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Thu Feb 4, 2021, 01:19 PM

Help!

Our central AC unit in our house needs replacing. I've seen estimates online ranging from $5,000 - $13,000. We have had 2 different companies give us estimates, and both companies said $24,000! Doesn't this sound unreasonable?! Does anyone have any knowledge on the subject, or any advice? Even if I could easily afford the $24,000, I wouldn't pay that much. By the way, our house is 2400 sq.ft. and 2 story if that makes a difference.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Help! (Original post)
rownesheck Feb 2021 OP
mr_lebowski Feb 2021 #1
rownesheck Feb 2021 #2
Timewas Feb 2021 #3
padfun Feb 2021 #4
58Sunliner Feb 2021 #5
procon Feb 2021 #6
csziggy Feb 12 #7

Response to rownesheck (Original post)

Thu Feb 4, 2021, 01:29 PM

1. Is your evaporator/blower unit roof-mounted one or is it in the attic?

I think sometimes if you have one in the attic then basically the house was like ... built around it? It can be a lot more work to disassemble those and remove them part-by-part from the tight confines of the attic versus lifting one off the roof with a crane, which is pretty fast and simple.

Not saying 24K isn't outrageous but there can be big cost difference if the evaporator/blower is in the attic.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 4, 2021, 01:33 PM

2. It's in the attic,

which is tiny and cramped. I may just put ugly window units in every window. Hope HOA is ok with that!

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Response to rownesheck (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 4, 2021, 01:48 PM

3. I would look at

Possibly having a heat pump system installed it would be outside and just tie into the existing air duct system...Maybe

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Response to rownesheck (Original post)

Thu Feb 4, 2021, 01:57 PM

4. Last year I had my HVAC replaced.

I am in California so it can cost more, but to keep up with code, we needed to have the air ducts redone and that cost $8,000. We got the American Standard AC 4.0 because our house is 2,000 Sqft and we had to have the air intake vent made larger. The total cost was $23,000 but we got a $1,500 rebate from SMUD. So total cost was $21,500.

I am totally satisfied with the AC unit as our monthly costs have gone down $40-$50 depending on the season. We save more in the Summer. We refi'd recently to pay off the bill and now it is all paid and we have extra cash in the bank thanks to lower interest rates.

By looking at the size of your home, you will either need to fork out the 24,000 or get something cheap that will cost you more in the long run. Let your home equity pay for it. The value of your home will go up with the new unit. Mine did.

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Response to rownesheck (Original post)

Thu Feb 4, 2021, 02:03 PM

5. Wow. Are you in a high rent area? Do the bids include all new duct work?

Generally here in central Va, it would cost 5-7k for a system for a 1200 sq ft house. Maybe those 2 companies are actually owned by the same people. IDK. I would get some more estimates and be clear about what they are actually going to do for that amount. If they tell you your ducts are incorrectly sized etc.. I would ask them specifically what size they need to be. Are they going to open up a ceiling for a distribution box, etc... Will you have the same size unit or a bigger one. Did they test your house/ducts for air leaks? If they are not replacing duct work, and it is all accessible in the attic, 24k seems excessive.

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Response to rownesheck (Original post)

Thu Feb 4, 2021, 03:21 PM

6. You have a big house and that means a big unit

Is needed to properly manage heating and cooling and provide easy user controls. Units with high efficiency ratings also cost more up front, but cost less to operate month to month.You're going to have to pay a lot just to get the minimum you need, but it will be worth it in the end.

Brand names can add to the purchase price, but that's a good selling point. It's generally easier to get the big brands serviced when the offbrands don't have any certified technicians in your area.

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Response to rownesheck (Original post)

Fri Feb 12, 2021, 02:25 AM

7. In my area that would be high

I just replaced (in September) my original house unit with a Trane four zone heat pump. It covers 2700 sq. ft. with an upstairs which is one zone, and zones for the kitchen/dining room, master bedroom, and library/studio.

The entire 3 ton unit with outdoor heat pump and indoor air handler cost under $13,000, which included installation and the first year of maintenance but no new ducting.

We had just put in an 800 sq. ft. addition with it's own 1 ton unit so effectively the house now has five zones.

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