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Posted: 11/24/2003 11:24:33 AM EDT
I’m getting estimates on replacing the a/c units on the top of my house. I got the names of three companies from the Better Business Bureau, and had one show up so far.

If you guys familiar with a/c-heating installation can give me any feedback on their estimate below, I’d greatly appreciate it.

BTW, the house is in Las Vegas, Nevada..


1) Remove old 2 ½ ton unit;
2) Install 2 ½ ton 10 SEER Bryant Gas/Electric (2d floor);
3) Install digital non-programmable stat;
4) Install reverse flo box;
5) Install new stand with sch40 condensate box;
6) Five year warranty all parts and compressor, one year labor;

All labor and material;

$3300

Add a 4 ton 10 SEER (1st floor) to the above,

$6900



Thanks! …. Chris
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 8:04:27 PM EDT
I work in an AC Distrubutor wharehouse. Won't be much help on pricing. I would forget about the better business bureau and just do like everyone around here. Call everyone in the phone book and get quotes from everybody. If you are thinking that is too much You might also try cheaper but not crap units. We sell Luxaire (Unitary Products Group is the parent corp they also make York and Coleman) and I think they are a very good unit for the money. The guy that put in my Luxaire unit also likes/recommends Rheem. You might also think about a higher seer rating of 12-14. Luxaire 12 and up seer condensers have a five year all parts with a ten year compressor warranty. Any higher seer than that will not pay for itself in the amount of time it will last. My 4 ton 13 seer only pulls 12.6 amps running. I think that most of the units made today will last probably 10-15 years with little to no trouble. Hope this helps some.
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 8:42:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By glazer1972: Call everyone in the phone book and get quotes from everybody.
View Quote
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Yellow Pages=high cost advertising=charge customers A LOT! Find referrals!! How you ask?? Glad you asked. Find a parts supplier for AC systems and ask the manager there, If YOU were to get someone to install your AC at your house, who would you recommend... then ask another parts house the same question. Take those names and check with the contractors board or Dept of Consumer Affairs. ------------------OR------------------- you can call the manufacturer of the AC heating system you want and get their "FACTORY AUTHORIZED INSTALLER" to help you out. Also if there is a warranty issue, the servicer CANNOT say it is an installation problem. -------------------OR-------------------- Call your local real estate agents and ask who they recommend. A lot of these realtors have to get units repaired to make a sale and they can tell you who is quick and reliable Hope those suggestions help.
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 9:39:13 PM EDT
Thanks guys for the info! .... Chris
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 10:09:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/24/2003 10:21:26 PM EDT by Carbine10]
Chris, Dave here in Phoenix. May I suggest you go with at the least 12 SEER unit. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Eficient Ratio. Higher the SEER number the more energy efficient a unit is. In return equals faster payback on your investment. Example anything built 1985 and older, only had a SEER rating of 6 SEER. In 1986 the first 10 SEER units came out. Today 10 SEER is the lowest you can get/Builders model/Crap. 12 SEER is the industry standard. Manufactures go up through 14 SEER, 16 SEER, and to 19 SEER the highest. Factors on replacing unit. Compare bids from apples to apples. Not apples to oranges. #1- How long do you plan on staying in your house.If not long then go ahead with a cheap builders model (10 SEER). All manufactures make these. This is also what most homebuilders install. Even in multi-million dollar homes here in Phoenix. It's sad but true. #2- If you plan on staying in your house a long time. Then go with the most your budget has. At least 12 SEER with extended warranty and variable speed blower motor. #3- How many sq. ft. does your home have and ceiling heigth. You don't want to oversize for you house. Alot of people have the Tim the Toolman Taylor theory. Biger is better. WRONG! Bigger units than necessary are more noisey, don't remove enough humidity, and short cycle. The first five minutes an A/C runs it's building pressures to run at the SEER rating it was designed for. So if you get to big of unit, you will be loosing it's SEER rating and the ability to remove humidity. Humidity is an important factor in Monsoon time. I myself sell Trane