if you can post some photos of the final install I would be interested to see what they had to change up.
blapt5 wrote: ↑ I have to contribute another extremely positive experience with Ash and his company Fair Deal Heating and Air Conditioning. I am writing this review of my own volition since my parents were so pleased with the work done. Feel free to contact me if you want a more detailed opinion or overview – I’d stump for this company any day.
TL;DR version: Single best experience with a contractor my family has ever had. Detailed, frequent and clear communication (by text, phone and email), excellent prices, and his employees displayed a work ethic and professionalism I’ve never seen before. I have zero reservations about recommending Ash and his company for any HVAC work. We definitely didn’t have a normal or easy install – several issues arose (very old house), but all were handled very well at the best prices.
I acted as the go-between for my parents, as they were pretty angry after getting jerked around by another (supposedly reputable!) HVAC contractor in Toronto who were giving us a hilarious run around on warranty coverage after they already botched an initial visit (how do you not detect a serious leak and just fill up with refrigerant instead?).
Sent Ash (@newlyborn) a message directly on RFD forum on June 20 based on others reports and my own research. He got back to me a day later, and we had a very good informative phone call. I outlined the situation, and he gave me an explanation of what work was being proposed by the other company, and the “big picture” about what we might be facing for our specific situation. At no point did it feel like a sales pitch – this initial call really was just “I’m an HVAC expert giving free advice – do with it what you will”.
After discussing it with my family, we decided to go with an all new A/C unit from Ash. The time frame and price that Ash quoted (on a subsequent call) for a very good Lennox unit was by far the best that we got – I called around for various quotes from other well reviewed and reputable contractors, and he was significantly cheaper for a very good brand. Further, given the conversation we had on the phone, I felt more confident about the process and how the situation was being handled. Installation booked for June 26 afternoon and June 27 morning (if needed).
They had an opening in their schedule and were able to come on June 25 afternoon instead! Great. Unfortunately, when his crew arrived, it turned out that new A/C units have a significantly larger evaporator coil than what we had before, and wasn’t going to fit with the current furnace and ductwork setup (height issues). Ash immediately called me, sent me pictures and explained the situation. Nasty surprise, but… these things happen. The furnace was literally 30 years old, so a new one was likely coming up anyway. I did further research to confirm this was accurate information, and was able to see the size difference during the installation. When they took the old units out, Ash was able to educate us about the old furnace, new evaporator coil size (definitely would not have fit), and even pointed out where we could have done more maintenance on the AC unit.
From there, there were several other wrenches that we threw at Ash and his guys:
- We told them that “we don’t want to use the old floor drain anymore since we had issues and it just goes to the weeping system which is uncertain” – Ash had an appropriate condensate pump in his truck, which was added on for a good price – now draining to our basement sink
- Ash discovered that our old furnace and water heater had been venting directly into our chimney with no liner. While that may have been basically okay before (still not TSSA approved…) when the very old furnace could heat the chimney enough, there’s no way that would still be safe with just the water heater. We were quite resistant at first, but Ash explained it very clearly that this was going to be a safety issue in the winter. We initially said no since this was turning into a big enough project, but I confirmed with my own research again, and I’m very glad that he pushed a bit on it and we got a new liner (again – excellent price). I’m glad the water heater will have its own liner, and would have had put it in afterwards anyway based on my own understanding now anyway. A water heater will definitely not create enough of its own draft from the basement to a tall second-floor chimney to vent correctly.
- Then they realized that our ideal spot for furnace venting was…. not feasible, and they ended up having to run the furnace venting to the furthest possible (and most inconvenient) wall because of the unique restrictions with our house and setup. Again, this was unexpected, extra work, and the most difficult way to do it, but they handled it with aplomb. They were able to run the venting pipes cleanly between my basement joists, and did a great job with the holes they had to drill through the wall. Well foamed and caulked, with screens on the vents outside.
The crew (I wish I could remember their names – they were both extremely nice guys!) didn’t leave until 10pm. That makes my brain hurt to consider – they were there working continuously from 2:30pm until 10pm – and this wasn’t an emergency call or anything! Incredible work ethic, and all we could do was offer them lots of drinking water and try to stay out of the way (they even tolerated us asking lots of questions very well - and no contractor actually likes being bugged while they're working!). They had to come back the next day (arrived to the minute when they said they would) for some final touch up work and the liner installation. They also had thick blankets down over our floors and carpets, and cleaned everything up very well before they left.
Ash came by for a final visit to install the humidifier on the furnace and give my parents a tour of the system. Only then was payment asked for, and he showed us the warranty and registration for all of the work done (directly with Lennox under our name and contact info). My family is thrilled with the work done, and are much more comfortable than before (that will happen when going from single stage to a variable speed, but that won’t matter if the installation is garbage; this installation could not have been done better).
Ash and his crew definitely helped us make the best of a bad situation (AC breaking down in a heatwave is miserable), and we're very happy with how everything went.
New Furnace/AC Time?