I messed myself!

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
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Downeast Maine
As they say, "Welcome to Idaho, turn your clock back 20 years," I haven't a clue who I could get to do these calculations. I can barely get people to show up to make a bid.

The two air to air contractors who showed up thought 3 ton was more appropriate than 4. My big problem now is that the insulation contractor went missing. Batts I can stuff, blow in I can blow, however I have only been able to find one person who does closed cell foam. I do not have the equipment for it.
You might be doing some things yourself if you can't find a qualified contractor. I tried to pay someone to fix our house, but there just wasn't anyone I would trust available for at least a year. Now the folks at the lumberyard think I'm a contractor. Look up the formulas, crunch the numbers, figure out what you need and then go from there. These guys are probably busy as hell with these crazy storms, heat waves, and all round unusual weather (cough cough). You might be waiting, but it will be much easier to get the bid if you do the numbers and tell them what you want. Contractors are always going to drift towards what makes them the most money. Clearly the first bid wasn't done for your sake, but rather that contractor probably won't do any job under $40,000 due to his overhead. Put yourself in these guys' shoes; there are dozens of customers out there who will just give them a blank check and say my house is too hot/cold. That's nothing but a payday and no headaches for a HVAC contractor. You on the other hand care a lot more about this project than most clients and will be managing the whole thing every step of the way. If you come up with a plan of action before they get to your house then you will have a much easier time of convincing these guys it is worth their time.
 
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MTY

Member
Jan 9, 2019
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Idaho
This is pretty much where I am at on the entire project. For example, the siding bid was 29 almost 30K and 18 months out. Now I am doing the siding. I try to get someone from each trade, and then when the bids are rediculous I do it myself.

I have been looking at Green Foam online. 10K would get me 4+" in the wall cavities, the rim joist cavities, and seal the ceiling. With R60 in the ceiling, 7' eaves, and decent window I probably will not even need AC. I may run on a wood stove for a year and see how well it works out. i did a similar sized house 30 years ago, and while the technology was way behind today I dropped from 6-7 cords a year to 2-3.

This is house exstensive remodel 6 for me, so I can do most of the work. I am mostly trying to buy time by using contractors.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
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Central Ohio
I have been looking at Green Foam online. 10K would get me 4+" in the wall cavities, the rim joist cavities, and seal the ceiling.
I've never heard of sealing the ceiling with spray foam. Is the purpose to keep air leaking from the conditioned space ( first of second floor ) to the unconditioned space ( attic ) ?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
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Philadelphia
This is pretty much where I am at on the entire project. For example, the siding bid was 29 almost 30K and 18 months out. Now I am doing the siding. I try to get someone from each trade, and then when the bids are rediculous I do it myself.
I did the same on converting my old carriage barn to a finished shop, but having always been told insulation is one of those things you can always hire out for even less than DIY, I hired that job out. In the end, I did spray foam and the guy gave me way more than I paid, so I was very pleased. If I didn't have two big decorate PVC overhead doors, the place would be almost vacuum-tight.

Having watched them do the prep, and then the spraying, and then the cleanup, that is not a job I'd want to do myself.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
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I've done it with the 20lb tanks, and out of the professional spray rigs. There really isnt a comparison in the quality of the product. Both work, but the pros give a much better product. And do it safely. If you do it wrong, itll mess up your lungs.
 

MTY

Member
Jan 9, 2019
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Idaho
I've never heard of sealing the ceiling with spray foam. Is the purpose to keep air leaking from the conditioned space ( first of second floor ) to the unconditioned space ( attic ) ?
Sealing around light boxes, fan boxes, and other penetrations.
 

MTY

Member
Jan 9, 2019
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Idaho
The first air to air heat pump with handler and heat strips bid came in today. $14,700 for 3.5 ton, 16 seer, all ductwork etc.. Complete install minus electrical connection. The company recommended 3.5 with the standard code required insulation, but would drop price and size if I follow through with upgraded insulation. I have several walls that are over 50% window.
 
