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Old 01-14-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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New House HVAC bid


My wife and I are building a new home this year. Our contractor gave our house plans to his HVAC sub, and the bid came back at $39k. This is a 3100sq/ft ranch with a walk-out basement. Good size home but not really the Taj-Mahal. Their bid called for dual geotherm heat pumps. I love geotherm but thought the bid of $39k was really high. 1st question: If we insulate well (ie spray foam etc) do we even need geotherm? this sub is a Trane dealer and they have a 20 seer conventional heat pump with an ultra high gas furnace. Not sure what that bid would be but would imagine it is a lot less than $39k. 2nd question: Are dual systems even needed? The important reason "we need" 2 systems (they say)is so we will be able to zone heat and cool. Just came from a meeting with the sub and can't help but think he is "pushing" this system because is cost the most and therefore more profit for him. Am I wrong?

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Old 01-14-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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New House HVAC bid


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Originally Posted by CentralIL
My wife and I are building a new home this year. Our contractor gave our house plans to his HVAC sub, and the bid came back at $39k. This is a 3100sq/ft ranch with a walk-out basement. Good size home but not really the Taj-Mahal. Their bid called for dual geotherm heat pumps. I love geotherm but thought the bid of $39k was really high. 1st question: If we insulate well (ie spray foam etc) do we even need geotherm? this sub is a Trane dealer and they have a 20 seer conventional heat pump with an ultra high gas furnace. Not sure what that bid would be but would imagine it is a lot less than $39k. 2nd question: Are dual systems even needed? The important reason "we need" 2 systems (they say)is so we will be able to zone heat and cool. Just came from a meeting with the sub and can't help but think he is "pushing" this system because is cost the most and therefore more profit for him. Am I wrong?
Geo would be the best way if you have the land space for it. 39k is in line with Geo.

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Old 01-14-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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New House HVAC bid


You can "zone a single unit.

Spray foam would allow you to get 1 geo and zone it. Or get a single conventional hybird/dual fuel system, and zone it.

Geo is expensive to install.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:58 PM   #4
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New House HVAC bid


Did you specify geothermal in the house plans? That will typically double the HVAC costs over typical split system furnace and AC. Which sounds about right for 2 complete new systems with the heat distribution network, etc ($20k). Those are prices for top of the line systems, not "builder" grade.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:18 PM   #5
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I guess we did specify Geothermal. Our contractor was really for it when we talked to him early on in the process as the plans were being drawn. It wasn't a "last minute change" for sure. It thought there were ways to zone a single system. We are new to the building process. Thanks for the info so far. What I have read...people always talk about "payback" for the systems. It would seem to us that if we had an "ultra-insulated" house the payback would be incredibly long.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:01 AM   #6
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The tighter built, and better insulated the house, the longer the pay back. but the bill is also that much lower.

You also would only need 1 geo then, instead of 2. Which would lower the up front install cost.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:46 PM   #7
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New House HVAC bid


Did the HVAC sub do a load calculation for heat gain/heat loss?

If it were my house, I would want to see/have a copy.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:19 PM   #8
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New House HVAC bid


Two level homes generally benefit from two systems. But you have a single level ranch so you should be able to use a single system (given that the basement is inherently a lower load space).

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