A cautionary tale on HVAC contractors
I wanted to share a story about a HVAC gone wrong in the hope that it may help other users avoid a similar situation in the future.
Last year I purchased a home in central pennsylvania which was built in 1978. The home had a massively oversized Weil-McLain oil fired boiler w/ baseboard convectors and no air conditioning. When I purchased the house I knew that I would eventually add air conditioning and update the heating system to something more efficient. Over the winter I ended up spending $3500+ on fuel oil, despite having the thermostats set very conservatively (~62ºF) the majority of the time.
After agonizing about many possible approaches and talking to at least 8 different contractors, I finally settled on a partially ducted four zone hyper heat Mitsubishi system which would cover all heating and cooling needs of the living areas of the home. The air handler for the ducted portion of the system would be located behind the knee wall in what is currently unfinished attic space, but the air handler and all ducting will eventually be brought inside the thermal envelope when that space is finished. I made this decision for a multitude of reasons, including some fundamental design issues in the existing hydronic system and a decaying chimney flue which would require a liner to be installed in the near future.
I was very careful to select a contractor which did a detailed heat loss calculation by default without me asking for it. I was also careful to select a contractor who specified high/low returns in each room, rather than central returns. I also selected one of the few Mitsubishi Diamond Elite dealers which serve the local area expecting that this would ensure me not only a longer warranty, but a certain level of quality in the installation.
Unfortunately things have not gone as I planned since the install started. Workmanship has been extremely poor, particular concerning the ducted portion of the system which is located in a currently unfinished attic space.
Photo Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/1QexDSyxR571uxJw5
1. The placement of the outdoor unit does not meet the minimum clearance specifications provided by Mitsubishi. As installed it has only 19″ of clearance overhead and 9″ behind. I raised this as an issue after the first day of the installation to the installer on site as well as the sales rep I was working with, but my concerns were dismissed.
2. The workmanship on the metal ducting which has been installed in the attic so far is not acceptable:
3. There are also several issues with flex ducting in the attic:
4. Return issues:
5. The workmanship and layout of the linesets and electrical which have been run under the deck are completely unprofessional. (see photos)
6. The floor unit (MFZ-KJ09NA) installed in the upstairs office has been completely unable to maintain the desired setpoint. Today the office reached 75°F when the outdoor temperature was 85°F and the thermostat was set to 65°F.
8.There has been drywall damage in several rooms which was not mentioned to me by the crew. Additionally, debris from cutting drywall has not been cleaned up in several instances and room contents were not sufficiently protected from drywall debris. In particular several items in one room have been damaged as a result of being covered in drywall dust.
9.Lineset insulation throughout the system has been shredded when it was pulled and not repaired/replaced. I’ll note that I raised a concern about this after the first day of installation and was assured it would be addressed (it has not been).
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