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Posted: 7/18/2001 3:57:40 AM EDT
Last week just before I went on vacation, my house electrical system was hit by lightening. I lost the downstairs A/C unit, all upstairs telephones, and a $120 GFI circuit breaker for the pool equipment. My problem: My stepfather-in-law is a Heating and Cooling guy and he wants to replace the downstairs unit. My wife and I don't entirely trust him and I want to check some facts with the H&C experts: - He states that Heil is a good if not the best system; what's you guys opinion? - The current unit is a Janitrol, which he says is junk; is this true? - He recommends upgrading the system from 2 tons to 2 1/2 tons (he says the original unit was under sized for the downstairs, which is +-1500 ft. squared.); - He gave me a quote of a 12 SEER Heil 2 1/2 ton pakg, installed for $3100; is this a good price? Thanks for your help! Merlin
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:14:01 AM EDT
I haven't heard of either of the brands, so I can't comment one way or the other. However, I had my downstairs AC replaced 2 weeks ago. 2 tonne York 12 seer-$2000, installed.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 7:56:00 AM EDT
Just had a complete Trane system put in, including duct work and electronic filter, every component is the efficent model, $13,000 and I love it. Needed new everything, house had eletric heat. I wanted a Union Shop and installers also. I been screwed to many time by so called heating and cooling experts that were selling shoes a week before they came to fix my equipment. Watch the low ball guys, they want the job and will leave out things needed to get the best possible effect, then your left with a brand new expensive system that doesn't work.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 9:04:01 AM EDT
I sell HVAC to the trade. Heil is a decent line, but not the best. It will work. Janitrol is also known as "Jani-junk". At 1500 sq. ft., the 2.5 ton seems like it would be a good idea. Did he compute a heat-loss to arrive at this size? Price for the new unit installed might be fair. Is your current unit straight AC, heat pump, or a gaspack? Do you currently have a package unit? If not, why is he reccommeding one? As far as Trane goes, it is VERY overpriced. You are paying for the name on the equipment. There are many other brands out there, costing a LOT less, with much better warranties. I believe Heil is one of those lines. The most important factor is the installation. If you have ANY doubts as to the competency of the person/company doing the job, ask for references, and get a couple of quotes from different companies. HTH
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 10:06:27 AM EDT
HTH, Thanks for the response. Here's some additional info: - Downstairs unit is a gaspack and he recommended we stay with one even though we exclusivley use the ventfree fire logs for heat during the winter. - He arrived at the 2 1/2 ton number by stating that you figure 1 ton per 500 sq. ft. but out current return duct would not take a 3 ton, so 2 1/2 tons was the default. No known calculations were done, it was just a conversation. You confirmed what he said about Janitrol and essentially what he said about Heil. Is the 12 SEER worth it over the 10 SEER (higher efficiency)? Thanks, Merlin
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 10:58:32 AM EDT
I got a 10 year parts and labor for free. You have to be a authorized Trane dealer to offer the 10 year warranty though. To be a authorized Train dealer you have to attend their school a few times a year, if I'm right. Heating & Air conditioning are important mechanicals in a home,and the company that installed my system has been around and a Union Shop for over 80 years,I trust them. My dad worked for them when he was a Union Plumber. The Sheetmetal, Plumbers and Labors on the job were all Union, They have that $30 an hour union pride that non union workers don't have, that money makes a difference in a mans attitude toward his work, and it shows up in their work also. No fucking wires hanging or pipes out of plumb, or I'll be back tommorrow and finish it and then never show up. The sheetmetal work is just beautiful, I asked for high,low return registers in every room, a heating register under every window, all ducts have dampers. Fresh outside air duct had to be cut through the side of the house and connected to the return trunk line. I am happy, I can hang meat in the house if I wanted to, and no cycling either. Honeywell Deluxe Programmable Multistage Thermostat with outside temp unit is nice too. There is alot of metal work in this job. The Trane electronic air filter is a great product too. A race system she be.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 11:07:34 AM EDT
Last fall I had new Carrier gas furnace installed. I had a 13 seer 21/2 ton Central AC (Carrier) installed same time for $1900.00. Now I know there is a slight price break for installing it the same time as new furnace, but the break is not that big. And of course I am here in northern Minn., and it does get hot and humid in the summer.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 12:17:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2001 12:15:23 PM EDT by Sixtus]
Merlin, try this site. http://hvac-talk.com it may give you better answers to your questions.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 1:09:23 PM EDT
Any competent H.V.A.C man will do a load calculation for you're home (and he shouldn't charge you for this service). With a load calculation, he will be able to determine the heat gain and heat loss for each room, as well as the c.f.m required to maintain temperature. Insulation, window space, exposed walls, crawl spaces all are variables when doing this. Anyone who's familiar with a load program can do a house in less then 30 minutes. As for you're return ductwork, you size the ductwork according to the load of the equipment, not vise versa. It used to be "bigger is better", but that really isn't the case. Giving a generalization of 1/2 ton per 500 square feet isn't nessesarily true (what is the R value of you're insulation?) I have seen 2 houses, both 2000 square ft, one requiring 36k btu's cooling/100k btu htg. and the other needing 46k cooling/ 115k btu htg. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't have a family member do it, you're only asking for personal problems down the road.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:17:19 PM EDT
I worked for a propane company for 19yrs installing HVAC products. Cheapest price not always the best deal. There are only about 4 manufacturers of HVAC products. Different paint colors and sometimes a few cheaper components. Low bidders in most cases are very sloppy and hard to get to correct problems. Made by same manuf. Trane/American Standard/Century? Heil/Tempstar/Comfortmaker and others Carrier/Bryant?/Payne an others Rheem/Rudd and others First brand name is their top of line unit. Sometimes there is not much difference in units made by a manufacturer and big differences in others. Janitrol is one of the cheapest units. Trane, Rheem, Carrier sometimes only make commercial units in certain models. We sold Rheem units when I first started and then they went commercial only(in early 80's). Sold Heil then went to American Standard units.Very little trouble with any of these. Wholesale on a Janitrol 2 ton unit(condenser and A-coil) a couple of years ago was about $600.00. You get what you pay for. There are some excellent metal men out there and some real cobblers.We always figured 1 ton per 600sq. ft.residential and 400' commercial(building consruction can make a big difference). Here in SD cooling is not a big issue like heating. In the south SEER(Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is important. Some manuf. up to 16-18SEER models but price is significantly higher also.Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 7/19/2001 4:13:05 AM EDT
OK, I checked with another local Heil supplier last night and he confirmed most of what my step f-i-l said: - Supplier calculated the downstairs would require a 2.7 ton A/C unit; therefore he would go to a 3 ton unit if building the house today. Since the duct won't take the 3 ton, he agreed with the 2.5 ton assessment. - He agreed with my step f-i-l about Heil, pretty good quality and parts are easy to get. - He disagreed on the economic sense of getting a 12 SEER vs. a 10 SEER saying that it would only save about $20 per year. This equates to around a 30 year payback given a $600 difference in cost. Can anybody confirm this? - He essentially agreed that Janitrol is pretty low quality, as most here in the business who have answered seem to agree with. I'm not surprised that this is what the building go with. - He pretty much came in with the same prices as my step f-i-l, at most a hundred dollars more. BTW: I forgot to mention why we use the vent free gas logs exclusively: The gaspack went out about 2 years ago during extremely cold (well, cold for N. Alabama, i.e. down around 20 degrees) spell the day before Christmas. We had no heat downstairs until we installed the gas logs and we never looked back since. Thanks for all the help! Melin
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