Author Topic: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!  (Read 291 times)

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Offline Frau Mau

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Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Topic Start: April 06, 2012, 03:29:19 PM »
We got two estimates for duct-less AC/Heat mini split units:

One was from a large reputable company coming in almost 5 grand higher than an 'independent contractor' that may or may not be bonded and insured but has done lots of commercial work on the strip by our house.

Does anyone know if this takes the kind of expertise the larger company has? The other guy seems very knowledgible, but we just don't know the risks involved.

What would you guys do?

Thanks! p.s. We probably need to pull the trigger today.

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #1: April 06, 2012, 05:09:23 PM »
Did they spec the same equipment? The same number of inside and outside units?

Does the expensive bid include electrical work that the other doesn't?

How about routing the refrigeration lines to the compressors? Do both bids propose to do it the same way?

Down the line, will you get in trouble with the city if the cheaper guy doesn't pull permits, etc?

 How about warranty service?

Is $5K half the bid? A third? A quarter?

Can you get a third bid? Why do you have to pull the trigger today, is the cheaper guy applying pressure?

We got two estimates for duct-less AC/Heat mini split units:

One was from a large reputable company coming in almost 5 grand higher than an 'independent contractor' that may or may not be bonded and insured but has done lots of commercial work on the strip by our house.

Does anyone know if this takes the kind of expertise the larger company has? The other guy seems very knowledgible, but we just don't know the risks involved.

What would you guys do?

Thanks! p.s. We probably need to pull the trigger today.


Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #2: April 06, 2012, 05:26:16 PM »


Did they spec the same equipment? The same number of inside and outside units?  Indy uses Mitsubishi, big outfit uses LG, same number of units for both.

Does the expensive bid include electrical work that the other doesn't? No, it would include the same electrical work as needed for the units.


How about routing the refrigeration lines to the compressors? Do both bids propose to do it the same way? This isn't that specific from either one, generally depends on the placement of the units.


Down the line, will you get in trouble with the city if the cheaper guy doesn't pull permits, etc? No idea if either will need to pull permits, indy guy seemed very concerned about codes, for example wouldn't run lines on public side of the house, big outfit's contract states they will follow local codes.


 How about warranty service? Indie guy 'stands behind his work according to a mutual friend, our contractor that has done some really good work and then has done some things we haven't been super happy about,  more an issue with him and us, long story. He's more of a friend at this point, so probably an interpersonal thing at this point, we don't make him all that accountable.


Is $5K half the bid? A third? A quarter? Basically @13K vs @18k


Can you get a third bid? Why do you have to pull the trigger today, is the cheaper guy applying pressure? Nobody exerting pressure, mainly due to our own timeline.






Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #3: April 06, 2012, 05:37:13 PM »
Is Indy guy planning on pulling permits? Also, for that kind of money you might want to join Angies list to check them both out. Finally if big guy is micheals - they're over priced, but the work is done right imho

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #4: April 06, 2012, 05:42:16 PM »
Is Indy guy planning on pulling permits? Also, for that kind of money you might want to join Angies list to check them both out. Finally if big guy is micheals - they're over priced, but the work is done right imho

The big guy is John C. Flood. We used them before to replace a water heater.

Neither contract discusses permits, but honestly we've not been sticklers for permits in the past, more concerned about them being bonded and insured.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #5: April 06, 2012, 05:44:05 PM »
Permits mean inspections, so it lessons the corners little guy can cut

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #6: April 06, 2012, 06:03:27 PM »
How much of the price difference is in the cost of the units?

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #7: April 06, 2012, 06:06:20 PM »
Hard to say, the Indy estimate specified equipment was about 9000 total (including lines, etc.), the big guy estimate didn't break it down that way, not labor vs. equipment.

Offline Obed_Marsh

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #8: April 06, 2012, 06:13:17 PM »
I'd ask the indy guy if he can offer a decent maintainence insurance on it. While most of the time they are mediocre, at times you can get a good deal and some piece of mind that you won't be forking out for addtional costs later on.

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #9: April 06, 2012, 06:14:40 PM »
I'd ask the indy guy if he can offer a decent maintainence insurance on it. While most of the time they are mediocre, at times you can get a good deal and some piece of mind that you won't be forking out for addtional costs later on.

