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Old 02-17-2022, 09:17 PM
 
13 posts, read 12,761 times
Reputation: 42

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Hi all,

We're looking to update our old furnace and HVAC (r22). It's a Lennox 4ton system - the furnace is from around ~1980 and condenser 1986. The furnace is actually not functioning right now - it slowly started 'dying' in the past couple months. It might be as simple as a thermocoupler/flame sensor but I'm suspecting there might be other components that aren't working like the pilot/igniter as well. Replacement parts for either are $100 and seem to be on backorder in many places. But beyond that, the bigger concern is that there is a really dark spot in the heat exchanger and we've been warned (by a couple HVAC techs and the gas co) that there is a risk of a crack/hole developing. So even if we were to repair and get it back to working condition, I would be a bit uncomfortable using it for our family.

That said, I've been getting quotes from local companies here in South OC for a full system replacement and it seems the prices range in the ballpark of $9-10k on the low-end (for the most basic equipment) all the way to upwards of $16-17k for the fancier stuff. This is for whatever is entailed with removing the existing equipment, reinstalling the new equipment and re-working the ductwork in the garage. Attic ductwork would be another $2-3k. And this is a 2-story home too btw.

Right now, I think we would just do a like-kind swap and put another 4ton system in (gas furnace + condenser). We don't have solar and so a heat pump isn't in the picture - I'm not really wanting to consider that route at the moment just because we have a delicate Spanish clay tile roof and there's also a sense of urgency to get something in sooner than later with the non-functioning furnace. Throwing solar into the equation just complicates and drags things out.

Anywa, has anyone here recently gotten their HVAC system replaced and mind sharing what the total cost was and or if the quotes I've gotten sound about right or if these prices are far off. NOTE and FWIW several of the contractors have blamed inflation + supply chain issues as a catalyst for increasing prices...

EDIT: in case anyone had the the idea, yes I did start a claim with home warranty (Fidelity National) initially but decided to cancel after finding out who the service provider is and reading the Yelp reviews as well as Fidelity National's Yelp reviews. It's literally 1-star after 1-star review, like clockwork, of horrible experiences. Not something I'd want to deal with or waste my time on. I could see the whole thing with the furnace dragging on for months at a time before there's a resolution, if at all. It would almost be like taking on a part-time job or second full-time seasonal job, likely having to get on the phone and stress myself out following-up with incompetent people.

Last edited by jermdawg; 02-17-2022 at 10:29 PM..
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Old 02-19-2022, 11:24 AM
 
Location: San Diego
38 posts, read 17,519 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jermdawg View Post
Hi all,

We're looking to update our old furnace and HVAC (r22). It's a Lennox 4ton system - the furnace is from around ~1980 and condenser 1986. The furnace is actually not functioning right now - it slowly started 'dying' in the past couple months. It might be as simple as a thermocoupler/flame sensor but I'm suspecting there might be other components that aren't working like the pilot/igniter as well. Replacement parts for either are $100 and seem to be on backorder in many places. But beyond that, the bigger concern is that there is a really dark spot in the heat exchanger and we've been warned (by a couple HVAC techs and the gas co) that there is a risk of a crack/hole developing. So even if we were to repair and get it back to working condition, I would be a bit uncomfortable using it for our family.

That said, I've been getting quotes from local companies here in South OC for a full system replacement and it seems the prices range in the ballpark of $9-10k on the low-end (for the most basic equipment) all the way to upwards of $16-17k for the fancier stuff. This is for whatever is entailed with removing the existing equipment, reinstalling the new equipment and re-working the ductwork in the garage. Attic ductwork would be another $2-3k. And this is a 2-story home too btw.

Right now, I think we would just do a like-kind swap and put another 4ton system in (gas furnace + condenser). We don't have solar and so a heat pump isn't in the picture - I'm not really wanting to consider that route at the moment just because we have a delicate Spanish clay tile roof and there's also a sense of urgency to get something in sooner than later with the non-functioning furnace. Throwing solar into the equation just complicates and drags things out.

Anywa, has anyone here recently gotten their HVAC system replaced and mind sharing what the total cost was and or if the quotes I've gotten sound about right or if these prices are far off. NOTE and FWIW several of the contractors have blamed inflation + supply chain issues as a catalyst for increasing prices...

EDIT: in case anyone had the the idea, yes I did start a claim with home warranty (Fidelity National) initially but decided to cancel after finding out who the service provider is and reading the Yelp reviews as well as Fidelity National's Yelp reviews. It's literally 1-star after 1-star review, like clockwork, of horrible experiences. Not something I'd want to deal with or waste my time on. I could see the whole thing with the furnace dragging on for months at a time before there's a resolution, if at all. It would almost be like taking on a part-time job or second full-time seasonal job, likely having to get on the phone and stress myself out following-up with incompetent people.
I'm an HVAC contractor and in San Diego so a bit south of you. The exact prices will depends on the specifics of the install - for example an attic install is more work that if the equipment is in the garage. But broadly speaking that is what you would pay these days for a 4 ton system. Also yes some HVAC related stuff has got pretty expensive lately like refrigerant. Some equipment is in short supply and my suppliers were restricting purchase quantities last summer.

Not sure if you are aware but there is a generous rebate in place now for people converting from a furnace to a heat pump. You can get a rebate of between 3k and 6k depending on your zip code. You will need to find a contractor who has been qualified to offer this rebate. But that may help with the cost although there may be a bit of extra work to add a 240V circuit for the indoor unit.

