Would this bother you?

cindywhitallSeptember 26, 2012

I had my 2-stage ac and furnace installed last week. I asked the installer how I would know when it was in each stage. He said the thermostat would just do it based on the temp difference. (honeywel th8320 programmable and 2 stage compatible)

I was reading the manual and realized it couldn't be wired for 2 stage because I only had 4 wires and they didn't pull another one. It required 6 or 7 wires for 2 stages. I went in the programming and it was programmed as 1 stage heat/ac. I called friday afternoon and they said a supervisor would come Monday. He did and I was right. So I had to be available Monday for him and then again Tuesday for the guy to come and pull the new wire and rewire the stat and the furnace.

I was very annoyed that this happened. If I weren't so interested in how things work and stuff I'd never have known. I don't know why it was done wrong. In my reading I found the next level stat is not much more money. I have asked to be upgraded to a better stat, the th8321 (or better if they will go for it, which I doubt). I felt I was entitled to something because the mistake they made was inconvenient and if not discovered would have rendered my new stat no better than my old one, and made my furnace operate at 1-stage. (or something less thanit was capable of)

Am I totally unreasonable to be annoyed by this? I bought a 2 stage stat and system, it was hooked up as 1, and I, the homeowner, had to figure that out myself.

Thanks for listening.

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I certainly see why you would be annoyed.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 4:56PM
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You are not being unreasonable. The installation was done incorrectly. You paid for a 2-stage system and it should operate correctly in both stages. This is a sign of a contractor who is looking to cut corners and banking on that most homeowners would never realize what they had done. In my opinion this was not a mistake and done intentionally.

Now you have to wonder what other things they didn't do properly.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 5:05PM
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They did install the right stat, just wired it up wrong, so not sure if $ was the motive...the guy who fixed it did say most people get infinity stats (found that hard to believe, but maybe in some areas around here people have more $) and the infinity only needs 3 or 4 wires, so they might have just done it from habit. Different guy wired the furnace from the guy who wired the stat. They obviously didnt communicate. The most junior guy did the stat. Regardless, it's their job to do it right (which it is now). I hope they value goodwill and will upgrade my stat, depending on what they want me to tell my neighbors....I would hope someone told the original installers about the problem.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:33PM
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However, I don't see any reason what so ever that you should feel "entitled" to an upgrade. And to use the threat of badmouthing them as a bargaining chip is despicable.

Just my opinion of proper behavior.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:53PM
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I didn't threaten them, but I would not give them a recommendation either. I'd rather say, they did something wrong but made it up to me, than just say they did something wrong, but luckily I figured it out for myself. I assume they would prefer a happy customer than one who is annoyed at having to spend 2 mornings home waiting for something to be fixed when I shouldn't have had to. I feel they sort of do "owe" me for my time, but no, I won't threaten them that I will tell bad things. I will, however, be truthful if someone asked for a reference. If it was a mfg equip problem I would not have held it against them. This was entirely preventable with a little care and double checking of what stat and furnace were eing used. Not rocket science...I figured it out! I'll let it go if they don't upgrade me, but it can't hurt to ask. I was annoyed and didnt feel like the people I spoke with were very apologetic.

Salti, are you an hvac business owner? I'd be curious what other owners would think about the value of a satisfied customer vs a slightly unhappy one. This was a 17k job to them (it was overpriced but I got rebates, they still got the 17k...that story is over! Hvac, tankless, air seal and insul). I highly doubt it would hurt them to appease me, maybe they'll get one of my neighbors jobs....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:50PM
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Communicating thermostats like the Infinity controller work with only 4 wires because it has a digital interface. The contractor has the choice of running more wires and using a thermostat with an analog interface, or using the Infinity controller and the 4 wires in the wall. But there is no excuse in my opinion to set up your furnace as a single stage. In my mind if it was not to save money, then it is incompetence.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:07PM
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"I didn't threaten them, but I would not give them a recommendation either. "


After they fix their screw up - presumably without spending hundreds of dollars on a replacement but spending money on labor - why not tell others that they did a great job (if true) except they did not properly connect the thermostat until you prompted them?

