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Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Posted by coachelladoug (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 18, 12 at 15:38

Hi,

I'm in Los Angeles. I was quoted $5,200 for a new install of a Goodman 2,000 CFM furnace 80% UP/Hz, (100k Btus), 5 ton Goodman coil, R-410A, multi possision with TXV installed, and 5 ton Goodman/GMC condenser, 13 SEER, R-410A, Sea-Breez digital non-programmable single stage thermostat, 20x25 return filter, tear out old units, installation of new units.
10 year warranty parts, 5 year warranty labor, 20 year warranty heat exchanger, sales tax included.
A/C contractor said job should take no more than 3 days.

House is a 3 bed, 2 bath, 1600 SF, home. It gets in the 100s F during summer, and down to the high 50s F during winter.

Is this a comparable price, too high, too low? I'd appreciate your comments.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

That's a low price for a 5 ton AC and 100K BTU furnace. I suspect this is low end Goodman equipment quoted by a low price bidder. I would be suspicious of this contractor. Get more quotes.

The furnace is very oversized for your size home and climate. I think the AC is also oversized. What size equipment do you currently have?


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

I'll tell you what is high: the quote is way oversized on heating and cooling.

A lot more information would be helpful. Where are you, what are you replacing (model #s would be helpful, but if not, size and efficiency of all equipment, how did equipment perform? Also, do you experience temperature swings in heating or cooling? How does your a/c handle humidity? What if any problems are you having with current equipment?

V


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Hi, thanks for the assistance. I'm in Woodland Hills. The house currently has a early 1970s Lennox A/C, and I forgot the brand of the furnace, which it's a late 1970's unit.
We do get 30 o 40 degree swings during the summer (right now). The old units are 3 ton.

This is a contractor that installs a lot of units in commercial and residential buildings.
I'll try to see if the ac contractor can get me model #s.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Ramming 5 tons into a system designed for 3 tons is asking for trouble. While you don't have humidity issues because of your climate, a 5 ton will short cycle which is annoying and not conducive to a long life. Then you will find out what the warranty doesn't pay for....

I am surprised that the contractor installs in both commercial and residential - the needs are so different that around here, there are different companies.

Goodman generally sucks. 13 Seer in your electricity rate area is false economy. What do you pay to condition your house now? - obviously if you have a well oriented, shaded and insulated house, you might not benefit from higher seer equipment. But I don't think I have seen that house in your area of the country built that long ago.

On the temp swings, the question I think was directed at inside the house - hopefully you don't have 30 degree swings inside the house....If you do, you are already grossly oversized.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Hi, Thanks for the postings and assistance.

My house faces the East, with 2 large sliding doors (10' and 8' X 80"). It is stucco over wood framing. Built in 1965, and I dare say, not much insulation. Stucco in Southern California makes the houses hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. Roof is shingles over plywood, and not much insulation in the attic. There is a vented crawl space under the house, and floors are wood.
Sits on a hill, no shading at all.

The ac vents are 6" to 8" diameter. I had a few ac inspections, and the house inspector also told me the venting is ok for 4 or 5 ton units.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Very few houses have duct work which is sized properly for 5 tons. The duct work is physically big and difficult to install in a typical house. It doesn't make sense to install a 3 ton system and size the duct work for 5 tons.

You need to find a contractor who will do a load calculation and evaluate the duct work.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

I'm in the LA area too and I've been trying to replace my broken down 3.5 ton condenser. Unfortunately, I've been stuck doing too much research (analysis paralysis), but I've learned a lot.

My house is 1430 sqft, long wall faces east and gets the hot afternoon sun, I'm on a raised foundation with crawl space, insulation R25 in attic, hardwood floors, no insulation in walls, double pane windows, built in 1952, 3 bd, 2 ba, etc.

You need to get someone to do a load calculation (Manual J) which takes into account your insulation in the attic, insulation in the walls, insulation in the crawl space, sqft of windows facing east/west/south/north, sqft walls facing east/west, sqft of doors, type of floor, volume of your house, sqft of house, temperatures that you want to set inside the house in winter/summer, climate in your area, number of people in house, number of appliances, etc.

All these factors determine your cooling needs in the summer and your heating needs in the winter. Or you can learn how to do this yourself at http://loadcalc.net

I would guesstimate that no insulation in the attic, no insulation on the walls, no insulation under the floor, and drafty old windows probably raises your cooling needs to close to 5-tons. A 5-ton condenser and matching furnace are a lot more expensive to run/operate than a 3-ton system.

I ran the numbers on my house and my cooling needs were a little over 4 tons without attic insulation and without wall insulation. I have R25 in the attic and I'm adding R15 wall insulation as I type this message and my cooling needs went down to a little under 3 tons (at 35.5k BTUs).

So, my wall and attic insulation reduced my cooling needs by 1-ton (a little over 12k BTUs). I think the attic insulation makes more of a difference than the the wall insulation, so I recommend that you get that done asap. It really helps.

