Central Air pricing in Pacific Northwest (Seattle)

paupaucoMay 10, 2007

HI Everyone,

I'd like to get some opinions as to what you think about these prices and brands. First of, we're in a 1 1/2 year old home, so pretty much brand new. Furnace is working great (Trane). 2 story home, less than 3000 sq. ft.

We'd like Central Air asap (in anticipation of the same heat wave last year )and received these quotes so far:

Carrier comfort series 13 SEER - $5895 exrta $500 for a 14 SEER (thru costco so we get a 10% rebate/check back). Company accepts credit cards with no extra cost.

Trane (can't remember exact one- bid papers in office) 16 SEER - $6295

17 SEER - about $7000

Company charges an extra 1% for credit card- 50% down payment, 50% after job is done.

We have some more bids coming. Just wanted to know if these bids are reasonable and within the expected price range regarding the installation and brand.

Thanks!

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cuddlepoo

I looked into getting central air over a year ago. Then someone here suggested a heat pump. It works with your furnace. It cools in the summer down to 68 degrees. I didn't think it sounded very cool because that's what I set my thermostat to in the winter. But in the summer it actually gets so cold at temperature I have to set the cooling to 69 or 70. Our power bill is much lower in the winter, and we get cooling that's plenty darn cold in the summer.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 5:31PM
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paupauco

Cuddlepoo,

Could you please tell me more about a heat pump? How do you lower the temp in the house when the temp is around 85-90 outside? Sounds like something that we can afford right now if it will work for us. Esp. expecting baby #2 in about 6 weeks, I really want to have some cool air in the house if and when the weather gets unbearable.

Thanks for the idea!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 6:54PM
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paupauco

Ok, I"m updating my first post with correct information.

Carrier Comfort 13 seer 3.5 ton puron w/ 4 ton evap coil - $5985 + tax
additional $535 for a 15 seer 3.5 ton

Trane xr13 13seer $6393 + tax
Trane xl 14i 14 seer $7098 + tax

Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 7:58PM
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tigerdunes

paupauco,

What is the model, model number, and size of your Trane furnace? Is furnace a var speed blower model? For your area of country/climate, I would consider a high eff heat pump and turn your existing furnace into a dual fuel system. AC on heat pumps work just like a traditional AC condender plus it will provide comfortable heat in the winter at much less cost than nat gas. You would use your gas furnace when outside temps dip below 32 degrees. And despite what people say, today's heat pumps do provide "warm" heat.

IMO

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 11:59AM
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paupauco

Tiger,

Our Trane Furnace is model XB80. That's pretty much what I know right now. (Can't really get past the other stuff in front of it :) )

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 2:14PM
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tigerdunes

paupauco,

Not meaning to insult you but the XB80 is a builder's grade gas furnace with a conventional blower-not a var speed blower. You will not achieve the high SEER ratings from high end expensive condensers without var speed. I still recommend you look at heat pumps like the XR13 model that will provide you great cooling in AC mode and save you in operating costs when in heating mode. I would shop around for better pricing.

IMO

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 11:59AM
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garyg

Paupauco:

I live in Baltimore and was quoted $4500 for an XB-13 heat pump system. Not sure why there is a $1900 price difference. Mine is a swap-out of the inside unit while yours is adding a coil to an existing unit - maybe more labor involved and a different area of the country but $1900 is a big difference.

I would call another Trane dealer for a comparitive quote. I would also check for American Standard. They make Trane but don't spend on advertising $$ so they may be cheaper. Be firm when you deal with them - don't let 'em over-charge you. They can over-charge the next person but not you.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 1:49PM
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paupauco

Thanks Tiger and Garyg,

I have about 4 more bids coming in in the next 2 weeks. I'll ask about heat pumps.
Gary, the quotes are for central AC's and not heat pumps :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 8:32PM
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garyg

Paupauco:

A heat pump is a central a/c unit with one special feature: it has a reversing valve which allows the freon to reverse its path and make heat in the winter time.

I agree with Tiger Dunes that you should look at a heat pump with the gas furnace as back-up heat.

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:13PM
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paupauco

Ah, Thanks for that info Garyg.
I am clueless to all these. Would it be relatively cheaper than a regular a/c then? And you recommend it because of where we live? Also, how 'cold' does it get with a heat pump? Today went up to the 80's. Although nice, I know I will be grumpy and exhausted if I'm too hot! (esp. with a new baby around!) Thanks for all your help!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 7:55PM
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daddo

Frankly I don't see how anyone can tell you if that is a good price or not without seeing the job. I surely don't give prices over the phone without seeing the job and doing so is a big mistake. I can install the same system in two alike houses next to each other and the price could be very different if one is in the attic or the installation will take more time and materials.
I sure wouldn't ask what a 2000 sg ft. home cost in Texas and expect to pay that in California. Am I right?
Find the contractor you like and seems fair and knowledgable and have them do your system.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:53PM
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