No, I'm not a dealer... just a homeowner that has dealt fairly with contractors over the years by being respectful and fair. It's worked for me.

Again, YMMV.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:15AM
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This forum member is an HVAC dealer's worst nightmare. You could see this coming. A very conflicted homeowner and that's an understatement. If not this , it would have been something else.

Having said this, too many dealers hurt equipment's capability by installing the incorrect thermostat or not installing it correctly. Happens way too often. Sometimes it is deliberate , other times ignorance plays a factor, and other times the dealer frankly does not give a sxxt.

One of my pet peaves is seeing nice Infinity HVAC installed and then slapping a cheap generic thermostat that shortchanges the equipment's capabilities and features. Sometimes though this is due to cheap homeowner and the dealer knows he would lose the job if he had to quote the Infinity controller.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:23AM
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Let's assume that it would take an hour to pull another wire and material cost would be minimal. Would 'saving' that hour really save the business owner anything?

I guess it depends on whether the installer is paid a flat rate for the job, or is a salaried employee. In the latter case, if the tech returns an hour earlier to the shop, does he 'punch out'?

So what is the norm?


    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Tiger dunes...the stat is the one they quoted the very first time they came to my house, nothing to do with me as a customer. Also, if they had even offered me choices of stats as options I might have picked the one above what I got. The list price is not a lot higher at all. They ended up being here 2 days, neither were full days. Friday, I felt like they couldn't get out of here fast enough (gorgeous day...no other job after me), but the stat was installed Thursday so the ac would operable even though the gas wasn't hooked up until Friday. On Thursday I think the guy said they get option of flat or hourly and they were hourly on this job.

Salti, I'm not going out of my way to diss them nor to recommend them. If someone asks how it went I will tell them about the stat, and that they fixed it. And I will tell them not to do it on a Friday. That was my mistake. I meant to do it early in the week in case there were any problems so I wouldn't be down over the weekend, and because I know Friday-itis exists in many places. If something is being worked on that NEEDS to work, doing it on a friday is not always the best idea ( this assuming the company doesn't work weekends)

I have been out to dinner and ordered something that isn't prepared right, whether its cold fries or undercooked meat. Many times the mgr takes it off the bill,even though we didn't raise an ounce of a fuss. I think the cable company gives you
$ off your bill if they are late for an appt. Some things are just good business. I did not pick the cheapest company. For that kind of $ I expected a job done right....the first time.

So that is it. Not a big big deal and mainly I was curious of whether this was a mistake of laziness or what, and how common it is. I wonder if other people have the same issue and don't even know it.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 10:44AM
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kinda like domino's if delivery is over half
an hour pizza is free! what a concept.

is it worth it for you to take off another
mornings work for the different tstat?
if so, then talk to company owner.
you may want to request a different tech,
for whatever day of the week you deem
is best.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:23AM
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If someone installed the t-stat having only seen the wires and the stat, I would be annoyed, but that person might not have known how the system should work. You'd have to chalk it up to poor organization and communication. If the t-stat installer had seen the whole system and knew how it should work, it is pretty inattentive or lazy work.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Energy, OP talks about restaurant complaints and says "many times....".

I think I'd need two fingers to count how many times I've done that. The last time was maybe 5 years ago, I cut into a piece of chicken and it was red (uncooked) inside.

When I'm unhappy with a product or service, I don't go back or use it again.