Now, getting back to equipment. I've been following the advice on this forum not to get low end equipment. This advice has taken me in a two month quest for a reasonably priced mid-level equipment from a good company (Trane, American Standard, Rheem), but I'm having trouble finding it.

The best quotes I've gotten are for Amana and Lennox. The most expensive are for Trane, AS, and Rheem.

Goodman is very popular probably because of the price. They have good warranty, but the equipment is not well regarded in this forum.

Almost everyone says it's better to get a great installer with low end equipment than high-end reliable equipment with a bad installer. I think I met two really bad installers and two good installers. It's a feeling, but it's hard to know for sure. Some dealers send their salesperson to talk to you, so you never meet the installer.

One way to protect yourself is to get a permit. In my area, this ensures that the refrigerant level is checked to make sure it's appropriate for your system. That's all the permit does in my city.

Another way to protect yourself is to qualify for rebates. The rebates from So Cal Edison require an outside inspector to inspect/test your ducts and install. The problem with rebates is that it costs more money to pay for these tests and the installers/dealers build in a markup when you try to get rebates.

I got quotes with rebates from Lennox and Rheem and both were in the $9500 range with the possibility to get about $2700 in rebates. It's scary trying to qualify for the rebates because you might have to pay additional fees in repairs in order to meet the requirements of the rebates.

Now that I've written a book on this topic, my advice to you is to get a load calculation done and see what your heating and cooling needs are.

Figure out if it's worth getting the attic insulation to cut down on equipment size. Remember that it's more expensive to run a 5-ton system than a 3-ton system of equal SEER.

Oversized equipment might cause your system to short-cycle which may be bad for the equipment.

In So Cal, we really need the a/c and not the heater so much. So, matching a 5-ton a/c condenser with the right 5-ton 2000 CFM blower in a furnace will result in an oversized furnace. Your heating needs are probably 3-tons 36K BTUs without insulation, but you are putting a 100K BTU furnace in order to get the matching blower in the furnace to blow the cooling air at the right speed.

Also, 3-ton equipment is cheaper than 5-ton equipment. So, the savings in equipment price and the operational savings can probably pay for your attic insulation.

I'm paying $1600 to insulate all my outside walls. I insulated my attic myself using encapsulated batts from Home Depot. I might have to pay a little extra fill in some of the attic areas that I didn't do such a great job on. I'm talking to the wall insulators about doing this extra work for a small fee. I want them to blow some loose cellulose into those areas that need it.

Okay, you might not have finished reading all this, but see my other posts on price and equipment. I researched 3-ton systems.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Hamconsulting, thanks for the great detail. I agree with you that the need for a 5 ton, is because my house is not properly insulated (old construction). And, the furnace matching 5 ton so that the AC works according to plan.
As to rebates, LADWP only gives them out if you get 16 SEER or higher, with inspections, permits, etc, and there are some caveats.

I may insulate later on, but for now, AC and furnace are more important. Like you, I would need a 3.5, making it a 4 ton unit, once the house is properly insulated. Price difference is not that much. I do know that in Woodland Hills my AC will not be short-cycling. It gets hot from April to October. 80+ degrees, sometimes low 100s.

My main concern is if the price I was given, was too good to believe, or if it's in the ballpark.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

You didn't state how well the 3 ton AC was working for you. If the 3ton was holding its own, the 5 tons will definitely short cycle.

With those temperatures, you might consider a heat pump. And you wouldn't need very large heat strips.

And the more cost-effective solution would be to insulate. That is, instead of paying for a 5 ton unit that will suck down electricity for the years you own it, get a 3-ton system for less money and spend the other on insulating the house.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

I'm not an expert on price, but $5200 sounds a good price for the work/equipment/warranty you got quoted.

Your existing 3-ton system was not adequate? I'm still a little surprised that you are going for a 5-ton system. Typically, the ducts for a 3-ton system are not adequate for a 5-ton system, but you already checked this.

I got a quote for $5600 for a mid-level 14-SEER Amana 3-ton system (60K BTU gas furnace, coil, and ASX14036 condenser). Price includes permit and new refrigerant lineset and disconnect. Same ducts.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Weedmeister and Hamconsulting, the old units are from the early 70s, and way out "of whack". I noted this in my initial post, way up there.
The ducts were "upgraded" about 10 years ago, with larger ducts and vents.
I know that many are afraid of having too much system, but I don't see that much difference between a 4 ton and a 5 ton, if the price is less than $500 between them.
Yes, to me $5,200 sounds great, that's what scared me and got me to post for help on this forum.


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RE: Help new A/C, coil, & Furnace price quoted

Hamconsulting:

Not sure whether you're still receiving notifications about this thread, but I would love to find out who you went with. I am replacing a supposedly 4yr old Rheem air handler improperly installed by contractor's mechanical sub, "mickey moused" internally blah blah blah, according to repair company. Because repair co missed the boat on repeated service calls for that unit, I'll be getting more quotes for the replacement unit. Nothing involved but switching out the 5 ton air handler into the existing ductwork/electrical etc. . .


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