Heat Pump Pricing

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  #1  
Old 04-19-03, 04:59 PM
PalmatBH
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Heat Pump Pricing

I have been considering replacing my heat pump system (2 ton 12 seer) but I am uncomfortable with the way the industry seems to hide it's equipment costs. I found acdirect.com and found prices for a 2 ton 12 seer Reem for about $1650.00. This was a complete split system including the compressor unit and air handler. I have been unable to find pricing on a comparable carrier whre I was quoted $3100.00 installed. Assuming the prices for the equipment between the Reem and Carrier are somewhat close, that means I am paying nearly $1500.00 dollars for installation. I was told that installing this would take about a day. I think $500.00 for a days work is more than fair, not $1500.00. Is this common in this industry? If buy a system from an on-line company like acdirect.com what is a fair price for an install?
 
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Old 04-19-03, 06:20 PM
hvacman
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installation prices will vary alot from region to region. but $1000 to $1500 for the installation is not unreasonable..remember you are paying for someone's expertise and youwill not be getting just one man, odds are they will bring at least two men...also think about possible ductwork modifications that will have to be made...odds are your old equipment is not the same size as the new....and finally a legitimate installer will warrant the work they do and will carry liability insurance in case disaster strikes. you can go cheap and get lucky, but who are you gonna call to fix it when it breaks....or you can call a reliable company that may or may not want to install equipment that you supply.
 
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Old 04-19-03, 06:55 PM
fjrachel
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Rheem equipment is inferior to Carrier, so your price comparison is unfounded. The Carrier equipment is a bit more expensive so the labor rate is lower.
All your getting from acdirect is equipment, an AHU, electric heat, and condenser. You can get it cheaper from a Rheem HVAC company.
 
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Old 04-20-03, 05:46 AM
firsthvac
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Dear PalmatBH--

Not to be rude, but please don't start a second posting for questions you are already asking in the first one. Too many miscommunications can take place. Thanks
 
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Old 04-20-03, 06:28 AM
PalmatBH
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I thought the subject had changed enough to warrant a new post. My original post had to do with a heat pump problem. The second post had to do with heat pump pricing. Someone looking for a post on pricing may not want to wade through all the issues of troubleshooting a problem.

Am I being unreasonable to expect that an A/C company should give me a price on equipment and installation?

Why should'nt an A/C company install a system I purchase elsewhere?

Are AC companies likely to work on units under warranty that they did not install?
 
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Old 04-20-03, 07:16 AM
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god forbid

we should make a living, feeding families and sending kids to college. do you have any idea of the cost involved of running an a/c business? insurance, permits, truck expenses (gas insurance, maintenance, etc) , wages, benefits, office personnell costs, phones, office space, utilities, liscenses, uniforms, i could go on and on. i am all for DIYers up to a point. if you do find a company to break down the price for you i will be suprised. if you buy the equipment and have a liscensed individual put it in, you will not save much, and when warranty is needed, you are out of luck. warranties only apply to equipment bought by liscensed contractors. i think you got a fair price.what do you do for a living?
 
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Old 04-20-03, 08:20 AM
firsthvac
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I understand your reasoning for starting another post. I only made the comment about the second one because you had already started asking questions about pricing in the other post. In the other post you mentioned being quoted $1650 for having the air handler replaced and now you say you found a system for $1650 and later asked about pricing on new systems. I hope you can see why it would be confusing without knowing the history you've already given. But enough said about this. On to your questions now...

It's not unreasonable to request bids from HVAC companies. Keep in mind that most HVAC contractors will bid a job to include equipment and labor because they will be carrying the warranty on the equipment.

The expectation that we will install a unit purchased by a customer is unreasonable. It may be because we don't do business with the distributor of that equipment. It may be because we are all too often expected to guarantee the equipment will function, and then have to bear the burden of customers telling their neighbors and co-workers we don't know what we are doing because the customer bought something that was inferior, not sized properly or mishandled. Or it may be just because we respect the integrity for our fellow HVAC companies and don't like to step on the toes of someone who does install that brand.

Furthermore, distributors who sell major HVAC equipment direct to the public without properly checking their refrigerant certifications are violating EPA regulations and may also be breaking local or state laws which govern the sale of such equipment.

As for working on a/c's under warranties we did not install...most of us won't. There are usually other issues (installation materials, labor, liability, etc.) involved which are not related to the manufacturer's warranty. What your asking for is like asking a Wal-Mart store to replace something you bought at Sears just because it's the same product. Most of us won't do it because we didn't sell it to you. About the only exception to this is when we are asked to work on the unit by the manufacturer, the distributor or the original installing company.

The bottom line here is...take the time to get several bids from companies who will do a load calculation on your home to make sure you get the proper size unit needed, check out the reputation of the companies, then get the equipment from a reputable experienced company and save yourself from the headaches of getting warranty work done if something should go wrong. Keep in mind most of us have gone through a long process to be as good as we are and our labor rates will usually be in line with our competitors. When you consider how long it actually takes to install the equipment (a simple changing of just an outdoor unit can take 3-5 hours when done properly and there are usually two people on the job so you have to double the time), as well as other materials needed to do the installation, a cost of $1000-$1500 is not unusual.
 
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Old 04-20-03, 09:38 AM
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Talking i looked at acdirect.com

prices are much higher than what i pay! are you aware of the other elements involved in an install? refrigerant, ductwork, pad, electrical whip, wiring, tstat, drain, upgrades to meet code, tubing, solder, insulation, still not to mention other costs i described earlier. then add in free visits for callbacks or warranty issues. do not mean to rant, but once again.....what do you do for a living?
 
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Old 04-20-03, 10:34 AM
PalmatBH
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Thanks everyone for your insights and advise. I certainly do not begruge anyone a fair opportunity to make living. I also think the do-it-yourself phenomenon would'nt be as prevelant were contractors not so expensive.

I will follow the advise given and shop around and try to make a good decision. Right now I am leanig toward ordering a system from ACdirect, wiring and plumbing it myself, and calling in an HVAC guy to charge it with freon. I am going to contact acdirect to see how warranty is handled.

As fas as what I do for a living I am a district service manager for a life sciences company. I have been in the service business since 1977 working on things like electron microscopes, laser's, spectrophotemeters, liquid chromatography, and mas spectrometers. I now manage 9 field engineers. Our service model is different becasue we only work on equipment we manufacture. It is common in our industry to quote parts labor and travel.
 
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