Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-03-2010, 06:17 PM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,038
Sizing on square feet is not the way to go. I had three bids on replacing my central air. All simply looked at square feet. I have vaulted ceilings which increase my cooled area. I went with a 4 ton unit rather than the 3 ton that was bid. It is often not enough on hot days in Texas. Sure glad I didn't listen to them.
__________________

__________________
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.
Lazarus 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 05-03-2010, 07:16 PM   #22
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 269
I won't even look at a house w/o central air. Including when we were buying a house in MA.
__________________

__________________
Sesq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 09:32 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
The way to determine the size of AC needed is called a "Manual J" calculation (from an ASHRAE manual). Lots of HVAC folks use a rule of thumb based on square footage, and this is just plain lazy and can easily end up costing you money (or, if you buy too large of an AC unit, a less comfortable house. If the unit is too large it will not get your indoor humidity down to a comfortable range). If they insist that they can tell just by looking what size AC unit you need, you might want to find someone else.

The official program for doing this calculation costs a few bucks, but the one at this site worked well for me. It only takes a few minutes to enter the data.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
First quote came in at about $8500, with no eligible tax credit. Expecting another quote tomorrow and another one early next week. Have not seen the details of the one we got. Will wait for more quotes before I really think about it, and want to make sure we are not heading for armageddon (don't think so).
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 07:04 PM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude View Post
Central AC is almost a must for resale, unless you live in hawaii or someplace like that. You might not recoup the cost, but you can enjoy the unit as long as you live there..........
Even in my old neighborhood, 90% of the homes have central a/c. Last fall when my gas furnace played out, I decided to add a/c as well. The window units got me by, but didn't really make me comfortable. So $4,000 later net of tax rebates, I have a new central heat and air system. I bought an American Standard Heritage 15 system. A heat pump with a gas furnace backup system. Does a good job too. Oh yes, my old duct work was good enough although they did have to add a little more insulation.

So I'm glad I bit the bullet. I don't plan to be here long term either, but I think the new system will help sell the house.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 07:40 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,034
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
First quote came in at about $8500, with no eligible tax credit. Expecting another quote tomorrow and another one early next week. Have not seen the details of the one we got. Will wait for more quotes before I really think about it, and want to make sure we are not heading for armageddon (don't think so).

My air conditioner died two years ago and the bids were all over the place . I had duct work but I needed a large unit and they had to have a crane to lift it into place ( elevated house ) . I followed CFB's advice on what unit to buy and he was spot on ( There is an old thread on air conditioners . 2008 ? ) . Cost was $5,500 installed .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2010, 09:58 AM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
I have contractors coming next Tuesday. Was hoping the price would be below $5K.
Anyone have any links to DIY duct installation? I have an open unfinished basement, with full access to the floor joists.
__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 06:48 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
Got my quote a few hours ago. $2800 for the 3 ton, 13 SEER unit, pad and installation.
2000 for the air handler in the attic. 3100 for Koolduct system with all bells and whistles, $1000 for electrical hookup of unit and air handler. $300 for electrical sub panel, $500 for hepa media filter setup.

Guy said in my area, 300 hours of AC was about the norm, at 20 cents KwHr, so cost to operate was pretty cheap.

Said I could shave off some $ if I got some other sort of ducting (flexiduct?).

Seemed expensive to me, especially for a 1400 sq foot house. Could do a 2 zone split ductless for around 4500 to 5000 I think.

quote thru Home Depot
__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Well, we got another quote from a constractor that comes highly recommended. $13k, less $2100 in tax credits and rebates. This is for a 16 SEER 2.5 ton unit and all the trimmings for a ~1950 sq. foot house. The third quote was even higher, but specified a 3 ton unit (not sure why the difference). I suspect that I will have some quetions for the highly recommended contractor. Most of the houses in my area have central air, so that is a consideration, but the prices...
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,107
I've spend some time lurking on the Residential HVAC forum and found it can be a decent place to get info on what systems might make sense for individual circumstances. Most members are heating and air conditioning pros (the good news) but have no patience whatsoever with DIY questions (the bad news). They can be testy but if you give them the specs on what you've been quoted and the details on your house, they may provide some input on what systems might work best - like whether the savings for Bimmerbill using flexiduct makes sense or whether Brewer should go with a 2.5 or 3 ton unit.

