Replacement cost for central A/C

Messages
336
Location
Litchfield, Ohio
Holy crap...I thought BITOG was tough! I just posted some questions over in hvac-talk.com and apparently since I have one quote for $8K and one for $12K, for very similar equipment and for at least superficially the same job (just changing out the AH, condenser and line set), I'm a cheap bastard, I should look on Craig's List and at least 2 contractors would've walked out on me and refused to do the job because I asked for mid-tier SEER-16 equipment and I stated this is not my dream house and I just want the equipment changed out and I don't want to put in two systems (one on the first floor and one on the second floor) and all new ductwork on the first floor.

Tough crowd...
That is a tough crowd there for sure.
 
Messages
557
Location
TX
How much would you trust an older (late 80's) Carrier 3-ton? It's been serviced and cared for quite well.
A lot depends on the environment your in.
If it does not leak... that will help.
As far as trust????
That's a lot of run time.
Eventually something will break.

The Carriers I have that are that old cool critical equipment.
They have a manufacture date of 10/88.
The AHU is a commercial unit but the condenser/compressor is a residential type.
1 AHU with 3 condensers, staged as needed.
I replaced the compressor on the first stage last year.
1st stage will have the most run time.... runs most the time.
Staged as 1st stage 2ton, 2nd stage 3 ton, 3rd stage 5 ton for a total of 10 ton max when all 3 stages are running.

If it was my choice they would have been replaced twice by now.
They run way more than yours would.
I live in SE TX. Not only is it hot.
We cool equipment 24X7X365.
I live in a costal area full of petrochemical plants.
Everything rots here.

So I guess that bodes well for you.
Your best bet is to save up and be prepared.
Only you can decide if its worth changing it out for more efficiency.
 

PWMDMD

Thread starter
Messages
912
Location
MA
Contractor #2 came back with Bosch quote: 5-ton Bosch IDS 20 60K Heatpump - Model BOVA-60HDNI-M29G with a 4-ton Bosch IDS 2.0 Air Handler Model number BVA48WN1-M20 and an integrated controller.

There is a $1250 rebate per ton (x5 tons) and a $500 rebate for the integrated controller - final cost is 37% of the cost of the system with rebates which is 1/2 of any other quote.

The final cost of system which a 20-SEER system comes out to $4000. Seems like a no brainer - this is also Bosch's top-of-line tier equipment.
 
Messages
18,367
Location
Silicon Valley
Yeah, I just mentioned I had two quotes for the same equipment and one was ⅓ more and it immediately went to, “Oh boy...here we go...you get what you pay for...”.

My point was how do I know I get what I pay for and their answer was ask the contractor. He quoted me the price...of course he’s going to say it’s worth it. Then they said well does he follow “best practices?” How the hell do I know that?! If I asked and he said yes then I’d have to take his word for it because I don’t do it for a living. It was a ridiculous response by some of the pros who apparently just want to write the check no questions asked.
This is a lame answer for most bad jobbers out there. Price is always justified and they sometimes don't want to give you the straight answer.

Sometimes it is "because they can" because they have the best reputation and will stick with any uncertainty, or they would rather do less low margin work and stick with only work that's more profitable so "it is what it is". Sometimes they have labor shortage and they would rather pick up only the higher profit jobs, sometimes they want to politely tell you they don't want to do your job because it is hard work, high risk, not the typical equipment they can get for good price.

Sometimes the cheaper quote is from people who have idle time, or have a surplus equipment by chance, or they forgot to factor in some cost and you end up with a bargain (this one time when a window tinter forgot the largest window in the house and the quote was off by 30%, he was trying to evade me after the quote for almost 2 weeks and finally took my call, and reluctantly came and do the job).
 
Messages
10,159
Location
Nut farm
A lot depends on the environment your in.
If it does not leak... that will help.
As far as trust????
That's a lot of run time.
Eventually something will break.

The Carriers I have that are that old cool critical equipment.
They have a manufacture date of 10/88.
The AHU is a commercial unit but the condenser/compressor is a residential type.
1 AHU with 3 condensers, staged as needed.
I replaced the compressor on the first stage last year.
1st stage will have the most run time.... runs most the time.
Staged as 1st stage 2ton, 2nd stage 3 ton, 3rd stage 5 ton for a total of 10 ton max when all 3 stages are running.

If it was my choice they would have been replaced twice by now.
They run way more than yours would.
I live in SE TX. Not only is it hot.
We cool equipment 24X7X365.
I live in a costal area full of petrochemical plants.
Everything rots here.

So I guess that bodes well for you.
Your best bet is to save up and be prepared.
Only you can decide if its worth changing it out for more efficiency.
Not mine, my uncle's. He hasn't replaced it because it still works perfectly. (Though it's on its third fan motor.) I think the compressor is original. (AFAIK, it's single speed/single stage.) He services it every year.
 
Messages
10,159
Location
Nut farm
Contractor #2 came back with Bosch quote: 5-ton Bosch IDS 20 60K Heatpump - Model BOVA-60HDNI-M29G with a 4-ton Bosch IDS 2.0 Air Handler Model number BVA48WN1-M20 and an integrated controller.

There is a $1250 rebate per ton (x5 tons) and a $500 rebate for the integrated controller - final cost is 37% of the cost of the system with rebates which is 1/2 of any other quote.

The final cost of system which a 20-SEER system comes out to $4000. Seems like a no brainer - this is also Bosch's top-of-line tier equipment.
How well will the heat pump actually work? I recall they do not usually like extreme cold (which is why you rarely see them in New England.)
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
14,011
Location
The Motor City
My place in Florida needs a new unit every 17 years. 19 years ago it cost $1000. Two years ago it cost $3500. Not all of the increase was inflation.
 
Messages
18,367
Location
Silicon Valley
Lots of factors today with the cost of anything trade and materials related.

How many people do you see bragging that their kid is at trade school learning to work on HVAC, plumbing or electrical ? None? There’s your main issue.
I ran into a few former engineering managers turned tradesmen. They don't enter the field until middle ages here. They are making more than when they were laid off obsoleted engineers.
 

PWMDMD

Thread starter
Messages
912
Location
MA
How well will the heat pump actually work? I recall they do not usually like extreme cold (which is why you rarely see them in New England.)
So I have an oil-burning boiler with hot water baseboards. There are 5 zones for heat in my house and only 1 zone for A/C. Zone 1 heat and A/C - controls the upstairs and with an integrated controller that will use the heat pump at warmer OD temps and automatically switch to the oil baseboard zone when it gets colder. The other 4 heat zones will run as normal. I can always just use the heat pump for A/C as well.
 
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