners need to realize that getting estimates for free is a pretty good deal and if you aren't happy with what your getting then perhaps you should pay for what you want. I now charge $per quote. It weeds out price shoppers and allows me to give the customer exactly what they need. Then if they take the job that money comes off the top.
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-20-2011 at 10:19 AM. Reason: price range
    I will believe that the government is broke when the welfare checks start bouncing!!

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,070
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy-lvhm View Post
    This is why I won't do free estimates anymore. I now charge $ per quote. It weeds out price shoppers and allows me to give the customer exactly what they need. Then if they take the job that money comes off the top.
    If pricing of HVAC systems was more transparent, the profession wouldn't be in this situation. There are just too many examples of homeowners getting ripped off that you can hardly blame them for getting multiple estimates. I wouldn't pay anyone $ to tell me how much they want to charge me for the privilege of getting my business!
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-20-2011 at 10:20 AM. Reason: price ranges

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The depths of hell in PHX AZ
    Posts
    1,140
    Quote Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
    If pricing of HVAC systems was more transparent, the profession wouldn't be in this situation. There are just too many examples of homeowners getting ripped off that you can hardly blame them for getting multiple estimates. I wouldn't pay anyone $ to tell me how much they want to charge me for the privilege of getting my business!
    In the days of the internet it is more transparent then ever. Anyone can look up prices on equipment and get an idea of what stuff costs. The fact is too many customers look at price only without looking at the other factors of what a contractor will do. All of my installs are above and beyond most of the swap out contractors in my area. I put time into my quotes doing it properly with load calcs, planning, etc. Plus I usually give two to three options of units. To do all this work just to hear "jo bob hvac is $1000 less" just gets old. Then you try to explain the extra work involved, better quality system, overall install, etc. "but why is it $1000 less?"

    A free quote will not prevent a homeowner from being ripped off. As a matter off act it usually helps the process. I am providing a service when I go make system recommendations and analysis. I give free quotes on the phone. If they want a true analysis of their house and a professional recommendation to what their options are I charge a meager fee to cover my time.

    Yes alot of different contractors give free estimates, quotes, etc. But not many trades have such a varied end result that ours. At the end of the day one install is never the same as another. There are too many factors that go into things that people just don't consider.
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-20-2011 at 10:22 AM. Reason: price range in quote
    I will believe that the government is broke when the welfare checks start bouncing!!

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,903
    Keep prices out of the thread, so it can remain open.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The depths of hell in PHX AZ
    Posts
    1,140
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Keep prices out of the thread, so it can remain open.
    And how does that discussion affect anything? It's not a price discussion on equipment. I think your being a little over the top big guy.

    Snore.
    I will believe that the government is broke when the welfare checks start bouncing!!

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event