Info for novice

Old 05-20-03, 04:23 PM
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Info for novice

I need some basic info please. I qualified for a town sponsored home-improvement loan. Bids were sent and the lowest contractor won. I have a meeting to sign a contract but don't want to be uninformed. I am allowed to have the current gas furnace replaced. The contractor submitted a bid of $5775.00 to make the replacement but he never inspected the inside of the house or the existing unit.
I'm interested in upgrading to central air as well....hooking into the existing ductwork...but would have to pay out-of-pocket for the add'l work.
My questions are: 1. Can a valid assessment be done w/out inspecting the unit? 2. How much more should I look to spend for the add'l AC unit? 3. What is the system that provides both heat and AC called?
I appreciate your insights.
Old 05-20-03, 04:38 PM
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You did get 3 bids I take it????? Why did you take the lowest?
If no one looked at the job. Or no one did a heat loss or A/C load on this job.How can you get a bid or know how much AC you need. OR what the job should cost? You have to have them look at the job. Also say what they will put in ED
Old 05-20-03, 04:51 PM
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The entire project is very confusing!! Because of the funding, bids were requested but only 2 contractors replied to my particular job (there are others throughout the community). All bids were returned to the fund manager and HE chose the lowest. I have been approved for new windows, a new storm door in kitchen and the furnace replacement. I won't be made aware of all the specifics until we meet to sign the loan/contract.
I do not want to go into the meeting uninformed and won't sign for the loan if things seem overpriced/under researched.
I didn't think a the load assessment for a furnace system could be adequately determined without some visual inspection...hence my questions.
Thanks for your help.
Old 05-20-03, 04:52 PM
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Hi teach:

1. I don't see how it's possible to configure a job without looking at it. I inspect/consider every detail and wouldn't touch a job without looking at it.

2. If this has always been a heating only system without cooling, the ductwork is probably too small to handle the increased airflow that a cooling system will require. So you would be looking at a lot of expense. Look at my reply to the lady in Georgia for some ideas on ductless mini-split units.

3. Not sure what your asking in #3 but I think you mean a single system will both heat and cool? You may be thinking of a heat pump where the refrigeration cycle is reversed?
Old 05-20-03, 04:55 PM
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ductwork too small?

How would I know if the existing ductwork is inadequate for an AC system?
Old 05-20-03, 05:10 PM
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The contractor installing the cooling would design and size the ductwork. Another way would be to go to where you can download an easy to use, one time/one house, heating/cooling calculation program. The program will also size the ductwork. It will be the best $49 you ever spent. At the website, there is a demo where you can first check it out. BTW- if you're upgrading windows and doors, you need a new heating calcuation based on the upgrades. If this an older house, your furnace may too big. You might be able to install a smaller size furnace, especially if you are installing better windows.
Old 05-20-03, 05:16 PM
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I am replacing all of the windows which should help with heat retention .
I will check out the site and see if my contractor is qualified and accurate.
Thanks again....I'm not as "green" as earlier.

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