New central A/C unit

snowmaidenJuly 14, 2012

My 30-40 year old a/c died yesterday. I am in the process of lining up some quotes for a replacement. My house is a 1950's rambler with a finished basement. I have about 1500 sq. ft. on the main floor and 700 sq. ft. in the basement. We had all new windows installed in 2009. When we use the a/c we keep the thermostat set to 76 or higher. I live in St. Paul, MN.

My first quote came back at $4163 for a 2 ton, 13 seer, R-401A Weather King. The quote also listed installing a new line set and a new condenser coil.

Is this reasonable? Can I do better? What questions should I be asking when they are doing the quote?

Thank you for the input!q

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clocert

Did they say they will install a matching evaporator coil? and you want a new condenser unit, not a condenser coil.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:41AM
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clocert

And also, get the model numbers too.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:42AM
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snowmaiden

Yes, coil. I am pretty clueless. Does this seem like a reasonable price? Is 2 tons the right size? What are the good brands?

Just for fun, my furnace is a lennox elite series, probably about 12 years old. Model number g23q3-100-4' serial number 5897l 03435.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:53AM
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mike_home

A 2 ton condenser may be the right size for your house, but this is somthing the HVAC contractor should calculate. Neither undersized or oversized is good.

The best brands are Carrier/Bryant, Trane/American Standard, Rheem/Rudd. Lennox is one of the better brands. I suggest you get a match Lennox coil and condenser for your furnace. If your furnace has variable speeds consider getting a 2-stage condenser. These work well in climates with humid summers.

The price you got for a Weather King seems high. I don't know who makes Weather King, but it is likely low end equipment.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:51PM
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tigerdunes

On the high side...

What size are you replacing?

IMO

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 2:29PM
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snowmaiden

I am not sure. Would it say somewhere on the unit? We bought this house 4 years ago, and the ac is at least 30 years old.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 2:43PM
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tigerdunes

Size should be on data plate on the side of the old condenser.

You want a new condenser and evap coil with best warranty including the condenser's compressor. Something to consider.

IMO

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:05PM
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mike_home

The size is usually within the model number. Post it and someone may be able to dipher it.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:29PM
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snowmaiden

AFCO American Furnace St. Louis
Model# CL-29-1G
Serial# 96056

Thank you for all of the help!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:38PM
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RobbZee

How many people have you had quote this? I wouldn't stop at 1 - you won't know if you are getting a good deal or not. Be sure to ask what brand/model # they are going to install. You want to compare apples to apples, so it would be great if they were all going to install a similar unit.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:51PM
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snowmaiden

I have two guys coming tomorrow. We are going to ask about installing a new furnace, as ours is 14 years old.

As far as I can tell, my current AC stopped being produced in 1968, and it just quit running on Friday. 44 years on the job!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:09PM
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neohioheatpump

Thats pretty amazing your old A/C last 44 years. I bed it was very inefficient but if you didn't use too much probably not the end of the world. If you get quotes for the furnace it should be 95% efficient since your in Minnesota.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:34PM
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snowmaiden

Quote 1 (local guy):
-Luxaire TCJF 24 15 SEER $2985 (2 ton)
adding a 96%, 2 stage, multispeed Amana furnace would bring the total to $5285
-talked about improving my ductwork to make it more efficient
Quote 2 (Home Depot):
-Rheem, didn't leave model number, size, etc. $5995
plus a 2 stage furnace adds an additional $5995
-no clue about ductwork

Quote 2 guy went on and on. Where did you meet? We have financing, blah blah. He kept trying to play us against each other.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:34PM
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RobbZee

I would almost always go with a local guy over a "chain" store guy. I just think the local guys do a better job, there is more at stake for them. The chain store guy doesn't care as much about the reputation of the store but the local guy does. Of course that is just my opinion.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:40PM
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barrongreenteam

Ditch the the ducting and go with a ductless A/C system. We are rarely installing the antiquated (ducted) stuff anymore. I am surprised that no one talks about ductless on this website. It is like a bunch of dinosaurs of industry here!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ductless Info and Pictures

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:39PM
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