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begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
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South Puget Sound, WA
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
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773
Downeast Maine
Is there another kind?
Yes, his original contractor which did not want his money. There are many contractors that won't work for small jobs, it just usually isn't worth it for them. I didn't say "contractors want money", we all do.
 

begreen

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Surprised it's taking so long. I had 5 bids within 2 weeks.
 

MTY

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They sent the second bid to the wrong address. $14,500 for a 15 SEER unit. The bid was more complete and included a few things the first did not.
 

begreen

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What heat pump model and what HSPF? Same size as the other bid? Which is more important, cooling or heating?
 

MTY

Member
Jan 9, 2019
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Idaho
What heat pump model and what HSPF? Same size as the other bid? Which is more important, cooling or heating?
Cooling is most important. If I was living by myself, I would not even consider AC. But I am not living by myself.

Bid #2
JOB INCLUDES:

RUUD Achiever Series 15KW 3.5 ton Air Handler Unit
RUUD Achiever Series 14 SEER 3.5 Ton Heat Pump Unit
RUUD indoor 3.5 ton heat pump coil
Copper line set to new heat pump
Return air ductwork to framed chase in laundry room
Supply air ductwork install in basement and crawl space
Registers provided to each room as needed
Return air grill in ceiling upstairs
Thermostat and low voltage wire
Materials used to install furnace in crawl space
Heat pump pad with heat pump risers
Condensate pump with condensate line

OPTIONS:
-Upgrade to a RUUD 15 SEER heat pump unit add $700.00

Bid #1
INSTALL 3 1/2 TON 14 SEER AMERICAN STANDARD HEATPUMP WITH 20 KW AMERICAN STANDARD AIR HANDLER AND DUCTWORK IN REMODEL.
11,990.00 11,990.00

*UPGRADE TO 16 SEER AMERICAN STANDARD HEAT PUMP WITH
VARIABLE SPEED AIR HANDLER. ADD $2680.00 TO ESTIMATE
 
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begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
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South Puget Sound, WA
There is a big difference in model lines. I'd ask both bidders for specific models of air handlers and heat pump. The RUUD bit sounds like a low ball. We have an American Standard 16 SEER unit with 2-speed compressor and variable speed air handler. This looks to be the equivalent of their Platinum 18 series now. It's been a good unit and trouble-free, but we do not rely on it for cooling very much. (Not at all this year.) Besides being reliable I like that it is fairly quiet and very quiet when running in low-speed mode.

Are you going to get more bids?
 
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MTY

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There is a big difference in model lines. I'd ask both bidders for specific models of air handlers and heat pump. The RUUD bit sounds like a low ball. We have an American Standard 16 SEER unit with 2-speed compressor and variable speed air handler. This looks to be the equivalent of their Platinum 18 series now. It's been a good unit and trouble-free, but we do not rely on it for cooling very much. (Not at all this year.) Besides being reliable I like that it is fairly quiet and very quiet when running in low-speed mode.

Are you going to get more bids?
Why do you think the RUUD is a lowball bid? Would you normally expect it to be higher?
 

begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
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South Puget Sound, WA
Sorry wrong term, I meant a low-end system bid. You need to get into their Ultra series for decent performance or at least their Achiever RP16 series to be Energy Star rated. Locally they don't sell too well. They can be hard to clean and some have a problem with freeze-ups.

Are there any Mitsubishi or Daikin dealers in your area?
 

MTY

Member
Jan 9, 2019
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Idaho
I'll do some checking. I have a meeting Thursday in Moscow. I'll visit a dealer or two there.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
551
247
803
Central Ohio
Me personally, I'd pay the extra money to upgrade to the American Standard Heat pump. I've never heard anything bad about their products. I see RUUD as being more of builder grade product, and American Standard as a higher end product.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
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Philadelphia
I’ll second the recommendation for Mitsubishi. I have had four Mitsubishi minisplits dating back to 2010, and all have been 100% reliable and trouble-free. They have their performance limitations, in cold weather (< 20F they really suck), but no issues with maintenance or reliability.
 

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,113
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Central NY
I bought a Ruud heat pump a few years back. It's definitely a lower-end brand - the condenser unit is super loud and makes a real racket whenever it goes into defrost mode. I wouldn't do it again. The Trane I have is a lot quieter and seems much better built.
 
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