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Need Advice a/c heating company recommendations

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by jmbranch, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. jmbranch

    jmbranch New Member

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    I see many for Climatic , anyone recommend any others for installing new systems. I would like to get more than 1 estimate.
     
  2. signifer

    signifer Member

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    I haven't tried these guys (yet) but they were recommended by the plumber I used (and liked). http://novamechanicalservices.com/

    My belief is that HVAC guys seem to have 3 different business models: one tries to always sell a new system, one does minimal repairs and tries to sell maintenance contracts, and the third one tries to diagnose and fix the HVAC system (but will sell new ones, if needed). I was looking for someone who would try to diagnose and fix a problem before recommending replacement. I had found a plumber that did repair before replace and asked them for HVAC recommendations (in case I needed HVAC service in the future). This is who they recommended. (From the boards, it seems like Climatic does this, too, but I haven't tried them either.)

    Good luck...
     
  3. glencastle

    glencastle The Paterfamilias

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    We just had Modern Mechanical install two new systems and they did a great job. Very professional.
     
  4. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Part of the catch with AC though is... we've gone through at least 3 generations of technology and regulation in our house's lifetime. It's not just a matter of what people 'want to do' - but because of availability of the refrigerant, etc you're basically forced to replace vs repair. Add into that the improved efficiency you get with the newer systems.. it becomes far better decision to replace than sink lots of time and future repairs into a old system. Adding into that.. the problem that your AC and furnace are pretty tightly coupled. So I wouldn't hang this entirely on the contractors... but the older the system is, the more of these hurdles and dependencies you are bogged down in.

    I would ensure when talking with a contractor that they map out both repair and replace options so someone can make their own choices.
     
  5. sigmaflux

    sigmaflux New Member

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    I've used Climatic and another HVAC service in the past and find the previous statements mentioned to be very true. I used A&M recently to fix both my A/C system last summer and my heating that broke a few weeks ago. I can't recommend these guys enough, fast, inexpensive and professional. They were the most price effective and timely on both occasions.

    http://www.amhvacservices.com
    www.amhvacservices.com
     
  6. sunset

    sunset New Member

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    I won't recommend Modern Mechanical. I strongly recommend SSI (Service Specialties Inc.). They are reasonable and efficient. One of their reps in particular - very knowledgeable, courteous, responsive.... Good luck with your choice and it's a good idea to get more than 2 estimates.
     
  7. Che11ez

    Che11ez Active Member

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    Climatic!! Best estimate we got and are pleased with our new unit and their wonderful customer service :)
     
  8. signifer

    signifer Member

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    Basically I agree with you but I want someone who figures out what the problem is then tells me what is wrong, what it takes to fix it, and what the pros/cons of alternatives are, so I can decide.

    I may make a "stupid" decision (from an economists point of view) and go for a repair that I know will only buy me some time but fits my financial situation best and give me a chance to be better prepared for the "better" choice. I face this with cars more often. A car may have 150,000 or 200,000 miles and need new tires or transmission, which would cost somewhere between $500 and $2500. I know there are lots of expensive things that can go wrong any day now but the car is well maintained and seems basically good, so do I spend money on repairing the car or get a new car with better economy, more features, and a warranty? How much money is too much to spend on repairs?

    My experience with HVAC contractors has been that many skip the troubleshooting step and leap right into why I need a new unit. This causes me to believe they are in the business of selling new systems. I first had this happen when a coil had failed. Out of 5 HVAC guys I had come in (some were highly regarded) only one took the time to figure out what it was. Two of the others took the approach of "just get a service contract and call us when it malfunctions and we'll fix it". The other two basically said, "well, these units only last for around 7 years, yours is 5 years old, so it's better to just replace it. It will save time and money."
     
  9. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    @signifer - but the business also has to deal with the unreasonable customers. The ones that decide they want to repair, even if the contractor can not really gauruntee the success of the repair, or that it will be a singular event. Customer blows past that, demands the cheapest repair... and then later when it fails again they are all pissed off at the contractor. It's the contractor's fault the less than reliable method actually didn't run for another 5-10 years. Repeat that cycle a few times and see how willing you are to repair systems that are pretty much guaranteed to fail more in a short time period. The lack of responsibility on the customer side also helps shape this reactive behavior.

    I don't think its all greed or lazy - but rather influenced by what will be the most successful as well. Unlike HVAC, your car parts are going to be readily available for some time... you aren't going to get that much more efficency out of a new car vs your old... the oil your car uses isn't banned from production... and the delta between a 2k repair and a 20k new car is a lot wider than the delta between a $500 repair and a $3000 or even $10k HVAC replacement.

