Advice for new Central A/C Unit


Old 07-18-06, 10:48 AM
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Advice for new Central A/C Unit

Hello all. I recently purchased my first house. it's a four year old colonial and located in Long Island, New York. The previous owners had the duct work already done for CAC but never bought installed an AC unit. We would like to purchase an AC unit in the near future.

The house has 4 bedrooms / 2.5 bathrooms and a full basement. We have an oil tank in the basement as well. There is a furnace in the basement as well that uses the oil to heat the house. We have metal radiators in all the rooms, and the vents for the CAC are in the ceiling of each room.

My questions are:

1 - What brands should we look at?

2 - What size unit do we need for the house (~1800 sq ft, excluding basement)?

3 - Should we go thru Sears for the purchase/installation or find a reputable HVAC licensed specialist in CAC?

4 - Would it be less expensive to purchase/install an AC unit in the winter as opposed to the summer?

5 - Would we have to pay for anything else besides the purchase/installation of the CAC unit?

6 - What do you think this would cost us (ball park estimate)?
I'm sure I can get free estimates on this but was wondering what would be a fair price.

Thanks in advance for any advice/comments/suggestions.

Old 07-18-06, 03:17 PM
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1 - Any brand with a good install will work well. I personaly prefer Trane/American Standard, and Rheem/Ruud brands.

2 - Really can't say for sure. The dealer should do a Manual J (Load Calc) on the home and see what sized unit the homes need, and also they should look at the ductwork to make sure it can handel the air volume.

3 - You should reputable HVAC in your area. Get 2 or 3 bids, and see what price range you are at, and ask them for a copy of the load calc. If they don't don it, move on to the next one. I had mine done though Home Depot due to last min breakdown of the old equipement, and they had a better plan/rebates at the time for me. It was done by a very well known company in town here.

4 - Hard to say. I'd say in the fall when they want to get rid of left overs in stock.

5 - Are low voltage wire for A/C been pulled? Power for the air handler and outdoor unit there?

6 - It will be hard for us to say since we are not seeing the home itself, and what other works that may be needed.

-I'd suggest to get a good media filter system installed while you are at it. Where would this air handler (indoor unit) be placed at? How are the returns laid out? (Each room or a single one in the hallway?)
Old 07-18-06, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
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I prefer American standard. Get a local company. Get 3 bids, and references. Look towards the middle price. You don't want to overpay but you also don't want the lowball man either...
If you get a price without anyone showing up, move on to the next guy...when to install, now! You'll know if it works immediatley under a good load. Charging is more accurate when its hot out as well.

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