Forum Thread

HVAC Costs - Quote Sanity Check

dealgate 6,368 1,085 May 12, 2016 at 04:20 AM
I got my first quote for 2 new HVAC systems for my house. Total quote came in a just under $16k (0% for 5 years if I want) and included the following:

Both systems are Lennox which has 3 levels of systems - level 1 being the best.

System 1:
2 ton 85% Attic based system, level 3, 5 years service included (parts, labor).

System 2:
3 ton level 2 system, 95%, 12 years parts and labor.

Of course total installation package including line sets, drains, whole house humidifier, etc. 1 system installation will involve cutting and patching the ceiling to replace the line-set. The other line set will go along the edge of the house. System 2 also needs new exhaust vents run.

Is this in line with reality?

10 Comments

1

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,661 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#2
I would say it's not in line with average. I know you said your area was expensive.

Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to an AC system. They should be able to calculate what size you need and then price within that. When an AC is too bit they can freeze up easier. Cooling efficiency is calculated with seer value. The % is heating efficiency.

I replaced an AC with a Heat pump 4-5 years ago on a similar sized system. Did not go with a big name brand for the outside unit, they replaced the outside unit, and the inside coil. They used existing lines and disposal of the old unit. It was about $3500 including labor if I remember right. I just added a whole house humidifier this year. I bought a good Aprila Air one, larger than I need on amazon founder $200, and had my handyman guy install it (I helped) and paid about $130 in labor for it. Not a super hard job, the only part that I would have struggled with was the wiring.

I would ask why they need to replace drains, and other lines. I would quote without the 5 years of service. Most likely thats just a cheap filter you can replace yourself and have someone out to check on things , it sounds like a value added thing thats expensive. 12 year warranty is a lot in HVAC I would read the fine print to see whats covered. If it was me I would look at other brands of equipment and other contractors. $16k sounds like a ton for a completely new system.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
Joined Dec 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,368 Posts
1,085 Reputation
Original Poster
#3
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I would say it's not in line with average. I know you said your area was expensive.

Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to an AC system. They should be able to calculate what size you need and then price within that. When an AC is too bit they can freeze up easier. Cooling efficiency is calculated with seer value. The % is heating efficiency.

I replaced an AC with a Heat pump 4-5 years ago on a similar sized system. Did not go with a big name brand for the outside unit, they replaced the outside unit, and the inside coil. They used existing lines and disposal of the old unit. It was about $3500 including labor if I remember right. I just added a whole house humidifier this year. I bought a good Aprila Air one, larger than I need on amazon founder $200, and had my handyman guy install it (I helped) and paid about $130 in labor for it. Not a super hard job, the only part that I would have struggled with was the wiring.

I would ask why they need to replace drains, and other lines. I would quote without the 5 years of service. Most likely thats just a cheap filter you can replace yourself and have someone out to check on things , it sounds like a value added thing thats expensive. 12 year warranty is a lot in HVAC I would read the fine print to see whats covered. If it was me I would look at other brands of equipment and other contractors. $16k sounds like a ton for a completely new system.
Thanks! To be clear, the quote is for 2 entirely new systems. One in the attic and one in the basement to replace my existing 2 systems installed when the house was built in 2000. Both are shot. The drains are being replaced because they are not up to current code with emergency shutoffs and p-traps. The guy measured my duct-work and calculated what tonnage I needed. I currently have a 4 ton main system but my duct-work only will handle 2.5 tons so I am see short-cycling of it. He has correctly sized the new system at 3 tons. The attic system is also correctly sized at 2 tons. Line-sets need to be replaced because I am going from R22 to R410a not to mention they were poorly installed to being with. The service is full parts and labor if anything happens call them and they fix it no charge. They do not install systems without this.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
E finita la cuccagna

Liberals want you to think like them, Conservatives just want you to think!
#4
16K seems to be reasonable. When pricing out systems for new home construction (so not dealing with the eccentricities or other issues of remodel/replacement) we generally carry a number of 5-8K per air handling unit (forced air, natural gas furnace + AC). Some of that range is due to size of unit / size of home, insulation values, and type of system installed (zoned vs single thermostat, etc.).

I would absolutely get a second quote, however, as even a 5% cost difference could be significant. My rule of thumb on any in-home work is "if it's over $2500 get at least 2 quotes."
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
After ordering a deal immediately delete your deal alert. You got your item; you don't want it shipped with a side of remorse.
Joined Dec 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,368 Posts
1,085 Reputation
Original Poster
#5
OK so now there are issues. The $800 rebate is not valid but if I "upgrade" to an 18 SEER unit, then there is a $1000 rebate and also another $700 discount from Lennox. I told him work the numbers and we'll see. The upgraded unit itself is $1689 more so the rebates cover the upgrade to 18 SEER but that still leaves $1150 more since I lose 2 other rebates. The deal is falling through I think.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,368 Posts
1,085 Reputation
Original Poster
#6
Ha! I squeezed them to upgrade me the next level unit for free and reduce the final price to $15k. Scheduled the install for Wednesday!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#7
Quote from dealgate View Post :
Ha! I squeezed them to upgrade me the next level unit for free and reduce the final price to $15k. Scheduled the install for Wednesday!
Find out if the fan motors in the new systems are PSC or ECM [freedomhvacal.com]. I had a 2 zone setup very similar to yours, found ECM motors on ebay nib and did the refit myself. A rebate from my electric provider at the time that negated the cost of the upgrade.

BTW, you did good on the costs!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,368 Posts
1,085 Reputation
Original Poster
#8
Hey the guy just told me they need to cut a 12" x 12" hole in the ceiling in the shower. They want to use a plastic access panel patch to cover it once done. Is this a concern? The other option is to have a drywall guy come out and patch it but that would be pricey since no one will come out for a small job. I am thinking like $200 at least. What if I caulked the plastic access panel? I am mostly concerned with humidity.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

#9
Quote from dealgate View Post :
Hey the guy just told me they need to cut a 12" x 12" hole in the ceiling in the shower. They want to use a plastic access panel patch to cover it once done. Is this a concern? The other option is to have a drywall guy come out and patch it but that would be pricey since no one will come out for a small job. I am thinking like $200 at least. What if I caulked the plastic access panel? I am mostly concerned with humidity.
Do they need the access panel for potential future use?

If not - just drywall it yourself. Spend around $10-$15 at Lowes, watch a few YouTube videos, and you'll be ready to do a 12"x12" patch job. It's really not that hard. The only thing I would recommend is when you sand the patch mud please COVER the shower drain - you don't need to wash gypsum dust down the plumbing.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#10
buy the panel first so they cut the right size. Don't know how many of those screw-ups I've fixed.

Caulk around the edge when installed. Humidity won't hurt it
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
for those that hate spelling mistakes www.walmarts.comCool

bulb save money by checking your insurance every 2 years (and not every 20)
Joined Dec 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,368 Posts
1,085 Reputation
Original Poster
#11
They put the plastic panel in but I don't like it. I could seal it up with silicone there is plenty of space around the edges. But I think I will just attach the piece they cut out back in with furring strips and screws then tape, mud, sand and repaint the ceiling and call it a day.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 1
1
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2016. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard