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Old 06-03-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by Technow View Post
Absolutely-we charge for the calculations if the homeowner wants the results WITHOUT a signed contract for the replacement.

I know our calcs are highly accurate room by room and I would question a "supply house" doing an accurate calc from their office desk.

We never gave the homeowner the heat loss/gain calculation unless requested with a signed contract for the work. Charging for a heat loss/gain when giving an estimate? That sounds ridiculous.

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Old 06-03-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Charging for a heat loss/gain when giving an estimate?
Instead of an estimate... or separately at least.

It's about a desire for objective data that is NOT tied in with a sale. Given the choice... most homeowners would prefer it.

The problem is that very few HVAC contractors are engineers or licensed to sell what amounts to a design plan (heat loss, ducts, equipment recommendations, etc)... even if they might be qualified to produce it.

This way, like in commercial work, Mr Smith can put his job out for bid and then have something to use as a guide to weed through the BS when the salesmanship starts.

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Old 06-03-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Instead of an estimate... or separately at least.

It's about a desire for objective data that is NOT tied in with a sale. Given the choice... most homeowners would prefer it.

The problem is that very few HVAC contractors are engineers or licensed to sell what amounts to a design plan (heat loss, ducts, equipment recommendations, etc)... even if they might be qualified to produce it.

This way, like in commercial work, Mr Smith can put his job out for bid and then have something to use as a guide to weed through the BS when the salesmanship starts.
You do not have to be an engineer to be able to plan a design for a whole house heating and AC system. There is a ton of software on the market that can do it for you. Additionally there are a ton of books out there that if you care to, can give you all the design information you could reasonably need.

The original question being a guy wanting to charge $400 for a heat loss/gain and the homeowner wanting to know if it is needed. A heat loss/gain should be done to size the thing correctly. However for the guy to spend $400 just for a quote? That is silly.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by FClef View Post
However for the guy to spend $XX just for a quote? That is silly.
Not the quote.
The specifications the quote is based on.

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You do not have to be an engineer to be able to plan a design for a whole house heating and AC system.
Correct. You don't.
Many right here at DIY flail at it regularly.

But if you have an actual life with no desire to go through that learning curve for a once in 20 year purchase yet want the objective data to use when dealing with the car salesman from the HVAC shop... that data (an actual specification) needs to come from a legitimate source who at least has E&O insurance to cover them both if/when the design gets installed and there's a problem. Get it now?


hth

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Old 06-03-2013, 09:17 PM   #5
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by hvac benny View Post
So, what does the company that you work for do when installing a system? Have three different employees do a load calc, or have the customer request this from two additional companies? Sounds odd to me.
No, not at all. I just don't think that the heat load expert at my company is the final verdict. I can't say that to a customer, obviously, but in my personal opinion the more the merrier.

Folk have come on here talking about having had three different heat loads by three different persons and results being an over 20k+ btu indifference from one to the other.

That's not a joke, why I personally suggest an average of three.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:12 AM   #6
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Not the quote.
The specifications the quote is based on.


Correct. You don't.
Many right here at DIY flail at it regularly.

But if you have an actual life with no desire to go through that learning curve for a once in 20 year purchase yet want the objective data to use when dealing with the car salesman from the HVAC shop... that data (an actual specification) needs to come from a legitimate source who at least has E&O insurance to cover them both if/when the design gets installed and there's a problem. Get it now?


hth
I never didn't "get it".

I certainly didn't suggest that a DIY person could lay out an entire system themselves and install it and have it be fully functional.

This is the very odd thing about this site, if you suggest that you get a professional to do something, people flail at you for saying that the pros want job security and that this is a DIY site and we shouldn't discourage those people.

If you suggest that a professional job can be done by a DIY homeowner... then you get lambasted for saying that a DIY can do a professional job.

You cannot have it both ways.

I for one think it is ludicrous to charge $400 for a quote with a heat loss. The companies I worked for never charged for quotes. We never gave them the results of the heat loss/gain either. You see, I think if you are really going to charge for something like that, you write it into the price, and never tell the customer anything about your charge.