equipment. The best in the industry. Also about the only manufacture to build in house. American Standard bought Trane seveeral years back. Trane bought G. E. many years ago. G. E. had the best engineers. This is from 18 years of experince in the service/install industry. May I also suggest you pay the extra 300.00 to 400.00 to get a full 10 year parts and labor manufacture warranty. Example in 6 years if a compressor goes, then your out another 1,200.00 to 1,500.00. Trane started the full 10 years warranty. I also suggest you go with a variable speed blower. These are much quiter than a direct drive motor. They also have a circuit board to adjust CFM per ton and RPM ramping.. They also help with humidity removal. If you have the money you may want to jump into a two stage cooling unit. Usually starts in the 16 SEER models. Trane, American Standard, and the "L" word/ Lennox. Example a 4 ton unit would run on low speed/first stage. With Trane they have a 2 ton compressor in the unit along with a 4 ton compressor high speed/seconed stage. Lennox has one compressr with two sets of windings. About 1700 rpm first stage and 3400 rpm seconed stage. Also 90 percent of homes built in America have crappy duct work/undersized. Most need re-duct. Also most ducts weren't sealed. Causing major build up of dust, dust mites and dirty indoor coils reducing SEER rating. Another important factor is air filtration. Go with a good pleated filter. Also buy a filter base/cabinet. Most all manufactures have odd size cabinets allowing dirt to get by filter. Don't buy heavy air restricting electro static washable filters or Dynamic 24 volt charcoal filters. If residents have breathing problems suggest a HEPA type filter Bryant-BDP/ is an off brand of Carrier. Cheap. Luxaire/ ah no. York/ so so. Coleman/ do you live in a trailer. Rheem-Ruud/ I don't think so.Rust-Rust. Goodman-Janitrol/ Cheapest in the Industry. Comfortmaker-Tempstar-Heil/ all name plates on the same product made by ICP/ Oversized rattling/noisey units. Others Amana, Goettle(made in Phoenix) AAH. Highly suggest buying Trane, American Standard, or Lennox units. I don't own a house yet. But when I do, I'll be installing a high end Trane or Lennox unit. Other info. An HVAC system is not to be heard and you should not feel air flow. The rooms in your house are to be comfortable. Also if you keep bedroom doors closed you need return ducts added to these rooms. If you leave or return your house on a set schedule. Buy a programmable thermostat. This to will help save money. An Auto changeover from heat to cool is suggested. If you want more help IM-Mail me. I can give you price quotes. Also to find a good company, consumers are the best to ask. Ask family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. Then check these out with the Board of contractors and the BBB for complaints. Good Luck! Dave.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 12:31:18 AM EDT
Carbine10 - great informative post. Got an estimate this summer for a new/replacement HVAC system, and got similar huge sticker-shock. 30yr-old home in cooler SoCal clime with poor attic insulation. Been meaning to do much work replacing and insulating ducting and increasing insulation. And going for a short-term boost of attempting to clean the exchange unit. Expect a nightmare. Remains to be seen.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:01:22 AM EDT
Dave .... I [u]greatly[/u] appreciate your post. What you posted really clarified what this guy was telling me. I'll probably take you up on your IM offer as I get these other two estimates today. Thanks again! .... Chris
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:23:58 AM EDT
Carrier/Bryant/Payne same stuff different name. Parts are the highest for these units. Also Trane/American standard also have the highest replacement pasts cost. Look into a 12 seer Gibson. You will get 5 year all parts and 10 year compressor. Myself I would not put in a carrier or trane in my enemies house. Rick
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 3:40:16 AM EDT
If you are mechanically inclined, and can find a contractor that will work with you. You can save a bundle. I got a A/C contractor to sell me the units I needed. Then I took out the old and installed the new with new ducts. Once I had everything done. He came and checked it out and charged it up with freon. What would have cost me $5000.00 ended up costing $1900.00 plus my labor.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 6:22:35 AM EDT
Carbine....GREAT POST!!
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 6:01:47 AM EDT
Those variable speed motors and circuit boards recommended above are also very expensive if you have to replace one out of warranty.
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