Replacing our central heat 'n' air system.
Bankrate.com: "Replacing Your Air Conditioner"
The unit in our home right now is still doing a nice job. It was installed in 1992, I'm told, and aside from a repair back in 2000 or 2001, we (thankfully!) haven't had to do much to it at all to the ol' ComfortMaker.
One expense that, so far, I've had no problem shelling out over the years is the maintenance contract / service plan on our central-air system. I was pleased to see that Consumer Reports agrees with me: "A service plan that combines regular inspections with discounts on repairs and a labor warranty is worth the money," they said in a report from July 2003.
I pay the company $51.50 every six months, and they come to the house and do all sorts of fun stuff to the heat and air units — things that, aside from swapping out the filter, I'd really rather not do.
Coming up with the money for replacing our now-13-years-old unit is something I have considered. Obviously, that's what savings are for. It's one of the many reasons I wish I could find ways to set aside more cash than I already do. I have no earthly idea what a new system will run me (1200 sq. ft house), but I'm willing to bet that the cost is pretty stout. Consumer Reports tells me to expect around $3,000 to replace old central-air equipment. Honestly, that figure seems low to me. I was also hoping to find some CR reliability ratings on central-air systems; alas, I couldn't find any online. (I do have a subscription.)
Anybody else been through a central-air system replacement, and have worthwhile info to add?