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Old 04-12-2011, 07:03 PM
 
433 posts, read 984,536 times
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I have a 16 year old Tempstar A/C unit that has about 10 summers of use on it. In the last year or so, I've noticed that a lot of people (original owners) have had to replace their units and when I ask them how much it cost, they just chuckle and say plenty. Most people in my neighborhood for whatever reason get a Trane unit. I'm not sure what the life expectancy is of an A/C unit in the Valley, but I want to be prepared in case the inevitable happens. Newspaper ads for HVAC companies only seem to mention the rebates you can get, but never the costs of the actual unit.

I am not sure if I am going to be in my current house in four years or not. I hope this A/C unit keeps running for four more years so I can put off this decision LOL, but if it doesn't and it goes out next year, what are some reliable units for a 2250 sq ft single story west facing house built in 1995 with relatively poor insulation and their approximate cost? Since I am not sure if I am going to be in my house in four years, are there low end (strip down models) that are reliable that will last until I sell the house? Is there a big price difference between a low end unit and a mid level one?
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:41 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 4,177,415 times
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What is the tonnage of your current system. If you only need a condensing unit, you can get by for less than 1500. If it is all self contained more like 3000. Don't buy into the rebate thing. It's not rocket science. I think the minimum they sell now is 13 SEER.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:17 PM
 
658 posts, read 1,774,152 times
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The problem that you'll run into is that your old system is running R22 refrigerant, and no new R22 equipment can be sold. The new stuff is r410a and it's not compatible. You can't just swap a new condenser (the outside unit) in and have it match your coil (usually in the attic, connected to the furnace)

The other snag is that the furnace, coil, and condenser are usually matched to each other. If your furnace is still working, you CAN shoehorn in a new coil, switch the outside condenser to a 13 seer base r410a model ... perhaps for around 2500-3500... depending on how easy it is to reach, amount of new duct work needed, if you replace the copper lineset or just dry vac and reuse, the time of year you get the quote ... (summer = $$$)

After that, you're left with a mismatched half-new system, connected to a 16 year old single stage furnace/fan/blower which may or may not last. If the heat exchanger is still good, you could spend less and swap out some of the equipment, or cry once, spend about 5 grand, and replace it all at once, during the winter, once your stuff gets to be 18-20 years old.

Some like Trane, some don't. If you want similar products, try their value line American Standard.

Finding a good contractor is tough -- the industry is fly-by-night.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:36 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 4,177,415 times
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Air Conditioner.Com Spring Special FEDDERS R-22 CONDEMSERS (http://www.airconditioner.com/SPECIAL_CENTRAL_UNITS.asp?specialID=20&type=CENTRA L_UNITS&title=FEDDERS%20R-22%20CONDEMSERS - broken link)

Fedders 5 ton=1373--the r22 are vanishing quickly, and you do make some good points. Trane is overpriced, but good quality. The best one I ever owned was a Carrier. I watched them pull a 30 yo Carrier off the roof of a TH last year.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
17,573 posts, read 20,884,023 times
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The average life on an AC here is twenty years. That's average and some go more and some go less. ACs are all pretty much standard parts anymore. Copeland or Tecumseh compressors and the rest of the parts all Mexican, Chinese or India imports. Figure 1000 per ton for the lower priced (remember: same parts as the big name)for something around 14-15 SEER including new air handler and evaporator - the indoor parts. Your house size probably has a 5 ton but maybe a 4. If you get a Trane (don't be a fool!) from Home Depot, figure double that.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Cave Creek, AZ USA
1,712 posts, read 3,782,821 times
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I had my spring a/c inspection last week and it's not looking good. My house is about 2500 sq/ft, one story, built in 1996, faces north. My unit is a 5 ton Kennex and it's rated for a max power draw of 26 amps. When tested last week it was pulling 25.4 amps and it wasn't even hot out. A/C guy said a whole new unit would run about $7500. The catch is that I have a home warranty with Old Republic. The language about the a/c says they'll replace whatever's broken and, if it has to be the whole new R410 unit, they'll do that. But the a/c guy was not one of Old Republic's contractors, so he sort of poo pooed the home warranty companies because he doesn't get their work. He said they'd try to band-aid whatever went wrong with my unit and not replace the whole thing. Anyway, I renewed the warranty yesterday for $655, which I think is a bargain, considering the a/c repairs we'll probably end up with this summer or next.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:09 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 4,177,415 times
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Old Republic Home | Ripoff Report Directory | Scams, Frauds, Reviews And Complaints
Don't hold your breath.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Cave Creek, AZ USA
1,712 posts, read 3,782,821 times
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Every home warranty company has tons of complaints. They've been good to me so far and it paid for itself in less than two mos. in the house.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:00 AM
 
135 posts, read 179,821 times
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My compressor and condensor had to be replaced last summer and my home warranty covered it. The AC unit was 10 years old.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
3,369 posts, read 4,187,203 times
Reputation: 4033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Lee View Post
I had my spring a/c inspection last week and it's not looking good. My house is about 2500 sq/ft, one story, built in 1996, faces north. My unit is a 5 ton Kennex and it's rated for a max power draw of 26 amps. When tested last week it was pulling 25.4 amps and it wasn't even hot out. A/C guy said a whole new unit would run about $7500. The catch is that I have a home warranty with Old Republic. The language about the a/c says they'll replace whatever's broken and, if it has to be the whole new R410 unit, they'll do that. But the a/c guy was not one of Old Republic's contractors, so he sort of poo pooed the home warranty companies because he doesn't get their work. He said they'd try to band-aid whatever went wrong with my unit and not replace the whole thing. Anyway, I renewed the warranty yesterday for $655, which I think is a bargain, considering the a/c repairs we'll probably end up with this summer or next.
$7500 is really high for a 5 ton unit. If you want an idea of the labor charges, look at new units below...

Keep in mind, most split-systems are a one-day-one-tech job, and rooftop units are a half-a-day job in most cases.

And FWIW, although it sounds like it would be expensive - when they bring a crane to your house for rooftop installs, typically the crane operator only gets about $150...

Goodman 5 Ton 14 SEER R-410a Air Conditioning System with Heat Pump :: Air Conditioning/Heat Pump :: AC 4 Life, Inc.

Keep in mind there are even less expensive units out there - if you look around. There's a lot of profit in the HVAC biz...

FWIW, that's the company I ordered my unit from - according to the installers I talked to, the prices there (including shipping from Florida!) were cheaper than the local distributor sells them to installers for. Of course, the local distributor said he'd "void" my warranty because I bought it "over the internet"...It's a scary place, that internet....

Last edited by Zippyman; 04-14-2011 at 08:17 AM..
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