    We are also burned by the cheap systems the builders put in vs what they could be using. None of us got a discount on the house for that :)
     
  10. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I will probably replace my systems the next time they have a significant problem. It's 15 years old now, and the old technology is quickly becoming either unserviceable or very expensive. To charge up the freon in an ac unit used to be $10-$20. Now it's in the hundreds! If you plan to sell your house, selling it with the older ac units will be a detriment.
     
  11. Grasor

    Grasor New Member

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    I used Cascades Comfort Services to install a new AC Condenser and Air Handler and they did a fantastic job. Now using them to maintain the equipment and again they do a very good job. If you're getting a new condenser I recommend getting one with a spiral compressor - much much much quieter.
     
  12. penny

    penny New Member

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    I had John Nugent & Sons replace my 10 year-old builder grade A/C and furnace because the units outright failed.
    Their customer service is outstanding, and they did not try to up-sell me on anything.

    Their website is: www.nugentsons.com, and it looks like they will do a system analysis for you.

    Good luck on your quest!
     
  13. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    My experience with Modern Mechanical:
    Called a few weeks ago to get a price to replace my 75 gallon water heater. I was quoted $1609. My next lowest estimate was $1800.
    Last Friday, I decided to move forward with the work. Stopped by Modern Mechanical to place the work order. I was told that they weren't sure any were in stock and that supply is quickly drying up. They promised to call back later that day to let me know if they could get one. While I was waiting to hear back, I confirmed that my second choice company with the $1800 quote still had a tank. the answer was yes.

    Modern Mechanical calls me back. Good news! They had a tank in the warehouse on hold for someone, but they cancelled the order. The tank was now available to me! At over $2100! I reminded Emily that she quoted me a price of $1609 a few weeks ago. She said they were hard to find and prices were going up. I reminded her that they didn't have to "find" the tank, and that it was already in the warehouse. She said that I can try to find a cheaper one elsewhere, but the $2100 price was it. I tolkd Emily that I didn't appreciate companies taking advantage of consumers and price-gouging simply because they can. I'm going with the $1800 company.

    Not what I expected from a company that won the "small business of the year" award.
    I will never do business with a company like this and hope anyone reading this won't either.
     
  14. sunset

    sunset New Member

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    After reading this, I no longer feel "singled out". I had a similar experience with Modern Mechanical and EMILY!!!! I would never recommend this company to anyone, nor would I ever contact them again. I wasn't surprised to see their advertisement at this time, in the latest Broadlands Newsletter!!!!!!!
     
  15. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    We just had to add R-22 Freon to our system and WOW has price gone up. The junk Goodman system van metre put in needed 3 pounds of R-22 and it cost us $380 with the visit. Prices were going up last time we had it replaced but that is a jump. I don't blame the company for it as that's pretty much what I've read the going price is. They looked over the system and other than the leak we've known about it seems to be ok. We used John Nugent & Sons this time as they were able to get out here today.
     
  16. dapeach

    dapeach New Member

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    Check Cyprus Air.
     
  17. shim

    shim shim

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    Climatic now charges (2) Service call fees if you have two outdoor units. Too slick by half for my taste, border line price gouging IMO. I guess that's the thanks this community gets in return for its strong support and massive spending with them.
     
  18. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I've found this to be the same with all companies. I have yet to find one that will discount doing a service call on a second unit.
     
  19. GenericEric

    GenericEric Member

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    I've had good luck with Ashburn Air. They do charge two fees for two units, but the second unit price is reduced. Tend to be pretty good about trying to diagnose and fix without rushing to suggest replacement, despite our low quality Goodman units approaching/past their lifespan.
     
  20. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    I can no longer recommend Climatic. We recently had an issue with our basement unit. It was flooding due to a clogged condenser drain. I didn't want to turn the unit back on until the drain was cleared and the electronics were checked as water had completely drenched the internals of the unit.

    Climatic told me it would be $95 for the visit + any parts for the repair. I thought fine I'll pay $100 for piece of mind. The guy gets to our house late in the day (so 2 days without the unit running) and I had already had the unit apart and diagnosed the issue and told him what was wrong. I had even snaked the floor drain to make sure that was not clogged. I just didn't know the best way to clear out the condenser drain as everything was glued. He didn't have a drill with him so I let him borrow mine to drill a hole in the drain line to blow it out. He used a $2 CO2 cartridge tool to blow the drain line clear and that was it. 5 minutes. He didn't look at the rest of the unit since I did everything else and said it would be fine. Ok yeah. Then charged me $175 for the visit.

    Nope won't use them again.
     

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