Help me refine what I need (so or for the length)
Hi all - first let me say, thanks so much for being here. The knowledge I have been able to glean from perusing this forum, has been super helpful in letting me know how little I know.
Here's where I am now....
Am in mid bidding process on my 1961 home with 11 ft ceilings, lots of windows (west facing) and minimal/unknown insulation. We have HOT summers with daily temps in excess of 100, little humidity (pleasant - not too dry). Winters are mild, can dip into the 20s, maybe 2 weeks per year, at the very coldest. No snow.
We are in a rural area in California, so getting people out here can be a challenge, but so far have three reputable companies bidding.
My first issue is I like to ensure I'm bidding the same level job, and I really don't know if I am.
To start, I didn't realize that Bryant and carrier were basically the same, so I have one guy (Bryant local, mom and pop operation) and then another large union shop quoting carrier. Completely different, large operation quoting Lennox.
Let me tell you that I'm biased in favor of the mom and pop shop. That said, he's no sales guy which is both good and bad. Good because he's not just looking at commission, he's looking at how he would do the job, but bad because he's not a particularly great communicator.
So, please tell me what I need to be requiring in order to ensure the bids are comparable, here's what matters to me...
1: Cooling, efficiency and quiet operation. When at this house, we really live outdoors., so looks and sound matter (not full time yet - will be once it's all fixed up). It's expensive electric.
2: heating - we supplement with our woodstove, it's propane, not as worried about quiet or aesthetics.
I would love to be able to change the system setting and program the thermostat remotely.
Oh.... We have no real existing ductwork for the existing 1961 heater. Only one vent on either side of the furnace closet... Nothing to any of the bedrooms. We are considering exposed ductwork OR running it under the house (raised foundation). It is a tongue and grove ceiling with no attic, so no chance there.
We have a rental house in Hawaii with ductless Mitsubishi mini splits and like them, as we only heat or cool the rooms being used (since it's hawaii, cooling only). So far, all folks bidding have told us that will cost double what central would cost. I know people in this area all have ducted systems.... So maybe it's just ignorance, but I wouldn't want that same ignorance to impact resale down the road. Any thoughts on this?
So far it looks like people are saying either 3 or 3.5 ton AC.
Thanks for all of your help - I love the forums!