Join Early Retirement Today
View Poll Results: What is the best option
Buy variable speed 8 22.22%
Buy dual speed 5 13.89%
Just replace outside unit 1 2.78%
Why do anything right now 22 61.11%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
HVAC replacement question
Old 09-17-2014, 02:11 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,266
HVAC replacement question

Ok... AC went out and it was what I thought it was... the fan motor took a dive... replaced the motor and capacitor.... working great now...


But, the outside unit is now 16 years old.... the inside is 10... so I am going to get quotes and see what to do...

My options in more detail...

1 Replace all components with a variable speed system... the guy said you cannot look at it as a ROI since it takes a long time to get paid back... but much better comfort inside.

2. Replace all components with a 2 speed system. Not as expensive as the one above, still does a good job on comfort and does save money as the smaller unit is running most of the time

3. Just replace the outside unit and live the temp variations and sometimes the humidity too high

4. Why replace anything... the system is running and you might get 4 or more years out of the current unit....




Since there are enough people on here who know a thing or two about this, I am going to ask for your thoughts and do a poll...

Thanks for any comments
__________________

__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-17-2014, 02:18 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,266
I replaced the blower motor (inside furnace/AC circulating fan) a few years back - cost $100, and was a pretty easy job. IIRC the variable speed motors were more like $400.

So check that out, repairs on VS may be much higher, for maybe marginal extra comfort?

When you say 2-speed, do you mean a blower that runs at two different speeds for the same AC unit? Or what I think they all a 'two-stage', essentially two compressors, a small one to run more continuously to help pull humidity out, and a 2nd one that kicks in as needed for more extreme heat?

I think the 2-stage is probably more efficient, as well as doing a better job with humidity

-ERD50.
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 02:19 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JoeWras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,522
So... When we did our complete replacement 15 years ago, we went big. We went from one undersized unit to two units. Yes, required a new installation for 1/2 of the house.

I decided to go top-shelf on both units at the time. (1999) Our timing was good. It was right before prices skyrocketed with the housing, commodities booms that followed.

In any case, we took option #1.

Best thing I've ever done in my life as a homeowner.

The units were Carrier brand, top of the line. Both have been flawless (knocking on wood). Split system with gas heat and AC. Both used here heavily in the upper south.

I love the variable speed. Yes, love it. It is not about ROI, but comfort. You never know it is running. OK, maybe in the depth of winter when it goes to super speed. However, many of the other irritating things go away with variable speed. The slow ramp up in winter means no initial cold blast, for example.

In the summer, it sometimes runs in "super dehumidify" mode where it runs ultra slow to grab more moisture. This is handy on those moderate days with a lot of humidity -- think rainy days in summer.

It comes down to your comfort. Are you going to live there a long time? If not, get something cheaper. Seems like for resale all they care about it is that it works. But if you are living it, some of these luxury features are nice. Yes, luxury. But not as flashy as a BMW (see other thread )
__________________
JoeWras is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,538
I'm one of the guys in the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" camp.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 03:16 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Ok... AC went out and it was what I thought it was... the fan motor took a dive... replaced the motor and capacitor.... working great now...


But, the outside unit is now 16 years old.... the inside is 10... so I am going to get quotes and see what to do...

My options in more detail...

1 Replace all components with a variable speed system... the guy said you cannot look at it as a ROI since it takes a long time to get paid back... but much better comfort inside.

2. Replace all components with a 2 speed system. Not as expensive as the one above, still does a good job on comfort and does save money as the smaller unit is running most of the time

3. Just replace the outside unit and live the temp variations and sometimes the humidity too high

4. Why replace anything... the system is running and you might get 4 or more years out of the current unit....




Since there are enough people on here who know a thing or two about this, I am going to ask for your thoughts and do a poll...

Thanks for any comments
Given the age of the units #3 is no longer an option, since outdoor units now use R 410 instead of R 22. So at a minimum you have to replace the indoor coil as well. One question is it a heat pump or just ac with a furnace? If a furnace its probably just replace the coil inside.
__________________
meierlde is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,601
FWIW, we just had a very expensive repair (replaced the leaking indoor coil) that cost nothing because we had eight months to go on a ten year warranty.

While talking to the repair guy, he said nothing they sell has the lifespan that systems used to have. According to him, about 12 years is what you should expect on heat pump systems like ours, no matter what brand they are.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 03:31 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I'm one of the guys in the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" camp.
That's my feeling too.

