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  1. #1
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Anyone replace their AC unit lately?

    So far we've only gotten 1 estimate and it was for $11k!!! I then realized I needed to do more research! The first estimate was basically scribbled on scratch paper, not itemized, nothing. So has anyone replaced their unit lately and done their research on brands, sizes, energy ratings, SEER, etc? So far the good reliable brands seem to be American Standard, Trane, Lennox, Carrier, and Bryant? Looks like Trane owns American Standard and Carrier owns Bryant. I don't have Consumer Reports, but I looked through all past posts and someone said CR didn't did rate Lennox favorably. Our house is only 1850 square feet and all one level. Our current unit is at least 20 years old and way too small for our house. The previous owners added on the master suite, master bath, 4th bedroom and laundry room but never installed a bigger AC unit. The first estimate we were given was for a 5 ton unit but with a house under 2000 sq ft this seems like major overkill! The calculators I've done online seem to say 3.5 tons is correct for our sq footage. Looks like the minimum SEER rating allowed in CA is 14 and anything over 15 SEER gets you a rebate. Does anyone have any tips or advice?
    Last edited by essnce629; 07-16-2021 at 06:44 PM.
    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner 8/19/03 (My 1st home birthed water baby!)
    Parker 5/23/09 (My 2nd home birthed water baby!)

  2. #2
    MSWR0319 is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    DH works for Trane. I can ask him his opinion on sizing.

    ETA: DH said 5 ton is overkill. 3.5 is more accurate. He also said that Trane and American Standard are exactly the same, so gets quotes for both and go with whichever is cheaper if you want one of those two brands. We have a Trane but only because the Trane supplier was cheaper than the American Standard supplier.

    He said cost also depends on if you go with a standard or variable speed unit.

    We got a new variable speed AC and new furnace for $14k installed in the midwest.
    Last edited by MSWR0319; 07-16-2021 at 05:52 PM.

  3. #3
    PZMommy is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by essnce629 View Post
    So far we've only gotten 1 estimate and it was for $11k!!! I then realized I needed to to more research! The first estimate was basically scribbled on scratch paper, not itemized, nothing. So has anyone replaced their unit lately and done their research on brands, sizes, energy ratings, SEER, etc? So far the good reliable brands seem to be American Standard, Trane, Lennox, Carrier, and Bryant? Looks like Trane owns American Standard and Carrier owns Bryant. I don't have Consumer Reports, but I looked through all past posts and someone said CR didn't did rate Lennox favorably. Our house is only 1850 square feet and all one level. Our current unit is at least 20 years old and way too small for our house. The previous owners added on the master suite, master bath, 4th bedroom and laundry room but never installed a bigger AC unit. The first estimate we were given was for a 5 ton unit but with a house under 2000 sq ft this seems like major overkill! The calculators I've done online seem to say 3.5 tons is correct for our sq footage. Looks like the minimum SEER rating allowed in CA is 14 and anything over 15 SEER gets you a rebate. Does anyone have any tips or advice?
    That estimate is about right. I think we live pretty close to each other. We have a 1200 sq foot townhouse, and ours was $15K for a new HVAC system. We also added extra insulation into our attic (that was nominal cost wise, but figured to do it when they were up there). The lowest estimate we got was 11K and the highest was 18K, and several were between 14-15K.

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    WatchingThemGrow is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Yeah, sounds about right for what we got. We went with the variable speed one and itís way louder than our old unit from 2001.


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  5. #5
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    So one thing I read today is to NOT get a variable capacity unit. That it's more efficient, but much costlier to install, more expensive to fix when things break, and the variable speed technology has only been around for 3-7 years depending on brand and the longevity is therefore unknown. That a two stage compressor is good and like a hybrid between single speed and variable speed and is good enough. For those with variable speed units do you think it was worth the extra cost?
    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner 8/19/03 (My 1st home birthed water baby!)
    Parker 5/23/09 (My 2nd home birthed water baby!)

  6. #6
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by WatchingThemGrow View Post
    Yeah, sounds about right for what we got. We went with the variable speed one and it’s way louder than our old unit from 2001.
    What brand is yours?
    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner 8/19/03 (My 1st home birthed water baby!)
    Parker 5/23/09 (My 2nd home birthed water baby!)

  7. #7
    WatchingThemGrow is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default Anyone replace their AC unit lately?

    Trane- need to clarify that whatís louder is the actual air flow. It actually blows whereas there old one barely did anything. We are the right temperature now!


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  8. #8
    MSWR0319 is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by essnce629 View Post
    So one thing I read today is to NOT get a variable capacity unit. That it's more efficient, but much costlier to install, more expensive to fix when things break, and the variable speed technology has only been around for 3-7 years depending on brand and the longevity is therefore unknown. That a two stage compressor is good and like a hybrid between single speed and variable speed and is good enough. For those with variable speed units do you think it was worth the extra cost?
    DH said you are right that itís more efficient, costlier to fix and install but that the technology has been around awhile and there are no longevity issues. He said itís definitely worth it if you plan on staying in your house a long time. I think it was worth the extra cost just so I donít have to hear it. Itís a very quiet unit compared to our old one.

  9. #9
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSWR0319 View Post
    DH said you are right that itís more efficient, costlier to fix and install but that the technology has been around awhile and there are no longevity issues. He said itís definitely worth it if you plan on staying in your house a long time. I think it was worth the extra cost just so I donít have to hear it. Itís a very quiet unit compared to our old one.
    Thank you for asking your DH! And yes, we have zero plans to move. So far I have two American Standard and one Trane installer coming out to give estimates, and several messages left for other installers.

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    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner 8/19/03 (My 1st home birthed water baby!)
    Parker 5/23/09 (My 2nd home birthed water baby!)

  10. #10
    AnnieW625's Avatar
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    Default Anyone replace their AC unit lately?

    Get a quote through Costco. They are always advertising their services when you walk out of the store.

    At our old place in 2009 when we had to replace the heater we thought about having AC put in and it was $6500 for a Goodman brand AC (Goodman makes Amana) and we decided not to put it in, but it was $6500 for 1200 sq. feet so $11000 for 1800 sq. ft. 12 years later is probably pretty accurate.

    ETA: I just looked it up and on CR they donít have current ratings for outdoor units; just portable and window units.

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    Last edited by AnnieW625; 07-16-2021 at 07:58 PM.
    Annie
    WOHM to two wonderful little girls born in April
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