OP should have things installed as expected, but the entitlement attitude and vindictiveness is something else. Did you catch the part of her talking to the workers whether they were paid by the hour or by the job? Some people have different boundaries than others.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:46PM
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snidely, you really are not a nice person...."many times" means out of the times something is not right, not that things are not right "many times". For example, not long ago they left off the tomato completely and put egg on the salad, when hubby requested extra tomato and no egg. No big deal, just told the waitress to please bring the tomato. Next thing you know the mgr stops by to apologize and takes it off the bill. Obviously they have a system where they want happy customers and if something goes back to the kitchen the mgr is notified. THAT is service and that keeps customers returning rather than not going back as you suggest. Yes, we do eat out more than we should!

You (snidely) give me the feeling that I should have smiled and said "hey great guys, you hooked up my system to run like the cheaper one that I didn't buy but that's ok, and hey it's ok that I'd never have known if I didn't ask so many freakin questions that annoy people." No. I spent good money and expected proper install. Not too much to ask. Please don't respond to me or reply about me if you are going to insult me.Is it really necessary? I find it childish, kind of high-schoolish. If you want to make remarks then do it via email to the people you want to hear it.

As to the hourly or per job question, we were discussing how slow it was for them between seasons and they didn't have another job after mine that day...it actually was in sympathy with them that work was slow and they earn less.

Vindictive, I am not. If I were, I'd go out of my way to bad mouth them, not doing it. Zillions of websites I could complain on, not doing it. Didn't even name them here did I? If I did, it could come up in google. So get off calling me vindictive. I expect to get what I pay for and yes, to some apology which may nor may not include a perk or something. I guess I'm used to good customer service and concern. I really didn't even get a "we're so sorry this shouldn't have happened." If my employee screwed up I would apologize and ask what can I do to make you happy? Do I expect them to try to make me happy? yes, because that's what I would do to keep happy customers and good word of mouth. Do I DESERVE it? not necessarily, which is why I won't pursue it beyond my email this week.

Energy, I don't know if it's worth being home again, but that's why I'd be happy with the SMALL bump up to the stat that recognizes the humidity and sets the ac to run a bit longer. No real install needed, just drop off the new one and collect the old one. The wiring and backplate are the same, only the removable programmable face part needs to be switched. The tech that was here told me so. That could be done it minutes at the beginning or end of the day. If they were giving me a higher upgrade I'd have to see if the tradeoff was worth it.

Doubt I'm getting anything because I haven't had a response since he emailed Wed and said he'd ask his superiors. I will probably let it go...

If you're still reading (not snidely I hope)...can you tell me the best way to set the stat for ac? I don't seem to be getting lower humidity that I expected with 2 stage ac. The days have been more humid, but my indoor humidity is also high, in the upper 50's. In the weeks before install I was running in the upper 30's up to around 50. I think those were less humid days though...Is it not a good idea to set it back from 72 up to 75 for the daytime when people are not home as much? How do I know if it is running in low or high? I mean, how much of a temp difference does the avg stat use to call for 1st or second stage ac? I think the blower is always the same because I mistakenly thought variable and multiple speed blowers were the same. I ended up with multiple speed so I don't understand if it changes force or not. (59TP5 Carrier)

Thank you to anybody who can help me with the humidity and stat question. No need to comment on the rest of it. really.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Cindy, I apologize, I was not meaning to insult you. Your attitude and approach are different from mine. Maybe I'm too passive, but I usually have low and somewhat flexible expectations in such matters as you've described. I just vote with my feet.

You spent a lot of time researching all the new work and equipment for your house, everything should have been done as per the bids and specs. No exceptions, I completely agree with that, but over the course of this experience, I'll just say as above, your attitude and approach to things is different from mine and I suspect from some others too.

I hope the outcome of all your efforrts and money will be satisfying to you for many years to come.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:02PM
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I went through 3 tstats until I got the one I wanted.
kinda liked the honeywell one better but it didn't have
the humidity features I needed.

if you are having humidity issues..its worth getting
the correct tstat to address that.
mine has extra wires though.

yours is multistage (hvac talk for 2 stages)
condensing unit? air handler is single speed
or variable?
I control my humidity down to 50% with vs ahu.
single stage condenser. when I want less than 50%
RH, I run the whole house dehumidifier.

call the company with your questions.
they know what was installed. they can look
up the correct tstat for you. keep the lines
of conversation open. they hold your warranty.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:35PM
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A 3 degree set back during the day is reasonable in my opinion. This is what I do with the second floor in my house.

