HVAC System for New House
Hey all, new here. My web searching leads me here more often than not so I thought registering was the logical thing to do.
I’m in the process of planning a new build and have an issue with HVAC. Our average low temp here is 17F in Nebraska and the average high in July is 88F. I’m interested in saving money by skipping the furnace up front. In addition, I need the mechanicals to be quiet since they will be near a home theater. Everything has led me to wanting to run the whole house off of an inverter-driven VRF heat pump, one of the newer units that maintains heating capacity down to 5F (some as low as -5F) and saves us money in the summer. Names like Gree, Midea, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Toshiba, etc come to mind. We will use traditional ductwork for ventilation as there isn’t enough money to go full mini-splits and ERV and all of the complications those entail.
The trouble is twofold. 1) if I tell the builder I want to use specific units like Mr Cool or (insert brand here), they are not interested in working with me. The attitude I got made me feel that a good chunk of the house profit must be in selling the HVAC system itself! If I point them to the big name brands like Carrier or Trane which they work with, they warn me there will be big price tags to follow compared to their run-of-the-mill 13-16 SEER units + gas furnace combos. I don’t think this is right.
All of this seems to prevent the home owner from getting what they want, and it prevents greater adoption of this technology. I know it’s readily available and I know it doesn’t actually cost that much. $3-4k parts plus labor plus ductwork should do it.
What would you advise me to do? Pony up for the big brand names and pay 500% markup? Or choose the basic options and replace the A/C with a $2k heat pump later? If I do the latter, I would keep the gas furnace since it’s already there. I would just rather save the money on it up front.
The house is 2 floors which is about 2000 sq ft, and the basement will be another ~900 sq ft. That also leads into questions about whether zoning is worth it…and if so, that would complicate the plan since all the design for it needs to be done up front.
Is it typical to run into issues like this when working with a builder, and what’s the best way to get what I want? Thanks in advance.
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