The OP asked for an opinion. I am entitled to mine and you are entitled to yours.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:37 AM   #7
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Heat gain and loss calcs


how could our last company charge for something and not give the results? Isn't that the whole point of this debate? Would you give up $400.00 and not expect to see the results? makes no sense, makes me believe you have no idea about what you're talking about but rather are arguing just to argue.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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Heat gain and loss calcs


Any company that is charging $400 for a heat load/quote won't be in biz very long as MOST consumers won't pay for it and the other cheaper guys will get all the work. Now there are Commercial companies who do a BIT of resi work and probably they would charge the $400 as that is the way they do biz and do not understand the resi market. You have to be competitive or won't survive and the $400 will kill you. Then there are a few guys and it works where to differentiate yourself from the Joe's heat em and cheatem you impress the customer by saying you will do a PROPER heat load and if the customer is an engineer/tech type guy says yah I want it done properly and will pay the $400. Probably the way our $400 guy does work and it does work in a small percentage of the market. Probably he has lots of work anyway and just wants the serious customers not the el cheapo tire kickers/whiners and complainers so it weeds them out for him. Just depends on how he wants to do his business and what part of the market he wants.(he may have also agreed to deduct the $400 off the purchase price).

This is an interesting site and that is why it has some Pro's. If we did not find it interesting like a lot of the DIY sites passing misguided useless and sometimes dangerous 2nd/3rd hand info out we would not be here so the DIYers are lucky and fortunate to get FREE valuable advice. There are pay as you go HVAC sites where you pay a tech for advice. Unfortunately like in life there are Alpha male types and people who just like to argue and not sincerely help others or contribute good technical or useful advice but that is just the way it is. Up to the mods and owner whether they want to stop some of the useless pizzing when it gets carried away. Not nearly that nasty here as the flaming that goes on elsewhere.

Chill, Folks
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #9
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Any company that is charging $400 for a heat load/quote won't be in biz very long as MOST consumers won't pay for it and the other cheaper guys will get all the work. Now there are Commercial companies who do a BIT of resi work and probably they would charge the $400 as that is the way they do biz and do not understand the resi market. You have to be competitive or won't survive and the $400 will kill you. Then there are a few guys and it works where to differentiate yourself from the Joe's heat em and cheatem you impress the customer by saying you will do a PROPER heat load and if the customer is an engineer/tech type guy says yah I want it done properly and will pay the $400. Probably the way our $400 guy does work and it does work in a small percentage of the market. Probably he has lots of work anyway and just wants the serious customers not the el cheapo tire kickers/whiners and complainers so it weeds them out for him. Just depends on how he wants to do his business and what part of the market he wants.(he may have also agreed to deduct the $400 off the purchase price).

This is an interesting site and that is why it has some Pro's. If we did not find it interesting like a lot of the DIY sites passing misguided useless and sometimes dangerous 2nd/3rd hand info out we would not be here so the DIYers are lucky and fortunate to get FREE valuable advice. There are pay as you go HVAC sites where you pay a tech for advice. Unfortunately like in life there are Alpha male types and people who just like to argue and not sincerely help others or contribute good technical or useful advice but that is just the way it is. Up to the mods and owner whether they want to stop some of the useless pizzing when it gets carried away. Not nearly that nasty here as the flaming that goes on elsewhere.

Chill, Folks
I couldn't agree more. I discuss things, I rarely, if ever, argue.

This is why you will see me drop out of threads when I believe that it is pointless to continue.

Well said.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #10
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
...and it works where to differentiate yourself from the Joe's heat em and cheatem you impress the customer by saying you will do a PROPER heat load and if the customer is an engineer/tech type guy says yah I want it done properly and will pay the $400.
It's about ways to distinguish the better shops from the Heat 'em and Cheat 'em shops but more to the point (here) it's about how 98% of homeowners are left to the Texaco ad "you can trust your car to the man who wears the star" approach to trust that XYZ is actually doing all the PROPER details when these customers have no objective data or reason to trust either the business behind the work or what the salesman tells them is needed.

Few people, and none with any sense, will like doing these once in twenty year high dollar business transactions from that sort of weakness.

The Heat 'em and Cheat 'em shops are able to operate as they do because of the same "pay no attention to that man behind the green curtain" camouflage of the technical info that the best shops get to enjoy in an industry where none of the operators commonly provides that sort of data to the customer in advance of the sale. Not even when they ask and are willing to pay for it.