Even in Houston, I see original split units (like the Op's) lasting over 20 years. A new system will have to be R 410 and both the compressor and evaporator coil will have to be replaced. And since you put in a new fan and capacitor, you have over $500 in it at the moment.
__________________
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 05:59 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,884
I'd let it ride, unless you really hate the current system. My Sears split system AC unit was installed in 1972 and I replaced it last year, even though it still worked (ridiculously inefficient). The gas furnace is a dual stage with a variable speed fan. I like the low noise and energy efficiency of the variable speed motor, but if and when it dies, I know that it will be expensive to replace.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 08:52 PM   #9
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I'm one of the guys in the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" camp.
I can definitely see your point! Normally I would vote for this.

But TexasProud lives in Texas, and I have never been hotter in my life than I was when living back in College Station, TX. I had my AC break there one summer, and believe me, it wasn't an experience I would ever want to repeat. With TexasProud's AC being as old as it is, it doesn't have many years left. I'd want to replace it proactively BEFORE it breaks down.

That said, I would wait until this winter, because it's cheaper and easier to get it done in the winter.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:01 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
I voted for #4. My last old heat pump is almost 23, but I replaced the other two already, before trying to repair them.

If you'd hate to do without during an emergency repair, or if the electricity cost savings will be high enough, then I'd consider replacing both halves at a convenient time.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:03 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I can definitely see your point! Normally I would vote for this.

But TexasProud lives in Texas, and I have never been hotter in my life than I was when living back in College Station, TX. I had my AC break there one summer, and believe me, it wasn't an experience I would ever want to repeat. With TexasProud's AC being as old as it is, it doesn't have many years left. I'd want to replace it proactively BEFORE it breaks down.

That said, I would wait until this winter, because it's cheaper and easier to get it done in the winter.
I've seen neighbors doing just this.....dropping $8 - $10 grand on a proactive change of an A/C unit in Houston (where I live). Believe it or not, you really don't get any deals in the winter from the vendors, they just make you think you do. A tech can change out the A/C system in a half a day (or less).

There are very few moving parts in an A/C system and the OP just replaced one. The other big one is the compressor. In a two part system, the furnace fan provides the air movement in the home and that runs in the winter too.

Unless the compressor is going bad, or the evaporator coil is corroded, it's not a high risk to let it keep on truckin....
__________________
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:07 PM   #12
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
I've seen neighbors doing just this.....dropping $8 - $10 grand on a proactive change of an A/C unit in Houston (where I live). Believe it or not, you really don't get any deals in the winter from the vendors, they just make you think you do. A tech can change out the A/C system in a half a day (or less).

There are very few moving parts in an A/C system and the OP just replaced one. The other big one is the compressor. In a two part system, the furnace fan provides the air movement in the home and that runs in the winter too.

Unless the compressor is going bad, or the evaporator coil is corroded, it's not a high risk to let it keep on truckin....
Well, I don't live in Houston (you do!) so I'll bow to your expertise on your local HVAC repairmen.

In New Orleans in the summertime, you sometimes have to wait longer than you might wish to get a good HVAC guy to even come out to your house, much less work on your AC, and it's not a fantasy that charges are higher in the summer than they are in the winter. Believe me. It's a supply/demand thing here; lots more demand for HVAC work in the summer months.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:38 PM   #13
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Ok... AC went out and it was what I thought it was... the fan motor took a dive... replaced the motor and capacitor.... working great now...
Now that you've repaired it, I'd choose a replacement but wait until it breaks again. it could last years, and most of the options you are interested in will be available for immediate delivery.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:40 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Well, I don't live in Houston (you do!) so I'll bow to your expertise on your local HVAC repairmen.

In New Orleans in the summertime, you sometimes have to wait longer than you might wish to get a good HVAC guy to even come out to your house, much less work on your AC, and it's not a fantasy that charges are higher in the summer than they are in the winter. Believe me. It's a supply/demand thing here; lots more demand for HVAC work in the summer months.
We have been here 22 years. I have had several summer A/C problems and in all cases have gotten a service guy the same day, when necessary. One thing hot, humid big cities have is a lot of A/C vendors and service firms. Now I am sure there are exceptions to this, and maybe we have been lucky.

Not that it matters, but in my LBYM program, I have bought and installed my own split A/C system in our last house (excluding handling freon since I have no license). Actually, stepson ordered his equipment at the same time for his new house we were building. You can buy the equipment (condensers, evap coils, heat pumps, etc) from out of state vendors and have it shipped to a truck loading dock for pick up. It's really not complicated, but it does take some basic skills to install.
__________________
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:52 PM   #15
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
We have been here 22 years. I have had several summer A/C problems and in all cases have gotten a service guy the same day, when necessary. One thing hot, humid big cities have is a lot of A/C vendors and service firms. Now I am sure there are exceptions to this, and maybe we have been lucky.

