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Old 08-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
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Please give me your opinion for complete install costs:

New Construction, 1800 sqft Ranch w/basement. HVAC eng. has provided me these specs per my house drawings...(with the assumption that the basement will be finished in the next few yrs.)

-75k BTU furnace, 95% efficient, two stage.
-13 Shear 3 ton AC unit

I also need all returns and ductwork installed. (returns & lines are cut into the floors & drywall, just no ducts yet).

I have a few quotes and i would just like to make sure they are reasonable before moving forward.

Thanks.

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Old 08-03-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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There's no way to get accurate pricing from an internet site. Different areas of the country have different pricing, and areas very close together can have vastly different pricing. Also, different brands of equipment have widely varying costs (and you get what you pay for with a/c equipment).

For example, the hourly rate in my area averages around $100. In a large metro area (~ 5 million population) about 100 miles away, the rate is nearly double that - and you can bet a 3 ton install there is going a LOT higher than it is here.

Talk to friends and neighbors, hit the search engines, call the BBB, etc etc. Get several estimates, compare them in terms of the services to be performed, the reputation of the companies, etc etc.

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Old 08-03-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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3 ton cooling looks like a lot to me.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
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Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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3 ton cooling looks like a lot to me.
Not to be disrespectful, but on what basis are you making that assessment? I've seen new construction 1800 sf homes that needed 4 tons of cooling, and I've seen them that needed barely 2. There is simply no way to make that determination based on the information given.


jonrya91: Did your HVAC engineer run a load calculation? If they did, and if they did it correctly, then I'd have to make the assumption that whatever data they came up with would be correct.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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Yes he did. I have to assume that he is correct.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
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Is the 1800 sq ft including basement?
Walk out or below ground basement?
Any trees?
What part of country?
How many widows?
.....................................?
.....................................?
Without knowing certain things its impossible to even begin to guess what you need
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
3 ton cooling looks like a lot to me.
My 2800 sq ft home has a 3 ton unit....I'd think it's sized perfectly because it's been 100+ for 6 weeks now and the house is very comfortable at 73 deg. 3 ton for an 1800 sw ft home may not allow adequate dehumidification.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #9
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Any 1800 sq. ft. home that requires 4 ton of cooling also requires a different contactor. Modern construction properly done is very energy efficient.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:53 PM   #10
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My 2800 sq ft home has a 3 ton unit....I'd think it's sized perfectly because it's been 100+ for 6 weeks now and the house is very comfortable at 73 deg. 3 ton for an 1800 sw ft home may not allow adequate dehumidification.
it has been said here many times in this post sq ft is only one part of many to the load.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:05 PM   #11
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While 3 tons sounds big for only 1800 sq ft. orientation and glazing play a big part in the sizing.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:51 AM   #12
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Any 1800 sq. ft. home that requires 4 ton of cooling also requires a different contactor. Modern construction properly done is very energy efficient
My point, of course, is that you cannot determine the A/C load based soley on the square footage.

I'd agree that 4 tons is WAY too much for the average 1800 sf home, but if you've got significant loads in the home you can definitely get up to that point. Granted this was not typical residential construction, but the load calculations bore it out. The owner was a big time football fan and the house had a "party room" that had a massive cooker/stove installed, along with big fridges and other high-heat appliances, and had an influx of body heat during game time. Two 2 ton systems (one for the main house, the second for the party room and bath). Total sf was ~1865 heated, and the home and party room cool beautifully, with very low power bills.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plummen View Post
Is the 1800 sq ft including basement?
Walk out or below ground basement?
Any trees?
What part of country?
How many widows?
.....................................?
.....................................?
Without knowing certain things its impossible to even begin to guess what you need
Sorry this took me so long to respond.

1800sqft does not include basement. The basement adds an additional 1800sqft.
Below ground basement.
Decent amount of trees providing shade in the morning and evening
low e windows
Pittsburgh pa
18 windows
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #14
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If you are planning to finish the basement and condition that space as well, 3 tons will probably be very close. Will all the ductwork be run for the planned basement remodel? The best thing you can do is get several bids (at least 3) from reputable contractors that can provide references. Make sure the bids are "apples to apples" and itemized. It's your money.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
1800sqft does not include basement. The basement adds an additional 1800sqft.
Below ground basement.
Also be aware that you have two distinct zones, each of which will almost certainly have much different cooling/heating needs. Trying to condition those spaces at the same time (and remove humidity from that below-ground basement) can be quite difficult.

I would encourage you to consider the possibility of zoning, or perhaps even two systems (or perhaps a traditional ducted central system for the main floor, and perhaps multi-evap mini splits for the basement). Yes, it would be somewhat more expensive, but it could be done in phases (main floor now, basement in a few years when you build back some money).

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