Even with the big guy, labor is only covered a year, units are 5 years through the manufacturer.

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #10: April 06, 2012, 06:27:31 PM »
Even with the big guy, labor is only covered a year, units are 5 years through the manufacturer.

Is 5 years the typical life of the units?  That averages out to about $300/month if so.

Online blue911

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #11: April 06, 2012, 06:29:59 PM »
Is 5 years the typical life of the units?  That averages out to about $300/month if so.

They typically last 20-30 years with periodic infusions of cash.

Offline Obed_Marsh

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #12: April 06, 2012, 06:34:50 PM »
I am not hearing anything that would convince me to pay more. I would do a google search for the models they are recommending and compare forum chatter and any reviews to see if there is any significant differences in units.

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #13: April 06, 2012, 06:42:54 PM »
I am not hearing anything that would convince me to pay more. I would do a google search for the models they are recommending and compare forum chatter and any reviews to see if there is any significant differences in units.

AtBC went online and peeps in Fla seemed to think Mitsubishi was good. Best we could tell is that maybe there was some padding with the materials for the Indy guy, labor seemed pretty cheap, but that's probably because.....his labor is 'cheaper'.  (Please don't move this to the IT'S RACIST thread.)

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #14: April 06, 2012, 06:44:37 PM »
The only reason I can think of to go with the big name is that it's a 'safe' known commodity.

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #15: April 06, 2012, 06:45:24 PM »
AtBC went online and peeps in Fla seemed to think Mitsubishi was good. Best we could tell is that maybe there was some padding with the materials for the Indy guy, labor seemed pretty cheap, but that's probably because.....his labor is 'cheaper'.  (Please don't move this to the IT'S RACIST thread.)



Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #16: April 06, 2012, 06:47:04 PM »
Oh, and the big company would let pay by credit card vs. check, so we would get some United miles out of it for flights, but that's more of aside. We are just such travel whores that would be a big bonus.

Offline Obed_Marsh

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #17: April 06, 2012, 06:51:56 PM »
$5K to an ING orange savings account or a brokerage account should overwhelm any frequent flyer miles unless you have a wiz bang card I am unaware. The Angie's list idea has merit but based on what is here I'd go the cheaper route.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #18: April 06, 2012, 06:59:18 PM »


$50 for reviews before a $15k purchase can be worthwhile

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #19: April 06, 2012, 07:44:51 PM »
Is the Indy guy an HVAC guy, or just some guy that works with a plumber that is doing this as a side job? He's a licensed contractor? If so... go with him.


I'd ask the indy guy if he can offer a decent maintainence insurance on it. While most of the time they are mediocre, at times you can get a good deal and some piece of mind that you won't be forking out for addtional costs later on.


Offline tomterp

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #20: April 06, 2012, 08:52:59 PM »
We got two estimates for duct-less AC/Heat mini split units:

One was from a large reputable company coming in almost 5 grand higher than an 'independent contractor' that may or may not be bonded and insured but has done lots of commercial work on the strip by our house.

Does anyone know if this takes the kind of expertise the larger company has? The other guy seems very knowledgible, but we just don't know the risks involved.

What would you guys do?

Thanks! p.s. We probably need to pull the trigger today.

Subscribe to Angie's List now and research.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #21: April 07, 2012, 08:24:35 AM »
Watch a couple episodes of Holmes Inspection. That should give you some insight. Being licensed and insured is huge to be honest. Be careful if they want all or most of the money up front.

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #22: April 07, 2012, 09:22:57 AM »
Is the Indy guy an HVAC guy, or just some guy that works with a plumber that is doing this as a side job? He's a licensed contractor? If so... go with him.




He's an HVAC guy.

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #23: April 07, 2012, 06:44:21 PM »
Then he just wants to do work while he is there. Flood pays for tv adverts. I'd go with the cheap guy.
He's an HVAC guy.


Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Duct-less AC/Heat Question - Help!
« Reply #24: April 09, 2012, 10:34:25 AM »
New wrinkle, it turns out the cheap guy isn't bonded or insured. Do we consider the 5k insurance against having someone fall off our roof and sue us?