Not that it matters, but in my LBYM program, I have bought and installed my own split A/C system in our last house (excluding handling freon since I have no license). Actually, stepson ordered his equipment at the same time for his new house we were building. You can buy the equipment (condensers, evap coils, heat pumps, etc) from out of state vendors and have it shipped to a truck loading dock for pick up. It's really not complicated, but it does take some basic skills to install.
I'd probably learn to do that too, if the only alternative was to pay the $8,000 - $10,000 you mentioned! Good money saving strategy for your city.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:57 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I replaced the blower motor (inside furnace/AC circulating fan) a few years back - cost $100, and was a pretty easy job. IIRC the variable speed motors were more like $400.

So check that out, repairs on VS may be much higher, for maybe marginal extra comfort?

When you say 2-speed, do you mean a blower that runs at two different speeds for the same AC unit? Or what I think they all a 'two-stage', essentially two compressors, a small one to run more continuously to help pull humidity out, and a 2nd one that kicks in as needed for more extreme heat?

I think the 2-stage is probably more efficient, as well as doing a better job with humidity

-ERD50.

Yes, a two stage with two compressors....

The AC guy said the variable is more efficient as it can change its cooling from 30% to 100%.... the two stage only has two settings...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 09:59 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
Given the age of the units #3 is no longer an option, since outdoor units now use R 410 instead of R 22. So at a minimum you have to replace the indoor coil as well. One question is it a heat pump or just ac with a furnace? If a furnace its probably just replace the coil inside.

It is interesting that the indoor coil is only 10 years old.... seems they replaced it when they replaced the furnace.... the guy said I did not have to replace if I did not want....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 10:01 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
That's my feeling too.

Even in Houston, I see original split units (like the Op's) lasting over 20 years. A new system will have to be R 410 and both the compressor and evaporator coil will have to be replaced. And since you put in a new fan and capacitor, you have over $500 in it at the moment.

I guess I should have said.... they will refund the cost of the parts if I buy the new system.... so I get about $450 of the $550 back... kinda why I am thinking about it...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 10:04 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I can definitely see your point! Normally I would vote for this.

But TexasProud lives in Texas, and I have never been hotter in my life than I was when living back in College Station, TX. I had my AC break there one summer, and believe me, it wasn't an experience I would ever want to repeat. With TexasProud's AC being as old as it is, it doesn't have many years left. I'd want to replace it proactively BEFORE it breaks down.

That said, I would wait until this winter, because it's cheaper and easier to get it done in the winter.

Yep... a couple of really bad nights of sleep....

From what I am being told, the prices have already come down as of the 15th... and the local utility company will chip in on the more efficient unit... I think he said a total of about $2600 off what it would have cost me during the summer....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2014, 10:40 PM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Shelton, Washington
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Ok... AC went out and it was what I thought it was... the fan motor took a dive... replaced the motor and capacitor.... working great now...


But, the outside unit is now 16 years old.... the inside is 10... so I am going to get quotes and see what to do...

My options in more detail...

1 Replace all components with a variable speed system... the guy said you cannot look at it as a ROI since it takes a long time to get paid back... but much better comfort inside.

2. Replace all components with a 2 speed system. Not as expensive as the one above, still does a good job on comfort and does save money as the smaller unit is running most of the time

3. Just replace the outside unit and live the temp variations and sometimes the humidity too high

4. Why replace anything... the system is running and you might get 4 or more years out of the current unit....




Since there are enough people on here who know a thing or two about this, I am going to ask for your thoughts and do a poll...

Thanks for any comments

We had almost this exact choice a few months ago, other than for us the current system had one or two years left in it. We took option 2, we hadn't had a/c before (well, the dog kennels have had a/c for a few years but that is another story) and it came just in time for summer. The Carrier salesman push for option 1, but the ROI didn't work for me.
__________________

__________________
Jaded salami is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HVAC Replacement: Reality, or Rip-off? Amethyst Other topics 35 04-21-2014 09:01 PM
Tire patch or replacement Arif Other topics 11 08-31-2006 02:09 PM
New Replacement for PCRIX, PCRDX!!! saluki9 FIRE and Money 32 06-15-2006 01:34 PM
Garage Door Replacement gwix98 Other topics 16 05-21-2006 12:33 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:04 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.