central a/c madness

bozonozJune 29, 2010

i could use some major league help. i live in new orleans...my 3 ton a/c unit has had a freon leak for some times...every couple years they come out..refill the freon and i'm happy for two years....until now. this time the guy comes out says the unit is totally out of freon...then says it will cost $350 for freon...labor not included...then tells me the valve where the freon goes is shot and needs to be replaced...$300 - $400. then goes on to say that the whole thing needs to be replaced since i have the old stuff and replacing the stuff in the attic would just add to the existing ocsts....i told him to leave. right now i am trying to survive with a 50 year old window unit.

assuming the old unit is shot..and i need to replace it...what is a reasonable price? it is 3 ton.

do i need to replace the furnace in the attic which is part of the a/c stuff up there? or do you just replace the a/c part of the attic equipment? if so...(afraid to ask)...how much is reasonable?

the first guy told me it would be between $5,000 to 10,000...after i woke up i told him that sounded outrageous and sent him on his way. now it is a matter of trust.....replace? try to repair? if replace, what am i looking at, money wise? there is advertisements in the paper for 3 ton for $3500 installed....now i don't know what this includes and am afraid to ask, at this point.

is there anyone that can possibly tell me what is a reasonable price for this? and again...if i do the a/c, do i have to also replace the heater as well?

thank you very much for anyone's time and advice. it is very much appreciated.

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You might want to post on the HVAC forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: HVAC

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 4:39PM
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Jean Bo

Did you get any help yet? I could has my DH for you. There is a product called leak stop that could be added to the system, sometimes that works. Has anyone ever tried to find the leak? It is possible that the leak has worsend. Let me know and I will ask him? Does your area have rebates here in FLA there are rebates from power company as well as Goverment rebates going on right now.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 4:46PM
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I got ten bids on a new a/c installation and they bids come in all over the place with the same equipment. Usually you replace the air handler and heat pump at the same time as a matched system, but if you don't want to spend the money just put in a new heat pump (outside unit).

How old is your current system? If more than ten years, it might be a good time to upgrade. Going from a SERE 10 to 13 is a savings.

Is your air handler old, no maintenance, needs to be replaced? If you look at the different brands you will get different prices. Trane is very good, expensive, Goodman is cheaper, but usually has more problems, Rhud/Rheeme, Bryant, Carrier are good.

Don't hit the panic button and just do a little reading on line to get some advice on what brand.

One thing to remember is you are breathing that air so if you have not been doing any maintenance on that air handler or your air ducts are dirty, you need to get it fixed or cleaned up.

Sometimes if you can wait till it is cooler the hvac contractors give better deals since they need the work.

Just start calling around for some bids. You will find a good company.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 6:53PM
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