How much is fair price to change the air conditioning unit?

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-22-11, 07:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3
How much is fair price to change the air conditioning unit?

Ours stopped cooling. Fan works, thermostat works, air flows, its just not cooling. A technician came by. Said it was the compressor. Tried to "resucitate it" (the unit is Carrier, about 20 yrs old!) but nothing worked

He is going to replace it (just the outside unit, not the coil inside the house, just the "box" that has the compressor, the fan and I assume the gas (I am an engineer, but dont know much about air conditioners, so excuse my "technical description" of the components)

He is quoting $2,000 for a new unit and all the labor to take the old one out and put the new one in and connect it to all the tubes

Is that fair? I assume part depends on the model he would install, and I assume it will be a cheaper Trane than a more expensive Trane

We live in a suburb of Chicago (if that changes the rates), about 15 miles west of the city

thanks in advance for your help
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-22-11, 09:00 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,726
Likes Received: 2
Hi,

Not an a/c guy but know enough to tell you the freon is most likely different. If the outside unit is be changed the coil and lineset should be changed. Freons dont mix and may lead to issues.

If they tell you they want to clean it out with some cleaner crude find someone else. As a matter of fact I would find someone else anyway because he is doing you an injustice.

I would spend the extra mony and change the airhandler also and take advantage of all rebates available.

Get someone in there that knows what they are doing.

HVAC guys will chime in but IMO this is the right thing to do.

Mike NJ
 
  #3  
Old 07-22-11, 09:36 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas, California
Posts: 1,443
$2000 is about right for a (box) condenser (3 ton) in Chicago.
 
  #4  
Old 07-22-11, 11:13 AM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,729
Likes Received: 3
run away from this guy! not replacing indoor coil is very bad get some more pricing.
 
  #5  
Old 07-22-11, 11:48 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3
In fairness to my technician, I asked for a solution that would be as economical as possible. I asked if replacing the compressor, and just the compressor, was feasible. He said that trying to find an old compressor and fit it was an option, but not a good one because the unit is old and the patched up compressor could fail at any time, so he did not recommend it.
When the answer was no, it appeared that the next item in cost was to replace the box/condenser. He said the best way to do it would be to replace the condenser and the coil inside the house as well, but if budget wasnt there, replacing just the compressor was an option. So I asked for a new condenser, getting us to where we are today. I basically have no idea for whether the price of a new condenser, plus some parts plus the labor to do the exchange should add up to $2000 or not
 

Last edited by diyifyoucan; 07-22-11 at 12:10 PM. Reason: text is unclear
  #6  
Old 07-22-11, 12:03 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,105
If he can find an R22 outside unit that will match the inside coil..then it might be the cheapest solution...for now.

What about when that 20 y/o coil fails in 2 yrs and then they have to cobble together something that may or may not work?

If they are still having the Federal tax rebates (there may also be some available through your state and local utilities), I would have to seriously recommend you go the complete replacement route. Even if a loan was required, the payoff will come at tax time and through lower bills.

Don't let anyone boost the actual price just because you will be getting those rebates though. If it's $2000 for the compressor unit...then you should be able to get a complete replacement for $4-5K. New lineset absolutely required! They should also do a calculation (manual J?) to account for any improvements in air sealing, insulation or higher efficiency windows to determine the size unit required.

No expert....just IMHO
 
  #7  
Old 07-22-11, 01:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 11
The price he quoted you is about right

I live in Naperville, IL so I am not far from you. My compressor went out on us on July 11th (valves seized). The price I was quoted for a new 4 ton compressor (the box on the outside with the compressor, fan, and condenser) was $1500 and it would cost $700 for labor which came out to $2200, close to your estimate. My technician HIGHLY recommended that the ENTIRE system be changed (compressor, condenser, and evaporator coil) for the best efficiency. I spent an additional $89 for a service call to another well known company (to make sure my compressor was the culprit to my home not getting any cooling) and they gave me the same ball park figure to change the compressor unit on the outside. They too recommended that the entire system be changed. I followed their advice and changed the entire system. So if you can afford it, change your entire AC unit. I paid cash but many Chicago area companies offer 48 month 0% financing, although you will be paying more for the AC system than the cash price. Hope this helps.
 
  #8  
Old 07-22-11, 01:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3
More data (as I find it out)

He is suggesting a TRANE 2TTB3 (which best I can tell is a commercial unit). My old carrier was 2.5 ton, and he says the new trane is also 2.5 ton.

Any big differences between a Trane commercial unit and a Trane home unit? In general when I hear people say commercial I associate it with "industrial strength" (so the item would last longer, can handle more stress/load) but probably also means less polished cosmetically, maybe less engineered for size or sound (e.g., residential owners may worry more about size and noise). In some cases they are the same unit but residential owners pay more (without reason)
 
  #9  
Old 07-22-11, 02:33 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,726
Likes Received: 2
Hi again. Just fair warning.

Your just changing the outside unit and changing freon correct?

Your going from what freon to what freon?

If its not done correctly,(clean and flush the lineset and coil) and most times its not done properly you will burn up the new units in a few months.

What kind of warranty are you getting?

Here is a good term my old boss used to say : " Pay now or pay later, but your going to pay"

I state the above only on my years of working with and around the HVAC pros with in the companys I have worked for.

Seems like your set in your course of action. Good luck.



Mike NJ
 
  #10  
Old 07-22-11, 02:43 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 576
dont worry about the inside unit. they make r-22 dry charged units that he will be able to pick up. your only gonna get a 13 SEER because thats all they make, but thats a pretty solid price for a 3 ton unit. just make sure you get atleast a 1 yr warranty on labor
 
  #11  
Old 07-22-11, 03:42 PM
hvactechfw's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,245
trane does not make r22 dry charged units................. If it is a new unit then it will be r-410a you need to find this info out as previously stated.
 
  #12  
Old 07-22-11, 04:01 PM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,729
Likes Received: 3
No warranty on miss match equipment.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes