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1886 victorian Unico heating and cooling

ivanator2 Member Posts: 39
We are closing on a 4500 square foot house, in two days. Right now, it has a failed heating system. I just got my second estimate for a Unico installation. The two are miles apart. So far apart, I don't know what to make of it. The low bid is from an installer who was the the Unico installer of the year in 2008.

We would be installing a Unico system for both heating and A/C. One quote (low bid) is for a <span style="color:#000000">Unico MB3642L blower module 3 ton, </span><span style="color:#000000">Unico MC 3642C cooling module 3 ton, </span><span style="color:#000000">Unico hot water coil with connections to boiler, and </span><span style="color:#000000">Lennox 14ACX-036 condenser, pad, line set.

The house is three stories. I'm wondering if there was somehow some mis-communication and he gave a bid for only the first and second floor.  Is this sized appropriately for a 4500 sq. ft. house?



  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Sounds like something is amiss.

    I am not sure of your location, but 3 tons for 4500 sq ft is a bit small even for Maine.

    It appears that there was some miscommunication somewhere.  The appropriate thing to do is call both contractors.  Inform them that there was a huge discrepancy in the bids.  Do not tell them which one was high and which one was low.  Just that there was a discrepancy.  Review the job with them.  Ensure that they are both bidding on the same work.

    We all make mistakes and we all hear things different.  Remember playing Post Office as a kid?

    Give them both a chance to review the info and see what happens. 

    Good Luck 
  • What failed in the current heating system????

    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • ivanator2
    ivanator2 Member Posts: 39
    edited March 2011
    Radiators blew - the heat wasn't on

    The house is a short sale. It was a contract-for-deed, and the guy who bought it as a contract-for-deed walked away from it when the market tanked and didn't tell anyone. There was no heat (this is Minnesota), and the radiators on the first and second floor blew. The bids for replacing the radiators are higher than installing the Unico system. They'd have to replace about 15 radiators. 
  • Figure on alot higher operating costs with.....

    the Unico system.  Forced air systems tend to cause a lot of air leakage in homes, do not produce more comfortable radiant heat which means higher stat settings, and consume large amounts of electricity.  Overall you can probably figure about 30% higher operating costs or more, especially taking into consideration all the additional repairs that will be needed over the years.  Add in the inherent fire safety issues with ducted systems,(especially those that employ non fireproof flex duct), and health issues with bacteria, mold, and various microscopic critters living in the duct work, and the conversion starts to  look awfully unattractive. 
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
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