You should feel and hear a difference in the amount of air for the first and second stages. It may not be very noticeable. The AC should normally start in the first stage. You will need to push the thermostat 4-5 degrees to invoke the second stage.

It has been cooler and more humdid this past week. The AC is not running long enough to dry out the indoor air.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:17PM
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energy, I had THOUGHT it was variable speed, but that was my mistake. It has a "performance ECM multiple speed blower motor". I didn't realize that meant it has 5 speeds and ONE speed is chosen to suit the application....at least that is my understanding. Yes, my furnace and ac condensor are both 2-stage units. Did you buy your own stats, or are you lucky enough to be in the business or have a contractor that will switch it until you're happy?

Never noticed the humidity until now, maybe just because I'm conscious of it and was expecting to turn my stat higher due to lower humidity (which the 2 stage was supposed to provide). Also, this stat might be reading the temp a degree or two different than my old one. I'll have to stick it back in the room to see what temp it says.

Would the air sealing that was done trap more humidity in that gets in when the doors are opened often, making it taking longer to de-humidify with the ac? They only did the attic and a little in the basement..orange foamy caulk along the rim joist and around the windows I believe. Right now inside humidity reading at 54-64, but it's been above 70 outside for a good part of the day. I have 2 different readings from my oregon scientific weather stations, not necessarily an accurate device. (one is over 5 years old, the new one is reading higher humidity--I have 2 inside units because the outdoor sensor broke on one)

UPDATE: I wrote the above several days ago when it was hot and humid, but haven't had a good stretch to really gauge how it handles humidity. I didn't submit it then because I was still trying to figure out which sensor is giving me the right humidity level...still haven't figured that out! My "salesman" at the hvac contractor never did get back to me on that upgrade to my thermostat. I wonder if he ever did ask his superiors about it. So far I have not recontacted them. I am curious if I will receive a follow up or a survey. I would have liked to have heard back and that almost makes me want to call/email him again. I think he might be trying to protect every penny of his commission (though I don't feel it should affect his commission, it wasn't his fault)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:25PM
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A 2 stage condenser will not work very well with out true variable speed furnace. I am not as familiar with the new carrier equipment as I am with some others but Trane 2 stage condensers require true variable speed if you want humidity control. Was your combination a AHRI directory match?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 2:09PM
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I don't think you will hear anything back from them, forget about the thermostat. You need to understand HVAC is not a restaurant business which they expect you come back next week and every week. I used to own a HVAC business, the best I can do is send you a 'thank you' card for your business after you paid the bill. If something is not working, and the unit is under warranty, then we'll come in to fix it. we like to do it right the first time, but that does not happen all the time. I don't think we'll go all the way out to make you happy (we simply can not afford that) since next time you need a new system will be 10+ years from now. Routine maintenance does not make enough money to keep us going, so unless there is a new installation potential, we don't really want those annual check up business. At this point, if you feel bad about what they did to you, call BBB and all other places, and do whatever you can to make you feel better. That is all you can do. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:24PM
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yes it had an AHRI match, here is info (out of format) showing it is a match. I'm sure it will be fine. Unless you are made of $ there will always be something out there better than what you got. I could probably have stepped up to the next furnace and a/c for $1000+, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

5089767 Active Systems COMFORT 17 PURON AC CARRIER AIR CONDITIONING 24ACB748A**30 CNPV*4821A** 59*P5A100E21**20 48000 13.00 16.20 1 RCU-A-CB 351 Yes

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Are you confident your humidity readings are accurate? These instruments may be giving you false readings.

Sealing the house should help the humidity conditions in the summer and winter.

