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Unread 2016-07-24, 08:36 PM   #1
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Default A/C Unit Replacement - 3.5 Ton

Anybody have a A/C unit replaced in the relatively recent past? Ours is not dead yet, but it's 32 (!!) years old and original to the house, so it is truly just a matter of time. Not to mention, I don't think "efficiency" was even in the English language in 1984 so I think we actually stand to save a significant amount of money by replacing it. We have a home warranty until next May, hoping it dies before then and is covered under warranty, but I'd like to get an idea what the rough cost is ahead of time so we can start budgeting for it.

The furnace etc is all 2014 install, so no issues there. It's Lennox brand, which from what I understand is fine but not top quality when it comes to A/C units. Doing research tells me Carrier, Trane, Rheem etc are top notch but at the end of the day the install really is what makes the difference.

Anyways, can you guys share costs for replacements you've had done as well as square footage and tonnage? I'll eventually get quotes, just looking to kick the tires with folks on here first.
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Unread 2016-07-24, 11:24 PM   #2
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I had ours replaces a couple years ago. I believe it was $7,000 for the second up from contractors grade. Only thing a that I had A.B. May do it. Not the best idea but I didn't have 7 grand saved up so I used the financing. Our house is little tiny with poor insulation. That's all I really know
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Unread 2016-07-25, 08:56 AM   #3
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Lennox is actually an excellent brand. I just had mine replaced last year. Good luck on the home warranty covering it. Mine went down a few times during the home warranty period and I even offered the tech a $100 bill to claim it was a total loss.

Anyway, I went with a two stage Lennox Elite XC16. It runs in the first stage most of the time, however in the evenings it'll run in the second stage until it drops it lower. I looked at the comparisons from my last years energy use and it's significantly lower these summer months than last year with the old unit.

I had to have an extra long line set because the lines run through my 2 car garage, but total installed cost was I believe around $5300 and I provided my own thermostat. I had quotes as low as $2500 for a contractors grade R22 unit and as high as $14k for a full replacement of AC/Furnace both two stage communicating systems.

I'm happy with my choice. Even when it's over 100 outside, it'll still drop from 79 to 74 in about 5 hours. I think that's pretty good. Oh, I have about 1300 sq. ft. on my main level and about 600 sq. ft. finished basement split level home. Went with a 3 ton unit.

Edit: Went back and looked at my old thread to update the numbers.
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Unread 2016-07-25, 09:21 AM   #4
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I had our HVAC system replaced several years back with a York high efficiency 4 or 4.5 ton, can't remember which) ton 16 seer unit and it was like $6,500. However, at the time there were (and may still be) state & federal rebates as well as a little one from KCPL if your old unit failed some sort of test and you were upgrading to a high efficiency system. When it was all said and done, it ended up being like $3k out of pocket which was way cheaper than doing a cheapo replacement just to get by.
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Unread 2016-07-25, 09:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ForcFed93 View Post
Lennox is actually an excellent brand. I just had mine replaced last year. Good luck on the home warranty covering it. Mine went down a few times during the home warranty period and I even offered the tech a $100 bill to claim it was a total loss.

Anyway, I went with a two stage Lennox Elite XC16. It runs in the first stage most of the time, however in the evenings it'll run in the second stage until it drops it lower. I looked at the comparisons from my last years energy use and it's significantly lower these summer months than last year with the old unit.

I had to have an extra long line set because the lines run through my 2 car garage, but total installed cost was I believe around $5300 and I provided my own thermostat. I had quotes as low as $2500 for a contractors grade R22 unit and as high as $14k for a full replacement of AC/Furnace both two stage communicating systems.

I'm happy with my choice. Even when it's over 100 outside, it'll still drop from 79 to 74 in about 5 hours. I think that's pretty good. Oh, I have about 1300 sq. ft. on my main level and about 600 sq. ft. finished basement split level home. Went with a 3 ton unit.

Edit: Went back and looked at my old thread to update the numbers.
What's your savings been like and do you know your SEER rating? I have ours set at 78 during work days, 75 evenings and 73 overnight. 75 all day on weekends. Our power bill was still $280

I'm not sure the unit will pay for itself but I'm positive it will cut electric bills down quite a lot since the unit is so old. I looked up a chart online by year and it's probably a 6-7 seer based on manufacture date. Lol

As far as rebates go, I don't think I'll be able to get much since i claimed some new windows and insulation on our old house but I may be able to. I think KCPLs rebates are all on the MO side but I'm sure whatever company I use will know that well.