Maybe worth a post - but wear your flack jacket just in case you hit a nerve.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 08:31 PM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
$13K does seem like a lot (of course, it's likely all the prices went up when the gummint money started flooding the HVAC market).
I wonder if either the 2 1/2T or the 3T unit were recommended as a resut of a real Manual J audit, or just resulted from a WAG.
If you didn't before, you might want to clarify that cost is an issue. The Flexiduct (aka "slinky duct" etc) referred to by Bimmerbill is much faster to install than real duct. It's terrible stuff: rough on the inside so the air doesn't travel as efficiently, not especially well insulated so there are losses to the warm attic, etc. "Ductboard" or real metal ducting with exterior insulation is much better. Still, it is what is installed in most new homes and prospective buyers don't seem to mind. If you could save a few $K, it would be worth it to you.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 08:33 PM   #32
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Well, we got another quote from a constractor that comes highly recommended. $13k, less $2100 in tax credits and rebates. This is for a 16 SEER 2.5 ton unit and all the trimmings for a ~1950 sq. foot house. The third quote was even higher, but specified a 3 ton unit (not sure why the difference). I suspect that I will have some quetions for the highly recommended contractor. Most of the houses in my area have central air, so that is a consideration, but the prices...
Do you really need a 16 SEER unit? How much will you save on your electric bill by going with the 16 SEER as opposed to a 13 or 14 SEER?
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 11:38 PM   #33
Recycles dryer sheets
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 350
You gotta have the right humidity but I just love our swamp cooler... freezes me out with a 20 to 30 degree temp change.
__________________
Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 06:56 AM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
I dunno if I need 16 SEER. Frankly I feel like I am in the dark on a lot of this. However, our power costs are at least 20 cents per kwh, so efficiency can make a significant difference in the power bill, especially at peak demand times.

I think the next step will be to chat with one of the contractors to learn more. As for cost, I suspect that a significant part of the price is the fact that we are in NJ.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 08:33 AM   #35
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
Same here Brewer, things are more expensive in the north east.
My quote was for a 3 ton unit. The guy seemed to really know his stuff and did an ACCA Manual J load, or so the paperwork says. He counted my windows and checked the insulation in the attic.
__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 02:56 PM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
Adding ducts throughout the entire house is going to be a big, expensive project. Not to mention that just getting 70-80% of your money back on home improvements is considered a huge victory when you sell.

Why bother if you're going to only be there 3 more years?
__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Two reasons to bother:

- I am sick of dealing with wall units (minor issue, frankly)

- Given that the vast majority of homes in my market have central AC, I suspect it may make the eventual sale difficult.

Very much on the fence.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 03:23 PM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Well, we got another quote from a constractor that comes highly recommended. $13k, less $2100 in tax credits and rebates. This is for a 16 SEER 2.5 ton unit and all the trimmings for a ~1950 sq. foot house. The third quote was even higher, but specified a 3 ton unit (not sure why the difference). .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerbill View Post
Same here Brewer, things are more expensive in the north east.
.
Man, looks like they stick it to you in the NE. As I said previously, mine cost $4.2k net of tax credits and rebates for a 3 ton 15 SEER system. But my price didn't include duct work as I already had it. But wages in your area are much higher too, so maybe it's a wash.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 03:35 PM   #39
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
Man, looks like they stick it to you in the NE. As I said previously, mine cost $4.2k net of tax credits and rebates for a 3 ton 15 SEER system. But my price didn't include duct work as I already had it. But wages in your area are much higher too, so maybe it's a wash.
Have no duct work now, so it would be all from scratch.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2010, 12:58 PM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
No ducts here either, which costs $3K to install in my attic (1 floor ranch, so easy installation).

So, $8700 for the complete system.

Anyone know how much of the $ you get back when selling?
__________________

__________________
Bimmerbill 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
Photos from Central America GoodSense Travel Information 13 04-20-2008 01:26 AM
Hello from central Kansas almostperfect Hi, I am... 8 12-12-2007 08:44 AM
Your home a bad investment? newguy88 FIRE and Money 63 06-14-2007 03:23 PM
Hello from Central OH BigBob Hi, I am... 5 05-17-2007 10:51 AM
WSJ: Why Your Home Is Not the Investment You Think It Is Sam FIRE and Money 101 04-22-2007 10:14 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:09 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.