You could upgrade to a thermostat which has a cool to dehumidify feature. This will allow the AC to run in the low stage to dehumidify the house. Some thermostats will go 3 degrees below the set point to reach the desired humidity. This will improve the humidity control.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Cindy, I'm with you. I think you're 100% right - period! It should have not only been installed right but SOMEBODY should have been on site to verify that everything ordered was installed AND working properly - completely - AND been able to demonstrate and explain it to you.

But that's just me.

Smart, well-informed clients are the best and easiest to sell high-end systems because they get it (those that are willing to spend the money, that is). When selling an Infinity system, if you don't want the Infinity Controller - then find another dealer - I wouldn't be your guy because you wouldn't be my kind of client (if I couldn't convince you otherwise)!

I think your sales rep did a very poor job of explaining what all the options for energy efficiency are and what he's selling you; from what I've read of your postings (and between the lines as well) he's at fault - not you; that's my opinion.

If you were my client I'd go to war for you (in a nice way); you'd get the T-stat upgrade and maybe more - no questions asked. However, a 2-speed condenser makes little or no sense at all with a single speed furnace or air handler!

I have seen geothermal installations where for some reason or reasons, things didn't work out as planned and teams of installing specialists had to spend days on-site to make it right - at no additional cost to the client - that's just the way it is!

Compared to the cost of JUST transporting a heavy drilling rig back on site, a thermostat is NOTHING!



    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Mike, I am not at all confident on the readings. I'll have to see what is out there to use to check them. I would love to have the next thermostat because it certainly couldn't hurt and might help, but I'm not ditching this one which I just got and spending $ on another one. To be honest though, I never had a humidity problem with my old single stage system, so it will probably be fine once it's running more than partial days here and there (next summer...or maybe this thursday and Friday!)

Clocert, I agree that I probably won't get it, bit it still annoys me that he didn't respond, plus it leaves me to wonder if he simply forgot to ask, and if he didn't ask I won't get it for sure. Maybe a simple email asking if he ever got to ask his superiors? A nice friendly tone? I agree that they wont be selling me one for a long time, but I do have relatives and lots of neighbors who also have 17 year old systems. I had told a neighbor about the job before, so he might be interested in doing it. It was a program with state rebates and involved air sealing, hvac, water heater...so it's not a small job if i were to refer him.

fsq4cw, I still don't understand my blower situation. It is a multiple speed blower on a 2 stage furnace....it's not variable, but I don't think it's single either. It does have ahri# and a 16.2 seer with that AHRI match. I think the Honeywell th8321 would be useful to help control the humidity, even though it wouldn't be thru the condenser but thru adjusting the temp as mike_home pointed out.

At any rate, this equip will be at least as good as my old and hopefully better, and it is new with a lovely 10 year warranty!

I think I will send a short email to see if he forgot to ask.

One other thing. There is a big dead spot of grass in the side yard where they drained my hot water heater. Not cool. I'll post a pic to see what you think. It is about 4x5 area, and we do keep a nice lawn. It is 2 feet from the driveway where they could have drained it. Someone who visited noticed it and commented that I should ask them for grass seed!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:14PM
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we really don't have to see the picture.
I once had a client who complained about some
tiny pieces of fiberglass from the ductwork
we removed from his attic.
like he wanted his yard shop vacd.
grass will come back.

concentrate on getting the tstat.
your Rh sensors may need recalibration.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:01PM
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"I had THOUGHT it was variable speed, but that was my mistake. It has a "performance ECM multiple speed blower motor". I didn't realize that meant it has 5 speeds and ONE speed is chosen to suit the application....at least that is my understanding. Yes, my furnace and ac condensor are both 2-stage units."