The more sophisticated (and expensive) the equipment gets the more problems there are with this business model. Caveat Emptor.

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Old 06-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #11
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Heat gain and loss calcs


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri
$400 sounds high. Even if his company charges $100/hr it does not take 4 hours to do one. 2 max. DIY at this site and see how close you come.

http://www.hvaccomputer.com/gtarget1...Fe4-MgodPF4AoQ
That is what I used, when we figured out what I needed for a a/c unit. It came spot on, as long as the person doin it, takes the time to gather all te info needed.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #12
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Heat gain and loss calcs


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
It's about ways to distinguish the better shops from the Heat 'em and Cheat 'em shops but more to the point (here) it's about how 98% of homeowners are left to the Texaco ad "you can trust your car to the man who wears the star" approach to trust that XYZ is actually doing all the PROPER details when these customers have no objective data or reason to trust either the business behind the work or what the salesman tells them is needed.

Few people, and none with any sense, will like doing these once in twenty year high dollar business transactions from that sort of weakness.

The Heat 'em and Cheat 'em shops are able to operate as they do because of the same "pay no attention to that man behind the green curtain" camouflage of the technical info that the best shops get to enjoy in an industry where none of the operators commonly provides that sort of data to the customer in advance of the sale. Not even when they ask and are willing to pay for it.

The more sophisticated (and expensive) the equipment gets the more problems there are with this business model. Caveat Emptor.
In the REAL world 50% or more of the HVAC contractors are shops of less than 12 people and just struggling to get by in a dog eat dog race to the bottom(profit wise)/low balling cutthroat business. You cannot expect them to have laptop computers with expensive heat load calc software and take the time just to satisfy a VERY few tech savy customers (less than 5% of our market). Less than 5% of the people want or could care less or would understand a heat load calc and REALLY are just looking for the lowest price. That is why it does not happen. REAL world info is what I am givin you. There is no business model and the Maytag guy and world was fictional. The shops that are successful are because they do neat work and get referals not because of load calcs. Load calcs are fine but in the real world the number of people living in the house, how often they open close doors, heavy cooking etc etc affects the performance and comfort not the load calc. Resi HVAC is not rocket science and us Pros like to talk theory but that is all that it is. Undersized ductwork etc also is a factor and we are not going to rip out the ductwork and redesign that either unless the customer has a complaint and then that is a extra job and cost.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:54 PM   #13
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That is true. Also where I am and everyone building a new home should get a mech engineer who understands house construction to look over the specs of the house and inspect it during construction. There are engineers who do that for a fee where I am and then you will get a good house or job done and not end up with a "3 dressed up as a 9"

Once again, what homeowner is going to pay for that, they want hardwood floors or more bells and whistles.

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Old 06-04-2013, 06:33 PM   #14
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everyone building a new home should get a mech engineer...
There are engineers who do that for a fee where I am...
And civil engineers and architects too.
People use them all the time.
Did you have some actual point?

Quote:
Once again, what homeowner is going to pay for that...
Once again, that service first has to be available. Currently it isn't. That's the problem.

There are a lot of people out there -many who come through DIY- looking for objective information to assess what they have, to help them plan for better, to help plan for remodeling projects, updating to new equipment... the whole gamut.

The BEST that they get are links to online Manual J's and such but even the few willing to start down that road don't really want to. They're forced to.

For $500 water heater or $1000 panel jobs it isn't such an issue. And in years past when the HVAC equipment was simpler it wasn't much of an issue for this either. But equipment is far more complicated and options are far more varied today... and most people really don't want to take the time needed to learn about it all.

What they want is someone who does it everyday to produce a plain language report for them without any pressure to buy anything from that person --and they ARE willing to pay a fee for that service.

Maybe you could start a new business?

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Old 06-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #15
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Actually I could. To be honest though very few people understand or want to understand those details as they think we are trying to snow or bamboozle them with techno babble. In my 34 yrs of experience most people use eye contact and buy from the person and company they trust and feel comfortable with, especially women who make up 1/2 or more of the buying decisions nowadays. Anyway this thread needs to end on my part and is ended.

Cheers

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