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Old 07-23-2012, 02:12 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Our home ac is close to 10 yrs old....we've had to top it off w/ freon recently, so I know there's a leak. Any good reccomendations? I know most of "big boy" companies will say to replace system with newer type of freon since r-22 is being phased out. Home is 2 level, approx 1800sq ft, with vaulted ceilings in upstairs master bed. Any ideas on if I replace system how much are we looking at, and any good ideas on a very resonable price I am looking at?
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:40 AM
 
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Depending on the number of zones & capacity, I'd say between $4,500 & $6,000. It's been a while since I've priced them, so my memory could be wrong.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:09 AM
 
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A very ROUGH guess is about $1000 per ton of capacity. You need to determine the ton capacity of your system. It is usually the last few numbers of the serial number on the sticker. 1 ton for every 500 sq.ft of house is a good guestimate so for your place maybe 4 tons or about $4000
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Earth
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IT is a 4 ton ac....sorry I forgot to mention it. As far as "zones" are concerned, is it really necessary? Home is only about 1800 sq ft and pretty much all the rooms in house are used fairly equally.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:57 PM
 
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I've decided if I get the chance to build my own house, it will not have central A/C. The cost of those whole house systems is too high. Wall units work fine for a basic house, they're cheap to replace and don't use all that much more power, especially if you only cool the rooms you need.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:47 PM
 
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Most of the big boys also want you to replace your heat unit at the same time. That will add to the sticker.

10 years seems early to be replacing a unit though.

You described my house as far as size and vaulted ceiling. I don't think zones is needed for our size home and I don't know how you would do it without new duct work.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:57 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,609,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glmore View Post
Our home ac is close to 10 yrs old....we've had to top it off w/ freon recently, so I know there's a leak. Any good reccomendations? I know most of "big boy" companies will say to replace system with newer type of freon since r-22 is being phased out. Home is 2 level, approx 1800sq ft, with vaulted ceilings in upstairs master bed. Any ideas on if I replace system how much are we looking at, and any good ideas on a very resonable price I am looking at?
My home is 1600 sq. ft. , and I replaced the 3.5 ton AC unit and air handler a couple years ago for $2900. That is closer to the lower end than the higher end. The furnace was, and is, fine.

Someone said 1 ton per 500 sq. ft., and I agree. I wanted supercooling ability, but was told if the unit cools the home too quickly, it doesn't remove enough humidity. I didn't understand that when I did the first system 12 years ago, but I learned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glmore View Post
IT is a 4 ton ac....sorry I forgot to mention it. As far as "zones" are concerned, is it really necessary? Home is only about 1800 sq ft and pretty much all the rooms in house are used fairly equally.
Zones are helpful. But in homes the size of yours and mine, zoning simply means closing a vent or two to redirect the air. The master suite is upstairs in my tri-level home, and I closed all the vents on the bottom floor to force more cool air into the master suite, It works well, since I don't use the downstairs bedrooms, They stay cooler anyway, year round.

Our homes aren't big enough to warrant a true zoned system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean_CLT View Post
I've decided if I get the chance to build my own house, it will not have central A/C. The cost of those whole house systems is too high. Wall units work fine for a basic house, they're cheap to replace and don't use all that much more power, especially if you only cool the rooms you need.
Good luck selling that house. You may not be able to have window units depending on your neighborhood rules. Window units are noisy, air leaks around them, bugs can get in, they are easily stolen and provide an easy entrance for would-be burglars, etc. They are a last resort IMHO.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:23 AM
 
104 posts, read 291,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
My home is 1600 sq. ft. , and I replaced the 3.5 ton AC unit and air handler a couple years ago for $2900. That is closer to the lower end than the higher end. The furnace was, and is, fine.

Someone said 1 ton per 500 sq. ft., and I agree. I wanted supercooling ability, but was told if the unit cools the home too quickly, it doesn't remove enough humidity. I didn't understand that when I did the first system 12 years ago, but I learned.

Zones are helpful. But in homes the size of yours and mine, zoning simply means closing a vent or two to redirect the air. The master suite is upstairs in my tri-level home, and I closed all the vents on the bottom floor to force more cool air into the master suite, It works well, since I don't use the downstairs bedrooms, They stay cooler anyway, year round.

Our homes aren't big enough to warrant a true zoned system.



Good luck selling that house. You may not be able to have window units depending on your neighborhood rules. Window units are noisy, air leaks around them, bugs can get in, they are easily stolen and provide an easy entrance for would-be burglars, etc. They are a last resort IMHO.
Some good info .....could you PM me the company you used for your AC replacement?

Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:49 AM
 
3,914 posts, read 4,474,580 times
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Having paid to replace several ACs myself in different homes, I will add the following.
  • If you are comfortable in your home now, then there isn't any need to change how it works by adding zones, etc.
  • If it is a builder grade system you are changing, you should however look at increasing the efficiency and reducing the noise while you have the opportunity to do so.
  • Stick to a middle of the range unit. That last % or so of efficiency isn't worth it.
  • You should probably pay for a 2 speed system. They mostly operate at low speed but have the ability to shift higher during periods of a lot of heat or if you change the temp.
  • Most contractors will include venting changes during the install. If you have a vent that is too little or too much, or a room that isn't heated or cooled properly, this is the time to tell them about it.
  • Since you are doing a preemptive install, i.e. it's still working, I'd recommend waiting until they are in a slow period which would be the fall or spring. There are better deals then.
  • Don't forget to check for rebates including those from the power company.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:04 AM
 
163 posts, read 259,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jareb View Post
A very ROUGH guess is about $1000 per ton of capacity. You need to determine the ton capacity of your system. It is usually the last few numbers of the serial number on the sticker. 1 ton for every 500 sq.ft of house is a good guestimate so for your place maybe 4 tons or about $4000

Does this rule of thumb apply equally to one and two story homes? Does it apply in a linear fashion as square footage increases? I seem to be ok with two 2.5 ton units cooling a 3,600 square foot two-story house.
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