Speaking of which, anyone have some company recommendations?
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Unread 2016-07-25, 09:44 AM   #6
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I've got a 34 year old Carrier system right now (3 ton installed in 82) and was quoted $5,000 for a complete replacement a few months back.
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Unread 2016-07-25, 10:02 AM   #7
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What's your savings been like and do you know your SEER rating? I have ours set at 78 during work days, 75 evenings and 73 overnight. 75 all day on weekends. Our power bill was still $280
Our old one was a 10 SEER, new one is 17.2 SEER. My bill for June was $117.

For comparison, June 2015 we used 1065kWh and June 2016 we used 891. Obviously it can't really be apples to apples due to numerous factors, but every month of using A/C since has been cheaper and less energy usage than the previous year.

June 2016 was also warmer than June 2015 as a whole.

Edit: Thermostat settings are 79 during the work day, 74 all other times including overnight and weekends. The two stage was worth it because it still runs quite a bit, which means you have a cool airflow through the house most times and still uses less energy.

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Unread 2016-07-25, 10:57 AM   #8
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make sure you are washing off your AC unit and replacing filters frequently to help increase efficiency even more
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Unread 2016-07-25, 01:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ForcFed93 View Post
Our old one was a 10 SEER, new one is 17.2 SEER. My bill for June was $117.

For comparison, June 2015 we used 1065kWh and June 2016 we used 891. Obviously it can't really be apples to apples due to numerous factors, but every month of using A/C since has been cheaper and less energy usage than the previous year.

June 2016 was also warmer than June 2015 as a whole.

Edit: Thermostat settings are 79 during the work day, 74 all other times including overnight and weekends. The two stage was worth it because it still runs quite a bit, which means you have a cool airflow through the house most times and still uses less energy.
Interesting. I think we stand to recoup even more if we go from say, a 6 seer to a 15 seer, as I believe the efficiencies decrease exponentially the higher the SEER rating. I read for example going from 8 to 10 nets a 20% decrease in energy usage, whereas a 10 to 12 only decreases energy usage by 10%. Anyway, my point is that going from even a 6 to a 13 will be a BIG difference in energy consumption if it's installed right.
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Unread 2016-07-25, 01:34 PM   #10
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I am having one replaced at one of my rentals this week, and the total bill is $2800 for a 3.5 ton.
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Unread 2016-07-25, 02:15 PM   #11
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I am having one replaced at one of my rentals this week, and the total bill is $2800 for a 3.5 ton.
Not bad! What brand of unit and what company did you go with?
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Unread 2016-07-25, 03:36 PM   #12
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https://www.acwholesalers.com/Air-Co...subCat=cat1006

you pay a lot for the installation of these things... this isn't even contractor pricing.

If you have any kind of friend/acquaintance that can set you up on the side, you could buy your own unit and save a ton of $$$
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Unread 2016-07-25, 03:59 PM   #13
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https://www.acwholesalers.com/Air-Co...subCat=cat1006

you pay a lot for the installation of these things... this isn't even contractor pricing.

If you have any kind of friend/acquaintance that can set you up on the side, you could buy your own unit and save a ton of $$$
This is true, but the installation makes or breaks how well these work. I looked up the wholesale cost of my system before I went with it and between the long line set, the new coil and outside unit, it was around $2500. Which means I spent a little under $3000 on installation.

But, I also rest assured that I don't have any leaks in the lines, that the unit has the right freon charge, that the airflow/temperature is correct, the wiring isn't going to catch fire and that I'm getting the rated SEER out of my equipment.

I immediately threw out the lowest bids because they were definitely a slap it in and go type of outfit.
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Unread 2016-07-25, 08:04 PM   #14
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This is true, but the installation makes or breaks how well these work. I looked up the wholesale cost of my system before I went with it and between the long line set, the new coil and outside unit, it was around $2500. Which means I spent a little under $3000 on installation.

But, I also rest assured that I don't have any leaks in the lines, that the unit has the right freon charge, that the airflow/temperature is correct, the wiring isn't going to catch fire and that I'm getting the rated SEER out of my equipment.

I immediately threw out the lowest bids because they were definitely a slap it in and go type of outfit.
A friend of mine who is an inspector for a local city (not going to say what city or who he is because obviously he can't be publicly endorsing companies) has said he's been particularly impressed with the quality of work and install when doing permit inspections on the installations from Top Notch, OneHour and United, so I'll be contacting those three when it comes time to replace. Thinking if the unit makes it through this month, I may see if I can get an install done for a little bit less during September or October when the HVAC business slows down a bit.
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Unread 2016-07-26, 01:51 PM   #15
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Dont forget to add some solar panels with your new system. You wont have to worry about energy efficiency anymore.
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Unread 2016-07-26, 02:38 PM   #16
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Seeing what the guys were making doing weekend work on residential stuff made me want to do AC for sure. Two guys put in a whole new setup in around 6 hours and split $4k. Sometimes these guys would do two a day or even three in a weekend.

