New American Standard HVAC system install - Quote Help

SenoJ004July 28, 2011

Hi, I was hoping for some subjective information about my oil-to-gas conversion and quote.

Existing Conditions:

-Location: Boston

-1918 Two-Family House (each floor/unit approx. 1,400sf)

-Gravity fed hot water, oil boilers and cast iron radiators

-hot water heater

-gas line exists

My Request:

-Removal and disposal of two boilers, all radiators and related water piping, two oil fuel tanks and oil fill lines

-Install direct vented gas furnace to both living units (basement for 1st floor, attic for 2nd floor)

-Furnish and install 7-day thermostat.

-Install AC unit to both living units.

-Install direct vented 40-gal high efficiency hot water tanks for each living unit.


-Remove and dispose of both boilers and oil tanks and all piping and radiators.

-Installation of (2) American Standard Freedom 95 gas furnace with a 2 1/2 ton cased air conditioning coil. Furnace Model # AUH2b060A9V3VA. (one in basement, one attic)

-Furnish, install, seal and insulate all duct work to all floor registers and return registers. 1-1/2" duct insulation in basement, 3" in attic. Return vents will be installed in all bedrooms and living room.

-Furnish and install all direct venting, low voltage wiring and including a 7 day programmable thermostats.

-Installation of (2) American Standard 13 SEER 2 1/2 ton condensing units. Model # 4A7A3030D1000A (Allegiance 13)

-Install (2) 40 gallon direct vent hot water tanks, Bradford White. Furnish and install all venting and gas piping to unit also all water piping.

Price (includes both living units):

Furnace and AC: $22k

Hot Water: $2.8k


1. What is your opinion of the complete system?

2. Any opinions on the individual units (furnace/condensing unit/hot water tank)?

3. Any recommendations for changes and/or upgrades?

4. I believe I will be purchasing the furnace and condensing units (not included in price) so am interested in the cost of these units. It looks like the furnace gets a nice rebate, but I don't think the Condensing unit or water heater do. Without knowing the cost, I don't know if it would be better to upgrade to an Allegiance 15 cond. unit, as I think it has a rebate.

5. Does the cost look reasonable?

Any information, opinions, suggestions are greatly appreciated.



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I'll focus on the HVAC side since I don't know much about direct vent hot water tanks.

The quote provides enough information about what they plan to do which gives me a good feeling about this installer. However since you are providing the equipment, the quote is high in my opinion. Sounds like they are still quoting the job as if they provided it and marked it up. I think it can come down at least $5k.

Who is providing high voltage power to these units, or is this an additional cost paid to another contractor? Also to clarify, will there be multiple returns on the first floor as well or one central return in the living room?

I would clarify with the dealer about the ductwork system. By the quote it sounds like it is all hard metal, with no flex duct even in the attic where it is common. If this is the case, great. This could account for why the quote is on the higher end.

I would strongly consider upgrading to the 15 SEER condensers if the unit price increase is not more than a couple hundred per unit. They should be quieter and are overall nicer units in my opinion even if they have the same cabinet. Another upgrade to look into is a high efficiency media filter for each unit. They typically get replaced every 6 months or in some cases up to a year, and they provide better filtration of the air and hence protection of the equipment. These may add a couple hundred per unit installation.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:08PM
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Thanks for the response Ryan. Answers to a few of your questions:
-The high voltage electrical work has been excluded from the quote.
-There will be (3) returns in each unit (liv. room and both bedrooms.)
-Not sure about the ductwork.

Any idea how much an A-S Allegiance 13 and 15 Condensing units run?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:02PM
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First understand I can not see the job.

Why two hot water heaters? Why not one larger unit? Where will HW heaters be located?

Since you are in Boston, I am not sure I would put a condensing furnace

in the attic due to possible winter freeze ups. If your attic is not conditioned, then it would seem a small 80% eff non condensing mdl would be a safer choice. Discuss thoroughly with dealer and perhaps neighbors who have similar homes.
I would add more returns to each floor especially to a central interior hallway if you have one.More returns equal better airflow and overall comfort.

I want to know thermostat mdl.

AmStd is solid equipment. if planning. On being in this home for many years, I would upgrade to the Allegiance 15. You do want best rated Trane evap coil, no third party coil substitution.

Hard to say about the overall cost without having another competitive quote to compare with. I strongly recommend you get one, perhaps on Carrier/Bryant HVAC.

I do recommend a box filter for each system. Gas heat is dry heat. Any discussion of need for humidifier?

I would want to know material for new ductwork including how they will be insulated. You might check with local bldg authority to see what's code for your area.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:25AM
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- The total quotes noted above INCLUDE the Furnace, A/C Unit and Hot Water Heater.
- The ducts will be all metal with flex at the connector boots.
- Upgrading to Allegiance 15 A/C is extra $800 (rebate not factored into price).

- (2) water heaters because this is a two-family (separate units/separate utilities). Both will be located in basement.
- Unknown Thermostat model.

Thanks for your opinions.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:59AM
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You want R8 insulation for ductwork or better.

This freezeup issue is not insignificant. You need to follow up on that.

Since you don't know the thermostat mdl number, I will tell you at the minimum you want the AS 803 or identical mdl from HW mdl #8321.

I would negotiate the price upgrade to the Allegiance 15 mdl.

You want a good pleated filter box on the return end of each furnace for good indoor air quality and to protect both blower ably and evap coil.

Follow my suggestion on ductwork returns for each zone.

You need another quote for competitive reason.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:30AM
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That price upgrade is mostly profit. Does the Allegiance 15 model cost more - yes it does. $800 more - no it doesn't. Why shouldn't he give the upgrade model to you at cost? He has enough profit in his quote already. Installing the nice outdoor condensor doesn't add more work.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Ok, I'm getting another estimate and was hoping to have it by now. When it arrives I'll post for comparison. Thanks for all of your inputs.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Just received another quote and I'm wondering if they even want the work... About $20k for the first floor only, and $23k for the second floor. Are you kidding me?? That was a waste of time.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 4:13PM
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There is alot of people that don't want to work, unless they are getting rich while they are working. When they are out of work they complain the economy is bad or whatever. There is always successful people even during bad economic times because they are hard working and competitive. This contractor probably isn't if his quote is double.

Tell the contractor they don't have the job. There price is way too high. Tell them what you want to pay. If they want to work and make the money they will say yes, if they don't they will say no.

You might want to talk more to the first contractor. They sound more reasonable. Maybe they can come down on that price some. I"m assuming in your first quote the units were included in the price. I've never heard of them quoting prices without the equipment.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 11:19AM
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