We decided to replace our 23 year old Lennox furnace and air conditioning, although they were working fine, because of the government grants available and the cost savings of more efficient units. Having found the Homestars website, we were able to identify 5 good contractors each with 100+ excellent ratings in order to get competitive quotes.
We met with Cy Goh from Spring Home for about 2 hours. He arrived precisely on time for the appointment, and was very knowledgable about the alternative systems available from Lennox and American Standard and the proper installation process. He also was very knowledgable about the various grants available and the procedures necessary to obtain them, including (at our request) providing us with the name of a good ecoEnergy service organixation to carry our our ecoEnergy audit as part of the Federal grant process. As questions arose, incuding as a result of meeting with other contractors, Cy very promptly responded to our questions by either email or phone within a couple of hours. In the end we were extremely confident in Cy and Spring Home and their competence and responsiveness and decided to hire them to do the installation, noting that the installation is 60% of the cost on a new system.
The system we selected is a top of the line Lennox system, being the SLP98 furnace (which is up to 98.2% efficient due to its large range of variable speed outputs), and the XC17 air conditioning which comes with the iComfort control panel (very easy to read and to program) and is Solar ready (for when this becomes cost effective). We also purchased a filter and humidifier. The reason we chose the top of the line model was that there was a bigger special rebate from Lennox on their more expensive models compared to their better models, so that the price differential was only about $1,000 for the top of the line model. One of the other contractors was also a Lennox dealer and the pricing and recommended alternative systems were more or less exactly the same. We decided to go with Spring Home for the reasons stated above, and also that they are based nearby in Markham.
The total cost was $10,600 plus HST of 13%, which totals to $12,000. Against this we will receive a Federal grant of $900, an OPA grant of $650 and a Lennox rebate of $1,100. So our net cost is $9,350. Spring Home will deal with the paperwork for the Lennox and OPA grants, and we have to claim the Federal grant ourselves.
The installation was scheduled for the following week after our signing the contract. Again the Spring Home people arrived exactly on time at 9:30 am, three of them. They were very tidy and worked quietly and efficiently for the rest of the day. Sheets were put down to protect our flooring and to prevent mess. Several times they spoke to us to explain and discuss issues including the location of piping and the air conditioning unit.
After they completed the work they provided us with the instruction manuals and gave us a quick tour of the system and showed us how to use the iControl panel. We also completed a customer satisfaction survey for the installers.
Overall we could not have been more pleased with Spring Home and we would happliy recommend them to others. It is a major home purchase that you only make once or twice in a lifetime, and we became very confident that it would go well - and it did.
A week or so after the installation, Cy contacted us again to make sure we were happy with everything and that there were no problems, which is a really nice and comforting step. As he said during the selection process, the purchase is only the beginning of the customer relationship. And they will also come in November/December when it gets cold to check that our furnace settings are proper and that it is functioning efficiently.
Of note, the warranty on the system is generally 10 years on all parts (from Lennox) and 5 years on labour (from Spring Home) - which we understand is standard. There are no annual service calls to pay for in order to keep these warranties in force, although a service call at least every two years or so is recommened by Spring Home.