Need Help with replacing my existing Central A/C

kb2755April 14, 2012

I need some help from the pros on this forum. I live in NW New Jersey and will need to relace my 20 year old system as it is on its last leg. My house is a 4 bedroom 2 story colonial with approx 2200 sq ft. It is a modular home and when they installed the original unit they had to use flexible ductwork as the house has hot water baseboard heat. I think I paid around $5,000 in 1992 for the original system which is a Carrier. It has served me well throughout the 20 years but have had some issues recently. The air handler is located in the attic. I received two qoutes and would like some advice.

1ST QUOTE

Carrier Performance Series

Condenser # ACC636 36,000 BTU 3 Ton

Air Handler # FV-003 36,000 BTU

16 SEER

Replacement of new return duct included

Balancing of existing duct system not included

EDGE Ptogrammable Thermosta included

Removal of old equipment and Freon recovery by a certified mechanic according to EPA regulations.

10 year all materials & labor warranty on all equipment

Price $8318.00 which includes the JCP&L $500 rebate

2 Quote

Lennox Signature Series

Condenser # XC17-036

Air Handler # CBX40UHV-048

SEER up to 16.7

I-Comfort Theemostat included

New equipment to be adapted to existing ductwork,electrical,refrigerant lines and existing drain locations.

Existing refrigrrant lines to be flushed per manufacturers instructions with use of R-410 refrigerant.

Existing ductwork to be reviewed and resupported/sealed where necessary.

10 year manufacturer warranty on equipment and 1 year installer warranty

Price

$7541.00 including NJ tax

I can also receive the $500 JCP& L rebate of $500 which brings this to just over $7,000.00

Should the rrfrigerant lines be totallt replaced or is the flushing of the lines be sufficient?

Carrier sales person said there is no tax as is considered a home improvement, not sure why the second quote highlights this. I have noticed that others on this forum are also getting gas furnaces included at similar prices but I have no need as I have a boiler because of the baseboard heat. The boiler is original to the house which is a Crown Aruba and I am sure is not efficient because of its age. I guess the high pricing is due to where I live in NJ. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Condensor

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mike_home

The prices seem high even for NJ. The Carrier quote seems way off for a 3 ton Comfort series condenser. I suggest getting additional quotes.

The line set should be replaced and sized correctly. If the size of old line is correct, then flushing is acceptable if replacment of the line is very difficult. You have to trust the contractor will flush the line set correctly.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:53PM
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handy-man

kb,

I don't know if that prices are reasonable because I don't live there and do not know the cost of doing business there. However, out of those two quotes, I would go with the lennox xc17. Lennox and carrier are pretty much the same quality. I can tell you that over here in california, you would be spending around 10k-14k for that kind of system.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:40AM
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kb2755

Thanks guys, I got a new quote today.

Lenox Elite Series XL16 -036-230 Compressor 2 Stage Variable Speed 3 Ton
Air Handler Lennox Signature Model # CBX32MV-036-230 Variable Speed
Quote: $6,600.00 plus $500.00 Lennox Rebate & $500.00 JCP&L rebate total cost $5,500.00 after rebates.

Question, is it more efficient to have a 2 stage compressor in my area as we only use the A/Cfor about 4/1/2 months . The XL17 in my second quote is a single stage in the Signature Series. There is a $1,500.00 difference in the pricing. Also the air handler in the second quote is the top

handler in the Signature Series.

Your yhougjts would be greayly appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:02PM
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mike_home

A 2-stage condenser is designed to provide more comfort. It can really help bring the humidity down on hot humid days. You potentially save some money by setting the temperature a few degrees higher than you normally would. I am in central NJ and installed 2-stage Carrier condensers in 2009. I feel comfortable with the temperature set at 78 - 79 degrees and a humidity level of 38 - 42%.

It is also nice not having a cold blast of air coming on each time the AC starts up. This is what typically happens with a single stage unit.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 8:49AM
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