Still not sure what you have. If it's a 2-stage furnace it may be 2-discrete speeds, one for A/C and one for heating. As a previous post mentioned, only a true variable speed air handler will give you the greatest control of humidity and the full benefit of a 2-stage condenser.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:14AM
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I believe the Carrier Performane 2-stage furnace can be set up run on 2 speeds for heating, and 2 speeds for the AC. The choices are from 5 predetermined speeds. The AC speeds are set up so they can supply 350-400 CFM per ton of AC cooling. The speeds for heating and cooling are independent from each other.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:01AM
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Sorry Mike, I could be wrong but I just don't see any reference to it being a 2-stage blower.

Would you be able to direct me to such as reference?



    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 10:05AM
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I think Cindy has the Carrier Performance 59TP5A furnace. Here is the link to the installation manual.

I may have been wrong about the blower speed options. The low speed option for the furnace and AC may be the same speed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carrier 59TP5A installation manual

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:25PM
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I agree with you, your concern is not something trivial like other posters have made it out to be...it is a big deal and it is frustrating when you have to be the one to find it...The idea you should vote with your feet is stupid...how many times in your life do you buy an HVAC system? I would not be shy about letting people know the crappy service you received.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Thanks jwillis96. Now I have learned there were 3 problems....bad thermostat wiring, leaks at connection between coil and furnace and at coil and plenum (?) duct. Not giant leaks, but hard to miss if you just hold your hand there for a second...and burned grass where they drained the water heater. At least they are fixing their mistakes.

snidley...would you give them a recommendation?? :)

None of these are earth shaking, they all seem to be a lack of care and concern. I'm not even thinking they were too lazy for the wire now, I think it was just that they didn't THINK about it and didn't double check it...(doing it by habit I think) Salesman claims he is waiting to hear from mgt about the stat. Hopefully he mentions the air leakage to them as well. (irony...air sealing was part of the package!) I'm not expecting good results at this point. I wonder if the installers will hear about their mistakes?

Considering buying the next better stat on ebay and selling this one on there. Considered the IAQ, but not sure how useful it would be since I don't have variable speed, and it is more $$ and different wiring.

Did I ever post the grass photo? may as well, the biggest parts of the 2 brown spots are "more" dead now, but the edges near the bottom look a little better. Hubby is a bit anal about keeping grass nice so...

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Ah, a Rorschach test. (Why else would one post a picture of their grass in a Heating and A/C Forum?)

I see a Wire Fox Terrier dog.

Anyone else?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:28PM
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bart simpson beating himself in the head with a sledgehammer.

so you don't have vs?
could they install the tstat you want
& credit the old one towards it?
you would pay difference between the two.

my supply house took back the tstat
I used while the one on order came in.
picked up the new one installed it
and took the old one back the next day.
as long as it isn't messed up..no problem
with reselling it, as I was told.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Every construction project has a punch list. Your contractor sounds like he needs better employee supervision and QA, but it's not your role to tell him that. He's following up on the open items, so there's nothing to beef about.

Contractors usually know who to ask to provide references. Doing so or not is something I never think about and it's also something I don't care about. When asked, I usually agree to help out. I don't suspect your contractor will ask you to serve as a reference.

PS - I see a wire fox terrier too, awesome perseption!

I love the Bart Simpson comment.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:23PM
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Energy, I asked them to do that. On amazon and other sites the one I asked for (though I'd prefer even better!) is probably about $30 more. They said they wouldn't be able to use mine so they would be out the whole amount. Well, the sales guy said that. He has supposedly asked mgt about it.

II would gladly have been a reference if things had gone well, but obviously they wouldn't ask me now. I posted it as another example of what can go wrong if you don't choose the right contractor and keep an eye on things, and because I happened to have it on my laptop.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:14PM
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I see a squirrel, tail to the right. .I think you are mocking me, but I don't know for sure...anyway I see a squirrel.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:27PM
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This would bother me. Too many mistakes. Indicates they don't care or they hire people that don't care. Shame about the grass too.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:39AM
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If that were my lawn I would be LIVID!!! And I would be looking to take it out on someone!!!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:59PM
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