Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I am very bad at this.

Right now I am sitting here waiting for two HVAC companies to give me revised quotes. We originally met with four different companies, one of which was our current one, another was recommended by a friend, and the other two we found via the Monroeville Home Show. This process is nothing like when we got new windows two years ago, which was challenging enough for me.

We have received quotes for five different brands (Carrier, Comfortmaker by Carrier, Bryant, Lennox, and Trane). And the varying options are almost dizzying (single-stage or two-stage, 95 or 96 percent efficient, ECM or some other motor, 13 SEER or 16 SEER). Prior to last week, I had no idea there were so many variances.

Last month, during our annual furnace inspection, we found out that our heat exchanger was cracked, something that happened when we first bought the house. Since our furnace is 21-plus years old, over-sized, hardly efficient (80 percent, which furnace people say is really much lower due to the age and some rusting chimney liner thing), and prone to repairs, we knew it was time to replace it. And since our furnace just flat out stopped working on Saturday and has not come on since, well, yes, we really need one now.

Since our AC is as old and also has had issues, we have decided to replace it as well. This really kills me because it is still working, but we have had freon leaks and something else recent, plus I just know that if we wait, we will have some other fix this summer, and then it would be more expensive to get someone out here to replace it.

So I wait. And continue to crunch numbers. And do searches on brands and companies and other things. And I worry.. What if I make the wrong decision?


****

Okay, I am back now. We received our final proposals. I just emailed the company we have been with for about seven years to say good bye. Even with the revised proposal, we would still be paying over $600 more to stay with them. I was very happy with their service over the years and found them to be extremely professional, and I told the sales guy as much. But at this point in our lives, even if our service ends up being lesser with this new company, I am going to have to be okay with it. This breakup is hard!

Next I am going to have to let the other two companies know, which I hate to do. At least the one guy told me that the price he gave me was as low as he could go, so I should not have to worry about his trying to get us on board. Not sure what the fourth company will do. Brian does not think I even need to call these other two. I disagree. It is the right thing to do, even if it is difficult for someone nice like me.

In a future blog post I want to write about my experiences with this process, sharing what I liked and what I would have changed about what each company did. However, I am not going to name companies. The purpose is not to knock down or criticize any one business. Just to share what happened. Maybe it will help someone else navigate the HVAC estimate waters.

Here's to having some heat in the house in the next few days, heat other than what comes from a space heater anyway.

Wish us luck!

3 comments:

Facie said...

Well, the sales guy from our original furnace company emailed me back saying that he went $1,000 lower, which he thought brought them within $200 of the company we are going with. He said maybe he could talk to his manager to see what else he could do.

Unfortunately, when I first told him he was $1,200 over, I was looking at an AC with greater SEER for the other company. When we went with the lower SEER and the other guy threw in another discount, that made the difference greater than what I had told him. Regardless, this makes me mad. So he could drop $1,000 (plus he also cut out some things from the original proposal) and now he can probably cut out another $200? If he really wanted to keep me, he should have had a lower price to begin with.

At least the one guy was cool when I said no. One more to go!

bluzdude said...

It's stories like this that make me so glad to be an apartment dweller.

I know I aspire to finally buying a house, but this makes me appreciate what I have... something breaks... I call the Landlord and they fix it.

If only real life were so simple...

Facie said...

Bluz: If I did not have a handy husband, I would have fought hard against our owning a house. There are so many things that can go wrong, and if you don't know how to fix minor or even more than minor but not major things, then you could go broke owning a house. Enjoy apartment dwelling as long as you can!