Also another tip - make sure to do a proper load calculation (Manual J) for equipment sizing. In the past a lot of equipment was oversized due to being sized by rules of thumb or just copying what was already there - so for example you may only really need a 3 ton which should help bring down the cost. A lot of contractors don't know how to do this so they skip this step.
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Old 02-24-2022, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
7,145 posts, read 3,501,319 times
Reputation: 11224
OP~ how many rooms do you have to heat? And sqft?

I had my HVAC system re-done July 2020. (Heat & A/C.)

3.5 ton Goodman unit, along w/ new ductwork (attic) and Goodman furnace.

Just under $10k.

Took 4 guys, 4 hours to remove the old (1970's) furnace and replace with a 2020 model, and install A/C (Which I've never had before.)
The new equipment is A LOT more efficient, that's for sure!
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Old 02-28-2022, 05:26 PM
 
13 posts, read 12,761 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
OP~ how many rooms do you have to heat? And sqft?

I had my HVAC system re-done July 2020. (Heat & A/C.)

3.5 ton Goodman unit, along w/ new ductwork (attic) and Goodman furnace.

Just under $10k.

Took 4 guys, 4 hours to remove the old (1970's) furnace and replace with a 2020 model, and install A/C (Which I've never had before.)
The new equipment is A LOT more efficient, that's for sure!

It's a 4 bedroom home with a loft (that opens up to and overlooks the living room/vaulted ceiling). Just under 2700sq ft which includes about 420-440~sq ft of garage space so we're really looking at 2200-2250sq ft of conditioned space here.

All the contractors who have come in so far have all told me either I need a 5ton system (mistaking my current system for a 5ton or just suggesting upgrading from the 4ton that it is) OR that I need to stick with what I have right now (4 ton).

That's a great price for all of the above btw. It's probably $3-5k more these days

I'll PM you for more info
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Old 03-07-2022, 03:42 PM
 
1,654 posts, read 1,735,873 times
Reputation: 2620
I'm not an HVAC expert by any means, but I never understood why folks cite square footage when calculating AC tonnage when cubic feet seems more relevant. I've got a 20 year old 5-ton AC compressor for our house that is originally 1,300 sq ft plus 900 sq ft of conditioned additions. It's been recommend for me to go with a proper size 4-ton since that seems more appropriate for the size of my home and the fact that the evaporator coils are for 3-4 ton.
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Old 03-07-2022, 03:52 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,584 posts, read 25,579,875 times
Reputation: 8972
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySD View Post
I'm an HVAC contractor and in San Diego so a bit south of you. The exact prices will depends on the specifics of the install - for example an attic install is more work that if the equipment is in the garage. But broadly speaking that is what you would pay these days for a 4 ton system. Also yes some HVAC related stuff has got pretty expensive lately like refrigerant. Some equipment is in short supply and my suppliers were restricting purchase quantities last summer.

Not sure if you are aware but there is a generous rebate in place now for people converting from a furnace to a heat pump. You can get a rebate of between 3k and 6k depending on your zip code. You will need to find a contractor who has been qualified to offer this rebate. But that may help with the cost although there may be a bit of extra work to add a 240V circuit for the indoor unit.

Also another tip - make sure to do a proper load calculation (Manual J) for equipment sizing. In the past a lot of equipment was oversized due to being sized by rules of thumb or just copying what was already there - so for example you may only really need a 3 ton which should help bring down the cost. A lot of contractors don't know how to do this so they skip this step.
^^^This. Getting a price requires an in-home estimate. There are a lot of factors that go into it.
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Old 03-12-2022, 01:22 AM
 
Location: San Diego
38 posts, read 17,519 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwong7 View Post
I'm not an HVAC expert by any means, but I never understood why folks cite square footage when calculating AC tonnage when cubic feet seems more relevant. I've got a 20 year old 5-ton AC compressor for our house that is originally 1,300 sq ft plus 900 sq ft of conditioned additions. It's been recommend for me to go with a proper size 4-ton since that seems more appropriate for the size of my home and the fact that the evaporator coils are for 3-4 ton.
All of this is addressed by what's known as a Manual J which is a calculation designed to calculate the size of your HVAC system customized to your home. Not only is volume important but all sorts of other stuff including the construction materials used in the home, R values of insulation, window sizes and ratings, orientation of the windows, tree shading etc. One of the most important items is the climate zone. A home in Socal will have very different heating and cooling requirements to a similar home in NY for example.

In other words the sizing will be unique to your home. I typically do this by either using construction plans or a home inspection to manually create a plan based on inspection and then feed that information into software to create the load calc.

No contractor should be citing sizing based on sq ft but many still do.
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Old 03-12-2022, 01:28 AM
 
Location: San Diego
38 posts, read 17,519 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
^^^This. Getting a price requires an in-home estimate. There are a lot of factors that go into it.
Exactly. Many people price shop by asking friends, online etc. and treating the install like an off the shelf product whereas in reality each install is different with differing issues and challenges.
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Old 03-19-2022, 11:13 AM
 
137 posts, read 101,265 times
Reputation: 219
I had mine replaced about two months ago at our house in south OC. It was about $13K minus the rebates around $10K. It’s a Bryant set up and it works perfect.

P.s. Home warranties are a waste. The only good one I’ve ever had was First American.
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