Granted, on top of 60 hour weeks in 100* temps, you start to really not care about the money as much as your sanity.
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Unread 2016-07-29, 11:49 AM   #17
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Not bad! What brand of unit and what company did you go with?
I believe we settled on a Carrier, but to be honest I have not been by the property to double check. We talked about several options, but I told him to just do what he thinks is best. I don't have a problem paying a little more for a better unit, he is the expert....not me. This included new a-coil and 10 year warranty.

I went with a local guy who is a one man shop in the town where I live (near Manhattan). I grew up with his kids, so I have known him since I was a little kid. He has done all my a/c and plumbing on my properties and my house, so he typically treats me pretty well.
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Unread 2016-07-29, 01:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I believe we settled on a Carrier, but to be honest I have not been by the property to double check. We talked about several options, but I told him to just do what he thinks is best. I don't have a problem paying a little more for a better unit, he is the expert....not me. This included new a-coil and 10 year warranty.

I went with a local guy who is a one man shop in the town where I live (near Manhattan). I grew up with his kids, so I have known him since I was a little kid. He has done all my a/c and plumbing on my properties and my house, so he typically treats me pretty well.
When you go there and find an oscillating fan running through a 5gal bucket of ice, you may reconsider
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Unread 2016-08-01, 09:24 AM   #19
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Check KCPL rebates.
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Unread 2016-08-01, 01:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcFed93 View Post
Lennox is actually an excellent brand. I just had mine replaced last year. Good luck on the home warranty covering it. Mine went down a few times during the home warranty period and I even offered the tech a $100 bill to claim it was a total loss.

Anyway, I went with a two stage Lennox Elite XC16. It runs in the first stage most of the time, however in the evenings it'll run in the second stage until it drops it lower. I looked at the comparisons from my last years energy use and it's significantly lower these summer months than last year with the old unit.

I had to have an extra long line set because the lines run through my 2 car garage, but total installed cost was I believe around $5300 and I provided my own thermostat. I had quotes as low as $2500 for a contractors grade R22 unit and as high as $14k for a full replacement of AC/Furnace both two stage communicating systems.

I'm happy with my choice. Even when it's over 100 outside, it'll still drop from 79 to 74 in about 5 hours. I think that's pretty good. Oh, I have about 1300 sq. ft. on my main level and about 600 sq. ft. finished basement split level home. Went with a 3 ton unit.

Edit: Went back and looked at my old thread to update the numbers.
I just got a quote with the xc16, it sounds pretty good, replacing an 18 year old builder grade system that still works. My main goal is to keep the unpstairs a little cooler, do you feel that your XC16 has been a improvement for the second level?

The quote I got has them installing electric zoning in to the existing duct work to help with multiple levels, its about $2600 for just that so I am trying to figure out if I really need it.
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Unread 2016-08-01, 02:21 PM   #21
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I just got a quote with the xc16, it sounds pretty good, replacing an 18 year old builder grade system that still works. My main goal is to keep the unpstairs a little cooler, do you feel that your XC16 has been a improvement for the second level?

The quote I got has them installing electric zoning in to the existing duct work to help with multiple levels, its about $2600 for just that so I am trying to figure out if I really need it.
At 2600 for the electric zoning, Ask them about running 2 units, that will be far better than the dampers.
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Unread 2016-08-01, 04:05 PM   #22
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At 2600 for the electric zoning, Ask them about running 2 units, that will be far better than the dampers.
I did ask about that, with install that was quite a bit more than the electric zoning. He did say I could just get the new ac/furnace and see if that was enough, and then do the zoning later if I wanted, so it wasnt a hard sale on the zoning.
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Unread 2016-08-01, 08:46 PM   #23
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Check KCPL rebates.
I don't know why but Kansas never gets shit for rebates.
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Unread 2016-08-02, 02:46 PM   #24
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I did ask about that, with install that was quite a bit more than the electric zoning. He did say I could just get the new ac/furnace and see if that was enough, and then do the zoning later if I wanted, so it wasnt a hard sale on the zoning.
I was guessing it would be more with the install, but wasnt sure what the spread would be due to a smaller lower unit, if its 500-1000 it would be worth the second unit as it will keep it way cooler.
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Unread 2017-03-07, 10:18 AM   #25
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We had a guy from Jeremy Electrical, Heating, & Cooling come out 2 years ago and he did a good job, think it was about $6000 or so for the replacement. Find them at https://www.jeremykc.com/. The ac repair guy seemed honest and non-sleezy, we had used Supreme Air in the past and thought they overcharged us, not sure if they are still in business now though. Either way it is definitely a pain to get it replaced, it was in the summer though so we felt good after lol.
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