Can I get an Air Conditioning Expert?

8 Replies

Hello BP,

You guys had plenty of info for me when a furnace went that I thought I would now ask you an Air Conditioning question:

1. Based on the info provided, does it seem to be solid advice to replace the entire unit?

2. If I'm replacing the unit, does the scope of work/price seem fair?

This sent to me by my PM:

"Upon inspection of the heat pump system I found the refrigerant charge very low. This is a clear indication of a leak within the system. I performed an electronic leak search and found the air handler evaporator coil leaking. Due to the age of the system (16 years outdoor unit) (11years air handler) and the current EPA phase out of the old r22 refrigerant I recommend the heat pump system be replaced.”

Neither company is willing to replace any parts on the unit due to the age and not being able to warranty them.

Here is the scope of work for the price of $3750

Install one new indoor air Handler with 10kw heat strips,

Transition duct work to fit the new air handler,

Install outdoor heat pump,

Connect all high and low voltage wiring to indoor and outdoor units also to the thermostat,

Install in-line PVC P-trap

Clear PVC drain line,

Evacuate system and charge with refrigerant,

Check/test system.

Install Honewell digital programmable heat pump thermostat

Complete system install will come with a 10 year all parts and labor warranty.

What do you experts think? Please address 1 &2 above.

Thank you!!

@Derek P.

HVAC techs are like Doctors.  Each one will give you a difference opinion.  Some techs like to service and some like to replace.  Get a second opinion and potentially get it fix for a few hundred bucks.  It is good to get a second opinion when the first doctor says lets cut the leg off.


Frank

[email protected] | CA Agent # 01957844

A 16 year old R22 unit?  Yeah I'd replace that, it's met its useful lifespan and you'll be throwing money away chasing repairs on it.  R22 has gotten so damn expensive with the phaseout I don't repair those systems anymore beyond something simple like a capacitor or fan motor.  Coil leak = death for and old unit. 

The scope of work sounds fine.....as for the price it's more than what I pay but I do a lot of business with my guy.

I'm not an expert, but I replaced 2 units in PA.  It cost me 4900 each, not including the electrical wiring.

I am a master hvac contractor with 35+ years of experience.

That sounds like a REAL GOOD price to me!

The equipment costs around 12-1800$  ( my actual cost)  and there is labor involved.

if I were you, I would run, not walk to this contractor and get it done.

I charge 5-7500 for this in the summer.

NOW-HERE IS A RULE OF THUMB FOR ALL----------

HVAC systems are like your cars,  (heat pumps)

given care, most will last 10 yrs.

they start to die at 15 yrs.

A few will go 18 yrs.

Not many make it to 20.

Costs vary for different areas.  This seems a bit on the high side to me, but not outrageous.  I would definitely get at least two more bids.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

More AC questions:

Ok, we are in escrow on a 4plx in Phoenix. 3 Ducane heat pumps and 1 Trane, all installed around 2005. 2 of the Ducanes are apparently not cooling properly. Is this likely the end of their life span? From @steve toth, I gather that you're lucky to get 10 years. I'm buying this at a 8 cap/12% CoC, so not a home run but a solid base hit. If I need to replace 2 heat pumps out of the gate, my numbers drop and I need to reconsider. What would you do?

Originally posted by @Steve T. :

I am a master hvac contractor with 35+ years of experience.

That sounds like a REAL GOOD price to me!

The equipment costs around 12-1800$  ( my actual cost)  and there is labor involved.

if I were you, I would run, not walk to this contractor and get it done.

I charge 5-7500 for this in the summer.

NOW-HERE IS A RULE OF THUMB FOR ALL----------

HVAC systems are like your cars,  (heat pumps)

given care, most will last 10 yrs.

they start to die at 15 yrs.

A few will go 18 yrs.

Not many make it to 20.

I'm an hvac contractor as well.   And to tell you the truth, the low price sets off a few red flags to me.   That seems too cheap to me for a heat pump.     Maybe they'll be installing a used unit or the guy installing won't be licensed.  And I don't think anything made today will give you more than 10-15 and 15 is pushing it.  

No company avatar mediumBrian Mathews, Brian's Heating and Cooling | [email protected] | 512‑350‑8704 | http://www.brianac.com

Oh yeah and with a 10 year parts and labor warranty.   The parts warranty is free, but usually not on a rental and a 10 year labor runs around $500 for me.   Unless they're self insuring, which they will lose their butt on that if they are around for the next 10 years giving away equipment at that price.  They'll go bust in less than 5 years.   I smell a rat. 

No company avatar mediumBrian Mathews, Brian's Heating and Cooling | [email protected] | 512‑350‑8704 | http://www.brianac.com